Our high capacity to learn distinguishes us humans. And even some character-impaired individuals can choose to grow. But no new learning takes deep root without reinforcement.
For change to be properly promoted and reinforced, problem behaviors must be reckoned with at the very moment they occur. Toward that end, over the years I developed worksheets that both individuals with character impairments and their relationship partners have used to confront and correct dysfunctional behaviors, thinking patterns, and attitudes.
Many of the things we were taught to view as defensive behaviors are more rightfully viewed as habitual responsibility-avoidance behaviors and tactics of impression management, manipulation, and control.
Disordered characters use the tactic of minimizing to manage the impression others have of them. It’s a way to manipulate others into thinking they’re not so bad despite the horrible things they’ve done.
Disordered characters are forever blaming their misbehavior on someone or something else, and skilled manipulators can make you think that somehow it’s your fault that they did whatever they did to hurt you.