Disturbed Characters Abuse Power

The Lust for Power

We all want some measure of power and control in our lives. That’s natural. We live in a hostile and often cruel world. And no healthy person wants to be completely at the mercy of such a world. However, some character types have a troubling relationship with power. They tend to seek it too rabidly. They pursue it at all costs. Moreover, they tend to seek it for its own sake. And, unfortunately, when such folks secure it they’re prone to abusing it. That’s the very nature of character disturbance.

Wanting a necessary measure of power in your life is one thing. But lusting for it is quite another. Folks with a lust for power are never satisfied. The more they get, the more they want. They worship it as an idol. And it then becomes an end in itself. It ceases to be a way to protect and advance life. Lust always has its price.

Power and Character

A famous assertion is attributed to Lord Acton. He suggested that power inherently tends to corrupt a person. And he added that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” He drew his conclusions from his political observations. But is his deduction correct? Is power itself an inherently corrupting commodity? And if that’s true, should we all do our best to shun it?

Abraham Lincoln offered a different perspective on power and character. He suggested that if you want to know a person or test their character, grant them some power. What they do with it will tell you all you really need to know.

Years of experience have taught me that Lincoln had it more right than Acton. Power itself is not inherently corrupting. If it were, no infant child would have a chance to survive. You see, the power a caretaker has over such, fragile, vulnerable life is absolute. And the person possessing it knows they have it. Fortunately, most caretakers don’t let it go to their heads. Nor do they abuse it. There are exceptions, of course. And in our character disturbed times the exceptions are far too many. But most folks still accept the power afforded them with awe and trepidation. They know the influence they wield. And they’re humbled by the tremendous responsibility accompanying it. That is, if humility, a reverence for life, and a sense of obligation are aspects of their character.

(Find more on this topic in both Character Disturbance and In Sheep’s Clothing.)

Abusers of Power

There are many ways to abuse power in relationships. That’s true whether you’re talking about workplace relationships, intimate relationships, or even political and governmental affairs. So many times we face imbalances of power. And that’s why character matters so much. Ideally, we’d like to thing that someone with power over us would never abuse it. But we live in very character-impaired times. Accordingly, abuses of power are pretty common.

Narcissists of the malignant variety severely lack empathy. So, they don’t care how others feel or are affected by their actions. And because they idolize power, they derive great satisfaction lording it over others. It makes them feel bigger, stronger – superior. They’re quick to use the power they have to coerce deference and to punish those who resist. Overtly, they may bow to those who appear willing to bow to them. But this is purely practical, tactical. In their hearts, they bow to no one. And while they expect others to kneel to them, in their hearts they actually hold disdain for those who do.

Malignant narcissists use and abuse others in relationships. Others only have value to them if they feed their already inflated egos. You can expect them to abuse any power they secure. And that’s not because power corrupted them. They’re already corrupt – morally bankrupt. And we err when we afford or surrender power to such folks. They might promise us the moon if will only give them a chance to wield it. But it behooves us to be wary. And that’s because they seek it only for their own gain. The welfare of others doesn’t really concern them. (See also: Sound Leadership Derives from Character.)

Entrusting Power

Nowadays, you have to be particularly careful about entrusting power. And it behooves you to be mindful how anyone you afford a measure of power uses it. That, as Lincoln asserted, is how you know their true character.

Our social world is full of necessary inter-dependence. Therefore, we’re all vulnerable to those who wield authority and influence over us. Sometimes, we can’t just separate ourselves from those who would abuse their power. So, we need to have strong support and protections in place. Still, the surest way to avoid abuse is steer clear of rabid power seekers. You just don’t want to entrust power to someone who craves it too badly.

Perhaps there’s no place where power and character prove more important than our political and governmental affairs. And if there’s anything the many institutional abuses of power we’ve witnessed should have taught us it’s how much character matters. It matters today more than ever. We’ve tried crafting rules limiting power. But the corrupt always find ways around the rules. Besides, rules and structures are not ultimately our best protection. We need to remember the lesson of the vulnerable infant. We’re safe only when someone we have to entrust with power has the character to wield it responsibly.

Tidbits

The pilot program on spiritual growth issues had to be postponed. Electricity outages in Florida due to Hurricane Michael created the technical issues. I’ll post some information as soon as the program is rescheduled.

 

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12 thoughts on “Disturbed Characters Abuse Power

  1. Drove past the mothers house today, it is on my way to the beach, just caught sight of the front of the house.
    Looks like it has just been through hurricane florence. The front window is smashed,the window frames are fcked. Looks like no one has taken any interest in doing some basic maintenance, like painting.

    It is starting to look like sh*t hole

    I do like irony

    We’re safe only when someone we have to entrust with power has the character to wield it responsibly.

    1. Joey,
      What do you suppose is going on over at her house? Is there no one looking after her? Maybe she’s run all the good people off.

