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.
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. But it’s absolutely crucial to a marriage.
Malignant narcissists don’t really need anyone nor do they particularly care about anyone other than themselves.
Making amends in a meaningful way can be a particularly arduous task. But in a loving relationship, repairing any damage done (whether inadvertently or intentionally inflicted) is not only a person’s duty but also essential for maintaining integrity of character.
The concepts of shame, guilt, regret, remorse, and contrition have been the subject of great debate within the professional community for some time. And even though these terms are not strictly psychological in nature, because they have such importance to matters of character, they’re worth a closer look.
In today’s world, making the right assessment of a person’s character before getting involved in a serious relationship is more important than ever.