We’ve all been watching the drama between Dani Leigh and DaBaby unfold on social media and it’s been nothing but cringeworthy. In case you missed it, the “Ball If I Want To” rapper called her a “side b****,” playfully denied their child is his, accused her of assault which led to her now having two simple assault charges and repeatedly called her “cuckoo for cocoa puffs” on Instagram Live for millions of people to see. This shameful behavior has led people, mainly women, to deem him a narcissist and as a licensed psychotherapist I have a problem with that.
There have been a slew of posts about how to spot a narcissist and how to know you’re dating a narcissist appearing on Instagram with DaBaby at the forefront and these kinds of posts are aggravating. For one, the term narcissist is thrown around way too much and used too lightly. All it takes is for someone to hear that a man, especially a Black man, did something selfish, embarrassing and manipulative and then boom, here comes the narcissist label. Many who use this term so loosely not only don’t have the credentials to speak about it but have no clue about all of the symptoms of the diagnosis. Being a narcissist takes more than being a liar and manipulator.
If someone is a narcissist, it means they have Narcissistic Personality Disorder which is described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as ” a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration and lack of empathy.” Narcissistic people are also preoccupied with success, power, beauty, have a grandiose sense of self, has a sense of entitlement, are exploitative, arrogant and envious. They also need constant validation and struggle with relationships and intimacy.
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What we saw DaBaby do to Dani Leigh was most definitely demeaning, slanderous, hurtful, heartbreaking and infuriating. We all saw him publicly gaslight Dani Leigh while being amused while humiliating her. This kind of behavior can definitely be categorized as a lack of empathy. At one point, he called their situation a “fatal attraction” type of thing, implying that Leigh is obsessed with him which could be slightly grandiose. He showed no respect or consideration for Leigh, who just gave birth to his daughter three months ago, as he publicly taunted her while claiming he was doing so “for his safety.” These behaviors alone do not qualify him to be labeled a narcissist. A person of questionable character who lacks integrity? Sure. A mentally ill person with a personality disorder? I don’t think so.
Furthermore, Deeming so many people narcissistic is misleading because Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not a common diagnosis at all. Psychology Today says less than one percent of the general population have it while the Cleveland Clinic estimated that up to five percent of the population have this diagnosis. It’s not only rare but it’s not a diagnosis to take lightly because it intensely impairs a person’s daily functioning.
My point is that classless behavior should not be pathologized all the time. Any time people do shocking or selfish acts or show behavior that make people question their morals, people start hauling out mental health diagnoses like bipolar and narcissism. Mental health disorders are serious, and using them so inaccurately is not only irresponsible but continues to perpetuate the mental health stigma that keeps people from seeking help. Similarly to how mood swings doesn’t mean a person is bipolar, all fuckboys are not narcissists. Just because he showed a lapse in judgment and actions lacking dignity doesn’t mean the man has a personality disorder. Relax, y’all.
Posts that claim to help people spot a narcissist are more harmful than helpful if they are not penned by an educated professional. A google search and a heartbreak does not make anyone else qualified to speak on what a true narcissist is. If you are not a licensed mental professional, it would be wise to not speak on illnesses you don’t know about.
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