Most of you are aware that last week’s Character Matters program was a taped replay of the first broadcast. The second installment of the program airs live tonight (7 pm EDT [6 pm CDT]) and will thus permit telephone calls from listeners who want to join the discussion. I’ll open the phone lines somewhere close to 20 minutes after the hour. The number to call is: (718) 717-8296.
25 thoughts on ““Character Matters” Second Installment Airs Tonight”
Can we please bring back public shaming for things like not reading the newspaper?
A 30-year-old recently told me, when I mentioned the drought in the western U.S., asking if there was a toilet-flushing policy or if the water company had sent a notice about increased rates, said to me:
“I didn’t know that [that we’re experiencing a major drought this year.] I don’t take an interest in the world around me.”
Sorry I missed the live broadcast – is there a podcast we could listen to?
Aha! Here is the podcast for last night’s show, for anyone who missed the live broadcast:
So, I’m a little confused about these “programs” of Dr. Simons. I just used the link (thank you Clair!) and listened to about 25 minutes of the program, one caller and Dr. Simons response but then it just stopped.
I don’t know how long it’s supposed to be or if this was a malfunction? I have limited data usage available to me where I live but I just thought, ok, I’m going to try and see what happens.
Can you explain the format?
You got more time than I did Puddle. I will try the podcast link again.
I wish we could do more to help Dr. Simon spread the word about Character issues and “Character Matters” (love the play on words.)
Have a great day.
Claire, I think we should start a crusade! The Simon Says Army!
Somehow can’t access through these links, but good news, folks, it’s on Youtube:
Brilliant J,,,,,,,,,but youtube eats up my data usage in a flash so that won’t work for me.
What I did listen to was really good. It was like magic listening to Dr. Simon’s voice for a change instead of just in writing! LOL!
So I will say that what I was able to hear was very good Dr. Simon. You sounded solid and it made perfect sense. Good show!
On shame. When someone has done something that has been made public, the family suffers from the shameful act(s). Part of me wants to accept whatever rudeness/being uninvited, etc from our society because it was something he did personally but it affects us as a whole/family. Do you have any further thoughts on that when dealing with something that has become very public and the shame from it, and accepting it because the acts were full of shame? There are times I don’t want to go out or just use cash because I don’t want attention brought on me. Part of me thinks this is partly good because the act HE did was shameful, but there is a part where I need to be able to go on with our life too.
Hi Hopey, I know that when I was younger I was more susceptible to feeling ashamed by other people’s behavior. I’m not sure what happened or when it happened but I don’t really experience that anymore. Your situation may be something entirely different though, something more severe than the situations I’m thinking of in my own life but just KNOWING in your inner self that this is NOT about you,,,,,,it’s his behavior being judged. I honestly think that when people see someone making a sincere effort of redirect their life for the positive, they become VERY compassionate and understanding. That kind of sincere effort warms my heart towards someone.
The word “insecure” usually brings to mind lacking self-confidence, huge self-doubt.
However, is it actually possible for someone to have insecurity issues that stem from extreme emotional immaturity?
For instance, let’s say someone’s a narcissistic personality. I get the feeling that narcissists being talked about here are the blase types, unphased By any disapproval, but to make a more specific question out of the generalized one I just posed:
Is it possible for a narcissist to be so extremely emotionally immature that any pokes of common sense to his/her entitled little bubble s/he sees as something to get insecure or stressed about?
Is it possible to be insecure in a whole another, different meaning of the word than that applied to neurotics, who are hypersensitive about adversities? Can insecurity also stem from emotional immaturity and thus indicate a character issue?
J, That is a perplexing question! Maybe what they experience is a thing other than “insecurity”…….something you can find the meaning of in the Spathsaurus since normal neurotypical words don’t seem to really encompass very much about them, their behavior, reality and the devastating consequences they bring into others lives.
Just off the top of my head I think what they experience as anything close to Insecurity would be something to do with concern over loosing what they have targeted as something they want.
I’ve met some people during my life that seemed emotionally poorly equipped to handle life. Certain maturity just seems to be lacking and it’s the maladaptive extreme. Is it feasible to understand “insecurity” to mean something like that?
What I saw as what you might be talking about was more like an Indignant, grandiose attitude…..how DARE you question or challenge me! You insult me……humiliate me! How DARE you, underling! Be gone from my site you insignificant twit and don’t come back until you pull up your big girl panties and take my abuse with “levity and a smile” because that is the only way I find your company tolerable. I will be upstairs with mother until you pull yourself together….
These are my words for his attitude but……How’s THAT for “insecurity”?
You’re getting to the real heart of the matter here, Puddle. The “insecurity” presumptions are often rooted in the traditional psychology perspectives that postulated that “underneath” what appears to be an indignant, grandiose attitude is a damaged sense of self, insecurity, and deep fear of rejection, all being “compensated” for unconsciously with the external behavior we see. And while on rare occasion there can actually be some truth to this, most of the time such notions are hogwash. But for a long time there’s been a mass buying into of these perspectives, which, when accepted, are among the biggest reasons why people endure/tolerate abuse and remain in destructive relationships.
Well, it’s odd Dr. Simon……I was talking to Spathtard one time about some restaurant and he said he had always wanted to go there. I asked him why he hadn’t and he said, I don’t know…..I didn’t want to go by myself!!! Like going to a restaurant alone was something akin to driving a passenger jet down the middle of a busy street! I asked him if he had EVER been to a restaurant by himself and he said NO!!! like I had asked him the most ridiculous question in the world! Why would I go to a restaurant alone?????? Um,,,,,,to eat?? Is this a trick question?? LOL!
