Cultural Indifference to Meritorious Conduct

Modern Culture and Merit

Merit is a concept few recognize anymore. Webster defines meritorious conduct as an action “worthy of praise or reward.” But modern culture seems both inattentive to and disregarding of such conduct. Moreover, in our times we often praise – even reward – some very wrong things. And recent research has been telling us how detrimental to character it is to praise or reward wrongly.

For years, Eddie Brummelman and his colleagues have studied how we praise our children. And the research supports what clinical experience taught me long ago. When you praise children for their nature-endowed or God-given attributes, you can certainly boost their egos. However, you do so in an unhealthy way. Why? Because they can’t honestly claim credit for those things. They didn’t have anything to do with the beautiful blue eyes they inherited. And they didn’t have any say about the I.Q. they were blessed with. They didn’t merit any of those things. But lavish praise and reward on someone for how pretty, smart, or talented they are, and you’ll give them a big head, alright!

Praising and Rewarding Rightly

If you want to help someone develop healthy self-esteem, you have to praise and reward them properly. You have to recognize their positive, pro-social efforts. You have to notice when little Suzie has the integrity to comfort a classmate being bullied. Maybe, she even had the courage to confront the bully. Such effort and action has to matter. And when you recognize and reinforce meritorious conduct, you build a person up the right way. It leads to develop genuine, healthy self-respect.

The Problem with Disturbed Characters

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about disturbed characters it’s this: They all-too-readily take ownership of what they haven’t earned or merited. They’ll brag about how smart they are. Or they’ll boast about how adept or talented they are. And because they’ve been taught to value these things as an integral part of what makes them “special,” they have every reason to think they’re all that! That’s why disturbed characters often have inflated self-esteem. Unfortunately, they also often lack self-respect. And that’s because they usually haven’t earned it through meritorious conduct.

To claim ownership of and revel in one’s bestowed gifts is inherently haughty. It disavows and disrespects the gift-giver, whether you see that giver as nature or God. But it’s the very nature of character disturbance not to recognize or respect any “higher power.” I address this issue in my books as well. You can find some informative articles on it, too.  (See, for example: Narcissists Can’t Recognize a Higher Power.)

Some Worthwhile Reading

You can find some other articles on merit and its role in character development. (See, for example: Merit, Virtue, and Character.)  (See also Self-Esteem and Merit and Merit: Healthy Self-Esteem – Part 2.)  I have a lot to say about this topic in all four of my books as well.

I’ll be talking more on this topic on Character Matters. Tune in Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 7pm EDT. We’ll be broadcasting live, so I can take your calls at (501) 258-2326.

56 thoughts on “Cultural Indifference to Meritorious Conduct

  1. Wonderful topic! I have been had thoughts about this, as well. One has been that, since responsibility and discretion have been taken out of peoples’ jobs through technology, we are left with the most menial, mindless tasks at our careers, with little room for judgment, error, accountability, etc., leaving us little chance to exercise accountability, judgment, nor merit. Thus, if you’ve not learned merit & accountability via homelife or school, it is easy to watch it fall by the wayside for many. Technology has taken the effort out of dating as well – no merit is necessary. Has it changed us? Absolutely. For the better? Most would say not. The other thing which has affected us has been greed from above. One specific way is that money can be exchanged for merit. For example, standards in formal education/colleges have gone way down, i.e., colleges are more concerned with $$ than anything else, and will accept & pass most anyone who can pay for it. It’s wonderful in that many are able to obtain an education who may not have previously; however, plummeting standards for critical thinking helps no one. Many have earned top-level employment simply because they had the money to pay for the certification, and merit was mitigated. I would love to hear any other thoughts or opinions on this.

    1. It is a great topic Carmen. Point click mentality has had a less than savory effect on the intellectual, emotional and character development of a lot of folks. Makes life so one dimensional. Delayed gratification is passé, but it’s also a great predictor of future maturity and success. Marketing and materialism are highly regarded. People are judged by some really superficial standards, image is everything (though it has been filtered and manipulated leaving little that is real behind). Simply put, being fake and superficial are at the essence of our current culture.

