Character Matters Now More Than Ever

Character Matters

Character matters. It always has. And, of course, it always will. But these days, it seems to matter more than ever. That’s because we live in an age of widespread narcissism. A culture of entitlement, relativism, and permissiveness has fostered this. And It has kept all too many folks from outgrowing the natural egocentricity of infancy. When you don’t outgrow your narcissism, you can’t develop the character necessary to be socially responsible. (See also: Narcissism Spectrum.)

Character matters so much because it affects every aspect of our lives. It impacts our interpersonal relationships. It goes to the core of our intimate relationships. Character affects our family dealings, our community relations, and even our business affairs. Every social ill we face ultimately stems from character issues. And laws can’t save us from these ills. We’ve tried that. Only a change of heart can turn things around.

Character isn’t something anyone is born with. It has to be carefully nurtured and developed. And that’s a really tough task in a narcissistic age. That’s why character matters now more than ever.

Sounding the Alarm

My first years as a professional therapist dealt me a major shock. Like so many others, I was trained to help people deal with their unconscious fears and insecurities. And I envisioned all my clients would be decent people simply beset by “hangups.” But to my surprise and chagrin, the lives of most folks I saw were a shipwreck for a much different reason. The very ways these individuals saw things – their core beliefs and attitudes – and the habitual ways they dealt with things were themselves the problem. All that was a reflection of their character. And I became quickly aware of how inadequate traditional perspectives and approaches were in fostering character growth.

I started sound the alarm about the problem and the reasons for it in the late 1980’s. I did so mainly in workshops for professionals. And I continued to do research and to write about my findings, advocating a new approach. I wish I could say open arms greeted the message. Then I wrote my first book, In Sheep’s Clothing. That changed my life. Validation came pouring in from everywhere. And the book became an international bestseller. Then came Character Disturbance, The Judas Syndrome, and How Did We End Up Here? And I’m humbled to think these bestsellers have helped change the lives of many toxic relationship survivors for the better.

Character Matters – The Radio Program

Several years ago, I was asked to consider a weekly broadcast on character matters. The internet-based network UCY.TV was not quite ready at a technical level for television at the time. But the Sunday evening at 7 pm Eastern radio program quickly gained a following.  And it’s been most edifying to witness the message spread to a wider and wider audience. But sadly, and for reasons not easily explained, the UCY.TV network will be ceasing operations this coming weekend. And that means Character Matters will have to find a new home if it’s to stay on the air. News of the network’s pending demise came just days ago. So, there’s been no time to prepare for alternatives, and it’s not likely there will be a resolve to the situation anytime soon.  But the message and purpose of the program remain important. So, I’ll be exploring all possibilities.

Character matters enough to me – to all of us – that I’ll continue to try and spread the message of its importance any way I can. I’ll update the readers on the status of the program, which will have to be suspended until further notice. All the podcasts will remain on YouTube, on the UCY.TV channel. And for the time being, the UCY.TV website will remain up with all the links to the program and contact information.

38 thoughts on “Character Matters Now More Than Ever

  1. Oh, no! I’m so sorry to hear that, but I know that someone will step in to help you get the podcast going again. Your work is life-altering. I check in on your blog regularly just to keep expanding my understanding of covert aggression, its costs, and any helpful strategies toward making a better and safer life for all.

  2. Dr. Simon, I enjoy your podcasts, so much to learn from them. It is very important work that must go on. I never ran into any of this information until it was too late and I had already suffered at the hands of a CD ex husband. If this information was easier to find, it could wake up some people and save many from suffering needlessly. I wish it was taught at the high school level in public school.

    1. Hi Kat, Lucy, LisaO,

      My friend was moved to a nursing home now, he is slowly progressing and only time will tell if he recovers. He is off the trac and can speak and move some. Its been 3 months now and I found out all this happened on his birthday. He still can’t drink water or eat, he is still incontinent and bedridden. However, from not being able to talk or move ones limbs, it is a blessing to have come this far.

      Thank you for all your kind thoughts and prayers. It is people of character, like you who care for others that make this world a better place.


      1. That’s got to be so hard to go thru, I hope he makes more progress, but it sounds slow in coming. Its good to be able to speak and move a bit, but its got to be such a awful thing to endure being bedridden, not able to eat or drink. There is so much we have no control over. It could be any one of us. I agree, kindness and goodness make this life worth living.

        1. Kat,

          I got a call this morning, my friend has pneumonia. When Dr. Simon writes about a person having character my friend is right up there. It is sad, he has lived a clean life and gives of himself to everyone. Not at all selfish or self serving or just says I will think of me first. He thinks of everyone else first and would give the shirt off his back.

