(As I generally tend to do, I was thinking of tweeting this out, but decided it is better as a blog post instead)
For many years of my life, especially my college years, I have encountered people with a certain kind of pathology - people who have the ability to not just mentally manipulate others but take a certain joy in doing it. I have deliberately made sure these people are not in my life any more. It has resulted in a more mentally peaceful life for me, with much better, albeit smaller, set of friends.
I have considered people with this pathology as a kind of “predator” in human society. Many turn out to be naturally good godmen and religion/cult leaders. Many who work in the industry take their success to heart & like to call themselves “thought leaders” or (shudder) “influencers”. I see it especially with political leaders where gaslighting has become a modern norm - all points of view other than what this person is telling you is obviously wrong, according to these people. Where what you are asked to do or think is not a suggestion, but practically an order if you want to remain in the fold.
So I get uneasy, when people who obviously don’t share the same pathology readily adopt these monikers. I get that this is a personal problem for me, because I interpret these english words differently from others.