Yes, to so much of this! Instead of highlighting, I copied and pasted parts I wanted to comment on and ended up with a half dozen. Here are a few of those:

I am continually astounded that someone simply HAS to comment

I'm not. There are lots of reasons they can't resist. For one, I think that people need to be heard. That's the one I feel compassionate about. Two, they need to channel their emotional discomfort somewhere, and online articles feel like a safe space. Three, some people are simply miserable.

YOU and YOU alone are responsible for your own feelings.

I say this often. Sometimes I emphasize it while declaring that I don't want people to tell me how I should or shouldn't feel. (I recently had a couple of weeks in which I continually ranted about why I dislike the phrase "Don't take it personally". That was part of the argument.)

More often, I talk about taking responsibility for our own feelings when I acknowledge that no one can "make us" feel a certain way. That feeling is already there. As much as I hate the word "trigger" for its overuse, existing emotions are "triggered." That triggering is a good opportunity for curiosity and growth, but who does that? (Note: After I wrote most of this comment, I looked at your profile again and saw, skimmed & bookmarked your recent article about triggering.)

We here on Medium and elsewhere have begun to hurl invectives like gaslighting and narcissist at anything and anyone in order to sound authoritative and smart.


There are plenty of asshats, narcissists and gaslighters around. However, if someone shows up demonstrating a few of those characteristics, that doesn't mean they fit the well-defined profile of a narcissist.

Exactly! These are the buzzwords. If an expert disagrees with someone's "truth", the expert is a gaslighter because the other person knows better. And everyone is a narcissist (I say sarcastically). These invectives do a disservice to actual recipients of gaslighting and narcissism.

I recently read that some people enjoy getting offended because of the dopamine rush it gives them. It was in an article about why people argue with strangers online and go looking for fights. I think it falls under the same umbrella as doomscrolling. It's no secret that some people always want to play the victim and that the victim narrative is a fixed part of their identity, so there's that too.

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