          I have never heard say an unkind word about anyone or even stretch the truth. Truly, his word is his bond. I will never forget how kind he has always been to me, this is why I am trying to be there for him. I don’t think he ever realized the people who have showed up at the hospital to support him.

          I have been praying non-stop for him and with him. Prayer is powerful and I thank you for your prayers along with your thoughtful support and kind words. I am glad you are here.

          Hugs and many blessings

          1. BTOV
            When you get to know a person such as your friend, especially when having the experience of dealing with a CD, you do appreciate and come to love people such as he. When you see the pure heart and soul of a person and know to appreciate it, that type of friend is a keeper. It’s too bad, though, that type of person many times gives to the wrong ones, undeserving of them.
            Keep giving him encouragement. I’m sure he appreciates your friendship as much as you do his.

          2. BTOV,
            Oh boy, that’s not good news. My Ex had pneumonia and overcame it with his cancer though, so you never know.
            I will pray for him too, he sounds like a real gem of a person. Its got to be hard to see him like that, but good that you can see him and give him support and caring and love, the only things that truly matter. I am so glad that people are showing up to support him, he sounds like the kind of friend that doesn’t come along very often. I am glad I you are here too BTOV, I thought when you hadn’t posted in a while that your friend was having more troubles. One thing I know for certain is that God is good and He is loving, even though sometimes we wonder why these things happen.

  3. As someone new to your work but not new to the issues of psychological warfare, I dare to say this may be a catapult event. One door closes, many more will open… so I trust and believe. Your work is too important! As a survivor of two narcissistic marriages and enduring the burden of being the family scapegoat, my faith grows in leaps and bounds when I find such precious nuggets of hope. My prayers are with all who suffer in this fight for the soul. God bless!

    1. Dr. Simon,

      I am sorry to hear about your show “Character Matters” I enjoyed listening to your program and learned valuable information. I have found when one door closes and I put my trust in God, another door opens for me. I believe the Lord has something in mind for you.

      Perhaps, you can put all the podcasts on You Tube, I think this would be a great venue and its easily accessed.

      Thank you for all you have given, know that you are blessed and so is you work.

  4. Off Topic,

    Since coming out of a 25+ year marriage to an overt Narc, manipulator, toxic X husband, and finalizing the divorce, I’ve reached the stage now where I’m still healing, restoring what I’ve lost (financially and emotionally) and am living life differently, with a different attitude.
    Where I once dreamed of and planned what I’d do in retirement, through the losses with this toxic X I’ve had to re-do my plan. It looks like I won’t be retiring in a long while, and now I’m refocused on “Live Like I’m On Vacation”.
    I’ve read some articles. I wrote down what I love about being on vacation, and have come to realize it’s the adventure in it, the new places, the foods, the scenery. Most of the things I love about vacation I can do at home, with a little effort and re-training of my habits.
    I’ve joined some Meetup groups, am meeting new people and going new places.
    Now after work I think “what can I do today that brings me pleasure” rather than go home and sit on the couch.
    And it’s the simple things. Go to the park, sit in a chair with a cold drink and watch my grandson play. Make a good cocktail at home and drink it guilt-free. Take a drive on a road I haven’t been down, in the countryside, and stop at a small food stand. Shop at a store I’d never been do. Walk a neighborhood I find interesting. Eat at a new restaurant.
    I just can’t bring the beach home with me. But there are many things I can recreate right here at home.
    Think about it . .. . . . what can you do that brings you pleasure in your daily life, like you’re on vacation?

    1. Lucy

      1. buy a camera
      2. learn Bushcraft and find Wild foods.
      3.Take up fishing
      4.take up hiking
      5.Go for a bike ride
      6.take up a craft ( e.g leather work, black smithing, wood working etc)
      7. Try and repair something.
      8. volunteering
      9.go swimming
      10 learn to juggle

      1. Hi Joey!
        We do have excellent bike trails in my town and get lots of activity. Swimming would be nice, if I can squeeze into my swimsuit. Ugh.
        Good ones.
        Something new.

        1. Lucy… sweet name! We are now butterflies, freed from the chrysalis that tightly bound us. Free to fly and find the sweet essence of life. Each flower an opportunity. Each flight a new experience. Short lived as they may be and dangerous is the flight, we are free to thrive as long as we can take flight. That’s the power we now have… free to fly! I would rather live but a breath if I can hold on to my freedom. God give you grace as you spread your wings and FLY…

          1. Ariel17
            Welcome and I love your writing style and the message it brings.
            Free To Fly – yep, that’s what I’m doing. And it feels wonderful.

