Abuse Victims Mistake Interest for Regard

Abuse victims often wonder how their relationships turned so toxic. When they met their significant other things were different. That person wanted to be with them. They seemed happy to be in their company. They brought them presents. And, they did things for them. Many things. And everything they did seemed to say they loved them. So, how could things change so drastically?

Abuse Victims Mistake Interest for Regard

Just because someone sees something in you they like doesn’t mean they care about you. It can simply mean they see something they desire and hope to possess. (Read more about “possessive thinking” in Character Disturbance.)

Unfortunately, folks who end up abused and exploited often mistake great interest for high regard. But nothing could be further from the case. Someone can desire you intensely merely because they see a situation they want to exploit. Perhaps you’re stable and financially responsible and can afford them security and lifestyle. Or, perhaps, you’re so physically attractive that your mere association with them feeds their ego. When someone appears to desire you intensely, it can really flatter. However, it can also make you think they value you in other, more important ways.

Learning the Hard Way about Genuine Regard

If real loving were easy, everyone would do it. There would be no need to command it, as every spiritual leader in history has. Desire is different from love. We desire without effort. We see things we like or believe will bring us pleasure. Then, we go after those things, sometimes with great passion.

Abuse victims learn the hard way that interest doesn’t equal regard. Unfortunately, they learn it after they’ve been exploited or mistreated. Eventually, they learn that real character reflects the capacity for true caring. When empathy, openness, genuineness, and free self-giving combine, true love manifests.

Genuine Love – Unconditional Positive Regard

Loving genuinely does not come naturally. But our hearts are made for it. Sadly, our minds have a hard time grasping it. We enter and grow in a hostile world. It’s a world where everyone is grasping. In such a world, we learn to grasp ourselves. And we learn how to protect and defend. In so doing, our hearts inevitably close. It’s the way of the world.

My upcoming book on the “10 commandment of character” is all about learning to truly love. And, as you know, its release has been repeatedly delayed. That’s because I’m trying to convey some of the deepest psychological and spiritual truths in it. The task has challenged me as writer like nothing before. Changing hearts is how we’ll change the world. And that change always has to start with ourselves. I hope my book will speak well to that.

Character Matters

We may be close to a deal for a relaunch of Character Matters. The format might change some, but the main focus will remain the same. In the meantime, you can access the podcasts on the UCY.TV YouTube channel.

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28 thoughts on “Abuse Victims Mistake Interest for Regard

  1. This topic is so important, it speaks to the process of how we become who we are. I believe empaths become caretakers for many reasons, just like there are many factors a charactered disordered individual becomes a narcissist, a sociopath, a psychopath and soforth.

    There was a time when I had no idea what verbal abuse entailed. I believed that one should have the ability to throw off verbal encounters, such as “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Will Never Hurt Me.” I was also lead to believe though covert tactics that I was the one with the problem. Society, though the venue of music, television, movies, etc., propagates violence, verbal abuse, degraation of humanity and promotes the demigod Selfie.

    In prior Topics Dr. Simon talked about Bullies, Covert Manipulation, Deception, Covert tactics, which in reality are games the CD plays. In blunt terms the abuser
    Mind F$^&$# us. The end game is for us to be a slave, a whipping post, a scapegoat, a forever supply for the CD Individual. The CD uses deceitful mind control tactics on us with the goal to destroy our personhood. What a way to wake up.

    Simply put, verbal abuse is a manipulation tactic used to control another through non-physical means to control ones behaviors, feelings, or decisions. Many times, the controlling or coercive behaviors are disguised as love or concern. Other times the abuse of power is more overt. Either way, the abuse can result in fear for the person being bullied, fear of humiliation, fear of failure, or fear of physical violence or abandonment.

    I believe in so many instances, the empath, simply Loves To Much.

  2. BTOV

    • Whole Object Relations:
    This is the capacity to see oneself and others in a stable and integrated way that acknowledges both the person’s good and bad qualities.

    • Object Constancy:
    This is the ability to maintain a positive emotional connection to someone that you like while you are angry, hurt, frustrated, or disappointed by his or her behaviour.

    As WHOLE AND HEALTHY Humans we also possess the above abilities. We see THEIR INTEREST as Dr Simon says as regard. We see them as flawed creatures, as we see the gifts as KINDNESS. BUT???????

