Category Archives: Psychopathy and Sociopathy

Why Narcissistic Bullies Really Taunt

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.

Thinking First, Impulse Control and Mindfulness

Mindfulness as a character quality is more than a particular practice like meditation. It’s a state of being and a way of living. Being mindful is about keeping ourselves maximally aware of both our inner world and the outer world, as well as the impact of our choices on those worlds. To be of sound character, one has to be mindful.

Habitual Liars and Their Agendas

Some habitual liars are called “pathological” liars because they lie for no apparent reason. They lie even at times when the truth would suffice or serve them better. Some have regarded such senseless lying as a kind of mental illness or even insanity. But these liars are not insane. Rather, they belong to a group of the most severely disordered characters among us (i.e. psychopaths, sociopaths, etc.), and they’re perfectly rational. There’s a “method” to their apparent “madness.”

Toxic Self-Love

Narcissism is pathological self-love. And noble character is largely about healthy self-love. Getting the balance right is what the third commandment of sound character formation is all about.

Personality and Character Disorders: When It’s Serious

The most severely disordered characters among us are not the “hot-headed” types who sometimes let their passions get the better of them and do things they might sometimes later regret but rather the “cold-hearted” sorts who chronically and ruthelessly try to get the better of others.

Toxic Relationship Recovery – Revisited: Part 2

Sometimes it’s the most decent things about us – things that it would behoove us never to change – that make us vulnerable to the most character-impaired.

Psychopaths and Empathy

We know that empathy capacity varies in human beings. But we also know that the mere capacity for empathy does not make a socially conscientious human being. Empathy must be nurtured. That’s often a very challenging task for individuals who lie somewhere on the character disturbance spectrum. And there’s mounting evidence that it’s most likely an impossible task for those at the extreme end of the spectrum.

Empathy and Character Disturbance

Perhaps there’s no more urgent question needing answering in our age of more rampant character disturbance than how we can better foster empathy development in our children.

Externalizing Blame Can Have Deadly Consequences

The tragedy we witnessed two days ago is an old, old story becoming far too commonplace in our character-deficient age. We live in a complicated, demanding world and there are too many among us who never developed the character resources to deal adaptively with life’s challenges – especially failure – and to profit from their experiences, including their disappointments. It’s far too easy to just point a finger. And sadly, for too many, it’s easier still to place that same finger on a trigger and shoot.