Lingering Gaslighting Effects
Folks who’ve managed to disentangle themselves from a covert, manipulative partner can still suffer lingering gaslighting effects. I’ve written about gaslighting numerous times. It’s the crazy-making phenomenon you experience with skilled manipulators. Covert aggressors are adept at dominating in subtle, underhanded ways. And when you begin getting clued in, they know just what tactics to use to make you question yourself. You can even begin to question your very sanity! (See: Chapter 9, especially pp. 133-137, In Sheep’s Clothing.) But even after you’ve come to see things as they really are, because of years of self-questioning, deep doubts can remain.
Lingering gaslighting effects make you doubt yourself and your judgment even after coming to know better. And they can also make you question your ability to judge people in general, and when it’s truly safe to trust again. That’s primarily why I’ve written so many books and articles about character. It’s the most important thing to a relationship. And it’s a crucial part of emotional, psychological, and spiritual health. But discerning good character is a challenging task in our times. And finding a potential partner with enough character health to make a relationship work and last is particularly challenging. (See also: Mistaking Attractive Traits for Character.) That task gets really complicated when you’re still doubting yourself and struggling with trust issues in general.
Why Character Matters So Much
As I say time and time again on my podcasts and in my posts, character matters. It matters more than anything. Only when we reclaim its importance, all that it takes to forge it, nurture it, sustain it, etc., will we begin saving ourselves, and indeed the whole world, a lot of senseless heartache.
Character matters because it’s like a psychological immune system. With solid character, we can navigate life’s inevitable storms and trials more easily, learning valuable lessons and growing even stronger in the process. Moreover, if we’re of noble character, we don’t add to our already ample problems as much. Character is a huge “win” for everyone. That’s why I pray that Essentials for the Journey eventually enjoys the widespread acceptance of my earlier works. The book isn’t just for folks who have a lot of character growing to do. It’s also for fairly decent folks trying to discern where they are on their growth path and what they still need to do to become all that they can be.
Did You Miss Something?
This week’s edition of Character Matters was a special live broadcast. If you missed it, you can still access the recording on my professional Facebook Page.