Making amends for harm done is a duty, to be sure. But the spirit with which one does this noble work of repair testifies to one’s character.
Contrition goes beyond mere regret or even remorse. The contrite person hurts because of the hurt they caused. And they work to mend wounds.
Character-impaired folks inevitably use and abuse others. And the more they lack conscience and empathy, the more seriously they’re likely to use and abuse.
The aggressive personality is out to win and often at all costs. Such a mindset and behavior always takes a heavy toll on relationships.
Presently, there’s no treatment for severe character disorders. This is especially true when it comes to psychopaths.
As much as we crave naturally intimacy, many of us learn to fear it. We try to stay open. But painful experiences invite us to close. The hallmark of our character disturbed age is the lack of genuinely loving relationships.
Folks devoid of empathy will hurt you without compunction. They might regret certain consequences, but they rarely experience genuine remorse or contrition. How someone acts when they’ve hurt you tells all you really need to know about their character.
Grandiose narcissists so wantonly use and abuse because they have little heart. They lack empathy. And they have little shame. And the more lacking they are in these things, the more easily they exploit.
The most severely disordered characters among us are not the “hot-headed” types who sometimes let their passions get the better of them and do things they might sometimes later regret but rather the “cold-hearted” sorts who chronically and ruthelessly try to get the better of others.
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.