There’s been a lot of media hype about psychopaths in recent weeks. But true psychopaths are neither as common nor as easy to identify as some in the popular media would have you believe. You have to really understand those devoid of empathy, remorse, and conscience in order to minimize the risk of victimization.
Neurotics have a big sense of right and wrong, set high standards for themselves, and sometimes proverbially carry the world on their shoulders. In contrast, disturbed and disordered characters have a remarkably impaired, immature, or underdeveloped conscience. In some extreme cases, conscience can be absent altogether and even the capacity to form a conscience nonexistent.
Assertive behavior is a key element of healthy, independent, adult functioning. But because asserting oneself is a form of “fighting” for one’s legitimate needs, it’s easy to get confused about the difference between aggressive and assertive behavior.
“Character Disturbance” presents a framework by which almost anyone can understand all the major personality types, what makes them the way they are, how they think, how they conduct their relations with others, and what a reasonable person has to do to avoid being abused or exploited by life’s most unsavory characters.