How we see ourselves matters. And how we behave toward ourselves matters even more. Healthy self-regard defines the evolved character. And unhealthy self-regard is the hallmark of character disturbance.
Hardness of Heart What do we mean when we talk about “hardness of heart”? Folks with hardened hearts have an impaired ability to empathize. They also have an impaired ability to truly connect. This makes healthy, intimate relationships virtually impossible. The harder one’s heart, the harder it is to achieve real intimacy and to truly … Continue reading Character Disturbance and Hardness of Heart
Personal integrity reaches its height in the absence of pretense. The truly decent character has searched his/her heart, knows it well, and strives to keep it pure. This takes a great deal of persistent mindfulness.
Sincerity of heart and purpose means harboring no hidden agendas. Sincere folks don’t try to get things in a slimy, underhanded, or undeserving way. They’re as true to themselves as they are authentic to others.
Abusive relationship partners are often relentless. They hate to miss an opportunity to denigrate and dominate. And over time, their victims can begin to see themselves in the same negative way their abusers cast them.
Fighting dirty is fighting without principle-guided limits and boundaries. It’s placing winning over everything and using whatever tactics or psychological “weapons” you can think of to secure the dominant position. Such fighting is the destroyer of relationships.
Some things are well worth fighting for. But there’s a way to go about this enterprise that builds as opposed to destroys.
Assertiveness is fair, principled, disciplined, fighting. And it’s the kind of just self-advocacy coupled with mindful concern for the impact on others that defines healthy character.
Willfulness has a positive and negative side. A strong will can be one’s foremost asset. But it can also be a great liability. A properly formed and guided will is essential for sound character.
Right thinking is thinking guided by principle. And not just any principle but the overriding principle of love.