Tag Archives: psychological defensiveness

Kate Gosselin: Why the Question of Victim or Villain is Too Simplistic

26 Apr

 

A recent article about Kate Gosselin by In Touch magazine poses the question of whether she is a victim or a villain. This question, while it may be intriguing, does not capture the full range of human behavior. Rarely are people all good or all bad. Rarely are they just a victim or a villain. Especially in the case of Kate Gosselin it is quite possible that she is BOTH a victim and a villain. It is likely that Kate is a victim, or feels victimized, and also has acted spiteful, vindictive or mean to others.

Kate’s popularity in the media has had it’s ups and downs, but it appears from recent tabloids, that it is at an all-time low. Part of the public disapproval may be from the judgment that people place on her for making media appearances and shows (Dancing with the Stars) more of a  priority than being a mother. Another reason she may have lost popularity votes and has been seen as a villain is her apparent personality characteristics demonstrated on the Dancing with the Stars show.

Many have described her behavior on the show as diva- like. Just looking at her facial expressions during the show and her interactions with her dancing partner give an indication that she is likely a difficult person to get along with. Kate’s hostility and anger may be a reaction to feelings of inferiority and insecurity. Sometimes people act angry towards others when they feel vulnerable or when they negatively compare themselves to others.

When people have deep feelings of insecurity, it is not uncommon for them to lash out at others as a self protective mechanism. This does not excuse one’s behavior, but may give a context in which to understand it. Think about school bullies often times they lash out at others because of feelings of insecurity and worthlessness that come from within. They lash out at others (sometimes at one particular target) as a way to compensate for their own feelings of self hatred and confusion.

When a person’s insecurity leads them to lash out on others, they end up getting negative responses from those around them. They end up alienating people, and then feel further isolated and unworthy. It can become a vicious cycle. These types of people build up walls against others and lack trust. They may not trust other people because they feels that those around them are against them. But in actuality, the people around them may be responding to their angry and unpredictable behavior.

People who attempt to guard themselves by being hostile, defensive or angry towards others, end up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are creating the exact reaction in others that they fear. Their psychological defensiveness turns people away and they feel further isolated, which in turn, leads to an increase in their aggressive and defensive posturing. Professional help or therapy can help these types of people find a new way of interacting with others and help them build their self esteem. In the meantime, people with this type of psychological defensiveness can be very difficult to live with, and can draw attention from others (or the media!) who are trying to make sense of their seemingly senseless behavior.

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