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.
Having proper care and concern for others is essential to a sound character.
Perhaps there’s no more urgent question needing answering in our age of more rampant character disturbance than how we can better foster empathy development in our children.
It’s one thing to think really highly – perhaps even too highly – of yourself and to be self-centered. But it’s quite another to view others with disdain or even contempt because, after all, they’re just not you. A pathological degree of grandiosity (i.e. malignant narcissism) is always at the root of bigotry.