      Plummeting standards are the norm. The workplace has become overrun with programs teaching working adults how to act right. This fails miserably when the audience is “special”, unmotivated by anything but their own needs. There’s zero respect for rules, many requests for special treatment, and a lot of attitude with little gratitude.

      The self-esteem movement and pop positive psychology have a lot to answer for. If you don’t like or disagree with someone, that does not make them a narcissist. If you go “no contact” with no explanation, because they’re “toxic”, based on something you read online, that is a weak decision. It is called the silent treatment. Sure you feel better, your special ego is having a great time at someone else’s expense. You’ve won! Fully embrace false praise and victimhood. Dismiss and disrespect God or a higher power. Indulge yourself, you deserve it! Start substance abusing. Act a fool. Give yourself a label you found online and blame your “diagnosis” and others for your actions.

      I think merit and accountability must be taught at home. I also believe people are around 45% nature and 55% personal choice. You can shed your family’s values as easily as an dorky old sweater if screen time, superficiality and false praise work for you.

      “There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” J.K. Rowling

      1. Aisheratu,

        Thank you for including that Rowling quote about “parent blaming.” This is something I am working on…still… My parents were very much products of their generation — not character disordered, but major flaws.

        They are long gone now and I am stopping myself when I feel anger for them. Some anger is appropriate and should be expressed but ongoing self stoking anger, for reasons that aren’t particularly clear seems a little disloyal and unfair.

        It would be different if they had been manipulative or intentionally cruel, but they weren’t.

        One of the positive things about being targeted by a sadistic covert psychopath is others who are merely screwed up stand out in stark relief.

        1. You’re welcome Lisa. I think we all struggle with our parents flaws on the road to emotional maturity. Being a grown up started for me when I took ownership of my own stuff and stopped scrutinizing my parents. Seeing them as human and looking at my own shortcomings instead was not easy. It was a relief to love them and let my ego take a breather.

          I heard somewhere we blame so we don’t have to look within and change.

          They really do enhance perspective and provide contrast. If you survive them, that is. Glad you did!

  2. This really is a great topic. I remember the days when if someone (even if they were drunk) were passed out on the side of the road, someone would at least stop and see if they were still breathing and needed any help. This has fallen by the wayside.

    Granted, where I live (Midwest), here, people will stop if they see that you are not feeling well, or if you are a dollar short at the store, people will help you out. It was almost a shock to my system. And a refreshing change. I don’t really know about elsewhere, but I have always been one to stop at an accident and see if someone needs my help.

    When I was 19, I witnessed a mass shooting. And I see it as that I was in the right place at the right time, and someone is still alive because of it-that wasn’t really why I did that, it was instinctive on my part, really. And gratitude, because he also had as it turned out, took a bullet that otherwise would have had my name on it.

    Rarely, outside of the current area I live in-do I see this much anymore. Sad, I think.

    1. One reason I think that we have gone downhill as a society (the US as a country) is that we have gotten away from God. The dollar-does it still even say, “In God we trust?” But getting away from God is only serving to reinforce the narcissistic society that we are a part of.

    2. The reason this culture is as bad as it is with respect to that, is that we have gotten away from God-probably why the US has gone so downhill-does the American dollar even still read, “In God we Trust?” Even if it does, I am not sure it’s the case anymore.

      Away from God also reinforces the narcissism that we have.

  3. JC,

    It’s not that people aren’t “religious,” it is that so many ignore the character building aspects of their religion, while they bludgeon others with passages from the Old Testament, if they feel they need to be threatened, punished or belittled!

    So many religious people have an unacknowledged and pretty profound aggressive streak. And that is part and parcel of the culture. It feeds into the general atmosphere of anger and dismissal of anybody whose beliefs are even slightly different.

