“Egocentric Thinking Patterns of Disturbed Characters” Comments, Page 1

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22 Comments (5 Discussion Threads) on “Egocentric Thinking Patterns of Disturbed Characters”

  1. Dr. Simon, I want to thank you for these posts, they do provide understanding into the odd minds of the disordered. I do have some questions.

    Can a person such as the one described here, attribute their egocentrism to chemical imbalance in the brain at all? Does the Psych community treat these disordered people or all disorders, with directness, or does the professional community see these as ‘ill’ people who need sympathy.

    I’ve had this basic question on my mind.
    I don’t feel sorry at all for these people.

    And are all character disordered individuals chemically imbalanced?
    I guess I’m concerned that if all of this ends up being excused because of a ‘Disease’ concept, then who could hold accountable one of these individuals.

    I’m from the old school. No, alcoholism is not a physiological disease. And yet I do understand predisposition. That is another topic as regards alcoholism, but I guess I’m seeing a lot of things being excused with, ‘well he’s sick’.

    My ex is not in a right mind, due to schiz, not egocentrist thinking, but I held him accountable for his actions. If he commited a murder, he could get a ‘ not guilty by reason of insanity’ plea with a doctors evaluation confirming his disorder, correct?

    Because he was ambivalent after I confronted him with what I knew about his indiscretion, I made arrangements to move out, and until I was out, I registered my situation with the domestic violence group and submitted his gun to police in my area in case anything happened. They could not, would not tell me if he could get violent.

    I was on the phone with them many times, being unsure of his state of mind when he came home from work or came to bed. Would he hear noises or think he should DO more to Protect me from whatever? Was he going to express his doubts and suspicions about me again and then have it escalate?

    Though I consider the breakup of a marriage very unfortunate, I feel very fortunate to be free now, from this.

    1. hi.
      i am not dr simon. but i think you are looking for a sane explanation and closure on what you have gone through with a character disordered individual.

      my 2 cent worth comment is it doesnt matter. whether genetic or induced or whatever. You have a right to your fresh new beginning with this knowledge and no doubt other similar knowledge that you musthave aquired while searching for answers to difficult questions of human behaviour.

    2. Sorry to be just now responding to this (the comments feature had been temporarily disabled and I was alerted to the post only after “webi” responded.

      Most disturbed characters don’t owe their pathology to chemical imbalance. And, as webi points out, it makes little difference. Adults must take responsibility for their behavior, and a person of good character who knows their behavior tends to be erratic as a result of chemical imbalances will step up and see to it that they’re not only medicated as best as possible, but also receiving appropriate therapeutic guidance. If that willingness is not their, you can bet your last dime that regardless of what chemical problems might exist, there’s a significant character impairment that you’re best setting firm limits about in any relationship.

  2. Hi, Mia

    While certain conditions with a strong biochemical basis (e.g. genuine bipolar disorder, mania, hypo-mania, etc.) can either exacerbate or cause ego-centrism and ego-inflation, for the most part egocentric thinking is a matter of a failure to learn and internalize pro-social values. We all start out life thinking that we’re at the center of the universe and even infants think that the others in their world exist purely to tend to their needs. Gradually, most of us grow out of this tendency as we learn about social order and our place in a social world. Some of us don’t mature very well and most of the reasons for this have to do with what we learn or fail to learn about how to balance our own wants and needs with those of others. I do think however, that there are some individuals naturally endowed with both a strength of will and a sense of self-assuredness that interferes with their parents’ and society’s attempts to socialize them as they are growing and learning.

    1. I think its funny that right from the get go you decide to say “they don’t think the way we do”. It shows that you have clearly taken extreme caution against painting yourself into a corner and free of choosing sides.

      Furthermore, I think that as you continue to say “When the disturbed character wants something, he doesn’t think about whether it’s right, good, legal, or whether his pursuit of it might adversely affect anyone “” he only cares that he wants it. His incessant concern for himself and the things that he desires creates a pattern of thinking which embodies an attitude of indifference to the rights, needs, wants, and expectations of others.” It is this behavior that has clearly made possible the rise of an entire species. It is this exact definition that one could also use to describe many of the more successful men and women across the globe. Men and women, such as politicians, that have made the laws, that you are so quick to point out, that “they” have broken.

      Let me be honest when I say, it isn’t your research or even the topic you are posting about that bothers me. It is primarily your over use of infinitives and your inability to write impartially that really gets me going.

      Raising yourself above someone else. Or worse, an entire class of people. As if to say, “I am better than you!” Please, if you get a chance, Sir, come down from your high post and tell me how you really feel.

    2. Hi, Bradley.

      I regret that you have apparently not familiarized yourself with the rest of my writings or perhaps missed the gist some of the other articles. Indeed, some of those articles make the exact same points you are making, especially about how some of the traits civilized society now regard as problematic have actually been instrumental in the survival of our species.

