Empathy and Character Disturbance – Pt 2: Nurturing Empathy

Having proper care and concern for others is essential to a sound character.  And most of the time our willingness to show care and concern arises out of empathy.  While there is much evidence to suggest that our capacity to empathize (which may very well lie along a continuum) is rooted in our constitutional makeup, research also shows environment and learning strongly influence not only how empathetic we eventually become but also how prone we are to behaving in caring and concerned ways.

There are some among us who are innately impaired in their capacity to empathize.  Some autistic spectrum children, especially those at the more severely autistic end of the continuum have a diminished capacity to empathize.  Psychopaths, by definition, have a markedly diminished if not absent capacity for empathy.  And in those cases where psychopathic individuals actually do have some empathy capacity they also have the uncanny ability to mentally wall-off or “compartmentalize” their emotions to such an extent that they can act in a manner devoid of care and concern for the welfare of others (for more on psychopathy and empathy capacity and the penchant for compartmentalization see the articles: What is a Psychopath, Psychopathy and Sociopathy, Is Psychopathy Genetic?, Predators Among Us: The Psychopaths, and Malignant Narcissism: At the Core of Psychopathy).  So, nuturing empathy in those whose capacity is limited for one reason or another is a real challenge. But even when sufficient capacity for empathy is present, it generally takes a fair amount of nurturing of that capacity for a person to come by the motivation necessary to display their care and concern in appropriate ways and at appropriate times.

Some time ago I wrote an article about some middle school-aged youngsters who were captured on their bus’s videocam mercilously taunting a safety monitor (see: Budding Psychopaths on the Bus?). This raised the question of whether, in their apparent gross lack of any empathy, these children were all psychopaths or at least psychopaths in the making. The event also raised questions about all those children who stood by and failed to intervene or to at least come to the victim’s emotional aid.  Perhaps a few of the children had some severely character-disordered or even psychopathic traits (especially the ringleaders), but I dare say it would be a stretch to cast a busload of average preteens and early teens as a clan of psychopaths and budding psychopaths. The greater likelihood is, therefore, that the empathy capacity of the children had not been adequately nurtured and the willingness to act in an empathetic way was not adequately reinforced. It’s also likely that other factors (e.g., fear of reprisal, feal of social ostracization, etc.) were at play in those children who didn’t act on whatever care and concern they might have had.  So while several of these children may have been to some degree character-impaired, and while their character deficiencies likely stemmed to some degree from insufficiently developed empathy, it’s unlikely the bus was loaded with psychopaths.

We don’t know all we need to know about how to successfully nurture empathy in our children but we do know a few things:

  • Children who are treated in an empathetic manner (i.e. where their emotional needs are both recognized and appropriately tended to by empathetic caregivers) are more likely to develop mature empathy themselves.
  • Children who have learned to take another person’s perspective (i.e. put themselves in another’s shoes) do a better job of displaying empathy.  But this involves more than just being lectured about what the other person probably feels.  Rather, they have to be reinforced for reflecting on how they would feel if they were in the same situation and how they would want to be treated.
  • Childen who have empathy modeled for them as a primary core value are much more likely to internalize it and display it when the situation dictates.  When too many other core values (e.g., striving for personal satisfaction, achieving goals, meeting personal needs) compete with or take precedence over caring, it’s all-too-easy even for a sensitive child to have problems showing their care and concern when warranted.

In Character Disturbance, I talk about the “10 commandments” of sound character development. And several of those “commandments” involve lessons essential to the development of healthy empathy (see pp. 140-155), which testifies to how crucial I think the nurturing of this attribute is to healthy character formation in general and especially healthy conscience formation.

Sunday’s Character Matters Program will again be a live broadcast, so I can take your calls. There has been some difficulty with the phone-in system lately and the best the show’s producer and others can make of the situation is that when listeners abroad (or domestically) use one of the voice-over-internet protocols as opposed to an actual land line phone or cellular phone to call-in they can’t be appropropriately patched in to the program.  We’re looking into possible solutions to this problem.

Also, as many of you already know, the planned webinar for this fall, which was tentatively scheduled for today, has had to be postponed. The decision to do this had nothing to do with level of interest which was not only sufficiently high early on to adequately support the enterprise but also has only grown substantially.  Rather the issues relate to platform, logistics, and my availability.  The good news is that I have contracted with a reputable nationwide seminar company not only to do a series of workshops across the country but also to have webinars developed in part from the taped procedings.  There are still plans for a webinar this fall, although it will probably not occur until later this year.  And webinars will hopefully be a regular quarterly feature once the seminars are well underway.  Look for the calendar of events and appearances to be updated in just a few weeks.  And while the initial seminars will be mostly for a professional audience (which necessarily involves a relatively heftier fee), we currently plan for the seminars to be also open to the general public.

126 thoughts on “Empathy and Character Disturbance – Pt 2: Nurturing Empathy

  1. And in those cases where they actually do have some capacity, they also have the uncanny ability to mentally wall-off or “compartmentalize” their emotions to such an extent that they can act in a manner devoid of care and concern for the welfare of others.
    I always thought that defind a sociopath

    1. Perhaps the wording in the article made things unclear to you. Indeed, this is a defining characteristic. As the article states, psychopaths are defined largely by their completely absent ability to empathize (which is essential to forming a conscience) or their uncanny ability to compartmentalize any empathy they might have (which severely compromises an intact, functional conscience). And while some confuse the terms psychopath and sociopath, I make a necessary distinction.

  2. Dr Simon, this is way off topic but I hope you will give me your thoughts. My son was diagnosed bipolar with psychosis. His psychosis looks a lot like schizophrenia. I read a lot between the two, because I wasn’t sure. I soothed myself that it was bipolar, because the psychotic episodes always seemed to be associated with hypermania. He’s on Saphris now, and his thoughts…..there aren’t words for how weird his thoughts are. He’s usually sullen and withdrawn but when he gets talkative (but not hypermanic) it comes out. People see into the future and can control him, he is Divine and can prove it because if somebody shoots him God will intervene and deflect the bullets. I’m the devil herself, a whore who will burn in hell, I’m lying, I’m not telling him the truth. He has false memories, you can’t convince him are not real.

    We talked some about his paranoia the other day, and he told me, “Mama….I feel like this all the time.” I’ve never felt so helpless or heartbroken in my whole life.

    Am I looking at bipolar, or could I be looking at schizophrenia. He’s an adult. What can I do? The stupid mental health laws keep getting in the way.

    1. Hi Einstein,
      I am so, so sorry. My heart goes out to you. Maybe Dr. Simon has some suggestions.
      May I share my thoughts?
      Has he had a very thorough medical workup? I would suggest this if he hasn’t already had one. Some medical conditions/issues can cause symptoms that appear to be psychiatric problems. If it truly is, fundamentally, a psychiatric condition that he has, I highly recommend you get in touch with NAMI and tap them for all of their great resources. With their help, you can also connect with others who are going through the same thing. My final suggestion is that you create a very strong alliance with the most outstanding psychiatric group you can find/afford/access and work very closely with them. You will need to advocate for him every step of the way.
      My mother has schizoaffective disorder (we think). She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and most recently, as she is aging, dementia. No one is truly certain what bill she fits, but the good news is that new treatments are coming out all the time, and there is excellent care out there- you have to leave no stone unturned. It has been a hard road but there are incredible silver linings (oh, and watch the silver lining playbook if you haven’t already!) and there are very, very good days that we all cherish.
      If it is any consolation, you are not alone. I have 2 friends whose teens/young adult children have psychiatric diagnoses (and I believe they are pretty accurate) and the families/individuals certainly have their ups and downs, but they are doing just fine – one day at a time.

      1. I’m glad you mentioned NAMI. I too have a son with bipolar and several of the characteristics mentioned. I attended NAMI support group and took their intensive educational program and have learned how to better deal with the numerous issues involved in caretaking a mentally ill loved one. So much helpful information and contact information is shared among attendees who can help guide you to services in your area.


  3. Hi everyone!!
    Good evening. I just have to write about my wonderful experience when I was working on a special needs bus. I was the aide so I worked directly with the special kids. I got to see all of their unique qualities and eventually gained their trust. I worked at this job for thirteen years and loved every minute of it. Over the years I probably encountered several of the disabilities. Dr. Simon talks about autistic kids having trouble showing empathy. This is true because they are really into themselves most of the time. I had one autistic boy give me a hug for my birthday and I think that was probably one of the best presents I could have gotten. There was also an asperger’s girl on the same bus and she would answer short questions but never came out of her shell. She was never violent and she was so blunt that it made for a great sense of humor. Another girl got on the bus from a state developmental center. She had already been in a mental institution where she underwent heavy-duty therapy for assaulting her younger siblings. She showed many antisocial qualities but she could be very loving.
    A different run that I had was out of a behavior unit. These were all boys and most of them were the same size I am. These boys were very scary. Even at their young age a few of them showed definite psychopathic tendencies. I heard them talking about how they were trying to get another boy to commit suicide. I told the teacher about the disturbing conversation I heard. The teacher did not really act surprised. I don’t think that these boys were ever really taken seriously. Their very sadistic and disrespectful attitudes set them up for a sad life. CHARACTER DISTURBANCE would have been a great book for the teachers as well as the counselors to read.
    Everyday was a different challenge for me. I even learned how to deal with the different kinds of seizures. I loved the job and miss it.

  4. I read somewhere that autistics were capable of having empathy but not capable of expressing it or communicating it. Where as psychopaths were not able to have empathy but can fake it and appear as if they do.

    I don’t know how reputable the source was though.

    1. I don’t like comparing autism in any category here. They are in very a different place. Yes, they can and do empathize. They may not always know just how to show it, but they are very thoughtful, and considerate people. I know because I have a very special person in my life who is autistic and the most amazing sweet person anyone can meet.

  5. The objectives of serial bullies are Power, Control, Domination and Subjugation.
    Question; Are the ojectives the same for the aggressive’s. You cannot empathsize if some inflicts this on another person.
    Power, Control, Domination. My mother did this to me with gifts, if you pay for nothing,you have nothing. I saw the gifts as love and concern.

    1. Hi Joey, The way I understand the agressive issue.is that the bullies are showing outward aggression and your mother was using covert aggresaion. My mom loves to use covert aggression also. She goes to the next town and get the day old bread and bring it back to the community center in her small town. She is helping to feed the people in her community. The people of her small town can not think for themselves and see her as Mother Teresa. The unfortunate individuals do nor realize that she is just setting them up and gaining their trust so she can use their innocence for her gain. Even when I was in the hospital the CNA told me that my mother was an angel because she used to take them donuts and pizza. I just looked at her with a little smirk. She lets people see a sweet individual who is ready to help people but never the cold-hearted covert aggressor who can wage a smear campaign or tear an innocent life apart like no other.
      Dr. Simon has helped me a lot also. I am in the middle of his book CHARACTER DISTURBANCE right now. I love the multi-demensional way used in some therapy. I think that if I was aware of this before I got hooked up with my ex-psycho then things would have been different. I saw many of the issues that the psychopath exhibited as neurosis and I could help him and show him that someone could love him and be there. Dr. Simon points out that neurosis is not involved and they are born that way sometimes. Hind sight is 2020.

      1. The objectives of serial bullies are Power, Control, Domination and Subjugation. Overt or Covert aggression, if they achieve their goal of gaining position over you. The end result is the same is’nt it ? To my mind it is the same.
        Power, Control, Domination and Subjugation. This is I think myself the ENTITLEMENT aspect of Narcissism. These are just question I have. I do not know if I am correct or not.

        1. Yes, that is right. When I was growing up I would think that the bullies that were mean to me the day before would sincerely want to hang around with me. I was setting myself up to be used because it was something that they were entitled to do. Therefore they were not ever remorseful. My mother could always give a hundred reasons why she was entitled to do anything to me.

          1. Therefore they were not ever remorseful. My mother could always give a hundred reasons why she was entitled to do anything to me.

            And my mother the same. This is why there can NEVER EVER be any contact with them.