        2. Lucy,

          Your right, double Ughs by me. I can’t get into my either, makes a lot sense to get on that bike. Mine has a flat from sitting to long. Now I have to figure out to fix it. Smile Joey, its wrench time for me.

      2. Joey,

        So wonderful to hear from you, we have really missed your posts. Its great having men post as you (AndyD too) shed different perspectives. How is everything going with you? Do you do all the above too.

        Love the post to Lucy, the fish are biting and am thinking of getting the cane pole out a friend just gave me. I do love to fish and collecting herbal plants to make tinctures, soap and other things, planted a small garden again. You would laugh at me doing repairs, I get my hands greasy. I used to wish they would teach girls wood and metal shop.

        Big Sis

        I am doing most of what you suggested when I don’t hurt.

      3. Joey, AndyD,

        These are all great suggestions and I have done many. My bicycle has flats, the tires are 30 years old, so its new ones. A fellow down the block that divorced has to sons 15 and 13, I gave the 15 year old my wagon to repair, what a good job. So the tires on the bike I have that need to be replaced I am giving to the 15 year old to fix. I will pay him too.

        The man divorced his CD wife, yes CD wife, I gave him Dr.s books, I agree it is both men and women going through this. The sons are almost living full time with his dad, we are trying to help one another out. Any way he is bringing up responsible sons and is happy we can work together.

        I don’ t think the boys fish so if OK I am more than will to teach. You have given many examples and I agree with you Joey. I love wild crafting, I love digging weeds and finding the medicinal properties. Joey, you are right there are so many wonderful things to do. I am sure willing to try.

        Above all things, I have been blessed with this “Goofy Rescue Dog” being what he is like and his personality, the little bugger is loyal, loves me and a great guard dog. Who would have know this (Pest PIA) Pain in the Ass would be my “Baby.” He love me and I him. Blessings come in many different packages.

        Thanks Joey for all the suggestions, you are right. I love all of them, you motivated me.

        Look forward to hearing from you more often. AndyD you too, you are so analytical and on point, let us know how you are doing.

    2. I like that idea Lucy. I’m in the same circumstance – I don’t have enough money to retire even though I have been working a long time. I just don’t make the big bucks and it cost a lot to live. It is refreshing to go on vacation, seeing new sights, new experiences. Getting out of the everyday rut.

      1. kat
        I actually made a list, I wrote down what it is I enjoy about being on vacation. Surprisingly, most of the things I do on vacation I can do in my general area, and quite often, some of it daily. It’s really a mindset. And as you say, getting out of the everyday rut.

        1. Well you have inspired me. This evening after work I went and hunted for wild asparagus. Didn’t find any patches yet but it was nice to get out anyways. Also went to a meeting at a church I haven’t been to in quite a while, its more of a social thing than anything. I think I will write down some things and keep adding to the list, one thing I want to do is make short day trips to different areas I am curious about.

          1. kat
            You should see the big smile on my face. The attitude, it’s a life-changer.

          2. Lucy, Kat, Joey, AndyD, Jean, E, and all,

            Character shines in Smiles, Laughter , Kindness, Caring, Sharing, Loving, Supporting, Reaching out and touching another, its real contagious.

            These simple words and gestures make life worth living.

            Thank you and God bless all of you

  5. BTOV, beautifully said…

    Worthy and weighty words. Awake sleeper! Rise and shine.

    Speak truth and remember who you are, beloved and cherished by God.

  6. I’m having difficulty with a co-worker/friend who I’m facing the truth that she’s toxic to me, has too many deep-seated emotional issues that I want to now disengage somehow. I’ve come to the realization it will always be this way and it’s a drain. I’m on a healing path and coworker is in my way, causing unnecessary drama in my day, draining my brain, giving me stress. I think I’ve reached that point. This friendship isn’t the type I thrive on, it’s a toxic friendship. It needs to end. I’m having trouble with this. I know what needs to be done and now that we had a blow-up, I think I’m halfway there.

    Any recommendations, helpful counsel would be appreciated.

    1. I wish I had some good counsel for you Lucy, but all I can say is that you are recognizing this toxic behavior where maybe you didn’t see it as clearly before. I realized after I got away from the EX that I picked up a “friend” that was a CD too, just not to the same degree as the EX. I finally started to pick up on the lies and knew that this was not the kind of friend I needed, it was more the kind of friend that would run you down. This shows you are healing after that 25 year mess you were in. Maybe you need to go grey rock with her drama, since shes, a coworker and you have to work alongside her.

