Malignant narcissists are shameless characters. And they prove and important point: not all shame is inherently toxic or detrimental to one’s self-image.
Hot headed characters in relationships are notoriously problematic. They’re easily irritated and can’t seem to regain control once they lose their temper. They might promise to behave better the next time. But that time never comes. All seems well when they have their way. But when they feel denied or confronted – watch out!
We once widely regarded truth as the “best policy.” That’s partly because we understood that it always outs in the end. But it’s also because the it mattered to us more than it seems to these days.
The more character disturbed someone is, the more problematic it is when they seek dominance.
Some folks don’t just boast of greatness. They actually believe in their superiority. And they rarely waver in that conviction even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
We all want the disturbed characters we know to have a change of mind. We want them to see things differently – as we and others see them. And we want them to behave differently, too, like most of the responsible people we know. But mostly we want them to WANT to see and do things differently. And that, of course, is a matter of heart.
Smugness and glibness are red flags for the most serious types of character disturbance.
In many ways, character is like a psychological immune system, giving us the resources to be less vulnerable to the forces that might otherwise hurt or corrupt us.
Folks whose ways of seeing and doing things are so toxic that they’re rightfully considered “character-disordered” always cause big problems in relationships. And presently, the prognosis for change is extremely poor for the significantly disordered. There’s more hope for the mildly disturbed character, but the motivation and mode of intervention have to be just right!
Humble, honest self-reckoning is more than liberating. It’s also empowering. Truth, in its essence, is both power and freedom.