Heartless Thinking Makes Heartless Characters
Heartless Characters can be largely born the way they are. That is, the most disturbed among us have an innately impaired capacity to care. But folks lacking in empathy also tend to think in certain ways. And those ways of thinking lead them to form problematic attitudes and patterns of behavior. Moreover, engaging in those patterns both engenders and reinforces heartlessness.
You can find many articles on the blog about the thinking errors of disturbed characters. Some ways of thinking particularly contribute to increased heartlessness. So, if you want to nurture empathy in a young person, you have to be mindful of how they’re tending to think.
Heartless Characters Think Egocentrically, Grandiosely, and Possessively
I talk a lot about problematic ways of thinking in Character Disturbance and In Sheep’s Clothing. And as I mentioned above, you can also learn more about them in many articles on this blog. (See, for example: Egocentric Thinking and The Possessive Thinking of The Disturbed Character.)
Egocentric thinking involves focusing so much on yourself and what you want that you just don’t think much about others. Egocentric thinkers never stop to consider someone else’s wants or needs. They have tunnel vision. They concern themselves only with pursuing their own agendas.
What some call egomaniacal thinking involves thinking so highly of yourself that you get to feeling unhealthily special, important, even superior. Such thinking can easily lead to a sense of entitlement. You can get to feeling above the rules. That is, you can come to believe you have the right to do whatever you please without concern for how it impacts others.
Possessive thinking is thinking generally involves two components. Possessive thinkers firstly tend to objectify others. That is, they see people in terms as either being desirable objects to possess or undesirable objects they can dispense with easily. Possessive thinkers are also, therefore, heartless thinkers. They concern themselves with only what the other person can do for them. There might be a lot of desire in the relationship, but not much genuine caring.
Heartless Characters in Relationships
Many see the capacity to care as the essence of what makes us human. But folks who think too egocentrically, egomaniacally, and possessively have a hard time developing that quality.
Relationships with heartless characters follow a typical course. First, the impaired character finds something in you that they really desire. Maybe your physical beauty intrigues them. Maybe they find your talents an asset. Whatever the reason, they like what they see and want to possess it. Whether or not they might actually be good for you doesn’t factor into things. They care only about what you might bring to them. Your purpose is to feed their ego. But you don’t know this at the time. You get seduced by the tremendous interest they show in you. And most importantly, you mistake the interest for caring.
Over time, you come to know where you really stand with folks who can’t really care. And you eventually come to realize how utterly expendable you are, especially if you’ve outlived your usefulness. From the beginning, heartless types use and abuse. But most good-natured folks can’t see it until it’s too late. In the coming weeks I’ll have more to say about this. (For more on this topic read: How Did We End Up Here?)
Character Matters will air live Sunday, November 5 at 7 pm Eastern. I can take your calls at (501) 258-8326.
As always, my sincere thanks for recommending my books and this blog to others. Your goodwill is the sole reason for the longevity and popularity of my work.