          2. I  love love Dr. Simon’s ‘straight to the point’ style of writing. One of my favorite points that he makes is when he says that the narc’s feel like it is their moral obligation to get rid of us since we are weak. It seems very funny to me that my mommy narc is really we and I have watched her slowly fade away since we have been here. I have had a lot of financial issues and other problems lately so my son and I are down here with my parents. My mom has managed to be very underhanded and spread her smear campaign about me to my dad. He believed the terrible lies that my mother had told him. I am at the point right now where I am trying to have as much contact with my mom because it makes her very uncomfortable. Hahahaha….. She sees that I am not weak and the tables are turning. In a way I am taunting her and she is very weak so she is folding. I love the fact that more narcs are uncovered wherever I go.

    2. Susie my mil sounds exactly like your mom. Funny how these profiles repeat themselves. It’s really pathological.

      Joey I completely agree that covert aggressors are indeed serial bullies.

      My mil too is always giving gifts and is always so concerned that people like them and is looking for their reaction. I used to think she was very generous and sweet. Although once she gave us a piece of furniture but insisted we place it in certain spot in our home. When we put it somewhere else she went ape s**t. It was clearly about control. But that was the only time. Other times she seems to just take a lot of self worth in making others happy. But it seems there’s almost more in it for her because she feels valued. Other times she would buy gifts as an excuse to intrude it seemed, and get what she wants.

      It’s strange, I still can’t totally figure out what the gifts were all about with and understand her true motivation. It seems genuine sometimes but others there’s clearly an agenda.

      Anyone else have a better understanding of how coverts use gifts. What are their motives?

      Control? Image management? A trogen horse? Grooming? Making you feel you owe them something? Any other ideas?

      1. Valencia, I know you have a young daughter so I wanted to be sure to tell you what I have experienced from my malignant mommy narc. My oldest child was a girl and she was always a target for granny narc. Granny narc has always wanted to destroy me and the best way for her to do this was through my kids. She started grooming my daughter from the day she was born. Granny narc does not know how to love so that was never how she could do it. My daughter was always very sweet and innocent. She was every predator’s dream. Our immediate family moved out of the state so no one was until the influence of granny narc. My daughter graduated from high school in a different state and then the confusion began. Granny narc and auntie psycho began all of their mind games. My daughter chose to go to Oregon State University. She filled out all her paperwork and got many scholarships. Granny narc and Auntie psycho started to put their plan in order that they had been planning for several years. Granny narc had a car to give my daughter to use but of course it came with strings. She was not allowed to come and see me. My psycho sister wanted to step in and become my daughter’s best friend. All of this was supposed to put me into deep anxiety and then I would commit suicide. These individuals do not play around. My daughter was beside herself in the beginning and she told me that she knew where the evil was at. After the intense brainwashing of the malignant pair my daughter was very confused. She was beside herself and clearly not thinking straight. The predators convinced her that they were the victims. They made her believe I was really the big bad wolf. My daughter was just an instrument they were using. She graduated with her BS degree from the University. She got an internship at Disneyworld and after completing this she got a job where she went to differ states examining different business operations. She ended up dead in a traffic accident. There are so many questions surrounding her death.
        My niece has now become the target for the deadly pair. The biggest difference is that the girl has a psycho mother as well. My niece has no idea what is in store for her. The girl has the sweetest personality and she is being groomed as well. I can see how granny dotes over her and set her up to be used as an instrument to destroy my brother. Malignant mommy narc does not like men at all.
        I just thought you might be able to get some kind of knowledge from my misfortune. Be sure to always set strong personal boundaries regarding the welfare of your daughter. It could be a matter of life or death.

        1. Thank you for sharing your experience Susie. It validates so much of what I’m going through now. Of course “I’m the evil one for not allowing my mil access to my daughter”.

          My husband was/is the scapegoat so I expect mil to teach my daughter he’s a bad person as she has taught his other siblings. I’m the big target now because I won’t give in and give her what she wants. It has been so valuable to understand from Dr. Simon the nature of the covert agressive and their manipulation. I have the understanding to see things for what they are.

          The biggest red flag for me was when she said “the baby loves me more than anyone else” referring to other family members. It really creeped me out. I have always felt she was jealous of me and wanting to be alone with the baby. She can’t be in second place, she has to be the center of attention.

          I can totally see the dynamics emerging. And I’m so glad I took the time follow my gut instinct and do some research to understand her behavior. I can see in a few years her buying my daughter a new bike and telling her “grandma loves you more than anyone, especially your parents, they are bad they always discipline you”.

          She’s also completely defiant and has no respect for our authority as parents.

          I definitely ruffled her feathers but I don’t care. I would throw myself in front of a train to protect my daughter. Offending psycho mil is a small price to pay for her safety. Thank you for your concerns and validation. I know how serious it is. My mother too was a narc though not aggressive so I know how damaging it can be.

          My husband’s father in law also committed suicide. And it’s really starting to make sense why. In the little time she has been in my life I have suffered a lot of anger. And of course it’s futile to try to reconcile with her.

          I am so sorry for the tragic death of your daughter. I cannot imagine this loss. It sounds like she was a wonderful person!

          1. She was a very wonderful person and had a very unique way to look at life. She was very quirky and full of life. I have two sons now. My oldest son was also brainwashed by granny narc at a young age. She was always ready to buy the Nintendo or Xbox just to piss me off and prove that I was the bad one since I was no able to spend that much money. I always felt like he needed to spend more time on homework. I tried to tell him that she was a very disruptive character but it was pretty hard to explain when she was buying him video games!! Granny narc has shown him her true colors since then. After he graduated from high school he came down here to live with my parents for a while. Things went bad and Granny narc started the manipulation game with him. He took off and went home to the other state. He does not really have a whole lot of nice to say about her now. My younger son (11) lives with me. We are both living with my parents right now. My little guy has seen granny narc do terrible things. Granny narc even abuses the dogs. It is really terrible but I feel that I am here to be with my dad and keep him sane. When I got here my dad was pretty beat down. Yup, the predator uses so many horrible ways to manipulate and abuse. I see it all and I have tried since I was young to tell people that something was wrong.  Are you in the same town as the malignant narc MIL? If it is at all possible try to distance yourself from the dysfunction. Your daughter does not need the extra stress and her malignant granny narc will have a traumatic effect on her innocent mind. Malignant MIL will try to divide your entire family if she is given the chance. NEVER underestimate the cruel gruesome ploys of these individuals.

          2. It’s not surprising that so many commit suicide when subjected to these levels of agression and violation. One hears of teens who are bullied committing suicide. It’s the ultimate way to retreat when someone has waged a war without fair rules you simply cannot win. And in distraught frame of mind, the only way to make it stop.

            Yes my mil is only minutes drive away. At the moment she just makes me angry and I hate to bring negative feelings around my daughter. I try very hard to take my mind of things.

            I don’t have hope she will change. It’s all about strict boundaries and lots of distance now. Maybe even no contact. My husband is ready to go NC. All I know is that at moment it makesme sick to watch her interact (more like ccontrol) the baby, and I’ll keep listening to that gut feeling as long as it’s there.

            I hope you and your son are safe. My husband’s siblings have really learned to assert themselves and not get sucked into the crazy. As long as you are engaging on an emotional level physical proximity is not so much the issue.

            I plan to teach my daughter that not everyone who appears nice actually is. Caugh ***grandma *** caugh, caugh. If your son can appreciate what’s really going on it may help him to be more immune to these individuals in the future. And not keep inviting narcs into his life as many of us do after being conditioned to the abuse.

          3. It is really hard since we teach our children about stranger danger but most children are raped by someone they know and it is really hard to tell them that grandma is a whacko. Hahahaha….
            Personal boundaries are a must but then a smear campaign will begin. It is so sad that they see people as objects. It is quite a shame that they can not see passed their selfish desires.
            My son and I are doing fine. If I have an issue I just tell my dad and he usually gets it taken care of. My son is a very vocal kid. We talk a lot and I try to keep him educated about what is going on. None of the adults in my family ever listened to me. Kids were never really valued in my family and my mom always had a wonderful smear campaign against me.
            Best of luck and keep conversation open with your husband.

          1. Many individuals involved in the horrible scenario end up committing suicide. It is sad that not enough is known about the psychopath. I have even heard my dad claim that the neighborhood thug can not be a psychopath because he is not a bad ass. A psychpath is a snake who prides himselfherself in doing evil. I am reading Dr. Simon’s book CHARACTER DISTURBANCE right now. I suggest that you read that is you have a few extra seconds.

  6. Each time I read about the compartmentalisation of empathy I know exactly what you’re talking about. It makes me shudder just thinking about it. Also you make the point that some of these psychopathic individuals do have the capacity for emotion and some kind of empathy as being involved with this type is the most confusing of all. It is so hard for someone in a relationship with such an individual to come to terms or make sense of those two sides of the coin. I still have so much trouble with it and angst in me at times, wondering if I got it wrong and then I come back to read so I can not make a silly mistake and feel sorry for that person again. I think the charming facade and the pieces of empathy they show are parts of gaslighting. A crazy making gesture to keep you off guard. After reading this and psychopathy 101 I know exactly what I was dealing with and just when I thought I was over reading about these people anymore I find I needed a jolt back into reality. They really do a number on you and I have to keep being reminded less I let my own shield slip.

    1. I know exactly what you mean when it would be so easy to slip back into the circus they created. Dr. Simon’s book CHARACTER DISTURBANCE explains that the new multi-demensional approach to psychology explains that the dark side is full of evil characters. They are not suffering from any kind of neurosis but are just bad. This was one of the missing pieces of the puzzle I had been looking for. I stayed with my psycho for so long because I would somehow make a positive impact on his dysfunctional life. I can remember on the second date how he put his head in my lap and stated that he had be molested for many years and then he had to run away to sell himself to survive. He had tears in his eyes when he told me that most women did not want to get involved with him because this was so much baggage. Well, I thought those women were pretty rude and I was going to be the one to make a difference. He did so many horrible things and my kids suffered terribly. Now I know that I was not ever going to make a difference. I just feel really sad for his new girlfriend.

      1. Wow Susie, that’s pretty shocking to hear coming from a man. I too thought that I could be the one to “change” my ex DC into a better person. He would always say that I made him happier but I know deep down this was a ploy for sympathy. To be honest, I think those words came from his narc mother…she was the first person to say he was “happier”. She feeds him with her manipulative bullshit and in turn it affects me through him

        1. Oh yes, my ex MIL told me how much better off the entire family was since I was so good for the ex-psycho. She was playing on my sympathy. I think that she was burying her head in the sand.

      2. Susie Q it’s funny how they all have their sob stories… you know the hook. I understand making the positive impact on their lives, that’s what I did in a sense and now he’s just a nightmare again on two legs but he’s just bad and I have to remember that, there’s no redeeming qualities and those he does show that cause all the confusion are just part of he repertoire that he’s cultivated so well. Sad but true they’re amongst us everywhere!

        1. I have a really hard time trusting people. I seem to find them all. I see red flags and silly predator smirks right off the bat now. I just moved to a new state and I found lots of dysfunction here already. I have seen stats regarding the number of DC’S in the world. I don’t think the numbers are accurate. I think it is a much higher number than projected. It is almost like there needs to be a class in school devoted to dealing with the dark side.

    2. Yup and yup. I’m not sure whether I have experienced what you say there. There might have been a cases, where it simply may have been me already not trusting my perceptions and a manipulator telling his own version of things.

      But it’s chilling and maybe yet another thing entirely when someone can be engaged in their feelings yet detach in a heartbeat, like damn, what the hell.

      1. It really is sxary. It really is the PHENOMENON OF OUR AGE. We are raised to be nice and kind. This becomes our downfall and the DC’S dream!

    3. Tori I know exactly what you mean. It’s so difficult for us who have a healthy dose of consciousness and empathy not to feel guilty when we see our DC “suffering”.