    1. LisaO,

      It was less a specific issue of religion, rather the observation that even a spiritual solution (in PTSD, I believe it is, said as much to a doctor (while in CA)? The response? “Take your meds.”

      Simple answers like this that meds are an answer? They are not. Not for everyone. Profess to believe simply in a power greater than yourself even, the response of fear is a good demonstration that some feel they are the Higher Power. I think this better explains what I mean.

    2. Being religious and truly seeking God can be two very different things. Lots of aggression and persecution has been in the name of religion. Anger and control, with the facade of religious righteousness, has caused a lot of suffering in our world for centuries. Still does.

      In contrast, truly seeking, believing in, and revering God is a personal endeavor. A choice. It will humble and teach and awaken. Lets me see past my own needs to the needs of others. It changes everything, gives me a sense of direction and gratitude. Heals what would otherwise seem unmanageable or impossible. Life brings incredible suffering. He gives me peace in the middle of it.

      Real faith can’t be developed by bludgeoning others with it. If anything, that drives them away. I don’t think that approach has much to do with God, more with misguided human anger, and control.

  4. JC, Think I see what you mean. It’s important to honour the transcendental, without suggesting, as some shrinks do, that being in touch with a higher power is symptomatic.

    I feel that psychosis is a situation where the brain is compromised by a disease or a stressful event that damages the filtering or inhibitory mechanisms. It is quite possible that when people hear voices they are hearing something coming from outside of themselves, If I am correct. It is like they are psychic but channeling disembodied nasty spirits. Maybe the ghosts of psychopaths! Wouldn’t it be strange if that were true?

      1. Joey,

        Good link. I hope you are doing well as I haven’t seen you post often, lately. I did respond in part to your question to me several weeks back, its located at that Topic, back in August. I had a lot going on with the Sis, things hectic with myself, a friend from Florida visiting and wanted to give your questionappropriate thought as there is not always an easy answer.

        I am glad to hear how much you are enjoying your job and after all this time your personal freedom. I decided to try and make these the best years of my life, just as I know these can be the best years of your life for you too.

        Regardless, of what you have endured, you have come out a winner, more in touch with your authentic self than most can ever aspire to. Your posts always full of wisdom and insight, I can tell how much work and how deep you have delved into healing against all odds. Above all, you are not staying stuck, you are continuing to grow and blossom. That is awesome, I am so happy for you.

        Perhaps, if you have some spare time, you could share one of your insightful poems. If I may ask, who do you find your most inspiring poet or poets?

        Be well and many Blessings Kindred Spirit

    1. To the group, I don’t believe the answers to things are religious in nature, but spiritual. The mention of religion was only to illustrate the parallel.

      Yes, I agree, it would be better if it were true.

  5. A Psalm Of Life

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
    Is our destined end or way;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
    Find us farther than to-day.

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.

    In the world’s broad field of battle,
    In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
    Be a hero in the strife!

    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act,— act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o’erhead!

    Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.


    1. Joey,

      Thank you, younger brother, you knew just what I needed to hear.

      These words of wisdom, Priceless.

      A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
      Seeing, shall take heart again.

      Let us, then, be up and doing,
      With a heart for any fate;
      Still achieving, still pursuing,
      Learn to labor and to wait.

    2. Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
      Was not spoken of the soul.
      I am not much of one for poetry, perhaps because I never really read any, but that is beautiful. Our physical body will indeed return to dust, but our spirit is not subject to time, at least that is what I believe. Life is for the living!

    1. Joey,

      Joe Navaro is an excellent writer and well experienced in the field of terrorism, his conclusions on the pathological, paranoid narcissist come with years of study and work in this field. I would recommend reading his works as it will open a whole new insight to the PMN’ thinking and dark recesses of their minds.

      Thanks for the link.

