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.
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.
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.
Crafty covert-aggressors know how to make you doubt. In your gut you feel they’re trying to play you. But they can have you feeling like you’re a fool for thinking so. You question your judgment. You can even question your sense of reality and your sanity. In a nutshell, that’s the “gaslighting” effect.
Gaslighting Gaslighting has become a popular term these days. It was borrowed from the the suspense thriller play and movie Gas Light. Its plot involves a conniving husband who tries to make his wife think she is losing her mind. And he does this in part by making subtle changes in her environment, including causing the episodic … Continue reading Manipulation and the Gaslighting Effect
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.
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.
You have possess character yourself to make a relationship work. But you also have to be able to rightly judge the character of another.
To have character integrity you have to not only be genuine but also principled. Moreover, to be properly principled you have to both respect and be willing to subordinate yourself to some “higher power” or authority.
Authenticity is not so much a character trait as it is a state of being. To be authentic, you have to choose to be transparent. Doing so naturally makes you quite vulnerable. But it also opens the door to true intimacy with another.