Unconscious denial is nature’s defense against unbearable pain. But some denial is tactical – a way to be irresponsible while not looking so bad. To have reverence for the truth and for human dignity, each type must be confronted differently.
Narcissists lie not only to others but also to themselves. They lie so freely and egregiously they can start believing their fictions and become delusional.
facing the truth can be really painful at times. But to have character you must have the courage to face the truth without denial or deceit.
Human beings are great self-deceivers. But some of us deceive ourselves so earnestly and so often that we begin to believe our falsehoods, and that really gets in the way of our character growth.
There’s great power in truth. It can indeed set us free – even from our most unhealthy tendencies. But first we have to be of a mind to reckon with it. And then, we have to be willing to accept it.
Sometimes reality challenges the grandiose self-image narcissists have. And when a narcissitic wound is deep and the reality behind it too self-evident to deny, the consequences to those made to take the blame for failure can be profound.
It can be particularly difficult to tell just where someone lies on the character disturbance spectrum. All too often in troubled relationships the extent of a person’s character disturbance only becomes evident long after much damage has already been done.
Even folks who recognize that aggression can be born of anger as well as fear find it hard to imagine why someone would either become angry or be inclined to aggress if they weren’t afraid of something or didn’t feel victimized in some way. But assuming that aggressors always come from an insecure or fearful place has been the undoing of many in abusive relationships.
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.
Knowledge is power. But to be fully empowered you have to understand what’s really going on with someone and how to appropriately interpret and label their behavior. That’s why it’s so important to understand certain psychological terms and concepts correctly.