Skilled manipulators are expert at making more subtle, implied or veiled threats to intimidate others into seeing or doing things their way. Sometimes it can be no more than a particular “look” or a glance.
Disordered characters use the tactic of minimizing to manage the impression others have of them. It’s a way to manipulate others into thinking they’re not so bad despite the horrible things they’ve done.
The “problems” neurotics experience often stem from emotional conflicts that rage deep within their unconscious minds. They’re typically unaware of what’s at the root of the “symptoms” they report. If a woman already knew that the unexplained funk she’d been in lately was related to her suppressed feelings of grief and loss that just happened to be … Continue reading Neurotic or Character Disorder? Criterion 5 Awareness
Disordered characters don’t feel shame like neurotics do. Although pop psychology has given shame a bad name, the ability to feel it is a mark of good character. I wrote recently about how neurotic individuals and disturbed characters differ greatly on the issue of guilt. Guilt and shame are related. Guilt is the bad feeling we get … Continue reading Neurotic or Character Disorder? Criterion 4 – Shame
Neurotics have well-developed and overactive consciences (i.e. superegos), whereas disordered characters have consciences that are under-developed and impaired. Neurotics have a huge sense of right and wrong and always want to do the right thing. They often set standards for themselves that are so high they’re virtually impossible to meet, causing themselves a significant amount of … Continue reading Neurotic vs. Character Disorder? Criterion Two – Conscience