These days we have all kinds of ways to explain people’s dysfunction. And while there are indeed times when a perfectly healthy person’s biochemistry suddenly and for no apparent reason goes kaflooey, and cases where unpredictable tragedy so traumatizes that it temporarily impairs even the most well-adjusted person, more often, a person’s character not only predisposes the problems they experience in life but also exacerbates those problems when they occur.
Character matters more than ever in our age of widespread narcissism – a culture of entitlement, relativism, and permissiveness that has kept too many from outgrowing their infantile egocentricity and developing the character necessary to be socially responsible.
Recovering from gaslighting effects and regaining one’s sanity after an abusive relationship isn’t easy. Victims frequently mistrust themselves and worry about making the same relationship mistakes again. And getting the wrong kind of help can easily re-traumatize. Empowerment begins with understanding what really happened and why.
For relationships to really work and endure, connections have to develop and deepen on multiple levels. Intimacy is always the key.
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.
No one makes a major life course-correction without submitting to a higher power or operating principle. But narcissists have a big problem with that.
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.
Disturbed characters see the world and others in some pretty unhealthy ways. And their unhealthy perceptions and attitudes predispose them to relate in a destructive fashion.
Genuineness is a rare commodity these days. But of all wondrous things I’ve experienced in my years doing therapy, nothing compares to engaging with a person soul-to-soul.
Behaving in a decent and civil manner doesn’t mean we have to allow ourselves to be taken advantage of or abused. It just means we don’t have to act like we believe we’ve been treated. Rather, we should act like we would want to be treated.