Body Language Expert, Professional Speaker, Author, Media Authority, Spokes Person, Corporate Consultant, Trainer and Coach.
Patti speaks to Fortune 500 Companies, Associations, and Universities on: Body Language, Deception Detection, Selling, Interviewing, Public Speaking, First Impressions, Conflict Management and more.
She also consults with Law Enforcement and the Media on the Body Language of Celebrities, Politicians and Suspects.
Book Patti to speak at her website Patti@PattiWood.net
How Can a Group Accept and Even Defend a Member in the Group with Despicable Behavior?
many of you know as a body language expert I write and speak to my corporate
clients about honesty, integrity, and credibility as well as deception, narcissism, and psychopathology.
I have a chapter in my forthcoming book about how other
people respond to “dark triad” behaviors like Malignant Narcissism and it
struck me that most people don't understand how a group can they tolerate
someone. they know has done great harm. How can it happen?
In group narcissism, we see an unquestioning loyalty and admiration for the
group and an intense fervor in the persecution of any person who questions the
authority of the overarching ideals of the group. The group will do anything to
ignore any bad behavior of their fellow narcissists, give him a pass and then
another pass, normalize unhealthy behaviors bullying, abusive and dangerous
behavior. They will defend one of their own kind, for fear of losing the group.
They will even attack any innocent person or persons who threaten the group
status quo. The group is their breath, their life, their sustenance, their
"supply." In the presence of other narcissists, who reflect back
“like” behaviors they don't see their dark selves. In the group, they are whole
and belong. They may see damage in others, yet it only serves to make them feel
superior. And in fact, their very acceptance of the dark damage in their fellow
tribe members may make them think they are good people! They don’t consider
the fact that in a healthy group dark damage behavior are called out as
Fromm explains, “[an] individual narcissist, who is out on his own, comparing
himself to normal people may see he lacks a moral core unless he is mentally
very sick, he may have at least some doubts about his image. But, if he joins a
group that has other narcissists, he has none, since his narcissism is shared
by the majority” (ibid., p.204). They feed each other giving each other
narcissistic supply. If they lose members, they will seek out new supply, some just like them, or
"Empaths" (honest trusting people) the group can use and abuse.
Narcissists love the "supply" being in a group gives them.
"...it works as protection and amplification of their own narcissism.” One
would expect the narcissist to be ‘above’ such social conformity, but this
group represents a “stepping up.” of his pathology. It is also gratifying to
the weak and untalented narcissist since he becomes a giant by belonging to the
"The group members are often mistaken for nice fellows, who are socially
mature and respectful towards other people. Nothing could be further from the
truth. It is a chimera. Such people are only providing for their own narcissism
by way of reflection in the group. Scratch on the surface, and a nasty
intolerance appears.” (They will gossip about and stab members in the back)
Many psychologists tend to view the social group as an ideal for the individual
to attain. What is true is that a healthy group filled with loving honest
caring people is the ideal.
But, as you know, marriage is an ideal as well and there are unhealthy abusive
marriages, in which an abusive spouse may brag about his great marriage He
gains social status from being in marriage that is not what it seems. In the same way there are group members, who brag about their group membership
that are in toxic groups, pathological version of bonding called group
So if you have read this far, you may get a greater understanding of why some
political party members may cling to their group memberships, some church or
teams or clubs may do anything to protect the group even if it means or
protecting a member known abusing women and known pedophiles.
So, what can you do?
Think of your tribe first.
Are you speaking well of or badly about others behind their backs? Does your
group allow constant complaining? Is their complaining without positive action
that creates positive change? Is their anger mongering, shouting, shutting
people down, bullying, gossiping, name calling, sexual discrimination, judging?
Do members talk badly about others behind their back? What do you think is ok?
What are you accepting? Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.