“Don’t They See? Why the Disturbed Characters in Your Life Don’t Seem to “Get It”” Comments, Page 1

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7 Comments (3 Discussion Threads) on “Don’t They See? Why the Disturbed Characters in Your Life Don’t Seem to “Get It””

  1. Dr. Simon,
    Well put. I have appreciated insights from this site very much in the past few years.

    My ex was diagnosed in 2001 with personality disorder. I spent 32 years trying to make my ex “see” the benefits of change for his own sake and our children, but to no avail.
    It’s been 2.5 years since I divorced him and even now in my current economic situation with no job, loss of my car and move from my own apartment into rooming with another woman, I still would not consider ever subjecting myself to his para/schizophrenic behavior. Never. And I do care about what happens to him. Always did, always will, but now I care about myself and my own health.
    And for me, that means surrounding myself with Truth and positive, affirming people.
    Thanks for further insights here.

    1. Thanks so much for your comments, Mary. I’m glad this site and its articles have led to some helpful insights for you. You’re certainly not alone in having spent years trying to get someone to “see” the error of their ways. And, unfortunately, the dominant psychology models often reinforced that kind of futile behavior, perpetuating the misconception that all problems stem from fears, insecurities, and lack of insight. Fortunately, we’re learning better. And also fortunately, folks such as yourself that finally “get it” with respect to what makes the disturbed personalities in their lives tick, often resolve to never put themselves again in a position to try and nursemaid growth in a person perfectly capable of growing and changing on their own, provided the motivation is there.

      Best to you, and again, thanks for the comments.

  2. I read your book In Sheep’s Clothing and found it extremely helpful in my practice as a mental health therapist. It was also useful in increasing my understanding and awareness of others’ harmful behaviors and what to do about them. I was inspired to post a blog entry on my own site (www.sofias-sanctuary.com) about deciphering between healthy and unhealthy relationships, and choosing to spend time with people who are inspiring, instead of harmful. I agree with your point here that our power lies in the choices we make in response to another’s harmful behavior. We might not be able to get them to agree with our perspective, but we can certainly limit our interactions with them, and follow through on consequences when necessary. We can choose to honor ourselves by exiting a relationship with someone emotionally harmful. First we have to recognize it though. Your books and blog posts have certainly raised my knowledge about character disturbance.

    1. I really appreciate your comments, Sophia. I particularly like how you phrased the issue about “honoring” oneself by enforcing prudent terms of engagement. I’ve not heard it expressed just that way before. Makes the point even better than I did!

  3. Greetings,

    I’d like to provide an anecdote to support this article. I was in a situation with an individual in which she basically “told on herself” by mentioning that she felt oppressed and was expressing this and in pushing the ‘argument’ further and further, the person, not being able to come up with a reason for their dissent, offered that there was, in her words, “Just something about YOU,” but that they couldn’t pinpoint or explain this either.

    This simply sounded strange to me a first, but I came to find out that what was happening was that she was describing how she had abused someone verbally by saying a series of things that were either A) so abominable that it was difficult to begin to refute them or B) designed to guilt trip and/or make herself the victim when she was in fact aggressive.

    She’d heard this before and was even so “not cognizant” as to repeat it to me as if it were normal. (Likely this was a ploy itself, designed to control). You say that they’ve heard these things; they have, they just don’t care. But, they will also “tell on themselves” in advance. They also understand enough to fight against the exact same thing happening to them, it’s just a different story when then knife is in their own hands.

    Forgive me for the idea not being fully wrapped up, but this made me think if that. Thank you for contributions. Be well.

    1. Thanks for sharing this story. Indeed some of these folks “tell on themselves” if you listen carefully. But then again, some are so slick and astute that they’re more careful. Still, best to listen and observe carefully! Good advice.

  4. Thank you for the eye-opener! This meshes well with my own experience with people who are very intelligent, but just don’t seem to get that their behaviours are destructive. This insight helps me to understand why it’s important to set my own boundaries.

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