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.
Presently, there’s no treatment for severe character disorders. This is especially true when it comes to psychopaths.
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.
Having proper care and concern for others is essential to a sound character.
Misperceptions abound about why people commit serious crimes and eventually find their way into prison. Some of the misconceptions have been around a long time and persist despite mounds of evidence to the contrary.
For a lot of reasons – mostly media hype and lots of misinformation – there’s now more confusion than ever about the nature of character disturbances.
One of the most effective ways for impaired characters to victimize others is to conceal their malevolent intentions while simultaneously prompting their “target” to accede to their desires. Manipulators win by using clever tactics like “gaslighting” to get the other person to back down or give in.
Just because someone does or says something that manipulates you, doesn’t necessarily mean they did it to manipulate you.
Developing character is a very delicate social process that requires time, energy, a strong family unit, and powerful community support structures.