Why There Are So Many Bad Actors Out There

Years of research solidly point to one crucial factor when it comes to character health: the ability to delay gratification.  Such an ability must be carefully cultivated. But in an indulgent world, just learning when and how to say “no” to oneself is difficult. And actually imposing a “no” is even more so.

Understanding Relational Aggression

Relational aggression is a big problem these days. And those out to harm you or your relationships can be overt or covert about it. Skilled covert-aggressors can even use surrogates to defame you or undermine your relationships. That way, they leave no “fingerprints” of their evildoing. Why do they do it? We used to think they came from a fearful, insecure place. But we now know they simply lack empathy.

Heartless Characters Think Differently

Relationships with heartless characters follow a typical course. You get seduced by the tremendous interest someone shows in you.  And most importantly, you mistake the interest for caring. Only later do you realize how utterly expendable you are, especially once you’ve outlived your usefulness.

Empathy Can Be Facilitated But Not Taught

What Is Empathy? Empathy does not equate with compassion. Nor does it mean the same thing as pity. And it’s not something we cause to happen in any way. Rather, we simply experience it in certain situations. Most of us do, that is. And it involves more than just intellectually surmising or understanding how someone … Continue reading Empathy Can Be Facilitated But Not Taught

Charming Narcissists Manipulate Well

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.

Some Manipulators Enjoy Toying with You

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 Narcissism Goes Beyond Haughtiness

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.

Our Culture of Entitlement Impedes Character Growth

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 Impact Each Other

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.