“Neurosis vs. Character Disorder: Genuineness of “Style” ” Comments, Page 1

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7 Comments on “Neurosis vs. Character Disorder: Genuineness of “Style””

  1. Dr. Simon,

    You make an excellent point when you observe that, “that traditional notions that assume that a very different kind of reality always lies underneath the façade of personality always seem to involve a façade that’s not very appealing and a more pitiable but endearing reality underneath.” I, too, have never heard anyone claim, “that a shy, retreating person was really a ravenous predator underneath it all or that a particularly sensitive person really had a heart of stone.” I think you may be quite right that we don’t wish to face the unpleasant and want to make the “unnerving more palatable.”

  2. Thanks, Gabriella. I really appreciate your comment. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve counseled over the years who became entrapped in abusive and/or manipulative relationships because they so readily bought into commonly held assumptions about the “underlying” causes of their partner’s behavior and tried so hard to identify with it and understand it that they inadvertently enabled it. It’s also edifying to know how many persons’ lives were changed once they realized that traditional notions don’t always apply, became a more accurate judge of character, and were able to see the person they were involved with for who they really were. Only then did they begin trusting their gut more and setting the limits necessary to empower themselves.

  3. I guess ‘underneath’ is a problematic metaphor.

    I think the complexity is revealed in behaviour – the ‘underneath’ I think is best regarded as an invitation to pay close attention.

  4. Dr. Simon, can you give a general description of the treatment for character disorder. If possible, use the example of a loving wife and mother of young children trying to function with a husband diagnosed with character disorder? Both sets of parents of this couple are stable and supportive.

  5. I’ve just been reading Karen Horney’s ‘Our Inner Conflicts’ and she does seem to me to be suggesting that underneath an unassuming, compliant exterior, for example, lies repressed hostility and anger. I think she is saying that conflict is precisely what’s making the neurotic anxious…?

  6. Dr. Simon, thank you very much for the insights you have enabled me on past and current relationships where I have enabled exploitative behaviours to me.
    I’m am currently trying to improve on setting boundaries without offering the other person ‘excuses’ about why I won’t fulfill their demands and expectations: that is, simply stating ‘no’.
    I’m also noting, with some wonder, how I can actually see the cogs and machinery whirring in their response to my altered approach. Very intellectual and assessing – why could I not see this before?! Now it is so apparent. Just as, when I look at my own behaviours towards others I can see how. I’ve elicited this in a number of relationships with people.
    Thank you, most sincerely.

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