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When The Humiliated Inner Child Decides The Environmental Policy

Dr. Dragana Favre is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and a seeker of the human psyche's mysteries. With a medical degree and extensive neuroscience education from prestigious institutions like the Max Planck Institute and Instituto de Neurociencias, she's a seasoned expert.

Executive Contributor Dragana Favre

We all have, deep inside, a sad child who suffered from some injustice or who was wounded straight to the heart of our vulnerable little self. However, we have many strategies to avoid being trapped forever in the prison of those feelings and memories. But sometimes, it is not possible to find stable enough ground to apply these strategies against this overwhelming feeling.

Person in white shoes holding flowers

The concept of the "humiliated inner child" refers to the deep-seated emotional trauma and memories carried into adulthood from experiences during childhood where an individual felt demeaned, diminished, or unworthy. This unresolved emotional pain significantly influences an individual's behavior and personality, often leading to various defensive and coping mechanisms, such as narcissistic traits. The humiliated inner child seeks validation, safety, and affirmation from external sources, which can lead to a cycle of dependence on external approval and a struggle to find genuine self-worth. This term sheds light on the deep psychological roots of narcissistic behavior, often observed in politicians. Experiences of humiliation, rejection, or unmet emotional needs during childhood can lead to the development of narcissistic traits as a defense mechanism against deep feelings of inadequacy. These traits significantly influence decision-making, particularly in critical contexts such as environmental management and ecocide.

Grandiose narcissism is characterized by excessive confidence and a quest for power, often manifested through a dominating attitude and insensitivity to the consequences of one's actions on the environment. Leaders with this type of narcissism may favor policies that promote immediate economic development at the expense of environmental sustainability, leading to decisions that exacerbate ecocide.

Vulnerable narcissism, on the other hand, involves increased sensitivity to criticism and an intense need for external validation. This type can lead to unstable environmental policies, where decisions may be excessively influenced by public opinion or by a defensive reaction to perceived threats to their image, rather than an objective assessment of ecological needs.

Humiliated fury, or narcissistic rage, occurs when a narcissist’s carefully constructed image is threatened. In other words, the once humiliated child, who suffered from unstable and polarized treatment by the parents and constantly doubted their own importance in their lives, is awakened and threatened to be seen by Others. In the political context, this can result in aggressive responses or impulsive decisions when faced with criticism about their environmental management. For example, a leader might reject crucial international environmental agreements simply because they perceive criticism as personal attacks, rather than legitimate calls to action for the common good.

Narcissistic politicians, whether grandiose or vulnerable, are likely to make decisions that directly or indirectly favor ecocide. Their difficulties, even inability to integrate their Shadow, recognize their own weaknesses, and consider the long-term effects of their actions can lead to policies that sacrifice environmental health for immediate personal or political gains.

The solution to these destructive dynamics lies in the integration of the Shadow (collective in the first place since the individual avoids its visualization) and healing of the humiliated inner child, both in individuals and collectively within society. Politicians should be encouraged to develop a deeper self-awareness, which includes recognizing and accepting their less desirable aspects. In other words, politicians should gave authentic, sincere and constructive psychotherapy before acceding the public function. This can promote more authentic, empathetic, and inclusive forms of leadership, which are essential for addressing environmental issues constructively and sustainably.

Therefore, understanding deep psychological constructs such as narcissism and the humiliated inner child at all levels, collectively, individually in ourselves and in Others, is essential for comprehending and refining the political decision-making process, particularly in relation to the pressing environmental challenges we face today. An integral part of this understanding involves nurturing an internal 'adequate mother'—a compassionate and nurturing presence within ourselves that can care for and guide the humiliated inner child through its trauma. This internal caretaker helps the inner child heal and mature by moving through linear time, allowing for emotional growth and resilience. Additionally, we must acknowledge that we are also the children of this planet, and though we may sometimes feel humiliated by our short lifespan, this should not compel us to limit the future possibilities for our descendants. By recognizing and cultivating this nurturing aspect and our planetary stewardship, we can make political decisions that are not only more empathetic and psychologically informed but also more effective in promoting both human well-being and the health of our planet.


Dragana Favre, Psychiatrist and Jungian Psychotherapist

Dr. Dragana Favre is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and a seeker of the human psyche's mysteries. With a medical degree and extensive neuroscience education from prestigious institutions like the Max Planck Institute and Instituto de Neurociencias, she's a seasoned expert. Her unique approach combines Jungian psychotherapy, EMDR, and dream interpretation, guiding patients towards self-discovery and healing. Beyond her profession, Dr. Favre is passionate about science fiction, nature, and cosmology. Her ex-Yugoslavian roots in the small town of Kikinda offer a rich backdrop to her life's journey. She is dedicated to helping people find their true selves, much like an alchemist turning lead into gold.



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