On Friday, 27 Nov, US President Trump tweeted angrily, “Twitter is sending out totally false ‘Trends’ that have absolutely nothing to do with what is really trending in the world. They make it up, and only negative ‘stuff’.”He did not refer to what trends but #DiaperDon was trending with many memes showing Trump seated behind a tiny desk, wearing a voluminous pants (suspected to be hiding an adult diaper).

Donald Trump at his comically small desk

The scene was part of a Thanksgiving speech followed by a press conference where he berated a reporter, “You’re just a lightweight!” Trump continued to rage, “Don’t talk to me that way. I’m the president of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the president that way!”

What followed was many memes trolling him as a baby throwing tantrums with #DiaperDon. That caused him to rage out at Twitter, accusing the Tech company for making false trends.

“For purposes of National Security, Section 230 must be immediately terminated!!!” Trump raged on with his tweets. He was referring to a 1996 US law that protects websites from content posted by users.

Trump’s Natural Defense Against Depression

Would Trump ever get depressed?

In our views, hardly!

When a demeaning post was trending, he said it was made up.

When he lost the election, he said it was rigged.

According to The Fact Checker by The Washington Post, Trump has made 23,035 false or misleading claims in 1,331 days.

From an average of 5 claims a day during his first 100 days to an average of over 23 claims a day towards his last 100 days of presidency, Trump has a way of explaining things to himself and the world – that made him quite resistant to depression.

If you look through his claims, you can find a general trend. If it’s good news, it’s because of him. If it’s bad news, it’s because of someone else.

A model explaining depression suggests explanatory style plays a big part.

Not Me, Not Always, Not Everything

Explanatory style can be categorised into three dimensions:

  1. Personal: Me or Not Me
  2. Permanent: Always or Not Always
  3. Pervasive: Everything or Not Everything

For example, you received a bad feedback from your boss. And you think to yourself, “I’m never good enough.”

So this thought can be deciphered as:
Me (because it’s “I”)
Always (because of the absolute word “never”)
Everything (because “never good enough” affects everything else beside the task that you didn’t well)

When bad things happened (as they naturally would), and when we persistently explained them as Me, Always, and Everything, it would be a big cause for depression.

What Trump did was quite the opposite. When bad things happened, he blamed it on others (Not Me).

When good things happened, he took the credit all for himself (Me).

Trump’s explanation of why things happened anchored heavily on the Personal (Me or Not Me) dimension.

But this strategy has great drawbacks.

The Cons of Being Trump

One could easily pushed one’s responsibility away – shirking off one’s accountability.

Sometimes we need to realistically take responsibility for the bad things that happened.

What may work better is to consider the other two dimensions: Permanent (Always or Not Always) and Pervasive (Everything or Not Everything).

If bad things happened, sometimes we need to take responsibility by attributing it to ourselves (i.e. “Me”).

But what is important is to see the benefits of explaining it as “Not Always” and “Not Everything” because it signifies room for improvement, much like having a Growth mindset.

For example, when you next received a bad feedback from your boss, instead of thinking, “I’m never good enough,” consider how empowering if you would to think, “I can learn a new skill from this feedback.”

Thanks #DiaperDon for this inspiration.