      I do not equate the very real “differences” in attitudes, thinking patterns, and behaviors between individuals of various personality and character types with a judgment of their relative “inferiority” or “superiority.” Problems occur when a person’s patterns of thinking or relating stymie their own success and/or bring unnecessary pain or harm to others and are destructive vs. constructive in relationships.

    3. Dr Simon, thank you so much for your work. My question is how do I stop blaming myself, as a mother, for my daughter’s clear ego centric thinking. She displays all characteristics of character disturbance and is an addict. Her 3 brothers have healthy characters and I have been blamed by Counsellors for spoiling her as a child. I fear it’s my fault that she became so selfcentered.

  3. My family and I are dealing with a Egocentric thinker but at whole I believe you could classify him with several of your posts on disturbed characters. He will be really happy for weeks at a time and take us out to dinner and have a great time and then when we get home, he is down right mean and nasty because of all the money he is wasting and his bills and how hard he works.
    To give you a bit of background, he is my step-father. My mom has been married to him for 3 years. He has 2 children from his previous marriage. I’m the oldest and I also have a younger brother. We all, including his children are at our wits end, trying to figure out how to deal with him. He tends to be more hard on my brother and I, even though I feel we are more balanced than his children. We have tried talking to a counselor and it didn’t go over well because she was zoning in on him. We switched conselors and got one who didn’t really offer up any help or techniques to try.
    So my question is, how do you level with someone like this? Are there books to read? What direction would you steer someone with a situation like mine?

    1. “I regret that you have apparently not familiarized yourself with the rest of my writings or perhaps missed the gist some of the other articles.”

      I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was up to me to read the entirety of your works in order to understand one piece of it. Clearly, this must be an error on my end due to me being the author of the piece and assuming the reader was well educated and versed in my literary compositions.

      I was glad, however, to see that you explained that other writings you had done explained that the behavior seen as problematic were traits that were so important through an evolutionary stand point. As a matter of fact, most of your explanation this morning made me feel better about you on a grand scheme verses after reading the document last night. You took away the infinitives and stopped generalizing. You made more vague statements and more clearly defined the groups based on naming them, rather than saying “they” or “we”.

  4. Hi, Megan. While I can’t really give direct advice regarding any specific situation, I might say that from what you describe it sounds like there are other issues involved that might be contributing to unhealthy family “dynamics.” Has the family sought a skilled family therapist? Such a therapist likely wouldn’t “zone-in” on one family member and would certainly have some techniques to offer to enhance communication skills.

  5. I have reaad the article and comments with interest. I too, am an RN and wondering if we attract this type of person. I got involved with a man who seemed so sweet and endearing and generous and as the relationship evolved, the whole theme became about what he wants, and over. He became very volatile in his moods and anger and seemed to be obsessed and when I expressed my needs for distance and space, they were ignored, in fact he became more insistent. I have asked him not to contact me in no uncertain terms, but he has begun again, with no understanding, except for what he wants. I have even moved to another state, and have begun a new relationship, a sane one. Will this ever end, could he be dangerous? He has been involved with drugs in the past. I have a counselor I am seeing, but it doesn’t keep the fear from pervading.

    1. Persons with all types of character disturbance are keenly aware of the characteristics possessed by normal “neurotics” that might make them easy prey. So, after scoping out your needs and vulnerabilities (which they usually do in very short order) they know just what to do to seduce. Counseling is an excellent opportunity to learn more about your innermost wants, needs, and sensitivities that could not only make you more vulnerable but also might even “attract” you to the wrong personality type.

      The level of potential dangerousness of disturbed characters is very difficult to assess accurately. Research shows that generally clinicians are extremely poor at this task and even our empirical methods are weak. That said, some disordered characters are so affronted by the prospect of “losing” that they’ll try anything to avoid it and the most dangerous times are those when losing in fact appears eminent. It’s always good to have a safety plan.

  6. Dear Dr. Simon,
    Thank you for your reply. You hit the nail on the head about him finding my vulnerabilites. I do have a safety plan, texting friends or calling who have all his information as he states he is coming my direction. There are no threats, so nothing to warrant a restraining order which I feel might inflame him more. I had to use my own resources. I wish more people were aware of character disorders. Maybe we are, but it’s the perverbial train we never saw coming right at us. Thank you again. Somehow I feel safer with the knowledge you gave me.

  7. I worded my reply carefully, though I thought briefly about addressing the tactics, especially “leveling.” So glad you all are so perceptive.

  8. Bradley,

    There is far more in your comments than merely a critique of my writing style. Further, the other things that are there are so glaringly obvious that virtually no one could miss them or misinterpret them. Because you are obviously bright and because these things are so obvious, I would have a hard time believing that you don’t see them. It’s more plausible that you are simply comfortable with them. I think that’s why persons like Marianna eventually express the sentiments she did, not because she is one of the “better” group, but because disengaging from such things brings such relief.

    This is my last comment on the subject. I choose to disengage also.

