Folks whose ways of seeing and doing things are so toxic that they’re rightfully considered “character-disordered” always cause big problems in relationships. And presently, the prognosis for change is extremely poor for the significantly disordered. There’s more hope for the mildly disturbed character, but the motivation and mode of intervention have to be just right!
Pasive-aggressive personalities are very different from their covert-aggressive counterparts. And their manner of coping is incredibly self-defeating as opposed to self-advancing.
Narcissistic characters run the gamut, from relatively benign “amorous,” “charming,” types to heartless and predatory types.
Personality disorders are harder to define these days because behaviors once considered outside the norm are the new norm.
The character disorder spectrum is vast. And it has multiple dimensions, too. To understand it fully and to know how to cope is to have power. And that’s what this ensuing series of articles is all about.
Many therapists will say they understand personality and character disturbances. But then when you go to them for help you find they just don’t get it at all. In fact, you might even experience therapy-induced trauma.
Narcissism is more than just self-centeredness (i.e. egocentricity). And it’s more than just super self-confidence. It’s pathological self-love – a self-love that always poses problems for relationships.
There’s more information than ever out there about personality and character disorders. Still, many misconceptions still exist because professionals have largely failed to succinctly and uniformly define key concepts and because there’s such a high degree of variance of opinion about the nature of personality disturbances and what can be done about them.
Upon hearing the term “disorder,” many folks infer that a genuine disease process is at work that in some measure relieves a person from full culpability. But in fact only a handful of clinical illnesses can potentially render a person not fully responsible for their behavior.
Perhaps no two concepts in psychology are as confusing at times as personality and character. That’s in part because the definitions of both terms have evolved over time. But it’s also because certain misconceptions about the terms have persisted over the years not just in the minds of the general public but also in among professionals.