      1. I was looking for a sort of answer for what has happen to people in the U.S. while enjoying a concert. My heart goes out to all affected.
        I found the link, and it gave me some answers. Stanton Samnow says it is a scratch on a table, look at the table, Not the scratch.

  6. Joey,

    I agree with Samenow, however, he explains things on a secular level without the
    how God explains what is happening today from scripture.

    Matthew 24:12 (ESV) And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

    If you look at what is happening in this world, what is happening here is nothing. This world is on a collision course of destroying the planet. It is the heart of the CDMNSP at play here. Throughout society we have murdered and killed one another. There has always been blood and violence. However, with the increase of SIN and SELF LOVE the only thought is fulfill ones selfish desires of CONTROL ie., hate and death, instead of love and life we will see more of the above perpetrated on vast scales. We are isolated here in the US from what is happening around the world. The mass killings and genocide, look at what is really happening in the Middle East and Africa. This is the result of the morale decline of the world as a whole.

    2 Timothy 3King James Version (KJV)

    3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

    9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

    10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

    11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

    12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

    14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

    15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good work.

    1. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”

      “That the man of God my be perfect, thoroughly furnished to do all good work (can you please re-read the Old Testament)

      As I understand God as in the word ‘GOD” was created by The Council of Nicea probably by a bunch of pedophiles.

      My inner worth and being resides in me – and no MAN or GOD will caste me out or judge me for not being a human subservient to that God of the Bible -that’s his or IT’S story. Or retaining my humanity which is mine and mine alone. I don’t need a set of rules to know how to live in my own body, knowing, spirit and emotions and I defy any GOD to do so for that God is a narcissist and his name is Yahweh and it is GOD eh? And by choice – corrupted the human spirit/soul ever since. But not mine.

      Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine. I will die for my own. My own consciousness will guide me there. I am Love and I do not need anybody to dictate how I feel or how I should/would/could/should REACT or respond to their interaction with me. I will determine that myself.

      Over and OUT!

      I am sorry if I have caused any offense but I will not allow a book to determine who I am. I know who I am and above all WHAT I AM NOT!

      For in my rule of being only a narcissist TELLS you to bend under their authority.

      1. Dear Everybody I would like to sincerely apologize for the apparent harshness of my post. I have an intense love/hate relationship with exoteric religion especially the Old Testament.

        I would like to thank you sincerely BTOV for the timely reminder I am obviously still holding onto a wound from my primary school days relative to religion and I sincerely apologize for any offense I have caused you with my criticism.

        I would often laugh and joke about an altercation I had with a Catholic Priest when I was probably around age 7. To cut a long story short I was kicked out of religious instruction for questioning him on his demand I address him as Father and I pointed out “thou shalt call none other Father but me” anyway he just about wanted to kill me and I was immediately sent to the Principal’s office. I wasn’t catholic but I wasn’t happy about the state of things so I was sitting in on other religion instruction classes trying to come to terms with why they are all different if they are all apparently the same. As far as I was concerned it was a contradiction. That wasn’t really what my wound is about though, my wound is a result of my own father not supporting me and not hearing me. BINGO!

        I have signed up for the Narcissist Abuse Recovery Program by Melanie Tonia Evans and I have been working on myself which I why I have been very quiet of late. I’m uncovering a lot of stuff I never thought I had. I was arrogant to think I had healed myself in this regard. Since doing this program I am coming to realize I am nowhere near whole and healed and this is the beauty of this program. I am also realising my betrayal wound runs much deeper than I previously thought.

        I can thoroughly recommend this program to everybody who has suffered narc abuse. I am also discovering how and why I have been attracting abuse into my own life and I intend above all else, to put a stop to this once and for all.

        Have a great week-end guys and I apologize once again for rocking the apple cart. I’ve obviously got a big axe to grind so I’m about to go do it the right way!

        In all honesty it is very complimentary to what I am further learning about the human condition through Dr Gabor Mate’s book In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts very interesting and very tragic.

