for the most part, i try to stay out of social media madness because it is usually just that–maddening. i watch things come into my feed and because i have a diverse set of friends the opposing viewpoints right next to each other are sometimes kind of comical. i also made a decision a long time ago to not add fuel to certain stories because i don’t want to contribute to the madness.
but yesterday morning after another tumble of posts about one person in particular i just felt like yelling at my computer–“people, stop feeding the narcissists!”
i know we all have narcissism in us, but i am talking about the full-blown ones who also tend to be charismatic, strong, and quite-often-the-leaders-of-big-churches-or-organizations. seriously, when it comes to the whole celebrity-business-model pastor thing, the unhealthy & often abusive systems built around them, and all of the blog churn on their behalf, we need to remember that we are contributors to the whole mess by engaging in it and giving it our time & energy.
it’s exactly what narcissists want.
it’s like they’ve got everyone eating out of their hand.
because that’s what narcissists do.
any attention is better than no attention. using charisma and humility and well-worded apology letters. strategic communications. manipulating heart-strings and intentionally pissing people off. you name it, it’s happening underneath the surface of all of these kinds of moments, whether it’s conscious or not.
and we are making it worse by giving it even one iota of our attention.
the best possible way to shut down a narcissist it to completely and totally ignore them.
to stop feeding them.
they are unsatiable.
and often, we are unsatiable, too. we like the drama, the back-and-forth, the “what’s next?”, the “maybe now he’ll actually get change…,” the different perspectives on it that fuel our positions. both sides–the supporters and the detractors–are getting taken on a ride.
we never do narcissists a favor by bestowing this much attention on them.
there’s no doubt i have been sucked in to giving them my time, clicking on videos and reading blogs or websites and getting enraged at the stories. they are fascinating. but that’s exactly the idea–to lure me in so i’ll pay attention to them.
it’s not easy sometimes when the stories are just so juicy, but i’m trying to play my part in refusing to feed this kind of christian narcissism.
the most powerful and holy gift we can give is to vote with our inattention: to hit the delete key. to refuse to pass the posts on. to ignore them. to unplug. to not give them even a glance. to lift them up to God if you feel like you need to privately but do absolutely everything possible to take the public spotlight off of them.
it’s bad for their souls & it’s bad for ours, too.
most of all, the best thing we can do is turn our attention toward the-far-more-important-things-in-this-world-that-need-caring-about.
yeah, let’s stop feeding the narcissists.
their best hope is to get starved out.