  9. A well stated and designed answer by Jeffrey Kluger for the definition of ego syntonic. I will give you credit for at least having the ability to research material that is well constructed. Coming up with your own original thoughts, that has something left to be desired. However, that being said, I’m really not sure what you are trying to impose with this definition. You lack a few of the stages of critical thinking development such as, clarity or precision. Please, can you elaborate further or be more specific and give me an example of what you are trying to say with Jeffrey’s definition.

    While you are at it, please consider the significance of what you are trying to say. Meaning, is projecting yourself outward on me and attacking me for trying to better understand the article really what is important. If so, after considering its perhaps yourself with the internal issues, please feel free to keep your proposed argument. Try to keep it relevant and explain to me how this helps us with the issue.

    My general understanding with you, up to this point, is that for some reason you continue to surround yourself with these types of people. My question to you is this, “Is it that you continue to surround yourself with these types of people or are you the person projecting yourself onto them through your own subconscious.”

    One last sliver of thought:

    Your brain is programmed and conditioned to operate the way that it does from years of conditioning from external sources. ( Your parents, your education and your environment just to name a few.) By rejecting or becoming defensive of logical arguments proposed through sound reasoning you are simply showing that you have a scotoma to the issue. Or more simply, a blind spot in your ability to see what I am talking about. This inability leads you to believe there is something wrong with the way I am speaking to you rather than to question your own beliefs. So like I said previously, maybe its an internal issue vs the entire world ganging up on you. What do you think…?

    Please Dr., feel free to re-engage and share if you feel I have “again” obviously riddled my statements with error or confusion. Like you stated before, I carefully am selecting that which i say. I see what I am saying as sound and backed with explanation and logic. I am simply freeing my explanations of emotion…which can often times cause those pesky scotomas I briefly threw into the mix. I am open minded to hearing an opinion to the contrary as long as it is also backed with logic and reason. Simply stating you feel a certain way and attaching a reason of “because I feel like its true” doesn’t actually make it so. Similarly, by seeking out a definition meant for something entirely different doesn’t create a sound argument. I did congratulate her for being able to find it. Its intended use, however, is still a mystery.

  10. Hi to all:

    My search for anwers lead me to this article, which I found simple to understand and basically is an answer to my basic questions. However, I wanted to expose my situation. I have a friend who is, I would dare to say, egocentrical in a “ligther way”. I dont consider her egocentrical ways as aggresive , but consistent. For example, we have been planning a trip for months, and time is getting close (next week). We have been trying to agree in what our schedule would be for the trip, but for some time I feel affected by my friend’s egocentrical thinking (eg. She made a reservation for a restaurant without my knowledge, she never asked if I was ok with it, it happens to be my birthday and on top of it all she clearly stated that she wanted to go to this restaurant because of a number of reasons (all of them her reasons). I was definitely outrage, but I am a person who likes to avoid confrontation, specially when you are on vacation so far away from home. Besides this, she has created a schedule as if this is her vacation, just making decisions without counting on anyone else (At least we are a group of 4 people) I am outrage on how she blatantly says what we are going to do and what not. Everybody just ignores her, including me, I know at the end of the day everybody will make their own decisions no matter what she thinks, but I feel this really bothers me, because I would like to tell her, in a nice way, that she is wrong and that every decision must be considered as a group. Ive heard stories about her from other friends that simply ended the friendship due to her behavior. As for me, she has been more than nice most of the time and has even offered her place for me to stay whenever I visit her city. I do not know if this could be due to the fact that we are not best friends, and our friendship is relatively “new”. I would really like to know if I should tell her somehow directly or indirectly, that her behavior may affect the groups rapport or I should just ignore her, as everybody does and just do whatever the group decides. Can we fix egocentrical people?? Can we make them realize that their behavior is not generally accepted? Or should we ignore this behavior and move on, and just feel pitiful for them?

    Thank you very much
    – Nicole

    1. Hi, Nicole. A really great question! I’m glad you’ve given me an opportunity to respond and elaborate on this issue.

      Egocentric thinking is one of many different erroneous thinking patterns that cluster together in individuals with deficient or disordered characters. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone who exhibits some degree or aspect of any of these thinking patterns is necessarily a disordered character or a person whose behavior can’t be modified.

      Sometimes, problematic ways of thinking are a matter of awareness and/or maturity. In other words, a person simply hasn’t learned better yet how function in a healthier ways socially. What often happens in these cases is that friends and associates are hesitant to address the issue directly. Such issues can be addressed, however, if done in a benign manner and with tact. The best way to know if the person you’re dealing with has too disturbed a character to change or if they’re merely oblivious to the social mess their making is to confront the issue directly but with kindness and goodwill. If the other person accepts the feedback in good spirit, then you know you might have the beginnings of a good and meaningful friendship. If you’re met with resistance and hostility, the odds are that your not dealing with a person with whom you’d probably want to have a deeper or more meaningful relationship. : )

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