    The cognitive dissonance we EXPERIENCE I BELIEVE IS WHAT MAKES US ILL,
    UNTIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    They go to far and WE SEE DO’NT WE, WE SEE SO VERY CLEARLY



    1. Joey.

      And What We See is the Ugly Truth.

      No matter how ugly: The Truth Sets Us Free……………………………….

      Kindred Spirit

      Bonrfire of the Vanities

  3. Off Topic

    I am completely alone at work tomorrow (16 th July)
    I will be in charge of £ 1 000,000 worth of machines

    Wish me luck I will need it, I am nervous

    1. Joey,

      I believe your employers entrusted you with an important job before. Your employer knows you can do it. We believe in you too. now believe in yourself,
      I know you will shine.

      Many Blessing

  4. Joey,

    I believe your employers entrusted you with an important job before. Your employer knows you can do it. We believe in you too. now believe in yourself,
    I know you will shine.

    Many Blessing

  5. Off topic,
    I had an “interesting Facebook conversation recently and the tactic this person used was irritating, but amusing, but I immediately saw the red flags. I want to share some of this conversation: It was a political conversation.
    After being called out on using falsities in his argument, he posted:
    Bill: Actually I was making stuff up to get a reaction . . . kinda like the media does, right? smile face j/k
    Me: That’s messed up. You’re a waste of time.
    Bill: Good grief . . . did you see j/k? That means “just kidding”. Some folks take things soooooo seriously!
    Me: That wasn’t a joke. Bullshit.
    Bill: Really? If you weren’t so uptight, you might find your sense of humor somewhere. Relax, lady, it’s gonna be ok.
    Me: I’m fine Billy. YOu need to relax and not get so uptight about others not laughing at your veiled “jokes”. It’s ok. You’ll find an audience for your comedy. Geez – you can’t take a joke.
    Bill: Only my wife gets the privilege of calling me Billy. Thanks for respecting that in the future.

    At this point I did not respond again. I got the last word and I got his goat.

    1. Lucy,

      Stopping on first line would have worked perfectly fine… 🙂 assuming he was almost stranger, a group member, or friend’s friend.
      Bill: Actually I was making stuff up to get a reaction . . . kinda like the media does, right? smile face j/k
      Me: Good Bye

  6. You have all these “professionals” – yourself included – dictating what is and isn’t appropriate human behavior…. People in crisis like me turn to you “experts” and adapt our thinking and behavior based on your “theories” and subsequent advice….. only to discover years later that the “theories” and advice were – “misguided”….

    I have a 31 year old daughter whose life is far from being functional due to the parenting style I chose to follow based on the “current psychological theories”….

    Psychology is “crap shoot” and your “theories” – just like “cults” have far reaching consequences.

    Be very careful with the sword you wield…

  7. Bill: Actually I was making stuff up to get a reaction . . . kinda like the media does, right? smile face j/k

    My reply

    Joey: Actually I was making stuff up to get a reaction . . . kinda like the media does, right? smile face j/k

    Just to say IS’NT MAKING STUFF UP CALLED LYING. I wish to point out about YOUR BEHAVIOUR.


  8. The depth of human destruction from betrayal (personal and professional) is far reaching.

    Most of us are groomed to live by the mantra “do unto to others as you would have done unto you”. A very noble human construct to live by”.. until You find yourself immersed in the current psychological theories… Whoa – what once was considered as doing unto others is NOW considered “projecting”…. wanting and inexplicably needing to bond with others is considered “codependent”… Where does a highly conscientious and empathetic person go NOW ?? The destruction if this relationship was unwittingly MY fault.. ??!!

    1. I am the “product” of the psycho local theories of the 80’s… strictly subscribing to the theories and advice … My 31 year old daughter has absorbed the “entitlement” unwittingly gleaned from my raising her under these “expert” constructs …. NOW I’m told their “theories” were misguided ….

      1. Please – for your own well being – weigh the information you’re receiving – and follow your gut – not some advice you gleaned from a book or website…

    2. Leslie,

      “The destruction if this relationship was unwittingly MY fault.. ??!!”

      In my opinion, questions should be:
      – Are you still in that harmful relationship?
      – If yes, are you taking steps to protect yourself?
      – If no, does it matter what others think?