        1. Eudox,

          The majority of regular posters have been here for some time now and in a sense have become family, a family of understanding one another in their times of despair, turmoil and happiness. We are unique individuals just as a snowflakes and you are one of us.

          We have had our ups and downs, agreements and disagreements and most of all a good debate and many times I refer to it as banter is a good thing. We love you dearly, warts and all (smile). Sometimes this venue is the only place we have to come to know we will be accepted without being thrown out.

          All interactions can promote growth, when we rise above the CD mentality we take all opportunities in life as those of transcending and learning. I have to say in your comment there were statements I did agree with and others I would need more info in order to form a decision. Right now I am just so tired from dealing with the CD’s in my life and need a reprieve.

          I am glad you are finding additional resources that are helping you, I hope you will share your finds with us. We all grow, at least I hope, some stay in the same place only to repeat their behaviors, some grow a little and many sore to areas they never dreamed possible.

          I believe this is the message Joey was trying to get across in his recent poem to Lucy. We can become better people than we ever imagined had it not been for the tragedies we went through and it all remains in our hands to grow or recede into the depths of despair.

          No offense taken, hugs to you, know you are one of us and we are all Kindred Spirits.

        2. Eudox
          No offense taken here. It’s your opinion and your feelings. They’re yours. You’ve got passion and are a deep thinker

  7. This week I’m having to deal with the X regarding the sale of our home. First home was a legal nightmare to sell. Now this second home has an offer and of course he is standing firm on his price – we’ll probably lose the sale.
    All the bad emotions have come back. I feel physically sick again. He creates such chaos where there should be none. Dealing with him is so difficult. All involved with him scramble to his whims. He seems to try everything he can to be in charge and screw things up. He’s a nasty person.
    This home is the last piece of him. I will be so thrilled to get it (him) out of my life.
    Each contact with him is difficult for me to hold back what I really want to say. It’s taking much constraint on my part. I have to keep replies short, as short as possible. And business-like. I’ve gotten pretty good at it as time has passed.
    Again, I can’t say enough how important it is to release the toxic persons from your life, if possible.

    1. I agree Lucy to keep doing what you are doing. If you tell him what you think about him you will be revealing your true emotions and thoughts and better just to be methodical about it. Cross the t’s and dot the i’s and get it done. I am sure he would have real satisfaction if he saw he hit your buttons, he doesn’t deserve that. I do believe they are people to be pitied, but they do so much damage to others its hard to get to that place at times. Good you are getting this done and over with.

  8. Oh Lucy…Ugghhh. It’s like a horror movie, where everything appears to be resolved. Comforting, end of story type background music plays….and then…the hand reaches right out from the grave to pull you back into Hell!

    You’re handling it all really well. Best to do exactly what you are doing while trying to retain some philosophical detachment, I guess?? Anyone that toxic truly is a sad, sorry sack of s***. He will never be truly happy, or feel deep joy. The best he can hope for is amusement, a certain limited sensation of pleasure over acquistions, and ego drunkeness. But that’s it.

    Will he ever feel the deep joy we all experience when we transcend ourselves, lose ourselves through reflection or contemplation? Will S***bag ever gaze at a sunset with feelings of awe and deep pleasure? Nope. That’s beyond him now. For every time somebody chooses to harm others they damage their own soul and distance themselves from the source of joy. At least that is my take on these lowlifes. They really are more to be pitied.

    The more I read about the nature of our souls, the more I am convinced that anger is totally appropriate when having to deal with them. But after that is passed we DO realize that they are the embodiment of total all around tragedy. And they bring it all on themselves and others. Being cruel, regardless of neurological predisposition is still a choice.

    1. Lucy,

      Philosophical detachment will never work, the are just words. It must be the unbearable withdrawal of what should have, could have and never was meant to be, the deep internal work. It must be the hardest work one will ever be required to do and instead of looking at the pathetic life path SB choose you must instead look into yourself, deep within and master all the ghosts in our subconscious that pull us into that state of being of anger and reactive.

