6. TRUMP’S PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION

Is he dominant or submissive?

Is he cooperative or antagonistic?

And is he respectful of others or disrespectful?

THE RELATIONAL DIAGNOSIS

There are two points to determine one’s diagnosis in detail: one is the party’s relational modality, the other is his six-role syndromal process.

Through the formal analysis we can draw conclusions on an individual’s personality without having to examine him/her personally. We can make the relational diagnosis utilizing the Conflict Analysis Battery, a self-assessment instrument identifying the modality and the process. But we can also identify the personality type by simply asking three questions that are extremely easy to answer:

Is he dominant or submissive?

Is he cooperative or antagonistic?

And is he respectful of others or disrespectful?

Anybody can answer these questions and make the relational diagnosis. We have more than enough information with Trump capturing the media’s attention for years.  All reports confirm the diagnosis based on the three criteria identified above as the consistency of his pattern. Therefore, the formal conceptual diagnosis may be made without examining the subject personally or needing his permission as the diagnosis is only organizing the already well-known factual information.

The DSM traits and journalistic epithets regarding Donald Trump are of limited value until they are placed in the relational context of the three formal variables. The traits, analyzed along the three relational distinctions, help to place a person on the social power grid. In this manner,Trump’s normative deviation and his emotional experiences identify his extraordinarily dominant antagonism and alienating syndromal pattern.

THE SYNDROMAL DIAGNOSIS: Piecing the episodes into a pattern

The second point of critical analysis explores the syndromal interconnection of episodes along the six-role process. From this analytical perspective, we observe Trump’s pattern of conflict resolution as a system of formally connected behaviors and emotions processed into a resolution characteristic of the relational modality identified above.

We may identify the six-role sequence simply by retracing the person’s publicly known behaviors unfolding in the course of occasional transactions but also repeated uniting lifetime episodes. Thus a relational diagnosis is established based on public behavior and documented by the individual’s utterances. With either of the two approaches we may diagnose Trump as a case of intense dominant antagonism.

Observation of facts leads to our identification of Trump’s six-role states syndrome.

  1. Stress

Trump perceives life in terms of extremes between failure and success. His early experiences gave him intolerance of humiliation and the pursuit of high achievement goals. A sample stressor: His brother died of alcoholism; his intense response: Do not drink. Sensitive of failures he judges America as victimized by its leaders and their policies.

  1. Response

We have witnessed Trump’s antagonistic reaction to stress as a candidate expressing himself dismissively humiliating all Republican rivals and being merciless towards Hillary. His assertiveness was captured in his political agenda to “make America great again” and his intense reactiveness is reflected in his Tweeter pattern.

  1. Anxiety

His anxiety has manifested in several occasions as fears of failure, expressed in the outsized concern over the count of votes cast in the election and the crowds at his inauguration.  His paranoia is also exhibited in his conspiracy theories — expressed early against Obama as the birther issue, and subsequently with a number of theories about Mexicans, Islamic terrorists, rigged elections and fraudulent voters.  Trump’s fears are proportional to his own aggression, leading him to distort his perceptions of reality. For example, he sees others as dangerous and untrustworthy, describes the country as failing, the government as a swamp, the state of the land as “carnage”.

  1. Defense

The intensity of his anxiety is reflected in his draconian defensive measures for protecting himself and the country as a means of averting disasters. Defensiveness leads him to adopting negative methods, erecting walls, censoring Islam, quarreling with the press, contradicting the Pope — and all the while accusing rivals rigging the election.

The projections of Trump’s behavior unto others have led him to attribute his own intent directed at others as conspiring. He accused fellow candidates. Examples of this tendency is his accusing Ted Cruz’s father of involvement in Kennedy’s assassination; his declarations of rigged elections; frequent utterances regarding the dishonesty of politicians; and accusation of a judge as biased because of an inferred ethnic affiliation.