      1. Lucy

        She died in 2017, the brother grime has it,I think. The Lord only knows. I have not spoken or contacted in 3 1/2 yrs. Fck Knows ! I saw grime briefly weeks ago, but he ran away.
        The thing is :
        IT DO’NT LOOK GOOD, BUT !

        ” IT AN’NT MY PROBLEM”

        1. Joey,

          That’s right, you ran into the brother and he ran off. So odd.
          It’s got to be difficult seeing the house, the brother, all those emotions stir up. Seems to be reminders of our past everywhere. We can’t run from it, only deal with it, as you well know.

          1. Joey,

            I think your brother ran because he is a coward. The brother knows what went on in that house all those years and he did nothing. Depending on his personality he may have feelings of guilt. Then, again you are the scapegoat and will remain so, as its easy to blame you for anything and everything.

            Also, the brother has contact with the father and know doubt is looking for an inheritance. Last thing he wants to do is share it. Also, the last thing he would want is for you to have a relationship with the father and have to share.

            There is a lot going on here and I can only speculate from what you have said in the past. Know this, you are not the character disturbed individual, it is them (family).

            I am glad you are posting these things and getting reinforcement, something the CD Family didn’t count on. The CD family didn’t expect you to find Dr. Simons Blog and get the support and validation you needed. I am sure the CD family thought you to be a broken mess. It becomes even more difficult for the CD family to see you prosper and grow. Believe me the CD family knows it wasn’t you.

            The CD family feels more comfortable believing a lie rather than facing the truth and taking responsibility… The family lacks character and you my little Brother are a giant with character…

            Hugs

  2. Lucy/BTOV

    YOU BOTH ARE VERY KIND. I THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

    There is alot of good going my way at the moment. The only thing I have that is not good is that I spend a great deal of Time alone.

    Your opinions are of great value to me, I have Know one else to tell really, other than my mate at work, ( I am teaching him about ENTITLEMENT and he is starting to see the truth about some people)

    SO A BIG THANK YOU BOTH
    by Abby Heard

    I don’t know how to say this,
    but I thank you very much,
    for always being there for me,
    your gentle, friendly touch.

    You helped me,
    to get better,
    and stop what I regret,
    you helped me through the hard times,
    that, I can’t forget.

    You listened to my problems,
    in a kind and caring way,
    and without you both,
    I would not be smiling today.

    I trust you with my secrets,
    that no one has been told,
    I trust you with my feelings,
    your time is pure gold,
    in my heart, your words I’ll take,
    as time did unfold,
    I will never forget you both,
    even when I’m grey and old.

    Thank You

    1. Joey,
      Thanks for that. I am touched.
      I can relate and understand much of what you’ve spoke about. Our stories are bizarre aren’t they, but they happen.
      You, as I, still carry the anger for what our abusers have done. I think in time it will become more minimal, at least I hope so. It doesn’t feel good to carry anger, but we have reason to feel it, so we do. In time, just like grief and other heavy emotions, I really hope it becomes minimal!
      It feels good to thrive doesn’t it? There is Joey in the World!

      1. JOey,

        I have to thank you for being there for me to. I think a lot you to, you have encouraged and helped me in many ways. I feel privileged to know you and to be your friend.

        From me to you, Big Hugs, and many prayers of peace, joy, happiness, and success sent for you, across what is becoming a small ocean.

    2. Joey,
      I too, know what it feels like to be the scapegoat! I once was at a store and the wicked witch in my family could’ve walked right by me into the store. No doubt I would not bother with such a woman ever again. But no, she literally chose to take the long way around me and was actually tip toeing on the cement into the store???? HMMMM? Wonder why someone would go to such lengths? Yeah, you bet feeling a little like maybe retribution is coming her way? Not from me though, everyone in my life and there are a lot of messed up people in my families, I put them in the hands of God to deal with.

      Joey, you are free. You’re attitude is evidence of that. I’m glad for all of us talking to each other, giving each other hope and encouragement!!! I am grateful for all of you on here!

  3. Regarding several experiences reported by Joey, Priscilla and others, about the ex-tormentors who now bolt away or tip-toe around…

    These are people who have confrontational thinking where every interaction is win/lose. So, they simply avoid stronger adversaries. Especially those adversaries who have grown stronger over time.
    Make no mistake. When you are down and weak for any reason, those ghouls will be back to suck the remaining life out of you.

    1. Andy,

      First, glad to hear from you, was beginning to worry a little, you always have such powerful insight and hope you are well.

      You are so right, most CD are confrontational people and steam roll over others and if they know you are down/weak will come in for the kill. This is where it is imperative we regain our strength and empower ourselves and above all never show fear.

      So very true and like you said, they are bloodsucking Ghouls. Ghouls portray the CD perfectly as I picture a Ghoul from the old movies. A lifeless, dead, empty caricature posing as a human.

      Hugs Andy and glad to hear from you…

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