      Above all do not give SB the pathetic warped child he is any of your positive energy. I say this from a place of having been there and struggling for my positive and rightful position. Refuse any emotional energy, become a robotic extension, the one he always wanted you to be. Perform your tasks with no emotion, as much emotion as filing a case folder away.

      Closed, done ,nada, easier said than done. My friend, I took your advise with the Sis, the best advise you could have ever given me, reverse it now and use on yourself. Its not about selling the house its about control and destroying you, hanging onto you, giving the knife the last turn hoping it will be your death.

      Turn it around and use this as a strength, a strength to grow beyond and maintain the freedom of life and soul you have salvaged. You haven’t been to hell my friend, he wants to take you there and will try his best. He has no power over you, we only think they do. You made it to the other side, all this is smoke and mirrors to hopefully ruin you. Yes, you will probably lose more $$ but what are $$ worth when you lose sleep, lose joy, peace, your health through stress and anxiety and above all your life force.

      SB gets no satisfaction, ever, joy or happiness, regardless how perverted the gains may seem to be, there is NO acquisition of drunken pleasure, SB is pure hate, pure evil, there is no drug supply that can effect the desolate wasteland within the empty shell SB is.

      Anger may get you by, however, the act of anger will draw positive energy, what one must acquire is indifference. An indifference that can withstand the most toxic behaviors expressed by SB will be your total defense. In the end you retain the position of power over yourself. The position of power over you, even after the divorce SB’s main objective, is destroying you, SB cannot stand losing. As long as there is a tie, SB will always have in the back of his mind to destroy you or others, it is IMO…………

      Know inside SB lost from the beginning, it has been a long hard journey for you and you have grown immensely, please whatever you do, don’t let him find a vulnerable spot. SB can’t touch you if you rise to the next level of growth. I could had won the last war with the SB’s I deal with, but what for, it was time to cut the cord, the umbilical cord to all of them and the connection was through Sis. I could had cleaned their clocks, the ground rules were set and I had documented well, what for? You my friend said to let go, words of wisdom. Thank you. Into the future I still have unfinished business and that is all it is unfinished.

      Keep strong sister, don’t give your power or energy away. Look deep into you and use this as an opportunity to become stronger. Now I must apply my words to myself. Easier said than done. Be good to yourself.

      Hugs dear one…..

    2. Hi Lisa,

      According to Mate the brains of psychopaths as in the ones made, some may very well be born I think it’s a field that is highly contentious. I was once of the school that maintained they are born. Anyway getting back to Mate, it has been established that during the first 3 years of our lives our brains are still forming. These years are critical because that’s when our entire neurology is still under formation. If infants are not getting enough emotional nurture their limbic system will not fully activate which is what generates empathy. Further it’s been shown that people who are hard core addicts and/or subject to certain maladaptive behavioral traits such as narcissism (Mate doesn’t ever use this term) have the same malfunction in the same parts of the brain as shown in fMFI and PET scans used by Robert Hare PhD showing anomalies in psychopaths. Heavy shit I tell ya.

      So when you say they are cruel regardless of neurological predisposition you are probably dead right. I believe they certainly have a choice here. What they don’t apparently have a choice in is empathy. If they had empathy to start with then maybe they would not chose to be cruel.

      What we are dealing with in relation to these people are frozen adult children but in the case of Cluster B disorders they are malicious frozen adult children. Basically they are locked into survival programs and that’s the tragedy for all of us because there are so dam many of them.

  9. Btov,

    I think of people like CD’s as being almost purely sensation seeking and ego driven because they are profoundly empty. They become very vindictive if you come between them and what they desire, though, for sure!

    But pure sadistic evil, out of the blue? The sadistic Psychopathic type definitely fits the bill. The rest are just a** clowns who want what they want, and become emptier and emptier and creepier and selfish over time.