As a candidate, he promised taking extreme measures of control such as threatening to deport millions, excluding billions from entry, closing off the country’s boundaries, and inciting the public to take drastic action on his behalf with sound bite as his mantra: “lock her up”. These behaviors show lack of empathy and no concern for partners and rivals. His pattern of dealing with criticism has been by preemptively accusing his critics, whether they be judges or a disparaging press.

Trump has called his rivals humiliating and disparaging names, while promoting himself as the America’s savior by extolling his qualities, repeatedly reassuring the public with messianic “believe me” statements.

  1. Reversal

His defensive initiatives have had the effect of polarizing the audience. His phase of reversal has been the loss of support by the electorate. Originally, Trump’s audacious conduct startled the public, who came to follow him as a bold outspoken charismatic hero. His enterprising and spontaneous advocacy for action and change was perceived as admirable boldness, refreshing honesty and courage instead of as malignant defensiveness based on his own apprehensions and fears. His promises and accusations took a naïve, gentle and complacent America by storm.

Though he has been criticized for deceitfulness, subterfuge, crudity, illness of narcissism, paranoia, dangerous emotional and fraudulent conduct, fabricator of fake news, though he was perceived as rude, crude, insensitive, self-righteous, deprived of empathy, unable to show weakness and kindness, he prevailed.

His reversal is in the country being divided between those he impressed and those who dread his every decision. Women marched right after his election. The negative characteristics run the gamut: a manipulative, dishonest, hypocritical, and fraudulent businessman; a military service dodger; a tax evasion manipulator; a discriminator against minorities; a fraud in his financial and educational enterprises; contradictory in his political views; manipulative in his relationships; a misogynist with troubled relationships with women. The biggest unresolved issue is his pre-election relations with Russia and the press does not want to let go of the issue.

  1. Compromise

The state of compromise signals the end state of the manifestation of a conflict resolution process as a diagnosis of wellness. Yet, Trump’s actions of closure in conflicts have not been compromises. He has remained disrespectful with end reactions as verbal missives of antagonism: the earlier “sue them, fire them, never show vulnerability, self promote, dare and challenge, scare them, suspect fraud instead of accepting failure, refusing change and censorship”. The wiretapping of his business was the most recent anxiety turned to defense manifestation of his being a troubled man. So being a leader reformer going against the time-honored norms is taking its toll.

The public, friends and enemies, has recognized in him the hero as fencing with the media’s scrutiny, and all political leaders. He is predictably unpredictable. This is the most exciting off-Broadway drama ever. It reminds me of the intensity of the Roman gladiators’ impending merciless cruelty in the pit of the Coliseum.

CONCLUSION

The supplement to a DSM labeling is understanding a relational pattern as a chain reaction, which may also be broken. Self-righteous aggressive people suffer of panic disorders and of paralyzing paranoid thinking. The cure for this relational proclivity entails diminishing aggression to reduce one’s fears. Self-restraint cures one’s paralyzing paranoid fears.

The DSM traits attributed to Trump’s diagnosis of sociopathic are traits, not an illness: narcissism, grandiosity, paranoia and manipulativeness, xenophobic and misogynist. These are well deserved hostile attributes, subsumed to the set of the measurable relational distinctions: aggressive vs. submissive, antagonistic vs. cooperative, and alienated vs. mutual respectful.

As noted, the state of resolution for the Cowardly Lion depends on individual receptivity to managing power, influencing deliberately the self-guided unconscious. It is by means of correcting one’s power style that the individual is freed from fears and achieve a peaceful outlook. This is precisely the manner that our hero can break the cycle of anxiety and blame spiral experienced.

Mindfulness is the approach of detachment from desires and hence reducing the stress of conflicts. Peace within the leader may affect his taking appropriate initiatives for achieving global peace. But until then we are in danger as this president is sensitive to criticism and threats from other self-righteous challengers and he is very prone to reacting preemptively with the predictable escalation of conflicts especially to divert attention from being in a vulnerable personal situation.

So folks let us beware of Trump because Trump is US.  We are also trapped in his pattern of fears and aggression with little sign of a willingness for enlightenment.

 

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