Jussie Smollett’s Incredibly Unhealthy Need for a Narrative

Actor Jussie Smollett allegedly concocted an attack on himself because he was angered that a racist letter that was mailed to him in January did not get a “bigger reaction.” [Daily Wire 2-18-19]

Why on earth would anyone do this?

Let me explain how sociopathy, dishonesty and psychopathy work.

Dishonest people seek a narrative. A narrative is a story. Usually, especially in today’s cultural climate, the story is about victimhood.

The narrative is something like, “I am a victim“. It means you look for evidence that supports the idea you’re a victim. You block out evidence that suggests the opposite. It’s at core a psychological process. The process is rationalized and justified by an underlying ideological premise–such as “all black people are always victims”. Psychologically speaking, it could just as easily be the opposite: “All white people are always victims,” for example. Or it can be more individualized: “I am always a victim.” Anyone unfortunate enough to have toxic (often borderline personality) people in their family or personal circle knows what I’m talking about. People who want to see themselves as something–victims, for example–will always hold onto the narrative as if their lives depend on it.

Psychopathology and individual psychological disorder are one thing. When such dishonest narratives take hold on an entire society — or at least the half or so of the people in our culture who actually BUY and identify with this crap — then it really suggests our society is headed for a whole HEAP of trouble. But many of us already knew that.

“When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack,” a source told CBS Chicago, which reported that “other sources corroborated that information.”

There you go. There’s the unhealthy need for a narrative, in a nutshell.

Unless more of us learn critical thinking, objectivity — and just plain HONESTY — then we’re not going to make it as a civilization.


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