Toxic Traits: Reality Dictation

They continually create false narratives which others are expected to accept. Challenge them.

Toxic Traits: Reality Dictation

A character trait central to many toxic behaviours concerns a narcissistic kind of reality distortion.

Some individuals believe they possess the authority to dictate reality, setting their own terms, to the world around them. They are self-appointed reality dictators. Different from someone deluding themselves, reality dictators may not believe the narratives they create: they are designed to serve their interests when imposed on others. It is others that are expected to believe their narratives. Or at least be unable to successfully challenge them.

The dictator believes they determine what people think of as real or not. Facts are made use of, distorted and interpreted, to fit false narratives. Truth is used in a similar fashion: bits of truth are sprinkled into false narratives to give them the flavour of truth. The dictator does not, however, respect facts as a source of truth. Nor do they respect truth. Both are simply tools used to construct realities and convince people into complying with them.


James Lanternman writes movie reviews, short fiction, essays, and moonlit thoughts. Reach him at [email protected], or follow on Twitter.