I’ve been posting a series of articles describing the dysfunctional ways disturbed characters tend to think and how those distorted ways of thinking are responsible for many of the problems people experience in their relationships with such characters. I have already outlined over a dozen major “thinking errors” common to individuals with disturbances of character. Some of these include prideful thinking, hedonistic thinking, and combative thinking:
- Prideful Thinking
- Hedonistic Thinking
- Having to Win: The Combative Thinking of the Disturbed Character
Perhaps one of the most insidious yet pervasive ways of thinking that disturbed characters frequently engage in is what I call “quick and easy” thinking. The disordered character is forever looking for shortcuts. That’s because such characters detest labor and effort, most especially the kind of effort commonly referred to as labors of love (i.e., investing time and energy in an endeavor primarily for the benefit of someone else or the long-term benefit of all). So, when they want something, disturbed characters frequently think about how they’ll get it the quick and easy way. Sometimes, they even think of it as a badge of honor if they manage to “con” somebody out of something instead of securing it legitimately through hard work. The disturbed character would much rather cheat than earn.
Always wanting something for nothing, disturbed characters expect to pay the least for the things in life that are worth the most. The most disordered characters among us will attempt to command “instant respect” at the point of a gun but won’t lift a finger to earn the genuine respect of society by developing their own characters and making a meaningful contribution to society. They want trust without being willing to habitually do the things that engender trust. In short, they want all sorts of things that have value but they’re simply not willing to pay for them.
Even though they detest work and effort, disturbed characters will sometimes expend energy, especially when they think there’s something in it for them, when they think the payoff will be relatively quick, or when they think their effort will allow them to take advantage of others. However, as I’ve stated numerous times in my workshops, in general, their attitudes toward labor and their desire for immediate reward only lead them to regard W-O-R-K as the most distasteful four-letter word. Their habitual ways of thinking and behaving in this area engenders a pervasive attitude of disrespect for the value of work and effort. Such attitudes allow them to view others who have worked hard and achieved as just plain “lucky” and no more worthy of respect than they are. These attitudes also make it easier for them to justify trying to take something they haven’t rightfully earned.