Manipulative Characters and Authenticity
The manipulative personality is a particular breed of character. Most folks manipulate to some degree. But some folks “con” as a lifestyle. Such disturbed characters get the things they want from people through deception and trickery. They are who they are, which I suppose makes them “authentic” in one regard. But they’re not who they appear to be when they present themselves to you. So that makes them inherently dishonest – proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing.
You can be manipulative without intending to be. But manipulative personalities generally know what they’re doing. They fight for what they want in subtle, underhanded, or dirty ways. Such behavior defines covert-aggression. Realizing what they’re up to with their clever tactics is the secret to personal empowerment. And cluing folks in on the nature and tactics of manipulative personalities is why I wrote In Sheep’s Clothing.
Authenticity Is Necessary but not Sufficient for Character
As the “10th Commandment” asserts, it’s important to be authentic, genuine, sincere. Manipulative personalities are inherently non-authentic in the way they present themselves. But is authenticity itself sufficient for good character? It most definitely is not. I can sincerely be an egomaniac who flaunts my purported greatness without reservation. Or I can be a tenacious warrior who has no compunction about running over others to secure my goals. Just being authentically who you are doesn’t make you a decent person.
To have character integrity you have to not only be genuine but also principled. Moreover, to be properly principled you have to both respect and be willing to subordinate yourself to some “higher power” or authority. Ultimately, the mark of the disturbed character is their deficient or absent recognition of and submission to a higher power.
All The “Commandments” Work Together
As you can see, all the “commandments we’ve been talking about for weeks now work together. They not only complement one another, they dynamically interact with and reinforce each other. They’re truly the “building blocks” of character. And each has to be mastered to a certain degree before others can be understood and embraced.
I’ll have some concluding words on the “10 Commandments” of Character next week.
Character Matters on Sunday, March 5, 2017 will be a rebroadcast of an earlier program. Therefore, no calls can be taken.
And be sure to check out my books and other timely articles on this blog. I appreciate all of you who recommend the books and articles to others.