Of course…..this whole story could have just been some other tactic he was using to manipulate me into who knows what and for what self serving reason BUT, I think it’s saying a lot that a 47 year old “man” has never been to a restaurant alone? Seems to have no problems going to bars alone! LOL!
At times I did see quite a few signs of lack of self assuredness..asking me what the right thing to do was,,,,Holy crow……….probably just part of his twisted game.
He certainly was the king of his mothers castle,,,,,,the “man” of the house, able to do what ever he pleased without question. And referred to it as his house and his mommy backed him on that.
it certainly was one of the contributing factors in my staying involved, but just one. I really gave him so much undeserved credit for being this wounded bird in someway. I guess I partially translated his behavior thorough my own woundedness. I pretty much had a good grasp on what made me tick, like a clock and a time bomb sometimes, when I met him. What I didn’t know was the truth of who or what he was.
If someone’s so immature any appropriate feedback is perceived as an insult to His Majesty the Ego, what can seem like insecurity is just extreme immaturity underneath.
Rather than immaturity though, it is more like entitlement J. immaturity indicates (to me) room for growth. Entitled disregard towards change and growth is just that.
I’m not talking about such examples. Let’s say someone gets real, balanced feedback, presented in a tactful way, clearly with an intent to help, and they get agitated or angry about it. Under that is not actual insecurity like we think, but more like hate of getting anything less than unconditional praise. I do get that narcissist don’t truly care about others opinions and don’t truly need admiration, but is there a type with ego so touchy it pricks up at the slightest sign of not being on the pedestal? If so, isn’t that a character issue, too?
I’m pretty much swimming in the details here.
J, I think it is a sign of a character issue for sure. Immaturity? Maybe but I lean more towards intimidation and manipulation tactic. If someone makes it so unpleasant for a person who goes so far as to float a suggestion or complaint on a feather pillow in front of them……what begins to happen is that they back done, back off etc,,,,,,
I burned plenty of brain cells trying my best to find the best way to ask things of Spathtard…..it was all futile and he had an arsenal of responses that thwarted my efforts.
I recall having heard some dangerous environments(NOT people) be described as insecure. For example, if an area has a high rate of robberies and gang violence, it’s not a secure place to live in. I also take it that the stress of a hostile environment can further encourage the aggressive ones for the game of “go for it”.
J, I think there are so many ways for so many things to mean so many things. My insecurities center around being valued for who I am and feeling accepted or conversely, mis understood. I know I have difficulties in translating life and get overwhelmed very easily….overloaded mentally and emotionally. It something I see in myself and try to do the bast i can sorting it out but it causes me problems on a regular basis. It’s very hard for me to understand and even harder for me to explain to someone who is not in my head. That’s what I have come to know about myself…….that and a rejection/ abandonment issue that stems from a traumatic childhood.
As Dr. Simon has said,,,,,there is this continuum and I would imagine that almost anything is possible to varying degrees, no?
Back then, in reply to the article http://www.drgeorgesimon.com/conscience-development-in-the-aggressive-character/#comments
I posted this comment:
“Aren’t there some people, who actually see themselves as messengers of a higher power, don’t merely profess but actually believe in their cause, and commit horrid actions while justifying them as service to their higher power, the old “ends justify the means”? I’m not talking about covert aggressors, who profess loudly, but in their hearts are all out for themselves, first and foremost(EDIT: although these true believers can be covert aggressors or have significant covert aggressive traits). I’m talking about fanatics, who actually think of themselves as servants of a higher authority and think they do right, even if it’s the vilest act imaginable.
How is this to be interpreted? Is it explainable by the neurotic-CD -continuum? Can it be a matter of different blends of personality types and clustering of different personality traits? Is fanaticism like this a matter of buying into an extreme, irrational belief system to which an individual is attracted because of pre-existing twisted world of thinking or because of which an individual’s thinking becomes more distorted as time goes on(EDIT: In a similar way to indoctrination processes)? Is it a matter of lying to oneself, so this supposed “submission” is, in this kind of case, actually [allowing] oneself to feel self-righteous without needing to care about “useless moral issues”? Can it simply be that they have invested into some self-created lie so much they’ve started to believe it themselves?”
Dr Simon, you did give a brief reply that did explain a lot. However, could you also answer to this at more length in your upcoming book? Any length you see fitting is fine.
This is a small, small detail, but why I think this is important is this: We can be tempted to forgive someone. Like you’ve said, we like to assume everyone deep down wants to shield themselves and do right. We like to assume that people wouldn’t do wrong things if they were aware. We can be tempted to go easy on those, who do know, but choose to do wrong because they think they’re the only one, who matters.
However, the continuum has various variables. We see some neurosis in an otherwise evil person and we think that deep down they still are like us, only horribly misguided. If someone’s okay with doing vile deeds while actually believing they are serving some higher power, we can err in thinking how they’re more like us than they may be.
So, if there’s something like us in another people, it could be very disorienting. We may automatically take that as proof how they must be like us in some other ways as well(for instance, how they must feel wronged deep down, how they must have unresolved demons in their subconscious and so forth).
That’s why I think this is important to address. Old beliefs take time to change, so perhaps that could also be a chance for the reminder. To quote your answer to my reply back then: “[I]t’s hard to know, just from the outward manifestation, what dynamics are playing out underneath, so you have to look at other indications about whether the person is primarily “neurotic” or disturbed in character.”
Thank you for reading this, Dr Simon.