By Dr David Laing Dawson
Having lost the centrality and privilege of childhood and now struggling with their own insecurities there is a moment some teens decide, and announce to me, that ALL their peers are stupid, dumb as rocks, and lying. Usually for teens trapped in this moment of narcissistic injury they make one exception. For boys it may be an online friend supporting his complaints in a gaming forum, for girls it is a best friend who goes to a different school.
Usually they grow past this period of developmental disappointment: A combination of time, some success at something, some judicious counselling, the love of a parent, finding a boyfriend or girlfriend, and sometimes taking the right medication for excess anxiety.
The analogy with Donald J. Trump is imperfect. For the teenagers their “dumb as rocks” peers comprise a classroom of 30 or a school of 1000. It is the limit of their experience at this age. New acceptable friends are hard to find.
But Donald, for every friend, associate and peer he decides is “dumb as a rock” there are two new friends waiting in the wings for a role in the play, and a chance to be best of buddies.
But the language he uses is the same:the playground accusations, the remarkable hyperbole, the name calling, the self reference, the projections, and the underlying insecurities.
I suspect the only reason Donald’s tweets sometimes sound more sophisticated than a 15 year old complaining to me is that he is quoting some words and numbers from Fox & Friends, as in “the 245 times James Comey told the investigators he didn’t know.”.
As this drama unfolds over the next few months I hope the adults in the room remember we are dealing with a very narcissistic 14 year old with the moral compass of a peanut.
Perhaps we can resurrect Donald’s parents and have Mueller and Congress hand the whole thing off to family court.