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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
The dominant thinking on bullies has changed dramatically over the years. Folks used to see bullies as insecure and cowardly underneath, with something to prove. But the truth is often much simpler: some people taunt and torture because it feels good. These folks enjoy fighting and provoking fights. To them, it’s fun.
You can confront compensatory grandiosity with relative ease and safety. The vulnerable narcissist merely seeks reassurance. So, the more you reassure them, the better they inwardly begin to feel about themselves. But you can’t deal with or confront the truly egomaniacal narcissist with the same ease or in the same way.