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.
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.
Manipulators come in two main varieties. Most are covert-aggressors who carefully cloak their true intentions. But some others are more overt in their ways. They rely on a different strategy. But both types count on one thing to get their way: the characteristics of their targets.
Loving relationships can promote character growth, that’s for sure. But when someone has significant character disturbance no amount of loving care alone can fix things.
Grandiose narcissists so wantonly use and abuse because they have little heart. They lack empathy. And they have little shame. And the more lacking they are in these things, the more easily they exploit.
Behaving in a decent and civil manner doesn’t mean we have to allow ourselves to be taken advantage of or abused. It just means we don’t have to act like we believe we’ve been treated. Rather, we should act like we would want to be treated.
People who have overcome their infantile narcissism and have learned to care beyond themselves are altruistic and empathic. And people who are altruistic act for the greater good. They are the folks who see the big picture.
Teaching the important life lessons necessary to overcome our natural, inherent narcissism and making sure the environment supports and reinforces those lessons is a significant challenge, especially in a culture where people who glorify themselves get mounds of attention and are even held up as heroes.
The grateful character feels obliged, not entitled. And the grateful character pays his or her debts.
A narcissist can be of the “vulnerable” or “neurotic” type (see also Two Main Varieties of Narcissists). Such inwardly insecure characters crave love and affirmation and seek it by trying to prove their exceptionality. But in our age it’s more common for a narcissist to be of the “grandiose” or character-disturbed variety and such characters are … Continue reading Grandiose Narcissists and Shattered Illusions