Monday, January 10, 2011
By Patricia Lefave, Monophrenic
Members of dysfunctional groups of all kinds routinely engage in splitting, projecting, denial, and dismissive invalidation of anyone who points it out or complain about being on the receiving end of this group behaviour. The individual members of the group and, by extension, the group as a whole deny the behaviour exists.
Since it is said not to exist, the complaints of it made by the individual must be explained away. The easiest and likely most common, way to explain it away is to call it a perception/reaction problem in the individual who complains about it. Some might call this 'scapegoating' but the members of such dysfunctional groups rarely do; in fact, they usually get quite righteously indignant at the very suggestion that such a group phenomenon is possible, never mind a frequent occurrence.
Dysfunctional groups like to protect their ways. It is the 'devil we know', they cannot get blamed for anything and most important, this kind of acting out on surrogates provided a much needed emotional catharsis for those who are not 'allowed' to blame 'others' especially 'authority' for what has gone wrong with their own life or with the world in general.
While condemning the concept of blame on a universal level, the dysfunctional engage in blaming, as much as they can. For nothing makes one FEEL better than to compare oneself to a 'lesser' human, an inherently defective individual, selected by group consensus as a suitable target, who does not live 'up' to our superior standards. It is the psycho-spiritual stuff that “righteousness” is made of, is it not? Those who ‘really don't like’ me at all feel better than me as they “know' that I “just think I am better than them.”
Dysfunction sustains itself with the circular arguments of its own reasoning which are designed to define, promote and sustain it to infinite dysfunction. Those who point it out, or who dare to openly disagree, may well be diagnosed as 'crazy' for doing so.