  9. Leslie,
    You’ve said a lot there.
    I’ve come to learn to throw away many of the quotes of advice I grew up with. They don’t apply when dealing with character disturbed people, nor are those sayings applicable to every situation. Life is not black and white.
    We deal with relationships in the ways we think is right, the ways we’ve been taught, and guided (or misguided). Ever notice how siblings of a family have their own way, their own personalities, their own way of life, coming from the same family?
    As an adult our “children” need to step it up and take responsibility for their own behaviors.
    If you haven’t read Dr. Simon’s books, I highly suggest you read them. THey are informative on all issues surrounding the character disordered person.

    Did you come here to give “warnings” or come here to learn?

    1. Both…. I suppose.. I learned in my early 20’s how everything I was taught growing up was “wrong”.. I “regrouped” and changed a lot of my thinking patterns and behavior accordingly… only to discover years later that the information was “misguided”…. How in the world does anyone learn what is and isn’t “socially acceptable” ?? Isn’t caring about what other people think thoughtful and conscientious ?? but wait – then I’m told how I shouldn’t care what other people think… I’m taught the “golden rule” then told that I’m “projecting”… Life is definitely not “black and white” but it sure would be easier if the “rules of engagement” were more clearly defined..

      1. Leslie,
        I’m constantly regrouping. We live and learn. If people think badly of what you’ve said or done, that’s their head, their brain, their thought process. You can’t live your life according to what someone else “thinks” of you.
        Take what you’ve learned and apply it. Life is difficult. People are difficult. You got to find your happy median in there somewhere. There is no rule to follow.

        1. Lucy, Leslie,

          Me too, I’m constantly regrouping. Other people don’t know what’s best for us, we do. They may think they do and they may or not have good intentions. I’ve had a lot of therapists give me, what in hindsight was terrible, guidance and feedback and I applied it and felt like a big fat failure because it only made things worse. Live and learn.

          For me it has come down to getting as much information as I can, check the validity of my sources and their potential agendas (predators often act like they know best and it’s NOT what’s best for you), and figure out what makes sense to me according to my values. If it affects the other person too, well then, yes, I care what they think/want. If it doesn’t affect them, then no. Not everyone will be happy or approve of what we do, but that’s their issue. We give away a lot of power when we look to others for permission, approval, etc..

          I think the “rules of engagement” change according to who you are dealing with. If someone tries to make me doubt myself, I don’t listen to them and get away from them. If someone tries to make me feel less than or bad about myself, I don’t listen to them and get away from them. They are not a reliable source of information and are not a healthy person for me to be around.

          As far a my daughter, who is slightly younger than yours, I think I have an idea what you mean. I worked my butt off and really tried to “get it right”, to be the healthiest parent I could be. I went to therapy and sought guidance as to what limits were age appropriate, how to help us both deal with her father’s destructive behavior, etc… I also made sure she had therapy to help her deal with her feelings.

          I did my best, followed the guidance and the results are very disappointing so far. I know I did my very best, I gave it my all.

          All we can do is do our best with the information we have, learn our lessons, mourn, dust ourselves off, and keep moving forward.

          1. Lucy, Joey, Andy, Lydia, E, Jean, Ariel, Kat, Lydia, Sdyney, Healing, Leslie, so many of you you who follow along, your voices are important.

            I think it all boils down to choices, choices to accept, deal with, hide, blame others using fear, obligation, oand guilt or decide to work through Dr. Simon’s new book : The 10 Commandments of Character, wherein we accept the onus is on us. Truly, we can only change ourselves and mayhap by changing ourselves, we can be the change for the world. I don’t know, in time we will see.

            Blessings to All

  10. Leslie,
    Can you describe a specific example? Its hard to understand generalities. Were you accused of projecting and what led to that accusation? What was your intention and how were you perceived differently by another than what your intention was? I think its easier to untangle thinking when there are specifics. I find a lot of peoples behavior confusing and often don’t understand unless I know a lot more about the person. Its difficult because often people have assumptions and jump to conclusions. We all do it though.

  11. I have some news

    I drove home through the village that my the mother lived in. I still like the area, it is a nice place.
    As I drove through I think I saw the niece. standing at a bus stop as I drove through on my way home.

    She has putting it mildly PUT ON SOME WEIGHT. I am fat my self, But I think she must have put on some 100lbs in the space of three years. Gathering from what I briefly saw things do’nt look to good.

    My point is, when You abandon them, you leave their troubles for them to deal with.
    If you cannot except things and feel shame, then you will never learn.


    Note to all

    Thank you so much for your kind words with regards to my job


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