      To what degree they are truly suffering or not it’s hard to tell. I don’t thinking it’s easy going through life when being a total jerk and having problems in all your interpersonal relationships. They know they are jerks and choose to be as Dr.Simon points out. But do they really realize that their life might be a lot more pleasant if they conformed to standards of cooperation and respect? The CD in my life just keeps making things worse for herself. When I confronted her I could see fear in her eyes that I was on to her, as if it wasn’t the first time someone called her out for who she really was. She knew she was busted, and the exploitation party was over (or she would have to step up her game).

      In my case anyway, I believe my DC chooses agression and to compartmentalize empathy, but at her age I don’t think she knows any other way of being. I have a lot of empathy for her, I see her almost as a cripple who has developed some very dysfunctional attitudes that are severely impairing her. The sad thing is that DC’s pray on our empathy and exploit us.

      So what are we to do? I believe we have two options. Either shut off empathy ourselves, and dish it back to them. ( which is very hard for us to do, and I don’t believe ethical). Or make distance, physically emotionally, whatever it takes to stay safe.

      I feel as though as long as we remain in their reach and we’re not willing to become jerks ourselves and play by their rules there’s only one outcome. They will abuse us. It’s the only way they know how to be. And having to always put up the “shield” is exhausting. It’s very taxing to always be on the defensive and we all deserve to be able to enjoy our relationship without constant threat.

      1. My son and I are in the same house as my malignant mommy narc. Practicing MO CONTACT is really out of the question, we just do not talk. When she decides that she wants to talk then things start to get scary because I know she will twist and turn everything to suit her needs and lie about the rest. I feel sorry for her because I know she is extremely sad. You can see it in her face, she has tons of wrinkles, never smiles, and never laughs. The only time she gets a tiny sparkle in her eye is when she is taking advantage of someone. She then does her flaky smile and laugh. I have dealt with her sadistic ways my whole life. I am standing up for myself. My dream is to write a book about the dysfunction and abuse I have been through. I have five generations of psychos in my family and we even bring in other psychos to join our family. I heal tremendously when I am able to share my story and help others along the way. My malignant mommy narc also shows a borderline personality issues and signs of avoidance personally so she is very trying.. She knows exactly what she does and is ready to cut throats if needed. She even tried the gaslighting on my son. I got in on that nonsense and it was not pretty. My dad will not let me say much to her because it is being disrespectful in her eyes. He does not acknowledge how horrible she has been her whole life or how she has abused and broken him. My best advice to you is EVEN THOUGH SHE IS AN OLD LADY, SHE WOULD STILL LOVE TO HAVE ANOTHER HEAD ON HER STICK! Always be prepared because she is a predator ready to pounce.

        1. “she will twist and turn everything to suit her needs and lie about the rest”

          Haha. That is nice way to summarize a meaningful discussion with character disturbed. 😀

          1. A conversation with a CD I’d always a joke. I just feel like some people love the drama.a d that is why they are willing to listen without thinking for themselves.

    4. Also there’s a big difference between the guilt trip they manipulate us with and feeling empathy for them because they are crappy people.

      As you say, theyare nice sometimes. It’s confusing, and yes me too I think it’s part of the mask. Or maybe not. Maybe they are genuine sometimes. Still it doesn’t give them the right to turn around and agrress us when they feel like it. It is confusing to us because it’s hard for us to understand.

      If I have a mountain lion in my living room who plays nice most of the time, but then snaps and tries to bite my head off on a whim, I will be removing the animal from my home. Not wondering if it’s a nice kitty or a mean kitty.

      1. Valencia, I honestly think that they can be genuinely nice depending on where they lay on the spectrum and what you can do for them. My malignant narc father is “nice” in general but can quickly snap. He’s truly nice when we give him his narcissistic supply, such as visiting him at his apartment and listening to him talk or texting him something sweet (Good morning Dad!). If we ever ask for a favor, he expects something in return…or else he snaps.

        With my DC ex, he’s nice overall and tends to have more genuine moments than my dad. I believe that my ex falls on the mild end of the spectrum but I always kept my guard up around him. Even now we bump into each other once in a while and I believe he still “evaluates” me before being genuinely nice.

        You never know with these people so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

        1. Dr. Simon states that there are two different kinds of narcs. The non-confrontational narc and the malignant sadistic very confrontational narc. My dad is more of a non-confrontational narc that has been broken by my malignant mommy narc. My dad loves himself to the extreme and loves to be the bully. He loves to point out to my son how my son does sissy things while he did all the sports and hunting too at his age. Basically he is a nice guy but believes that he has the right to hurt people’s feelings.
          Malignant mommy narc would do anything to be the winner. She can lie and manipulate like no other. She can launch a helluva smear campaign. She acts so nice to others but it is all a front. She loves a gossip partner and she fills them with her BS until their eyes are brown.

          1. Interesting! Yea I think I would categorize my ex as non confrontational and my dad as confrontational…he can become quite vicious in the blink of an eye.

            Your mommy narc sounds almost like my ex’s narc mother. She LOVES to gossip and clearly favors her son (my ex DC) over his other siblings. Apparently, my ex would be labeled as a “golden child”, according to another blog that I read. Narc mothers usually have a favorite child which can result in that child turning into a narc themselves.

            The whole dynamic in his family is sickening. At some point, his own mother asked if he would consider sleeping in the same bed with her!

          2. To think that a mother would want her son to be in the same bed makes me nauseous. That grosses me out!! My mother is way over the top. The only time she will have a conversation with people is when they want to gossip. I am not into that so we don’t talk. I refuse to judge people on what others say and I think it is very disrespectful but that is how my mom starts the smear campaign. People are like sheep. No one seems to be able to think for themselves. I especially don’t listen to anyone who thinks that they know everything about everyone. It’s funny because she is the first to say that she doesn’t gossip.
            Yes, I know about the skapegoat and the golden child. I was the skapegoat and my sister was the very spoiled golden child. My sister is a raging psycho now and she brags about being so manipulative that she got a lady to commit suicide. My psycho sister nursed until she was two and a half. That part is not really out of the ordinary but she slept in the same bed with my mom while she nursed all night long. I showed narcissistic signs when I was younger but I was actually a very unhappy child and just doing what I had to do to survive. I was also in a car accident and had brain damage so I had no other choice but to do a lot of self-examination. 

      2. I used to be on the mental merry-go-round trying to figure this out: nice sometimes, covert aggressive other times, sly, subtle put-downs or insults sprinkled in between, etc.

        After doing a lot of reading and listening to what others have explained about these CDs, I realized that the “nice” parts on display are all part and parcel of their tactics. After all, if they acted like a&&holes all of the time, we’d have gone No Contact much earlier rather than trying harder, doing a number on ourselves, wondering why, trying to come up with an explanation for something that is beyond a conscientious person’s worldview.

        But the nice moments are what keep us hooked and coming back for more. The honeymoon will always end, sooner or later. Like hooking a fish, throwing it back in the water where it thinks it’s finally free, then throwing the line and hook back in to grab it again.

  7. I would like to say that there is a difference between Envy and Jealousy. I cut and paste this explanation;

    Envy is when you want what someone else has, but jealousy is when you’re worried someone’s trying to take what you have. If you want your neighbour’s new convertible, you feel envy. If she takes your husband for a ride, you feel jealousy.

  8. Valencia,

    I agree with your answer to the question; What should we do? We have only two options just as you said:

    “So what are we to do? I believe we have two options. Either shut off empathy ourselves, and dish it back to them. ( which is very hard for us to do, and I don’t believe ethical). Or make distance, physically emotionally, whatever it takes to stay safe.”

    I’ve gotten to the point where in the public square I don’t even like putting my money into their pockets.


    “just when I thought I was over reading about these people anymore I find I needed a jolt back into reality.”

    Yea, me too. I can go for a while and then all of sudden I find myself waddling in the fog of disbelief and having some type of unreal flashback. It’s so painfully difficult to wrap my brain around. I have to go slow and take breaks away from reading. Then I fake it until I make it a little further along. It’s all so exhausting.

    I was reading a blog and one commenter said that at his place of employment the office rule was that anyone with feelings and emotions would have to be discreetly terminated. It was an office of a big corporation and each in that department were highly functional and openly admitted that they felt no feelings towards others. The point was clearly made that those with feelings were a hindrance to the welfare of the company. In the chit-chat between the bloggers they all seemed to be very proud of themselves because of their gift and ability to weed out the feelers.

    I told this story to another person, he replied: “That’s right, we’ve educated them and now they have taken control.”

    What does the future look like if being on the lower end of the emotional continuum becomes the new buzz? If it becomes cool and stylist? We will be living in a society where the conscience means nothing. People will be trained and desensitized to think different. I don’t have to look very far to get the feeling that perhaps we are already there.

    Political correctness and embrace difference has been pushed to far; it’s brainwashing people. The lines between different, disabled and disordered have become blurred and has merged into one whopping mess. A dangerous mess!

    Our society is breeding the greedy and embracing the difference. And the most terrifying thought is the disordered look normal.

    1. Suzi, freaking well-articulated!

      I think this blog’s great in that it extrapolates on the subject matter(and apparently other psychological matters, too) and goes deeper into it. It’s a theme with me that I’m also echoing what some other contributors have said in some very old posts. I haven’t even read anywhere near all of them! You know, with all this discussion, it’s easy for any insights to get lost in a stream! I think, I really do, that you could damn well make a book of its own out of discussions here and studying them. Some even have said they’re going to write a book or something. Really, please do! It could mean a lot!

      And this ain’t just some idle chit-chat, these are real problems impacting us directly and indirectly, overtly and covertly, dashing a mile away and crawling out of woodwork as it is. I sure don’t need someone dishonest using me and giving hot air in return or talking behind my back in my circles of friends and acquaintaces. I sure don’t need someone, who thinks they’re entitled to take me for a servant, just as I don’t need someone, who throws drama out of everything, misbehaves because “it’s the way to be”, preaches to me how evil and sinful I must be, condescends upon me, tries to push me around or plots the way to destroy my relationships and life.

      Great wording, Suzi, “emotional continuum”. You might also very well be on the spot with the “brainwashing” -bit.

      What’s also troubling is that there’s no simple solution.

      Btw, what do you mean with “I’ve gotten to the point where in the public square I don’t even like putting my money into their pockets.” ?


    2. Suzi, very well written and I think that these things that you express should be considered as we heal.
      First, I would like to state that the issue of DC’S among us is greater than we think. I have three kids. My oldest (25) has passed on due to strong influences from the dark side. My youngest (11) is getting a little bit more teaching from me concerning this widespread dysfunction. Due to many circumstances that are beyond my control we are living with my parents. Granny narc jumped right in and started gaslighting him and tried to break him as soon as we got here. She told him that he was a smart mouth and very selfish. My boy is very vocal and told me. I reassured him that he was just fine the way he is and sometimes other people feel threatened because they can not be like you. I also told him that what she did is called gaslighting and it is a form of mental abuse. It is important that we arm our children so they can handle things. Valencia mentioned this the other day and I think it is a great idea.
      The last place I worked at was a joke. There was always bad vibes everywhere and all the workers were ready to distort any little piece of info and run to the boss. The management was very cold and uncaring. I went to talk to the manager once regarding some sexual harassment that I had seen. The manager would not ever look at me and told me that she could not do anything until I had seen something. I just said, “If you would take the time to look at me or even talk to me I can tell you what I have seen!” She started acting like she cared then. Keyword here is ACTING. She went right to the girl and told her that she had to get rid of her because I complained. I have many stories about the many narcs there. I noticed many times when I talked to people I could see the wheels of evil turning in their heads and smirks on their faces. I lasted about a year there.
      I do agree that we are going to show empathy regardless. I find it easier to go NO CONTACT. Our empathy is looked at as weakness by these predators and they are waiting for any chance to pounce. I have dealt with these demons for almost 50 years and it is getting easier because I am getting more info each day.
      Our society seems to applauded these DC’S. Almost every facet of life has some loud mouth jerk who is stepping on everyone to get to the top and lying and manipulating along the way. I am not sure why people are attracted to the dark side but are under the impression that they will never get burned. My son and I were stacking wood the other day to start getting ready for winter and the fireplace. He told me that he had heard from one of his adult friends that school in the U. S. is much easier than a lot of other countries. I agreed and told him that a lot of people here should appreciate the opportunity to get an education and not feel like they are entitled to things that they have not worked for. I told him that we all need to take pride in our work. When we finished I told him that he had done a fantastic job. He told me that he felt like he had done a better job then the day before. I told him that pride in your work is a great thing.
      Look at me!! I have almost written a book. Yes, the date side has become quite the force to be reconned with. I think with lots of spiritual guidance and a willingness to spread our knowledge we have a shot at combating this. I can also see an issue that I have dealt with my entire life. People think that when I start talking about psychos and narcissists that I am trying to start rumors. People who should have listened a little more and judged a little less are dealing with this issue a lot now.

