Neurotics have a big sense of right and wrong, set high standards for themselves, and sometimes proverbially carry the world on their shoulders. In contrast, disturbed and disordered characters have a remarkably impaired, immature, or underdeveloped conscience. In some extreme cases, conscience can be absent altogether and even the capacity to form a conscience nonexistent.
The antics of Charlie Sheen, Bernie Madoff, and Mel Gibson demonstrate why character really does matter. As I state in the title of one of my books, character disturbance is the phenomenon of our age.
Trying too hard to get the other person to understand inevitably leads those in relationships with responsibility-deficient characters to feel angry, frustrated, and ultimately depressed and defeated.
The more often they’re held accountable by others, and the more often they’re expected to abandon their typical manipulative tactics for more appropriate behaviors, the more “practiced” [disturbed characters] become at being responsible.
There are many not so easy to justify reasons for the prevailing attitudes toward mental heath issues, and as a result, genuine brain dysfunctions – despite their devastating impact on patients, families, employers, and friends – aren’t regarded in the same manner as diseases of the liver, pancreas or lungs.
The tactic of denial can be expressed in several other subtle variations such as feigning innocence, feigning ignorance, and acting surprised. But no matter what form in which it comes, it’s most often merely a way of lying.
Assertive behavior is a key element of healthy, independent, adult functioning. But because asserting oneself is a form of “fighting” for one’s legitimate needs, it’s easy to get confused about the difference between aggressive and assertive behavior.
The character of some individuals is so significantly flawed that they can’t help but to bring much pain, misery, and hardship into the life of others.
It’s hard to think of any problem in human relations that doesn’t stem from a failure to adequately discipline one or both of our two strongest instincts: sex and aggression
Disturbed characters’ self-indulgence always creates a living hell for those around them but can also create one for themselves. This woman’s life will be a continual shipwreck until she makes up her mind to start accepting some responsibility for her actions and their impact on those she supposedly loves.