    Part of philosophical detachment requires keeping the CD’s in perspective. Most of them are small children who never grew up. That, in itself is scary enough. Toddlers in adult clothing.

    1. LisaO,

      A somewhat fitting description of a CD. I didn’t use the word sadistic either. Also, I was talking about Lucy’s X SB and also the SB’s I deal with. I do know what they are, the MNSP’s……… The ones you have dealt with I can’t comment on as I don’t have enough info, shall I say, to form an opinion……

      Keep in mind their are ones that are beyond scary children, there are predators. Never underestimate, remember too, CD children also don’t have the conscience level of normal children, although they know what they do is wrong.

      Joey put up an excellent link, suggestion, read some of Navarro’s work, your eyes may open. Another source, go speak to the Women at the shelters and see what they say, talk to the people at the crimes labs that investigate homicides. I disagree, this has nothing to do with philosophical detachment at all…………….. Talk with the officers that deal with these sorts and it is the most dreaded call they get and believe me they can smell it.

      Get down into the internals of whom and what I am commenting on and these are true criminals walking among us, sleeping with the enemy, what will set them off is anyone’s guess, perhaps, if you know the answers you might share, this would be of immense help to the victims and authorities who clean up after these “scary” children who go off. Hmmm, perhaps that was one of those scary children that went off on Sunday, hmm…. how old was he? After 60 plus years the sensational CD child goes off?????

      “But pure sadistic evil, out of the blue?” I don’t have any other words for it but evil. Yes, the CD and NMSP can go off out of the blue, I think you made my point. Forewarned is Forearmed.

      As I have repeated : NEVER, EVER, UNDERESTIMATE !!!!!!!!!
      Especially, when all the indicators are screaming.

      1. Btov,

        I define “evil” as intent to cause pain for NO other reason than the enjoyment of another’s suffering, like serial killers who torture people.

        Most CD’s are mean and vindictive if you get in their way. It’s a matter of definition. I think what they do is horrible but I reserve evil for sadistic psychopaths. But, your definition might make more sense.

        Psychopaths are definitely predators — and that is scary as heck because they are also cool enough and good enough actors to be able to fool people I to trusting them.

        But…and I might be wrong. I feel that most CDs are self centered Narcissists, and they remind me of little children, if they are overt. If they are covert manipulators, they are cognitively more mature and extremely dangerous, in terms of relationship.

        I hope you don’t think I am in anyway diminishing the Hell that life with any CD represents. The shock and awe of finding out you have engaged a sadistic psycho, temporarily, is awful enough. But the slow wearing away of their partner: the cruelty, and nastiness of living with an arrogant Narcissist, might be equally brutal, depending on the circumstances.

        I hope you don’t mind me asking. What happened with your sister? Can you point me to a post describing what happened? Have you cut ties with her? That has to hurt. You put so much into her. Your efforts were really admirable!

  10. I am thinking of Passive Aggressive guy again and how extremely strange it was to be in a relationship with someone who conceals everything, wants things they can’t or won’t express, evades direct questions and is totally contrary. What a series of confusions!

    Maybe easier than being with someone who is openly awful. I did want to bang my head against the wall frequently though. I certainly didn’t understand what was going on and was always trying to reason with him… no avail. They resist logic if it doesn’t conform to their desires.

  11. Thanks for all the words of encouragement.

    So here I sit, it’s 4:25, the offer on the bid is good till 5:00, SB has said what he wants to counter offer but has yet signed and sent the paperwork in, which I need to sign after he does, in the next 35 minutes.
    He enjoys messing with us, causing undue anxiety. He gets a thrill out of that. Meanwhile, here I sit at my computer waiting for the “ding” that he has signed the paperwork and sent it ready for me to sign.
    Always toying, berating, belittling. And for what? His sick pleasure. I’m going to need a drink tonight.

