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Dr George Simon, PhD

“Impression Management and Arrogance: The Prideful Thinking of the Disordered Character” Comments, Page 1

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7 Responses (One Discussion Thread) to “Impression Management and Arrogance: The Prideful Thinking of the Disordered Character”

  1. avatar image
    Mariana Barrancos

    Fairly recent, I had a problem with someone who clearly displayed this kind of “prideful” thinking.

    It was on an online forum about healing emotionally abused lives. I stated my point of view regarding the role each person plays in an abusive relationship. While I have encountered that some professionals may agree with this viewpoint and others may not, the person who was running that forum strongly disagree with it.

    Not happy enough with putting me down, and discrediting me by strongly attacking my point of view on the forum (according to her I was literally wrong,) she banned me from that site, and went on posting very arrogant comments mocking my views.

    I emailed the owner of the website and owner of the whole forum, and they reinstanted my profile and my own forum there.

    The scary side of the story is that this person who attacked me and made fun of my point of view, actually runs a “healing group” and speaks of respect. Unfortunately for those who follow her, if they do not agree with her views they get a “hard time.”

    It’s really sad to see some self-appointed healing therapists disrespect other people’s views and display an attitude similar to a dictator who knows it all.

    Although some of the real mental health professionals she sometimes quoted, actually have the same point of view I do regarding the matter we were discussing on that forum, she would never admit she made a mistake or she had a biased opinion, let alone apologize at all.

    Consequently, many of her followers and readers started emailing me behind her back, asking me for advice and asking me not to mention their names or make public they were contacting me because they were afraid of her reaction.

    What do people run healing groups for, if they instill fear in their followers instead of respect?

    In my opinion, if we want to be respected we need to respect others as well as ourselves first.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your statement “Prideful thinking is a major barrier to recognizing or correcting any of our behavior problems.” I believe it’s like self-deception or self-denial.

    Perhaps one of the most useful things is to get a good feedback from others, lest we fail to understand our position and views the way others percieve them. If I’m wrong, a good feedback from others (and an open mind on my part) can be really helpful to correct my mistakes.

    • avatar image

      It appears that one must first have at least a small measure of humility to be receptive to a different point of view. I work with other counselors that the clients often complain about, because if the client shows any resistence or an opposing viewpoint they are chastized and lectured. I was advised by my supervisor that this often occurs in our profession because some counelors get into this “power over” role and because they themselves have a host of unresolved issues and unhealthy thinking patterns. Sadly, the excruciating state exams I had to take in order to be licensed, are not able to measure a candidates psychological health or emotional stability. I feel that those in the helping profession would benefit from continuing to read, reasearch and even engage in personal counseling for themselves. However, when dealing with a professional that has not yet accepted that their own thinking may be flawed in some areas, prevents them from growth.

  2. avatar image

    Funny Marianna,

    Recently a person on a forum I visit but did apoloigize and did act respectfully but was percieved wrongly and things got out of hand and for “TWO Professionals” who both made mistakes they both sit with the same attitude you describe that just one is in ownership to here. Its always just the other guy. Some people just have to have control. What is said one or two comments led this whole affair down ward. At my forum the person said to please keep posting just not to give out a email address that had some inaccurate information that’s all. But the person got pissed off and did there own thing and didn’t take the time to work things out better. They then chose to be in their own space I guess…to each its own and not find out they were wrong as well. I see this alot in working with “Professionals” in many venues. Set the other guy as Know It All and or not amicable forever because of a moment and slander them. Everybodies learning in some way in this journey. Again submission and humbling oneself is far harder than the other choices taken. Divide and conquer comes up you see which always does in these types os scenario’s because a fine line was discussed.

  3. avatar image

    Dr. Simon,

    Glad your back! Sorry for your loss.

    Disturbed characters think there’s nothing worse than admitting a mistake, backing down in a conflict, or giving in to someone else “” because it makes them look inadequate or “weak.” They place their image above everything else, and the image they want to maintain is that of an all-powerful, all-knowing, immutable force to be reckoned with. And when they’ve made a mistake, and they know it, they frequently won’t admit it because of how they think it would make them look to others.

    Is there any successful measures one can take with these type of people? Since normal constructive critism would in effect bring on defensiveness. And do they also refrain from doing what most folks do normally because they feel weak in that position with self confrontation?

  4. 4

    Great comments, all. Thanks, Diane, I’m glad to be back.

    Benign “confrontation” or “challenging” of distorted thinking processes is always beneficial, even if you don’t see results right away (which you rarely will). I never use the word “defensiveness” to describe the disordered character’s typical initial reaction, since this remnant of dynamic psychology presumes that the motivation for their response is a “defense” of their ego from emotional pain and anxiety brought about by another persons “assault,” which is a really inaccurate and somewhat destructive framing of the phenomenon. So, I confront. I expect them to recognize what it is that I’m urging them to submit themselves to and I expect them to fight, but with enough benign confrontation and enough of life’s “corrective” experience, I have confidence that they can LEARN to modify their behavior (after all they have many more neurons in their brains than the lower animals whose behavior we know very well how to modify). That’s the heart of CBT.

  5. 5

    Hello Diane,

    I’m sorry to hear that happened in your forum, too. I’ve always believed it was okay to “agree to disagree.” I think it’s unrealistic to expect everyone will agree with our views. The world is a lot larger than some people may think, and cultural diversity also plays a major role in the way people perceive the world.

    Plus, there are different lines and schools of thought. It’s sad to see some people just can’t work out their differences, and choose to keep believing “their way” is the “right way.”

    We are all human, we are imperfect, we make mistakes, or simply have different views. If we fail to recongnize everyone is entitled to their own views, then we sure have a lot to work on.

    Thanks for your comment. It’s weird, but it’s somewhat “reassuring” to learn these things happen often on line, nd my experience was not a one-time exception. I just hope Dr. Simon’s article will help people become aware of this kind of thinking pattern, and let them “fix” their problems.


  6. avatar image
    Ken Sack

    ” I’ve always believed it was okay to “agree to disagree.” I think it’s unrealistic to expect everyone will agree with our views.”……………I think you fail to comprehend the significance of your point. It’s a lot more the “OK” to disagree. For human beings, life is intellectual independence. Mentally, psychologically, that’s what life is. Its life itself. It’s what the ancients called the “holy of holies”. The penalty for violating the holy of holies was death. Making a decision for another person is murder. So it’s more than OK to disagree with another person. I’ve notice that the expression “life is intellectual independence” has already been hijacked with expressions such as “life is artistic expression”. That’s cheap and dishonest.

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