Smugness and glibness are red flags for the most serious types of character disturbance.
While character disturbance is widepread, it occurs along spectra of both type and degree. Not every empathy-impaired person is a psychopath. And not all folks with narcissistic traits and tendencies are the same. Getting the right information and finding the right help can be a real challenge.
Extreme narcissistic malignancy characterizes the most disturbed characters among us. They wantonly use and abuse and feel entitled to do so.
Presently, there’s no treatment for severe character disorders. This is especially true when it comes to psychopaths.
Hardness of Heart What do we mean when we talk about “hardness of heart”? Folks with hardened hearts have an impaired ability to empathize. They also have an impaired ability to truly connect. This makes healthy, intimate relationships virtually impossible. The harder one’s heart, the harder it is to achieve real intimacy and to truly … Continue reading Character Disturbance and Hardness of Heart
Manipulative malignant narcissists engage in a constant dance of positioning for advantage. All they care about is for you to be in the dark or second-guessing. They don’t want you to have their number or know what they’re really up to. They seek only power, dominance, and control. And lying gives them the position of advantage.
What Is Empathy? Empathy does not equate with compassion. Nor does it mean the same thing as pity. And it’s not something we cause to happen in any way. Rather, we simply experience it in certain situations. Most of us do, that is. And it involves more than just intellectually surmising or understanding how someone … Continue reading Empathy Can Be Facilitated But Not Taught
Malignant narcissists disdain all the qualities most of us think make us decent human beings. They see them as signs of weakness. And they see them as proof of others’ inferiority. That’s what enables them to feel superior. And that’s why they feel entitled to prey.
Narcissism is pathological self-love. And noble character is largely about healthy self-love. Getting the balance right is what the third commandment of sound character formation is all about.
We know that empathy capacity varies in human beings. But we also know that the mere capacity for empathy does not make a socially conscientious human being. Empathy must be nurtured. That’s often a very challenging task for individuals who lie somewhere on the character disturbance spectrum. And there’s mounting evidence that it’s most likely an impossible task for those at the extreme end of the spectrum.