    1. Lucy,

      Your once upon a time knight in shining armor turned out to be an asshole wearing aluminum foil, hang on it gets easier and then it gets okay and then it feels like freedom.

    2. What an ass! But what a relief, at the same time! You are coming to the end of a long twisty turny painful road! Every time I read your posts I was amazed at how strong you are. If it were me, I would have had to be fitted with a wrap around jacket and thrown into a rubber room!

      1. He’s a kill-joy, that’s for sure. And I’ve had the occasional medication to calm the nerves. Had a half bottle of wine last night. It really is more than I can handle and stay healthy. People like him MAKE A PERSON SICK. That’s why I urge anyone dealing with an intolerable CD to get away if you can. Life can be joyful.

        1. Lucy,
          SB is toxic poison and his poisonous venom can kill you. Stress alone and and the residual medical issues that can pop up in the future as a result of the poisons are numerous. Try to care for yourself as much as possible, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and vitamin C along with other supplements.

          I am so sorry you have to go through all this. Yes, SB is evil indeed, what he will try to serve up for desert, only time will reveal.

        2. Lucy

          Success Is Counted Sweetest

          Poem by Emily Dickinson

          Success is counted sweetest
          By those who ne’er succeed.
          To comprehend a nectar
          Requires sorest need.

          Not one of all the purple Host
          Who took the Flag today
          Can tell the definition
          So clear of Victory

          As he defeated–dying–
          On whose forbidden ear
          The distant strains of triumph
          Burst agonized and clear!



          1. Joey,

            Thanks for the poem. I don’t understand poetry so well so I’ll have to try to decipher this one. Thanks for thinking of me.

          2. Joey,

            I had to have help on internet to understand.
            My situation on point – totally.

  12. And again he’s yanking my chain today. Sitting on an offer, he’s going to get every penny he’s asked for but yet is going to wait to the last minute to sign the documents. He’s thinking of ways to manipulate the situation. I know him head too well.
    I have a stomach ache, diarrhea from the stress this mad man gives me. This is his last hold on me. I guess it’s tough for the monster to let go of its prey. He enjoys so much to toy with me, like a cat and mouse.

    1. Lucy, you still have your sense of humor, and it my opinion it shows strength and resiliency to overcome this idiot. Just think if it hadn’t been for him in your life you probably wouldn’t have bothered learning how to spell narcissist.

    2. Lucy,

      Since SB is being unreasonable in the sale your attorney can petition the judge for SB to sign, if SB doesn’t sign the Judge can hold SB in contempt of a court order and the Judge can sign the order without SB’s signature. It’s done all the time.

      1. The judge hold him in contempt? I’m this circuit what a joke. You can get away with anything. Anyway, contract is signed. I had to pay him off because he’d rather lose the sale over 6,500. Unbelievable. CONTRACT IS SIGNED!! now if I can get though the closing I’ve learned how to deal with manipulation. I thought of what might happen, what he’s do, was prepared for it and BAM got it done! Will be drinking Champaign tonight and eating from my favorite pizza place with a good friend.

        1. Champagne, pizza, a good friend and laughter is the perfect cure for what ails you! (I prefer a large glass of cold milk or beer with my pizza but whatever floats your boat). Have a great time!

      2. I hope to never step foot on this circuit court system ever again. What a waste of time and money. Lawyers get basically my assets. I’ve been on a lose lose situation from the beginning and have e no faith in my circuit. It’s a big money loser

        1. Lucy,
          There are no winners except for the lawyers and the system. They know just how much they can suck from you. I am so happy this is behind you.
          Yes, we lose big time to get free of the leeches. Have a glass of champagne for me too. Thank you, I will get through all of this too, regardless, I have the prize, I have my spirit and my soul and all intact.

          Hugs and am happy for you.

  13. BOTV
    how are you feeling? I imagine it will take several weeks to start feeling the tension go away. But it will happen and you will begin to heal. Right Sisters and Brothers?

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