  9. I grew up with a malignant narc father who I use the grey rock technique with and other than that, we are No Contact. He’s hurt me my entire life so I made the decision to cut off any empathy with him. When we interact, I’m in robot mode and stay nonchalant. When I know he’s waiting for a reaction I give him only bits of what he wants, ex. “How’s your mom?” And I reply, “Good”. The conversation usually ends with my dead end answers.

    With my DC ex, I kept the sympathy off at all times. One of his manipulation tricks would be to stare into my eyes and “read” my face. He would say something that would provoke an emotion from me (jealousy, anger, guilt, fear) and wait for me to react.

    I knew that emotional responses on my face would satisfy him so during one of our recent interactions, I kept my poker face on, which in turn, bugged the crap out of him. He got so annoyed that he stared me down (almost without blinking) for about 3 minutes, so I stared at him right back without flinching. Then he said “You’ve changed, you’re a tough guy now”. No idea what he meant by this but I have a feeling that he knows I’m on to him.

    Apparently this is very common with narcs who want to see themselves reflected in the face and actions of their victims

  10. Timothy,

    With my comment; “I’ve gotten to the point where in the public square I don’t even like putting my money into their pockets.”

    My thoughts were carried to a bigger picture beyond my kitchen table and out of my back yard. Beyond my private life and out into the public square.

    I’ll give an example:

    Last week on the news I heard that the CEO of a drug company had raised the cost of a cancer drug from $3.50 to $750.00. One giant increase overnight, an increase somewhere around 5,000% [I think???]

    The next day when interviewed he said that he had other things that he wanted the company to do with the increase in profits. He was very cold and callous during the interview. He acted and talked like a robot. He showed no signs of caring or compassion about all the lives this increase was going to do harm to.

    Money motivates the greedy. I don’t like putting my money into the pockets of greedy, but if I’m fighting cancer I don’t have much choice….but I don’t like it!

    The disorder of character is a plague, it’s has spread everywhere. It’s no longer hiding in the shadows or in the cracks behind closed doors. It’s out in the open parading in the public square for all to see.

    No one resigns out of disgrace anymore!

    1. Look at our presidential candidates. One insults people and has a very entitled attitude. Another lies tremendously before she even gets into office and tries to play on our sympathies saying that she was not aware of what she was doing. Do we really think we can play with the Devil and not get burned.

  11. Just as Dr. Simon has written: “And we’re far too tolerant and accommodating of the dysfunction of others”

    In the “cult of nice” we’ve learned to tolerate the intolerant.

    It doesn’t matter if I look around my kitchen table or look at the struggles between nations and all that which is in between; it’s all the same.

    A matter of degree but all the same root….the darkness of man’s decayed and rotten heart, the decay of the conscience….evil.

    It’s a battle between the good and the bad; between the givers and the takers.

    Give satan an inch and he’ll run with it every time.

    1. Unfortunate but true!! Guns don’t kill people but people do. Cars don’t drive drunk and kill people but people do. Everyone is entitled to things except responsibility. No one wants to take responsibility but is ready to point fingers.

  12. Susie Q

    I am so sorry about the loss of your precious daughter.

    Keep her memories close to your heart and she will always be with you.

    May God’s peace and love comfort you.

    With my Deepest Sympathy


  13. Timothy,

    Let’s say you are a farmer. You made a deal with your neighbor farmer to trade a pound of your butter for a dozen [12] of his eggs. After the trade you counted your eggs and there was only 11. You’d become wiser and next time you’d be careful who you traded with.

    What you did was put your butter in the wrong pocket. It’s the same concept as putting your money in the wrong pocket.

    You got tricked and cheated.

    There is much discussion about these characters in our families and relationships and the destruction they cause. Although we must not overlook the fact that disordered people are also out there in the public appearing to be doing all sorts of great things. They are everywhere.

    A person with an average to high Intelligence quotient [IQ] who is well trained and highly functional yet has a low Emotional quotient [EQ] can lead people off a cliff with great skill and without batting an eyelash. They appear to be winners and in general people follow those that they perceive as winners.

    Whatever their accomplishments may be their emotional deficit [lack of empathy] is covered and hidden behind the mask of their accomplishments; so in public they look normal.

    As I’ve stated previously the fact that they often look normal is terrifying.

    It’s a precarious situation and easy for good people to be tricked and cheated and much more.

    1. You mentioned before that greed is very rampant. It is very rampant and the people that were previously thought to be good people have a deep seated thread of greed. I know that mommy narc gets the majority of her followers by offering them riches. She puts on her mask and goes to the store and picks up the day old bread for the community center and then she will somehow applies to their greedy side. She uses this same kind of technique for her smear campaign also. It is very sad how greed can get so many people to show their true colors. I just barely moved to this town again after growing up here. I get so many dirty looks and rude comments because my mom has her smear campaign in full force. People don’t think for themselves and follow like sheep. It’s kinda funny how everyone in these small town can be bought so easily. When I was working at the truck stop and went to the doctor and was admitted to the hospital that same day. After I got out of the hospital and was ready to go back to work my mom told me to take flowers to the boss. I just told my mom that I didn’t even like the boss. She told me that just doing something little like that gets someone a long way. She doesn’t think twice about manipulating people that way. These people think they are hurting my feelings but they are giving me research.

      1. Susie Q, I hope you can get out of there one of these days. I’ve been reading the great comments on this topic but don’t have much time to post (am at work right now). Wanted to let everyone know how special they are and how many insights there are here. People with empathy and conscience have a tendency to tolerate inappropriate behavior, thinking we’re “helping”. In fact, it is absolutely necessary to draw a line in the sand and keep pushing these CD back over to their space rather than letting them invade ours. I know, easier said than done!

        And Suzie Q, please write your book! 🙂

        1. GG,It always seems like you’re at work. Thanks for your sweet words. CD island does sound like a great idea then they can push and shove each other!!

  14. Susie Q

    Yes, greed and pride. It cripples, blinds and destroys the ability to feel compassion for others.

    They think: “me, myself and I”.

    They learned to take care of #1 and don’t give a hoot about #2.

    Several months after the O.J. Simpson trial I saw an interview with one of his past friends.

    The interviewer asked him: “What was O.J. really like as a friend?”

    He replied: “He was the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet; just don’t cross him.”

    Just as your Mom and the loafs of bread…she looks like the nicest person.

    She looks normal, although Susie Q you know the truth.

    That’s the look of normalcy that I speak of.

    A repeat here: It’s a precarious situation and easy for good people to be tricked and cheated and much more.

    1. It makes me wonder if someone who hears evil and is willing to do evil because greed takes over is really a good person. I can remember that I used to have a roommate who was always up to no good. She always was looking for a partner in crime. She would lie, cheat, and manipulate to deceive people. Most people would not take a step back and look at the entire picture. She ended up with several recruits. This was a sad situation because she would turn and cut them off at the knees in a heartbeat.
      Were the people who were willing to kill for Charles Manson good people?
      Are the ISIS recruits good people?
      I just don’t know what to think because an underlying bit of evil seems to be a deciding factor.
      I can offer some bits of personal insight. When I was younger in elementary school I was not always the nicest person. I had my little gang of followers who were always ready to do what I said. We were usually going around finding the quiet, innocent kids to bully. My little band of evildoers loved to cause mischief. I can remember that even then the look of humiliation that was on the faces of our victims struck a sensitive chord with me but I just didn’t care. When I was twelve years I was in a car accident and suffered brain damage. I was forced to examine myself. I was so embarrassed!!
      Most people don’t have the chance for self-examination. It’s really not the kind of thing people set out to do. One of the biggest characteristics of the DC is that they don’t believe that anyone is superior to them and therefore there is no need for self-examination.

    1. Thanks Timothy, I liked the article. I always felt that there was so much more going on there then ever met the eye. Management was lacking they didn’t want anyone to ask questions, that was for sure. They always wanted to play both sides of the fence. They wanted to hug me with one hand because I was a good worker but wanted to make sure to keep the other one free to stab me when needed. My favorite part of the whole article is the last line when it says- Get out, be quick about it, and be safe. I had never really walked away from a job but I couldn’t figure out another way. If I put in my two weeks notice then they would start making me suffer and ad in their smear campaign. My life would be more miserable then it already was.
      I love blogs like this since we are only concentrating on a small aspect of the big picture.

  15. GG Yes I do agree with you and we need to get out of her but right now someone is having a good time ha c king me and watching us suffer. A cyber bully is a tough one to deal with. He is just throwing me around like a puppet and wants to make sure that I appreciate him. I have more colorful things to say about him but I will keep it to myself.

    1. I have mentioned this before. Books seem to be as good source of advise as the internet. ISBN No: 9780091923969 Office Politics By Oliver James.
      He is someone I admire. A child Clinical Psychologist.
      Please it is a good read. Joey

  16. Susie Q,

    Perhaps I caused some confusion in the way I worded my last comment. To clarify, when bad people do harm others and refuse to take responsibility for the harm they are NOT a good person.

    So your two questions:

    Were the people who were willing to kill for Charles Manson good people?
    Are the ISIS recruits good people?

    The answer is NO!

    And the judge and jury did not think Manson followers were good either.
    As for ISIS, the whole world is repulsed.

    1. That is what I think to. I was just trying to get different ideas from different people. There seems to be a fine line between being a victim of these predators and joining forces with them. I grew up with a few people who I thought were lifelong friends but they were offered something and they sold me out. I thought of them as DC’S but they never had an opportunity to show their true selves before. Most people I know would throw grandma under the bus if the price was right.
      I know that when I was married to the psycho I was not In my right mind. The psycho tried everything he could to come between my kids from a different marriage and me. He was especially mean to my son and I know it probably seemed like I should have done more.I was an unfortunate victim of the psychopath as well. When a psychopath crosses your path you know it. He truly was the devil!!

    2. Teaming up with psychos, who stab in the back eventually anyway or at least leave you to do their thing? That’s scary and disheartening.

      I’d be inclined to think that even some ISIS -recruits could be brainwashed. That or have swallowed indoctrinations in increments. Getting to the bottom of it, some may really believe they’re doing someting noble.

      Free will’s boundaries kinda blur, scary in its own right. One can influence another person carefully to do things that other person otherwise wouldn’t have chosen to do. Ugh!

      1. I can really see both sides of the issue. I saw on TV the other day that one boy that refused to join up with ISIS got his right foot cut off. I have also seen that officials have caught individuals from the states getting on planes to go and join up.
        I know that Charles Manson used LSD and other drugs along with his intense brainwashing. I know a lot of cult leaders use drugs along with the brainwashing.
        I am just saying that greed seems to be the deciding factor for a lot of things. I know a lot of cult leaders promise riches. I think anyone of us can be subject to any number of things. I know it has been shown that a person of interest for cult leaders is very depressed, poor self-esteem, or very sensitive. All of our DC’S used similar criteria. I have learned in life there are very few things that are cut and dry. I think the biggest thing that we can do is think out of the box and not let ourselves get caught up in this kind of situation.
        My supposed friends were motivated by greed. I feel sorry for them because they are just part of the phenomenon of our age. Often greedy people seal their own fate!

