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.
Unconscious denial is nature’s defense against unbearable pain. But some denial is tactical – a way to be irresponsible while not looking so bad. To have reverence for the truth and for human dignity, each type must be confronted differently.
Deceit is the hallmark trait of manipulative characters. And there are many ways to deceive. Some disturbed characters are so skilled in the subtlest forms of lying that they have raised it nearly to an art form.
Revering truth is crucial to character. To have healthy intimate relationships, we have to be honest and sincere with others. And to be psychologically and spiritually healthy, we have to be honest with ourselves.
Covert narcissism is narcissism under cover. Covert narcissists can be quite lovable and charming. So, beware. What you can’t readily see can hurt you.