Relationships with heartless characters follow a typical course. You get seduced by the tremendous interest someone shows in you. And most importantly, you mistake the interest for caring. Only later do you realize how utterly expendable you are, especially once you’ve outlived your usefulness.
A manipulator can be so confident of someone’s likely response that they don’t hesitate to show their hand. But most of the time, manipulators get their way by hiding their true agendas. They’re out to win, dominate, and control, but don’t want to appear so. They cloak their aggressive intentions in a variety of clever tactics. And these tactics produce the “gaslighting” effect.
Grandiose narcissists so wantonly use and abuse because they have little heart. They lack empathy. And they have little shame. And the more lacking they are in these things, the more easily they exploit.
Some see the narcissist as “a legend in their own mind.” And because the way a narcissist views their self-worth and capabilities is almost always inflated, it can indeed be a pretty ugly picture when their grandiose illusions are shattered.
No problem has a chance of being successfully ameliorated until and unless it’s correctly identified, accurately labeled, and confronted in the manner most likely to promote constructive resolution.
The current edition of “Dame” magazine features some of my thoughts on gaslighting and what makes certain personalities use this manipulation tactic.
A 6-hour “webinar is being planned for September 24, 2015. More details will be available in the coming weeks.
For a long time it was assumed that everyone struggled with social fears and tenuous self-esteem. It was therefore natural to further assume, that any perceived criticism would only invite a person to unconsciously mount “defenses” against what they regarded as attacks on their already impaired self-image. And while such scenarios can and do still occur, they’re nowhere near as common as they once were.
Depending upon what traits and tendencies tend to be more prevalent in their overall makeup, living with a borderline personality can present some very unique challenges.
There’s a dynamic interaction between the borderline individual’s innate predispositions and the traumatic early history they have typically experienced. It’s hard enough for a person who tends to react strongly and erratically, tends to think dialectically, and is prone to mentally splitting unitary realities into polar opposites to get a solid sense of what the world is like and how to deal with it. But when you put such an individual into an environment where there is actually is no safety or consistency, you have a recipe for genuine disaster when it comes to personality formation and solidification.
Programs that employ CBT principles have a good chance of doing some good. They at least have a better chance than those programs that operate from the traditional misguided perspective that abusers are wounded, love-hungry, insecure, self-esteem-deficient individuals, out of touch with their feelings, lacking in communication skills, and who simply know no other way to cope. But even some of the better CBT-based programs have some disturbing weaknesses. That’s partly because they often focus so heavily on the person’s thinking patterns and attitudes and not directly or intensely enough on their typical behavior patterns. It’s also because the prevailing but erroneous perspective guiding their structure is that anger is always the main precipitant of aggressive behavior.