        1. Our “families” with CD “parents” were every bit as much of a cult or Terrorist Cell as any generally recognized ones. It was our own customized House of Horrors.
          And yet, people will expose their own kids, *knowing exactly what they’re dealing with* to the same Predators.
          The Chain of Pain continues.

          1. I never thought of it that way but that is right. I often thought of it as a POW camp My malignant mommy narc was always doings lots of brainwashing. She even convinced other family members to “put me in my place.” I watched a video on YouTube entitled Familial Sabotage and I also experienced that.It was Charles Manson and his desert camp all over again except it was not publicized. I was so unhappy that I was out to make others unhappy when I was in elementary school. I never committed murder but I sure bullied a lot. I had so many things happen that I was brought to my knees and had to look inside myself and I am glad that woman is gone.
            Here’s another thougbt: My malignant mommy narc had a malignant mommy narc and a malignant granny narc. I know they suffered but they all chose to carry on the circle of evil. My mommy narc enjoyed inflicting pain on my brother and I when we were growing up. I have never once thought of anyone from the circle of evil as a brainwashed victim. These are mean ladies and they love watching the humiliation.

          2. I agree. The bad behaviors of mankind come in all shapes, sizes and forms but the root is always the same.

            We can only stop the decay in ourselves, we have no control over others. Although just as bad behavior is contagious so is good behavior. With our goodness we hope to plant seeds in others. Then it’s their job to water the seeds.

      2. So this would take us back to this neurosis-CD-scale looking underneath dysfunction and seeing how much signs of each they have to determine whether someone is truly brainwashed into a completely different sense of reality or really choosing to be malicious?

        But wait, lemme get this straight again:

        *A person can be brainwashed or indoctrinated into accepting another “reality” so that they honestly and sincerely believe it
        *or honestly have a delusional disorder they didn’t want
        *A person can be a vile scumbag truly out of free will
        *in some cases can start believing their own lies, though
        *and in some cases be vile and delusional, really delusional – or crazy

        Am I getting this at all?

        1. There is truly a lot to consider but I think it just boils down to what we all have inside. I had a counselor tell me many people have had a bad childhood but not everyone is bad. I know that all the DC I have met are horrible people. My mom has had my SIL (malignant narc also) try to convince me that my malignant mommy narc is just a poor victim. Omg…. I can’t explain how stupid that was. My DC cousin also tried to tell me that a psychopath  (my sister) can be put on medication to make her not have those psychopathic qualities. I’m not believing that for one minute!! The only thing that would help my sister with her psychopathic tendencies would start with her wanting to change.She enjoys being bad and causing humiliation. She also brags about being so manipulative and causing a woman to commit suicide. She is so bad!!

          1. What we have inside is what we choose to have inside. That’s our free will.

            We learn to sort that which is good and throw away that which is bad.

        2. Thanks for response, Susie Q.

          Oh how I wish that was all there was to it. I unfortunately don’t remember where the heck I mentioned Orwell’s 1984. That book is one hella good example of how deeply people’s very sense of reality can be impacted.

          And there was a mention of Charles Manson using drugs in his brainwashing repertoire. Not to piss on anyone’s carpet here, but what if someone really believes that something is good for them, when it really isn’t, and bears with all the other stuff and rationalizes it away because it’s that deeply embedded in their sense of reality? What if someone’s very neurological structure has become radically different as a result of brainwashing and thus causes them to perceive reality in a very distorted, slanted way?

          But then again, Suzi, you’re spot on: “We can only stop the decay in ourselves, we have no control over others.”

          Perhaps these things are useful for a therapist to consider or perhaps this is good for us to keep in mind so in some situations we can see if someone’s under a spell or a nasty force in their own right? I mean, both good people and bad people can be delusional and I guess someone can be brainwashed to do evil they otherwise wouldn’t do(like in the Manson-family). Heck, these kinda things boggle my mind.

          1. I have heard that the book 1984 is really good. I have never gotten a chance to read it. BIG BROTHER has quite the impact on people’s way of thinking. I can imagine. I hate the feeling that someone is watching me and knows all my business. I guess that would be similar to a hacker.
            There is really involved in things when’s juries have to determine if people are sound mind and body. My initial thoughts were concerning an issue that is currently going on. My mom has always had this giant smear campaign going on against me. (I don’t even bother to say anything to anyone because the first thing people say is-well, how do you know?) She is a huge liar who contacts my friends and stalks them telling them lies about me and they end up wanting me dead. She is applying to their greedy side somehow. It seems like people would actually think, “What the hell, maybe Susie doss say bad things about me but that doesn’t mean I want her dead.” I have way too many other things to do instead of adding the petty drama to my life. I have never wished anyone dead. I think it is really a phenomenon of our age. I have met so many DC’S across two states. It really seems to be quite perplexing to me. People are so non-chalant about causing death. It truly is about people wanting to finish number 1.

          2. Timothy,

            You know, the trouble with having an open mind, is that people will insist on coming along and try to put things in it.

            Let your conscience be your guide, open your mind only to good things and closed to all that goes against your moral and ethical conscience.

            Trust your gut.

          3. Sounds like what’s called a bulls**t detector.

            Again I come back to how much insightful, intelligent and many-sided discussion there is here. Yes, the primary reason why I came here was because I’ve known way too many covert-aggressive people and hate to have them use their spells on me. Actually, to be colorful, I hate any a*****e messing things up for me. Also watched some threads here and gotta say they’ve encouraged me to think quite a bit more, at least on certain things. Dr Simon’s books, of course, are wonderful. I’ve also taken some notes of additional reading material recommended throughout the comment threads. Even recently ordered Power of Story by Jim Loehr, which at one points mentions something similar to what you just said, Suzi.

            Bulls**t detector can be too loose(like you say) and apparently it can be way too hyperactive and rigid – or loose in others and rigid in others.

            So if I have a “closed” mind, wouldn’t I also be less critical of things that more easily fit my worldview? Just like those psychologists, who still think everyone’s problems are unconscious and thus not their fault?

          4. Very interesting points, Timothy. I have just been talking to my son as I took him to the bus. I apologized about the abuse he is suffering at the hands of our relative. I was mistaken when I told my son that the aggressor was just a victim of his circumstances. I explained to my son that many people have a sad past but CHOOSE to be nice. The aggressor wants to try to break the other family members so he can be superior. I confirmed that my son was very perceptive unlike a lot of individuals who do not use their own minds to think and just follow others. The aggressor made very derogatory remarks to my son the other night. My son just went back to his bedroom for the rest of the evening. The next morning the aggressor came in with breakfast burritos and said, “I should not give Sam (my son) one since he thinks I am mean!” Well, I explained that just because a person does nice things for you once in a while but is mean to you many more times than they are mean. I told him that they are just trying to confuse you. I told him that I am reading a book that further explains this issue and in a few years he will want to read it.
            Yes, Timothy I can see the importance of an open mind. So many people want to make things black or white. Sometimes it is important to take in different perspectives. If everyone wanted to think one way all the time then new philosophies would never be brought out. Things change and we must be willing to embrace them.

      3. Btw, I linked this a while back. Hopefully you don’t mind me linking it now.

        It’s about that one cult leader(Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh(meaning “God Master Moon” or something”)/Osho), who used cathartic screaming therapy meditations as a brainwashing tool. Wow. Freaking disturbing what he encouraged and enabled his brainwashed followers to do in the name of catharsis and free expression.


        1. Timothy,

          You asked: “So if I have a “closed” mind, wouldn’t I also be less critical of things that more easily fit my worldview?”

          Yes, with a closed mind we aren’t really open to learning new stuff.

          You said: “and gotta say they’ve encouraged me to think quite a bit more, at least on certain things”

          That’s what we are all doing here….thinking and learning all sorts of new information. And we’re inspiring, reviving, restoring. More value here and in Dr. Simon’s books than paid-for counseling.

          The world is a classroom for a mind without walls.

          1. I  agree that the world is a classroom. I loved the excellent service that all of my counselors gave me. At the time I was very distraught and didn’t know about these types of forums. I know a lot of counselors can do more harm than good. I have a cousin who is a school psychologist and she is a joke. She doesn’t have any idea about the things that are said here. Basically, she is only thinking of herself. I am very happy to assist others while being able to give them the knowledge to help them combat these DC’S. It helps my healing also.I am glad that we can inspire and add new perspectives to each other.

          2. “have a cousin who is a school psychologist and she is a joke. She doesn’t have any idea about the things that are said here. Basically, she is only thinking of herself.”

            Agree. Another way to say is that quite often people think that everyone thinks just like them. Everyone is nice. Everyone respect others boundaries, if it they step over then it is a mistake rather than a deliberate action.

          3. No, I don’t really know what you want to say but she is not nice and is part of the smear campaign against me. She is a narc who thinks as long as she wins it’s all good. She went to the same jr. College as I did and she was not nice then. A DC is always a predator.

        2. Can a person be critical(when being critical is justified or understandable) concerning some things while not being critical or critical enough regarding some other things? Makes sense to me. I think “bulls**t detector” sounds on the mark.

          Suzi, interesting: “we’re inspiring, reviving, restoring” The articles alone explain a lot in clear, straight-forward terms, even some more complex matters. The comment threads are a goldmine in their own right entirely.

          And “The world is a classroom for a mind without walls.” True. Worth further contemplating, too.

          P.S.Suzi(not to leave out anyone else or be an exclusionary a*****e LOL), you got any recommendations as for what to read? I appreciate such. A lot.

          -Timothy(signing my name, ‘cos I’ve been confused for another user at least twice)

          1. Timothy,

            Yes…..we have the freedom and the responsibility to be critical and opinionated against any behavior or acts that does harm to others or to ourselves. With that freedom we stand firm and fight for justice for all.

            We accomplish that by building a strong core within ourselves, a strong healthy character. Then our conscience is our guide. Remember “character matters”.

            If we live in a society where freedom is restricted we still have the freedom to feel it in our hearts.

            As for books, there was a list that someone posted a week or so ago. As of right now I only feel comfortable recommending Dr. Simon’s three books.

            PS – keep the batteries in your detector charged at all times.

          2. Sure.

            You probably are talking of some list I posted. At least I suppose so. I’ve seen some old comments by others also listing, so I thought to update. Folks here seem very thoughtful, even many random commenters.

            But of course the character is the main topic here, sure, no doubt about it. So it’s not just about avoiding those, who could prove to be a c**pload of trouble and then some more. It’s good of you to remind that it’s also what you say: “We accomplish that by building a strong core within ourselves, a strong healthy character. Then our conscience is our guide. Remember “character matters”. ”

            I just come back to the bulls**t meter/detector/instinct/whatever the hell we’re supposed to call it. You know what’s depressing? When someone sees everything “critically”. I know some people like that and I don’t wanna make any conclusive statements here. I think if someone like that read “character matters” he’d think up why it’s not worth it, as if the mere possibility of doing anything about things or contributing was meaningless in the long run or to begin with. Looks like a self-reinforcing cycle to me and an insidious one at that.

            And back to that “character matters”: I sure want to be with people I can trust, who don’t play stupid jerk-around games, don’t act as they please, don’t get disrespectful, obnoxious or abusive, don’t seek excuses to twist a combat situation or drama out of thin air, don’t lord over me how much “better” they are, don’t disregard my rights as if they are nothing when they want something and aren’t looking to screw me over just because it could serve them – or just because. I want people, whose hearts are in the right places or who at least accept it’s not okay to do those things I just listed there. They needn’t be saints and they needn’t be “honest” about every little fault they have in the name of being “humble” and they needn’t actively go around improving the world(however you do that). And no, no saver complexes, either, thank you, those can’t end well. I want people, who are willing to give honest input with genuine desire for mutual connection and care and who don’t retreat to denial or cynicism.

            Really, there seem to be so many things and so many issues and then there’s this character crisis propagating itself and fueling other problems, it’s messed-up and I can’t even begin to imagine how much.