      1. Kat, Lucy, Joey.

        I agree with you, grey rock is the way to go. Its difficult dealing with a coworker like this, when one still has to interface with them. I think Lucy’s character will reign in this one. Lucy is a lady of character, she is one of Dr. Simons graduates and is well equipped, now she needs to put into action what Dr. Simon has taught all of us.

        Dr. Simons teachings on character are the KEY elements missing in many of us and in order to heal we need to learn to recognize and utilize the very answers that are accessible within our own character. Therein is the answer and it is up to us to do the work.

    1. kat and Ariel17

      thanks. I’ve read up on it. Now I need to do the work.
      You’re right, toxic behavior is more easily recognized now, and once recognized and clear it’s necessary to remove myself with it. I know I can’t change a person, barely even help a person with CD.
      I’m just done with crappy people. I really am.
      Yes and it is awkward working in close proximity to each other. Very uncomfortable. Grey rock, disengage, keeping conversations short are a must, because once the back and forth begins there spew out the nonsense from her mouth.
      Yes I want to heal, and this is a part of it. Removing toxicity.
      On a lighter note, everything else is good. I’m making changes and what’s this feeling I feel — I think it’s HAPPINESS!

      1. Unfortunately at work theres always a token crappy person, just to keep you on your toes! Hope its not too uncomfortable but she will probably get the message pretty quick that things have changed.
        Good for you Lucy, you really are a person who bounces back. After 25 years you must have been just straining at the bit to be done with that stuff.

      2. Lucy,

        Good choices and you are seeing it for what it is, a toxic relationship. When someone pulls us down with the intent to steal our joy we need to fight back with a holding a bounderies, this one will implode on her own, not worth giving your precious life source to.

        This is where you let your gifts of character shine, don’t let her pull you out of your integrity. You have fought great battles to get this far, never retreat, just enforce your boundaries. I am glad you have seen this whole scenario for what it is. The power lies in you to defuse all of this and you will have maintained your dignity.

        Keep building your world and making the right changes. You are right it is happiness, it is peace, it is satisfaction, it is joy. Its not an easy path you are one, however this path will truly be satisfying. Keep going forward and never look back there are many bright and happy days ahead of you.

        Hugs and many blessings.

    2. Ariel,

      Could you speak to what you found was most important in the Topic of Empowerment Dr. Simon, we all could benefit from it.

      Thank you

      1. Most important IMHO is identity. Defeating the lie with truth.

        As a sojourner with a finite time to reclaim who I am, I have experienced many facets of life in my short 67 yrs. The greatest journey has been the last 10 yrs transiting from a doubter to a believer… in the one true God.

        Immersed in ancient historical biblical studies (language, culture, geography, etc.) my perspective has altered significantly to realize critical elements of me or more general.. mankind.

        Humbled and in awe I have embraced the truth of God and given back his authority over my soul. Amazing transformation!

        Gratitude with compassion and mercy is my walk. Can easily let go and in genuine love, pray for those who are still in bondage.

        Truly free to participate in everyday activities with understanding and wisdom to care for my soul. “For eyes to see and ears to hear” we are/ I am loved by God.


  7. BTOV

    You do’nt have to see all the staircase to take the first step.

    Life’s a journey. You are free to travel, you are free to fail. Take EVERY DAY AS IT COMES.

    FCUK E’M.

    I am now Diabetic type 2.

    FCUK E’M


    1. Joey,

      sorry about the physical ailment.
      I like that – don’t have to see all the staircase to take the first step.

      How is work and life in general? Are you wild food foraging? Getting out? Enjoying this life?

    2. Joey,

      I get what you are saying, I did take the first step and I am continuing one after the other. I intend to put all of those _______ me. I gets hard sometimes and I have to sit back and regroup. What make s me go forward are the success stories and you are one. Always remember your poems from you and your depth of character. So I have a good role model to look up to and compare others with.

      Many times I forget “One day at a Time” so very true. I have to agree with you in your approach #%(&@!$$%$ as many times that is the only way deal with and let go of the CD. we have come to far to let any of those kind tear us down.

      I am sorry to hear about the diabetes, I don’t feel you deserved this, I do know you have the strength of character to roll with the punches. You see, you are a role model for me too. We have both come so far using what Dr. Simon has taught us. You wear a badge of courage and character, something Dr. SImon promotes that no other site does. Both of us, or should I say many of us are products of what Dr. Simon has taught.

      I know if we can just touch one, we have accomplished our mission. Joey, we have endured way beyond what many can even conceive, we have learned to accept regardless and become the best we can be. I am so happy for you when I here all the positives you have achieved. Keep posting, you have been missed.


      1. BTOV

        Remember I said fcuk e’em. Well I am DOING SO WELL at work I have to keep pinching my self to believe it.

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