Is This Normal: Sick and Twisted

Is This Normal: Sick and Twisted
Dr. Phil talks with guests about whether their behavior is normal.
Jesse's favorite game is making fun of the people around her. "It's not just poking fun at them," she says, "I tear them apart." She does it every day because it entertains her. Some of her comments that the cameras caught were:

"Nice afro, dude."

"Nice belly hanging out."

"Oh my God, what happened to that lady's face? I would sue whatever doctor did that to me."

"Look at this guy. He looks like a retired Las Vegas performer."

Jesse's husband, John, hates it when she does this and feels bad for the people she makes fun of. He's also concerned that their youngest daughter is starting to do it. "It's an ugly behavior and it's not really the way I'd like her to be," he says.
Dr. Phil points out the last line of Jesse's e-mail: "'Is this type of behavior normal or sick and twisted?' I vote sick and twisted," he says. "Why do you think that's your way of interacting with the world?" he asks.

Jesse says it's her entertainment and she thinks people make fun of people all the time, even on TV. Dr. Phil illustrates that the stuff on television is done in a comedy frame, which is different than viciously commentating on someone.

John says that the people she chooses to pick on are typically the people who have been made fun of their entire life. Jesse admits that if people hear her making fun of them, she does feel bad. "But if they don't hear me, I feel there's no harm done," she says.

Dr. Phil asks Jesse if she thinks this is a good role model for her 11-year-old son. "How would you feel if he was at school and people were talking behind his back?" he asks her.

She admits she'd feel terrible and that her behavior is not what she wants her son to model.

"But yet it's OK for you to do it to other people?" Dr. Phil asks. Unlike Jesse — who talks behind people's backs — Dr. Phil shares his thoughts face to face. He says he's seen people do this and it doesn't have anything to do with being fun. "I think it's an underlying hostility and really low self-esteem wherein they are constantly leveling. They go out into the world and they feel so inferior to everyone else that they have to try to shoot them down to what they perceive as their level." Dr. Phil adds that he also thinks it reflects a lack of empathy.

Dr. Phil tells her to require herself to stop doing it and replace this behavior with a new behavior. "Instead of just tearing people up and being non-empathetic and vicious, you need to replace that with going out and finding something nice to say about everybody you see. Require yourself to really find something good about everybody and see if it feels good doing it that way," he says.

His final advice to Jesse is about her children: "Remember you are a role model for your child. And if your child picks up your behavior and does this, he will alienate everybody around him and grow up a lonely young man. So if you don't do it for you, do it for him."