            Oops, I’m a blabber, haha. I hope I’m not confusing you. If I am, please tell me, I won’t be offended or if I am, I get over it fast. 🙂

            P.S.Sorry, Suzi, again there’s something I don’t quite understand. You say: “If we live in a society where freedom is restricted we still have the freedom to feel it in our hearts.” What do you mean?

  17. Visited here after a gap. I like the new look of blogs. Those dotted lines on the left are nice, and make it easy to follow the conversation.
    Good work by web designer!

  18. Timothy,

    You said: “he’d think up why it’s not worth it, as if the mere possibility of doing anything about things or contributing was meaningless in the long run or to begin with”

    I agree, it’s unlikely that they’ll take any action to improve themselves because their behavior doesn’t affect them, so why bother, they don’t care about others. We can’t hold our breath waiting for them to change for the better because we’ll die for sure. It’s more likely that they’ll just get worse with age.

    Remember what Dr. Simon has said, us neurotics have an over active conscience. So it’s up to us to learn ways to protect ourselves. Neurotics have to do all the hard work because CD’s aren’t team players. Remember, they don’t care.

    We want to be happy campers. We want to get away from the “takers”. We want to stop being the “giver”.

    So we learn to balance out the two opposites by becoming a “giver-taker”. Then we become happy campers. We hike into the wildness as a team. And we’ve learnt a valuable lesson, to pick our camping buddies wisely. Bingo we’ve learnt to detect.

    I used the word detect but as you said: “the bulls**t meter/detector/instinct/whatever the hell we’re supposed to call it”. I get it, so the word doesn’t matter. It’s the skill to protect ourselves and still be conscientious of others that’s of the utmost importance.

    What I use to think and feel about my compassion and empathy has slowly been changing into a whole new way of thinking and understanding. I still use my conscience to guide me, although my conscience definitely operates in a different mode. It’s been a slow learning process, like 3 steps forward then 2 steps backwards. Good days and bad days. I keep practicing and hoping.

    Here’s what I meant by my statement: If we live in a society where freedom is restricted we still have the freedom to feel it in our hearts.

    There are many who do not live in the free world. Their freedom is severely restricted so they must keep their feelings and beliefs protected and buried in their hearts [secret] otherwise it could cost them and their families imprisonment or their lives. It’s happening this very day, right in front of the world to see….innocent men, women and children are being executed for their beliefs.

    Freedom is valuable. Sometimes we have to fight for the privilege and protection of our rights of freedom.

    Whether you are walking on egg shell carpets in your home or down on your knees waiting to be be-headed it has the same root cause, just a matter of degree, [the emotional continuum]. And that is what CD’s do, control, steal and destroy. They are takers. They are not team players.

    In a previous comment I made I gave an example. The farmer who cheated by only trading 11 eggs instead of the agreed upon 12. He cheated his very own neighbor. Again a matter of degree. Now who would do such a thing? A Character Disordered person.

    You said: “character crisis propagating itself and fueling other problems, it’s messed-up and I can’t even begin to imagine how much.”

    It’s has a domino effect. A plague that spreads like a wild fire. I used to think it was only a problem at my kitchen table and in my back yard. Nope the character disordered is a worldwide problem. A self-inflicted dysfunction of the conscience with direct impact on a person’s character.
    I also agree, we can’t save the world. We can only save ourselves and with our compassion and empathy we help others in need and plant seeds. We can let our light shine for others to see. Building strong character is something that every person has to do for themselves.

    PS – No, you didn’t confuse me. I’ve been confused for a long time, you had nothing to do with it.

  19. My (Timothy’s) concerns

    Suzi, Susie Q, Andy D, Joey, Tundra Woman & co.

    It’s sad that many people live under such threats of being destroyed when they are slowly being destroyed anyway or might well be. Walking on eggshells can’t be good for anyone. And I think of George Orwell and 1984 again.

    Susie Q, thanks for pointing this out extra-clearly. ” just because a person does nice things for you once in a while but is mean to you many more times than they are mean. I told him that they are just trying to confuse you.”

    Among other things, Susie Q, I’m sorry your mother is like she is, that relative man being is he is and your cousin chooses not look where she’d learn something that would help her do her job better. It’s understandable to be disappointed. I surely would be.

    I’m also sorry your workplace turned out to be such a mafia-like nest of crooks. Also glad that you liked my link and think it’s good. I sure hope not to find myself in a situation like that. I haven’t read Joey’s recommendation, but checked it out on Amazon, Office Politics by Oliver James and seems like something that could give its own perspective to some things.

    Since we’re at it, terrorism, brainwashing cults and fundamentalism seem to have been(and constantly be) discussed here, too. I sure hope not to find such things screwing things up in my and others’ lives. And yet there is widespread propaganda on many different sides, even those that claim to be critical, claiming to be exclusively right, just, reasonable and true. Can you say lying, omission, distortion, fear/hate-mongering, spin, demonizing, false idolizing, I’m probably not even covering half of it! And all said with conviction. If it becomes a part of a person’s experience of reality like it is reality, then sounder evidence and other perspectives may be summarily dismissed or not even noticed. News, music, art, among others, are damn good weapons. Back to Orwell and 1984, what’s usually noted about the book is that certain things can then become inaccessible, like freedom. A person would only think of it in terms of a dog being free from fleas. Depressing.

    What about mass movements and revolutions?

    Suzi, when I said “You know what’s depressing? When someone sees everything “critically”. I know some people like that and I don’t wanna make any conclusive statements here. I think if someone like that read “character matters” he’d think up why it’s not worth it, as if the mere possibility of doing anything about things or contributing was meaningless in the long run or to begin with. Looks like a self-reinforcing cycle to me and an insidious one at that” I was thinking about pessisism, cynicism and apathy that some people seem to possess. You know what’s crazy? It can be rationalized as “critical thinking”. Or really some do see flaws in pretty much everything. Apparently then even the possibility of corrective action is too pie-in-the-sky to even consider. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle.

    Dr Simon mentions people like that in Judas Syndrome, btw.

    But some cynics can be confident. Recently on Youtube I found a few talks by an Indian man(not Osho I’ve mentioned). I don’t want to mention his name here, but he disparaged science on the basis of the horrors it has produced(like a nuclear bomb) and said that you can only be heard if you have an influential position so why do people bother with spirituality stuff. Spirituality also is a marketplace, just to repeat what he said. The title of one video was Purpose of life. Go figure. So apparently “just live life”? What does that mean?

    So if we have people victimized, their trust’s been hurt, they could contribute a lot, do they need to hear how useless it’s to do anything? All that could have been would be lost. Why increase chances of that?

    Is cynicism the final answer just because it’s said with conviction?

    I’ve even heard a few times that deconstructionism that claims to be against fundamentalisms itself fragments culture. It’s adding its own mix to the mess, when we already have megachurches preaching “strategic prayers” to “slay demonic people”, ISIS beheading people, Buddhist extremists hanging people from helicopters, “social justice warriors” harassing people and thus making Neo-Nazis look better, it’s sad how many forms dysfunction can take. Wasn’t there someone, who said there ought to be one huge indeconstructible(funny word, btw) if we’re not to wander in apathy and hopelessness?

    Reality is chaotic. Dr Simon himself talks about different metaphors. We’re not to take them literally.

    Then I found some quote by Carl Clausewitz:

    “Theory cannot equip the mind with formulas for solving problems, nor can it mark the narrow path on which the sole solution is supposed to lie by planting a hedge of principles on either side. But it can give the mind insight into the great mass of phenomena and of their relationships, then leave it free to rise into the higher realms of action. There the mind can use its innate talent to capacity, combining them all so as to seize on what is right and true as though this were a single idea formed by their concentrated pressure – as though it were a response to the immediate challenge rather than a product of thought.”


    1. Timothy, I see that you do an exceptional job at keeping things organized. Kudos on that!! I forgot so many of my statements I have used but you brought them right out I have dealt with individuals from the dark side since day one. I am the skapegoat child from an unwanted pregnancy. I always knew that there were many things that were different about my childhood. I began looking forward to the day when I could get out on my own in about third grade. I thought of running away often. I think if I was not in a small town in the middle of nowhere I may have taken the leap. My brother was treated badly also but since he was a boy he was treated better than me since boys could be puppets of the male narcs in my family and learn to do the macho things like hunting and football. My childhood was often quite a joke but it became quite a foundation for me when I was raising my children. I just used it as reference as to what I never wanted to do. I was able to do a pretty good job most of the time.
      My psychologist cousin is definitely one of those individuals who enjoys all of the power and control of her position. Narcs are drawn to certain jobs where they can do the most damage. Lawyers and police officers have been mentioned. Psychologists are right up there. Can you imagine how much damage can be done with access to an unsuspecting mind?! When most individuals step in the psychologists office they are seeking help with a certain issue that they have. The last thing that they are expecting is a predator.
      My crazy life!! I would like to feel like I am on the offensive instead of the defensive once in a while. I really do find a lot of healing in this blog. I am able to offer insight since I have dealt with something similar. If I can offer some positive input to help someone avoid the things that I have encountered then I can find some kind of peace as I lay my head on the pillow.

  20. Timothy and All,

    You said: “I was thinking about pessimism, cynicism and apathy that some people seem to possess. You know what’s crazy? It can be rationalized as “critical thinking”.”

    Oh, I don’t know. I really have my doubts that pessimism, cynicism and apathy is the same as critical thinking. Pessimism, cynicism and apathy are often the result of feeling trapped by a situation that is unbearable. If we feel that there’s no way out and trapped by the CD in our life then apathy sets into our thinking. We lose hope.

    Those feelings are not a person being critical or being a critical thinker. Those feelings are real. It may sound like criticism or whatever to outsiders when it’s really a plea for validation. Any type of dealings with a CD can trigger all these feeling in a victim.

    That probably doesn’t answer your question, but I thought I’d give it a try.

    “You said: But some cynics can be confident.”

    Oh my golly, anybody can be confident. Even the cynics, even the snake oil salesman, even the jerks, even the CD’s and even you and I. Just because a person is confident in himself does not mean we have to be confident in him.

    Don’t forget some people lie every time their lips move.

    You said: “he disparaged science on the basis of the horrors it has produced(like a nuclear bomb) and said that you can only be heard if you have an influential position so why do people bother with spirituality stuff. Spirituality also is a marketplace, just to repeat what he said. The title of one video was Purpose of life. Go figure. So apparently “just live life”? What does that mean?

    I haven’t the foggiest idea what he is trying to convey. Sounds like a bunch of hocus-pocus to me. You know, it’s probally some of that ‘if it feels good, just do it’ kind of stuff.

    I pay close attention to my choice of what I read and to whom I brainstorm with. Like I mentioned before the trouble with having an open mind, is that people will insist on coming along and try to put things in it.

    You said: “So if we have people victimized, their trust’s been hurt, they could contribute a lot, do they need to hear how useless it’s to do anything? All that could have been would be lost. Why increase chances of that?”

    YES!!! they are worthy! Every man, women and child is valuable!!!
    No they do not need to hear garbage about uselessness nor all sorts of gloom and doom stuff. Life is good. So let’s start working on healing the hurt, pain and suffering and build our inner core, our strength. Stand proud and stand firm. Then pass the torch onto those around us.

    You said: “Is cynicism the final answer just because it’s said with conviction?”


    You said: “it’s sad how many forms dysfunction can take.”

    Yes, so many dysfunctions, but only one root cause. The lack of compassion and empathy towards others.

    You said: “Reality is chaotic.”

    Reality is the truth and the truth sets us free!

