First, assess your own Dark Side Warrior functioning to find out what makes it run. Next, go on to where that of others is disturbing the Force in your life.
The center of what makes the Dark Side Warrior run can be narrowed down to three basic, related psychological concepts. On the surface they make look alike and even seem to operate similarly.
The three concepts are:
Please allow me to alert you, if you have not yet come to know it this so far: As far as I can see (and seeing beyond the ordinary appears to be something with which I am gifted) if you are not taking care of the deceit in your own backyard, in yourself and your closest relationships, you are a part of the problem of divisiveness our country is now enmeshed in.
So now let's look a bit more deeply at the snare we are currently in. For starters, let us note the definitions of each: discounting, denial and lying.
The term discount is a term derived from the literature of Transactional Analysis (TA). The term is generally meant to be the act of minimizing or ignoring aspects of reality related to an individual, a situation or the solving of a problem. Discounting can be either conscious or unconscious.
In TA literature, discounting, is discussed as a rather intricate phenomenon associated with passivity. The subject is well worth investigating, learning to understand and apply. New Horizons has designed its most sophisticated program, the Truth or Dare Game, to teach people how discounting is affecting their lives, how to understand its destructive effects and how to reverse them.
Conscious discounting: An example of conscious or purposeful discounting of another person is choosing to tune out the distracting sounds of children at play in order to keep one’s attention focused on a task.
Unconscious discounting: An example of unconscious discounting occurred in a couple I was coaching when the husband of the couple kept ignoring the emotions his wife was expressing of fear over purchases he had made that went beyond the couple’s budget.
Denial, on the other hand, is less an ignoring and more of an internalized defense against unpleasant or uncomfortable truths or reality.
Although discounting and denial can appear to operate similarly, I have found it to be valuable to distinguish between the two in treatment scenarios. This tack has proven itself to be important in attempting to figure out strategies for managing interactions with people who are using either discounting or denial interactively with me, or others I am mentoring/coaching.
However, both functions: discounting and denial, are faulty modes of processing reality.
Lying: in my system of managing or guiding transformation is a deliberate withholding of information in order to exact power and/or control of others.
Many disruptive behaviors may include all three of these out-of sync with reality internal functions. For example a person who is bullying is likely to be ignoring or minimizing (discounting) the emotions and needs of others. He or she might also not be able to have a healthy grasp (denial) of the consequences of this behavior for him or herself or the victim being bullied.
Lying might also play a role in this kind of upset as the need for power and control in situations of bullying is a major factor.
Where does Donald Trump’s deceitful behavior lie between these three dysfunctional modes of dealing with truth and reality? And where might you and/others around you fall into these traps.
It is hard to know for sure what would account for Trump’s repeated deceit without having his willing agreement to assess his dysfunction. My own professional analysis from afar is that Donald Trump appears to me to be acting as if he is a narcissistic sociopath.
The narcissism accounts for his seeming inability to do other than pay attention to himself as the center of his world. That would account also for his inability to do other than discount (i.e. minimize or ignore) the thoughts, feelings, viewpoints and so forth of others. Obviously, Trump is over-focused on himself and under-focused on others.
The sociopathy might account for his being in denial (i.e. seemingly having little or no compassion or concern) for others with a significant lack of empathy. Sociopaths have extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience. This could account for Trump’s racism, sexism and radically disruptive notions about how to “make America great again.”
Of, course, Trump lies all over the place; his need for power and control of others is off the charts! But what about you? And those around you? Do you tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, always?
In lieu of their being any certainty regarding Trump’s internal psychological dysfunctioning, it is essential that our American constituency develop increased skillfulness in assessing their own personal reality and truth telling behaviors. And, find ways to cope with our now being subjected to leadership that is functioning outside the bounds of truth and reality!