Brash and vulgar narcissists naturally offend us. So, we naturally want to keep our distance and watch our backs. But charming narcissists are in some ways more dangerous. Like I say in In Sheep’s Clothing, dealing with them can be like getting whiplash. You only fully realize who they are and what they’ve done to you after the fact.
Folks devoid of empathy will hurt you without compunction. They might regret certain consequences, but they rarely experience genuine remorse or contrition. How someone acts when they’ve hurt you tells all you really need to know about their character.
Malignant narcissists disdain all the qualities most of us think make us decent human beings. They see them as signs of weakness. And they see them as proof of others’ inferiority. That’s what enables them to feel superior. And that’s why they feel entitled to prey.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about disturbed characters it’s this: They all-too-readily take ownership of what they haven’t earned or merited.
Researchers now know the reason disturbed characters have a hard time developing a healthy sense of obligation. When you feel entitled, you simply can’t feel obliged. You have to feel indebted before you can feel obliged. And you have to be deeply grateful before you can feel indebted.
Culture and character have an intertwined and interdependent relationship. And they impact each other in some very dynamic ways. More character-impaired individuals now populate the culture. And they have “enabled” the erosion of principles once widely revered and promoted.
Disturbances of Character More folks have character disturbances these days. Aspects of modern culture promote such disturbances – even reward them. When these disturbances become serious, we label them character disorders. By definition, character reflects the moral dimension of personality. Our personalities bespeak the unique way we perceive and deal with our world. But the … Continue reading Understanding Character Disorders
A manipulator can be so confident of someone’s likely response that they don’t hesitate to show their hand. But most of the time, manipulators get their way by hiding their true agendas. They’re out to win, dominate, and control, but don’t want to appear so. They cloak their aggressive intentions in a variety of clever tactics. And these tactics produce the “gaslighting” effect.
Crafty covert-aggressors know how to make you doubt. In your gut you feel they’re trying to play you. But they can have you feeling like you’re a fool for thinking so. You question your judgment. You can even question your sense of reality and your sanity. In a nutshell, that’s the “gaslighting” effect.
Gaslighting Gaslighting has become a popular term these days. It was borrowed from the the suspense thriller play and movie Gas Light. Its plot involves a conniving husband who tries to make his wife think she is losing her mind. And he does this in part by making subtle changes in her environment, including causing the episodic … Continue reading Manipulation and the Gaslighting Effect