Playing on Your Good Nature

When Your Good Nature is a Liability

Manipulative characters are adept at playing on your good nature.  In fact most of the tactics they use, and that I outline in In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disturbance can’t work well unless the person on the receiving end of them is conscientious. While having a good nature is laudible indeed, sadly, sometimes, it can be a liability. That’s especially true in a character-impaired world where some folks are eager to use your best qualities against you.

Self-Love through Limit and Boundary-Setting

Conscientious, good-natured people tend to want to see the best in others. They easily afford others the benefit of the doubt. They don’t want to believe the worst. And they doubt their own gut hunches when something tells them they’re being played. Manipulative characters know this. And playing on your good nature makes exerting power and control over you much easier than it might otherwise be.

As trite as it might seem, in any situation, love – genuine love – is always the right response. But that includes proper self-love, too. And to love yourself well in a character-impaired world you have to be prepared and equipped to set the right boundaries and limits. Too many folks, especially abuse victims, try too hard to understand. Worse, they try to get their abusive partners to undersand, too – to “see” the error of their ways.” This is a pointless and self-defeating exercise. And well-meaning therapists who don’t really understand character disturbance make the same mistake, too.

The Remedy and Healing is in the Action You Take

The secret to personal empowerment is investing your time, energy and focus where you truly have power: your choices and actions. That’s not to say that there won’t be consequences. There are always consequences. And when you’re dealing with disturbed and disordered characters, those consequences can be truly daunting. Still, your power resides in taking action, which is why you have to prepare for consequences. (See, particularly, the tools of empowerment section, In Sheep’s Clothing.)

7 thoughts on “Playing on Your Good Nature

  1. I agree. Sometimes it goes beyond. It is also playing on your good character. Often finding subtle ways pointing out you character flaws to justify your own. That along with intense gaslighting . As someone who used to think that most people are genuinely good and honest where it counts. I have learned this the very hard way.

    1. Yes, people who have some major character flaws trying to point out that you’re NOT perfect either is them trying to deflect the issue at hand.
      I think it’s quite interesting that when someone causes a major conflict and you confront them, them pointing out your flaws at that point rather than say…They confronted you first with what you did???
      Mainly because what imperfection you have is not a problem per say in the relationship?
      Just a thought!

      1. Yes, that is so true. My “character flaws” always seemed to be the center of attention when I would confront them about something. Like, if I discovered porn or bits of information about an infidelity. It immediately became about me being too jealous or too frigid or uncaring. A newly discovered lie was me being unforgiving. A boundary set about my time then turned into me being too controlling or uncompromising. After 30 years of him convincing not only me, but everyone we know that I am this horrible, unforgiving, and controlling person I am starting to gain some clarity. But it is slow and painful. Articles and comments like this help me stay entered.

        1. So sorry you’ve had to experience this. It’s truly awful. It’s heartening to see that you’re beginning to gain some clarity. The problem with the manipulation tactics that you describe is that they are incredibly effective with those who are willing to admit they have flaws and want to be better. However, once you see that can be true and at the same time not relevant to the issue at hand, you see the manipulation, and that’s the beginning of dealing with it more effectively.

  2. This is so well said and a realisation I only had recently. The best way I can explain my experiences is that my heart has been weaponised against me my entire life! Just found your work this week and ordered one of your book. Thank you for being the voice of reason amongst so much bullshit info out there.

    1. Good luck. In Sheep’s Clothing was an eye opener for me. Invaluable read. Good luck. There are many things in there that brought up a lot of emotions in me. One thing I learned the hard way. I thought by sharing the information with the unmentioned person and with others he turned against me that somehow they would “see”. That was a huge mistake that caused me many more years of torment.

  3. OMG I need this kind of therapy I need this group therapy joints of things because I’m thinking there really is something wrong with me

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