    1. Suzi, I really like when you explain being the victim of the CD. Since I was born the skapegoat child I have never really had a lot of HOPE. I can remember when I was about eight years old and I was trying to tell people about what I was going through. I knew something was wrong but not very many youngsters know the words MANIPULATION or GASLIGHTING. I was met with cynicism and pessisism. No one believed me and just kind of ignored me and told me that I was just “chasing boogers.” After I survived my childhood with multiple narcs, I went off to college to try to get my freedom. I married my first narc and never finished college. Probably no the smartest decision on my part. After several years of marriage I divorced that narc and set out to raise my two kids. I married a huge psychopath after that. He started the grooming process from the very beginning. Oh my goodness, talk about mind games! My entire life was without any hope for a while. I tried my very best to think of something that we could do. I knew if I tried to tell my family that they would meet me with skepticism and cynicism and adding insult to injury they would turn things around to make me the aggressor. After all, the majority of them were narcs so it make their day to know we were suffering. I had counseling services offered free of charge through my work so after I got my self-esteem up I divorced him too.
      My friend Gary was able to explain to me how I had suffered my narcissistic abuse. I will never forget how wonderful I felt. FINALLY someone listened to me. I try to read as much as I can on the subject. I love to help people deal with the suffering because it helps me too. To this day I have never told any of my family about the abuse we all suffered. When I start to tell anyone they look at me like I have three eyes or I am just being a drama queen. I have five generations of narcs, psychopaths, and enablers to deal with.  My cynics are very confident and especially when they are telling me that I am the problem. Now I just don’t really care that they don’t believe me because God is on my side!!

    2. I’ve heard it said “cynical manipulator”. I have to wonder, can a manipulator only be cynical? They are aware on how to screw over people. Not to quibble, but can a manipulator be idealistic? Other than self-serving “ideals” LOL.

      But we don’t need more apathy.

      That one “teacher”, who encouraged/enabled(?) his students to act irresponsible because “they can’t help it” because of “their programming”, seemed very much CD. I’ve also heard such excuse as “crazy wisdom” when such a teacher acts like one does, irresponsibly.

      Another Indian man, who went on about how everything really just backfires or is meaningless and so on(gah!), seemed like a genuine cynic, who probably believed at least a big part of what he said like he sincerely believed he was saving people’s time.

      I updated my thoughts in the next comments. Thoughts just come pouring in, so much to go through! Hell, I hope, like you, Susie Q, that something I say rings true and sticks for someone.

      1. A bit more:

        After linking to that one spiritual site(which looks well thought-out, even though I don’t agree with the vegetarianism -bit), I thought I may be pushing my thoughts. I’ve mentioned now two speakers whom I don’t think are good to listen to, but I don’t wanna name specific names unless someone asks me to.

        If you wanna know my opinion on whom not to listen to, that’s just my opinion, okay?

  21. Re-posted myself before I saw you replied.

    Where do I begin? Where do I begin? 😀

    Heck, if you’re saying that critical thinking can be understood to be looking for something to criticize in everything, which would be being hypercritical, which would be along the lines of what I just thought of that Indian man. And no, not hocus pocus(unless you count ultra-nihilism as hocus pocus). He talked of all spirituality as snake oil. He must’ve thought of everything, science, spirituality, striving to find what it is that makes life meaningful, counter-intuitive. Ironically, he says he’s just a dog barking and in another instance tells people not to listen to him, to go away, that he doesn’t have a message, that he doesn’t care whether they agree or not. Perhaps he does think ” ‘if it feels good, just do it’ kind of stuff”, perhaps he doesn’t even consider it. Sure, people are different. Who’s covert-aggressive, trying to dissuade people or get them to be like them? Who’s a genuine cynic, however confident? Who’s sincerely of good intent to try to get people to “think critically”, whether they are or not? Who’s a “victim” of life? Who’s disagreeable, disputatious? May be hard to tell sometimes. Patterns can mix, you know? Anyway, does it help? Probably not.

    And jumping again(I tend to do that when I get into conversation), is cynicism just an expression of something else, then? A surface symptom? May indicate different things? What you say would suggest that to me, unless I’ve misunderstood you. I’m not sure myself, I think others would know.

    Cynicism/pessimism could come from so many things. It must be absolutely awful to have someone constantly violating what you thought or were taught are valid, viable values(huh? three V:s) and getting away with it like no one’s business. I’ve had to disconnect from some people. I don’t wonder how someone could have a sour taste in the mouth long after. Then I made the mistake of reading some online writing by -ahem- a self-appointed spiritual teacher(again a different man). This man claimed in his writings that everythings that happens is supposed to happen. He implied that anything someone does is out of their programming and according to what I read about this “spiritual teacher”, he’d even encouraged his students to do as they pleased(like cheat on spouses) under the delusion that they don’t control that. Luckily some alarm bell started ringing in my head. If you’d asked me what I thought about spirituality sometime after that, I’d have answered “snake-oil”, “sham”, “nonsense” etc.

    Stuff making an originally open mind closed is pretty ironic. Trying to think around open mind and the dangers would be mental gymnastics.

    I wasn’t very fond of listening to another nihilistic cynic, who spouts how everything’s meaningless(imagine me yawning) or keeps making up limitations everywhere(again, imagine me yawning or raising an eyebrow). “Critical thinking” or invalidation?

    Things aren’t even always cut-and-dry. You know, even mumbo jumbo can have some very good points to keep in mind separately or something can be a mix of something workable and some too far-stretching logic or lack some logical steps. Likewise, someone with actually sound ideas could fail to get them across and the message that would’ve helped someone else gets lost or muddled. That’s without counting all sorts of natural cognitive biases that can skew any good intentions of people. I think many deep down want to find some new truth that wipes problems away. That’s an understandable desire! And of course, if someone comes across as disagreeable or otherwise we decide we don’t like them, it’s to easy to dismiss anything of value they otherwise might have said and vice versa. Also, it’s easy to believe CD lies if they have a grain of truth to them or they are close to truth. Or words have truthiness(a phrase I’ve heard).

    I also read some online article(I can’t manage to remember it now, drat) which talked about some cult leader. Its main point, though, was not to confuse a message and the medium. So if you notice something that rings true in what someone says, you needn’t end up accepting or rejecting everything. Like I said, it’s not black-and-white either. Someone can be closed to many things yet uncritical towards others.

    You said: “Just because a person is confident in himself does not mean we have to be confident in him.” Yes.

    Let me repeat myself. A sad flip side is when someone’s not confident, then that lack of confidence can hurt the delivery of a message that could actually get to see things in a helpful way or at least encourage to think for oneself. I think sometimes a more confident could covert-aggressively use that against a less confident person in their own and others’ eyes.

    There are confident, resilient good guys around. Too bad that bad guys, worse guys and even some mixed characters have given confidence and charisma a suspicious veil in the eyes of the more experienced.

    Still, what I think people respond best to and I can’t say anything against: A message resonates best, when a messenger manages to communicate it and be congruent. How often is that?

    More than I thought! I’m coming out of a period in my life where I’ve disconnected from many people, total a******s I didn’t see for who they were, maybe condemned and dumped some perfectly good people because of things that may not have been true in hindsight, severed ties with a friend who never seemed to be able to come up with anything helpful, encountered different people at random(in hindsight I realized such encounters could teach something small), thought about everything, reconnected with old friends, gained new ones, found dissatisfaction with some things I took for granted for a long time not wanting to get stuck in just one perspective and finding people, who thought similarly.

    I don’t want to muddle things. It’s just that things aren’t always simple.


  22. I just wrote a book that included the play between empaths, sociopaths, narcissists, and even apaths. I coined the term and concept of “mother’s emotional body.” This is where we are conditioned, from infancy until around puberty, to attract a certain relationship pattern into our lives when we become older: our Pattern.

    Mother’s Emotional Body conditioning holds true for all of us: sociopaths, narcissists and empaths. We are all drawn together from childhood conditioning emanating from our mother’s emotional body.

    The ebook is on sale right now at Amazon for $0.99 and the paperback is only $11.95.


    Please also visit facebook.com/my sociopath struck by a sociopath. I am offering a great bonus for anyone who reviews the book.

  23. Susie Q said: “When I start to tell anyone they look at me like I have three eyes or I am just being a drama queen.”

    Andy said: “Another way to say is that quite often people think that everyone thinks just like them. Everyone is nice. Everyone respect others boundaries, if it they step over then it is a mistake rather than a deliberate action.”

    Suzi Q said: “My psychologist cousin is definitely one of those individuals who enjoys all of the power and control of her position. Narcs are drawn to certain jobs where they can do the most damage. Lawyers and police officers have been mentioned. Psychologists are right up there. Can you imagine how much damage can be done with access to an unsuspecting mind?! When most individuals step in the psychologists office they are seeking help with a certain issue that they have. The last thing that they are expecting is a predator.”

    People don’t get it. I figure, how could they, if they’ve never experienced the cruelty. There are a lot of people who have just been so sheltered that they truly can’t comprehend such things in their most raw form. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand that people think different. We each think different because we have been trained and have experienced life differently. We each have our own personal frame of reference. People are like snowflakes; there are no two alike.

    Although another reason could be that some people we reach out to are in some way, shape or form abusers also. They know what’s going on, they’re not duped at all. Many of these “naive” people are of the very same DNA as the abuser. When we cry out for justice and then looked upon as drama queens/kings, liars, troublemakers and told to go home, grin and bear it, get over it, they reveal themselves to be abusers also. They are allying with an abuser against his victim, well birds of a feather really do flock together.

    Remember the farmer who traded 11 eggs instead the agreed upon 12? He didn’t care that he cheated his neighbor. Some people go about their daily lives and tend to their responsibilities and that’s all they do. They have no desire, time, reason or need to care about others. They are abusers to. Only difference is a matter of degree. [They’re good breeders of greed]

    When you meet the arrogant little bully like this farmer don’t buy his kool-aid. Watch out! Wolf scent! Beware!

    I practice with the little scoundrels, it builds strength for dealing with the whoppers.

    1. Suzi, there are so many very important points here. I especially like love is passion and hate is passion. Yes, apathy is definitely the difference. I have heard that saying before but it was never quite explained like that.

      It was also a great point when you explained that most people will be evil if the right opportunity comes their way. I have come across a certain enabler who has shown me quite a different side than I expected. My major narc has convinced him that I have many less than desirable qualities. He tries to get under my skin but I am not affected by his nonsense. He can’t belittle me so he goes for my son. Just like a bully in elementary school he plays on my son’s insecurities. My son asks me, AM I FAT? AM I A GOOD KID? AM I HANDSOME? I tell the enabler to be nice. He says, “No one pays me to be nice!” He is an enabler and a broken narc. I know somehow the major narc has jerked him around and pulled his strings like a puppet while she sits around trying to convince us that he is so rude and uncalled for. I know her games and she is trying to use him to break us while we side with her. Never happening because I have been around this block before. My main goal is to get out of here!!

      This matter of DC’S really does take out-of-the-box thinking. Most people do not have the mental capacity to be actually aware enough to take this kind of thing into consideration. When people are telling me something I watch many things. I wish many people would actually listen to what is being said instead of throwing up a mental block. So many times the people who are actually the victims are blamed. I have heard numerous times, “Just get over it” or “Leave it in the past wherever it belongs!” These individuals were trying to get me to let my guard down so they could do further damage. This blog is very helpful because we can all talk and heal. I often wonder if a lot of the people that I originally saw as victims are just waiting for the right time to let the shroud of evil fall down. A lot of times it takes the right kind of evil to bring the evil in another person. It seems that when an emotional vampire launches a smear campaign people want to believe the trash. I know that my main narc enjoys getting everyone worked up and ready to form a lynch mob against me by telling them that I think I am the best mom around and they are just stupid. In actuality I have heard her say things about others and their mothering skills. Anyhow, most of the people who I thought were my friends are now haters. Unfortunately, I am learning a tremendous amount about human nature the hard way.

      I have confronted my major narc a couple of times. She just slumps back into the seat or gets up and leaves. I have to be extremely careful about doing this because she gets so awful with my son. I am not trying to make myself seem big and tough but I was married to the extreme end of the covert aggressor’s scale. When I first married him I was shy and timid and never voiced much of an opinion. I finally realized that I was getting nowhere acting like that. I reached the point where I was tired of being walked on and became quite vocal!! LOL…..,

  24. Timothy and All

    Timothy said: “Some people just can’t realize it. Some are just indifferent.”

    Indifferent is the best word to describe it.

    There’s a fine line between love and hate. Love and hate are not opposites. Indifference is the opposite of love.

