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.
Reverence for the truth builds character and can truly set us free. But narcissists and other disturbed characters have declared war on truth. For them, reality is what they say it is. Believing themselves superior, they know they’re right and everyone else is wrong.
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.
Fighting is an integral part of life. But how we fight matters. Fighting fairly, with principal, and constructively, with care not to needlessly injure is what decent character is all about.
It’s hard to understand why someone would lie when the truth would suffice. And it’s especially hard to understand why someone would lie when the truth might well serve them better. Pathological liars aren’t crazy. There’s actually method to their apparent madness. They may drive you crazy with their antics. But once you understand why they do what they do you can restore your sanity.