Just about every toxic personality trait you can think of is bred out of insecurity.
One of the most talked about and highly toxic personality disorders is narcissism. This personality disorder is on the rise due to its glorification in mainstream media. Many of the traits that get glorified in confident and healthy people are often exaggerated in narcissistic people. Thus, many people can’t tell the difference and end up glorifying narcissism.
One reason the narcissist is so emulated in society is due to the strength they portray. But what looks like strength on the surface is really just deep insecurity and self-absorption. Toxic traits that destroy their lives and the lives of the people they associate with.
When living in a culture where looking weak or insecure is taboo, most people will work to overcompensate for whatever they are insecure about. This unhealthy and deceptive practice can rot a person’s soul and increase their insecurity about themselves. Denying your true identity to be more likable to others is proof that you don’t really approve of yourself. It means you place the opinions of others higher than your own opinion.
With increased insecurity comes more narcissistic behavior. A stronger need to be in control, to look strong, and to identify and mitigate threats. When taken to the extreme, people can become bullies; picking fights over the smallest imagined slights or threats to their ego.
A large enough number of toxic people in a society will eventually create a toxic culture. People with good mental health and positive habits may find themselves increasingly alienated from pop culture and society because of their unwillingness to engage in self-destructive thinking.
Take for instance the drinking and spending culture in the western world. People who are unwilling to waste money on liabilities to impress others might face more social marginalization. The same is true for people who don’t drink. This is “crab mentality” personified. Crab mentality is defined as the “if I can’t have it, neither can you” mindset. The metaphor is based on how crabs trapped in a bucket or barrel will attempt to drag down any single crab that tries to escape. Thus, someone engaging in a self-destructive lifestyle will want those around them to do the same. Anyone trying to be healthy will be criticized, marginalized, laughed at, bullied, etc.
People who are insecure or narcissistic will always have crab mentality. They will always attempt to control you in ways that keep you at or below their own level. This makes them dangerous. The wise person avoids these people at all costs. Mental illness can be as contagious as physical illness.