    They don’t hate. Hate is a passion just as love is a passion, a feeling. You cannot hate [a feeling] a person unless you love [a feeling] the person.

    They are indifferent, they have no feelings . A terrible and dangerous place to be.

    Timothy said “can a manipulator only be cynical? can a manipulator be idealistic?

    They can be anyway and think anything their little stone heart desires. They are performers, mimickers, fakers. The world is a open stage for their performance.

    Timothy said: “But we don’t need more apathy.”

    NO, NO we don’t need apathy. We must keep HOPE alive.

    Timothy said: “If you wanna know my opinion on whom not to listen to, that’s just my opinion, okay?

    That’s right you keep looking for the stuff that does not make any sense and weed it out of your thoughts. Discard it. You know the hocus-pocus stuff.

    Have you ever thought about what the definition of an expert is? Whom, what or how does one become an expert? Is one expert better than the next expert?

    This is not a question to be answered because there is no accurate answer. It’s a question to brainstorm and think about. Just because a person thinks he’s an expert does not make it true. Many experts are jerks. You know, off-the-wall….nutters.

    That’s why I’m careful what I read. There’s just to many experts flooding the field that don’t know how to tie their shoes.

    1. Sometimes I wonder how much of many philosophical ideas have confirmation and other biases in them.


      Heck, I could list questions:

      *How much is there confirmation bias even in well-meaning philosophies?
      *Can some truths be commonplace or happen in some contexts, if they aren’t quite universal or as common as other truths?
      *Can’t hocus-pocus stuff have some grain of truth to them so one can be fooled it’s more true than it is as a whole? Can something be not quite hocus-pocus, but perhaps kinda border on that or just simply mislead, if not outright lie in other respects?
      *Can something that makes sense in some sense(like an individual being able to lead an independent life) be taken too far and become counter-intuitive?(The character crisis seems to be a good example; another coming to mind is from one Character Matters -broadcast, when Dr Simon said that fundamentalists take their metaphors too literally)
      *Can an originally valid message be muddled or lost due to failed communications or machinations of others or some other factors?
      *Can an originally valid message be hijacked or twisted by a CD?
      *If someone’s message is sound, but the messenger isn’t quite to the message, do we throw away something that otherwise would’ve helped us? Can we still see the message for its own value?

    2. Experts flooding the field who don’t know how to tie their shoes!! Haha…. that’s funny but very true!! When you think about it though, when we tried to tell others what the DC was giving us people were probably wondering if we knew how to tie our shoes. I tried to use some concrete situations like HELTER SKELTER AND CHARLES MANSON. Still, there was no way that kind of dysfunction could be in my family. (So they thought)

  25. Timothy said: “So if you notice something that rings true in what someone says, you needn’t end up accepting or rejecting everything.

    That’s right. We can accept bits and pieces and reject that which is of no value. And the time spent separating information and thinking about what is or is not worth using is “critical thinking” or “brainstorming”.

    There are so many things that we learn that takes a long time and a lot of thinking before it becomes useable or before we begin to connect dots.

    Actually that’s how life goes. From cradle to grave it’s a journey of building on what we’ve learned in the past and improving the areas that need change.

    And we do that by constantly seeking and learning new stuff.

    1. ” We can accept bits and pieces and reject that which is of no value. And the time spent separating information and thinking about what is or is not worth using is “critical thinking” or “brainstorming”.

      There are so many things that we learn that takes a long time and a lot of thinking before it becomes useable or before we begin to connect dots.

      Actually that’s how life goes. From cradle to grave it’s a journey of building on what we’ve learned in the past and improving the areas that need change.

      And we do that by constantly seeking and learning new stuff.”

      You said it….. You said it!!!!! 😀

      Yes, our brains are processing all the time. It must help to read a lot of sound material.

  26. You got it….use our brain and think!

    Brainstorm and think your way through life. Don’t let anyone else do your thinking for you.

    And yes, learn as much as you can and fill your mind with all sorts of good and beautiful stuff.

    Go as far as you can see. When you get there, you will see farther.

    1. Oh, I haven’t claimed you or me should let someone else do it. But do you get how easy it’s to forget that? Too easy, I say, too damn easy.

      Would be so great to manage to inspire many other people to keep thinking and learning, so they wouldn’t be so indifferent, especially in regards to what happens around. I don’t know, perhaps that would do something about this character crisis and some other problems, who knows?

      It’s so, so, so easy to take one’s own life for granted, you know. Unless something like a CD comes along?

      As for what you stated about “experts”, of course you gotta study a lot of information so you’re able to deliver it and contribute. But what else is there? Like Dr Simon says, no single metaphor can catch an elusive ultimate truth.

      Btw, Suzi, fyi I like what you have to say and I like this! 😀 “Go as far as you can see. When you get there, you will see farther.”

      1. Yes, I do believe that many people are indifferent when it comes to DC’S. You know how many times I have heard, YOU JUST NEED TO LET SO THINGS GO!! I would have to say that unless they are the ones going through hell they don’t care. When the management at my last job was being a bunch of bullies and did not train me correctly they told me that I could not hold them accountable for the way I learn. It seemed quite funny how whenever I trained someone they knew the job. I guess, the really big issue was that I held myself accountable for being a trainer and they were busy trying to find a way to try to make me feel insecure.

    2. I just thought of a very interesting issue which I have really never given much consideration to before. When you were explaining that it takes a great amount of passion to hate I got to thinking. When I first discovered that I had a family full of DC’S I was very hurt and confused. I could never understand how it was always so easy for them to use the philosophy KILL OR BE KILLED. I had such a negative turn of emotions inside. All the negativity was effecting me in many ways. It took a couple of years for me to come to the realization that I really needed to take an approach of indifference. I guess we can all say that we are well on the way when we feel indifferent. I get upset with my ex-psycho when he tries to use my son against me. I really don’t hate anyone but eventually I am going to take the psychopath to court and get complete custody of my son. That will be a great day and I can say that it will be a huge piece of the happiness puzzle for me.

      1. All the best for you! You’re going to need it.

        I think(I’m gonna say this again in a shorter form) that CD’s can sound so plausible, at least on the surface if a mental block comes up to help and just as much someone, who is sincere and wants to say something really helpful can fumble it because of miscommunication. Likewise, someone can make several very good points and some other ones not so much so, honestly or not. I’ve been thinking about these things for a long time, even a few times seeing meanings everywhere.

        ” I often wonder if a lot of the people that I originally saw as victims are just waiting for the right time to let the shroud of evil fall down. A lot of times it takes the right kind of evil to bring the evil in another person. It seems that when an emotional vampire launches a smear campaign people want to believe the trash.”

        That’s a whole can of worms.

        I remember one incident that relates to what I just said and what you said. There was this one woman speaking(in a vocational school), whom I knew quite little. She went on and on. I did catch some things, but unfortunately I didn’t quite get what she was trying to get across. Wouldn’t you know, another woman I barely knew and rarely talked to was sitting next to me. She whispered: “What’s this about? This is embarrassing.” And I knee-jerk replied I agreed. After the day, we had a not-brief, but not-long conversation where she(the sneaky one) slipped in a few subtle references how she supposedly didn’t like attention-seekers(hmmmm….) and other such things. I didn’t know better and that sucks. She was one of the least virulent examples I’ve met and it still sucks. Never found out what became of that other woman. I didn’t talk to the sneaky one much after that or have otherwise anything to do with her, though. I dropped off contact for wholly other reasons.

        Also heard a lot of gossip type “Did you hear Steve cheated on his test?” It’s like some people easily go along with it. To me it’s the more obvious type.

        Perhaps there are many sides to this, also. Suzi said anyone can be confident no matter what fakery. Still, it seems like if someone’s “reality” is stronger than others’, then he can magnetically draw them into his “reality” and skew their trust in their own perceptions. Or do the others swayed by the emotional vampire’s spell have flaws in their inner structures? Or they have deeper desires not tended to, just barely repressed by logic?

        But one scary way to gossip effectively is to present someone as a threat. A gossiper’s only trying to help you avoid possible harm. A target must be looked upon closely or we are caught unaware and regret it. There, see, see, told ya!

        1. Omg this is quite the topic!! Manipulators know just how to hook people and reel them right in. Smear campaigns are their favorite and they often use phrases like, “Don’t tell anyone I told you but…..”

          I know that my Nana, the preacher’s wife, used to get her little rumors started by saying, “Pray for **** because her husband is cheating on her and she’s having a mental breakdown.” Is that really sneaky or what?! I always thought it was kind of crappy since people often go to the pastor and his wife for love and support.

          My malignant mommy narc is out to destroy me. She has her group of flying monkeys all lined up. She wants to slander me so they find some kind of justification in what they are doing. First she tells them that I told her that they are bad mothers. This usually gets them right away. If the individual shows any little bit of doubt then she goes on to tell them how I turned my back on my daughter and refused to help her through college. This is not in the least bit true but since it is my mother saying this about me people are more apt to believe. My daughter is deceased and a few of these flying monkeys showed up at the services to make a mockery of things with their crocodile tears. If a mother was slandering her daughter like this I would have to ask myself, “Why?” In a way, it makes me laugh at how ignorant people can be.

          I think a lot of different things that we do and say can be interpreted as gossip. Personally, I try to stay away from all the flaky people who are so small minded that they can not think of anything else to talk about except each other. I have to much drama in my life already.

        2. Sometimes much ain’t needed, not even “pure” gossip(if there’s that lol). I told an example of such a sneaky little comment. Perhaps tempt, trick or push someone to explain themselves, sometimes you needn’t do that. When they sort out their thoughts, then another person can bank in on that by making some sneaky little comment like “See?” It’s that simple and that easy! Just one strategic jab and a manipulator has swayed another person into what seems like a natural way to see things.

          Do I make sense?

          1. You are crystal clear here! I feel the same way. Most of the time I choose to be by myself. My malignant mommy narc turns everything I say around and since she is the queen of drama it becomes part of her smear campaign. She stalks my friends and tells them all kinds of stupid crap. She has even gone through my Facebook friends and lies to each of them. She includes just enough reality in her gossip to make it seem real. My malignant SIL narc is really exceptional when she wants to pry gossip out of someone.

            I have noticed that mommy narc uses a sneaky little kind of manipulation. She is very short and never wants to carry on much of a conversation with people UNLESS gossip is involved. When I was young I would make up juicy stories just so I could get my mom to pay attention and talk to me. Sad, huh?!

          2. I think Dr Simon’s said that people can act covert-aggressively even on scarcer occasions, even if it’s not the pattern for them.

            Gossip seems to be such a way to fill time for many people – just to fill and spend time. Yes, sometimes there’s even a small kick of drama. Did you hear what embarrassing happened to Mrs X? Some less virulent people can still be insufferable in so many ways. Virulent, malignant narcissists with their drama-mongering are among the worst.

            When virulent ones do it, do they want to sting others, so others can’t just ignore them and write them off as someone unimportant? If a virulent narcissist has some sense of emptiness and discontent despite everything, s/he has left others writhering in moulders. They haven’t ignored her/him and thus left her/him out as someone to be thrown into a trashcan.

            I wouldn’t wonder if that was someone’s logic for gossiping and also eg. stalking, harassment, terrorism etc.

          3. The shooters at Columbine did say that they had been ignored. Well, that was quite a way to grab some attention. Most of the shooters say that they were ignored and bullied growing up.

            I know for a fact that my NPD mother has no other way to carry on a conversation. She could never sit in some kind of group and just throw out ideas to ponder. She has been so bitter for so long that she can’t think of anything else. I have read some different articles about BPD. People with a BPD have very low self-esteem and a lot of the other issues mimic NPD. She may have both, I don’t know if that is possible. Gossiping is her way to get attention. She always wants to fight with someone so gossiping gets out her aggression. (She can’t even have an argument without running and hiding!)

            I just ordered the book by Lynn Kivela, MY SOCIOPATH. I read so many different reviews on books but I think that she talks about being raised with a sociopath father and a mentally ill mother. I hope I can get more insight into my crazy life.

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