Sometimes I can’t figure out if someone has a genuine personality disorder or if they’re just an asshole. I suppose it comes down to insecurity if its not a clinical disorder. A friend recently told me not to ‘give A-holes the excuse that they can’t help it’. She is right and I’ve been pondering this for a week. I think people with mental disorders are generally prone to erratic episodes whereas A-holes are pretty consistent in their behavior. Though I can see traits of personality disorders in some. However, what do you do when you live by the code of no toxic people and its not just your call to remove them from your life? What if this person is part of your family and they are a perpetual fuckup who gives you uncontrollable eye-rolling every time they open their ignorant trap?
You’ve tried to be welcoming, You have opened your home to this person, dropped everything to go to them or have them over to drop their emotional turmoil on you. You’ve kept your opinions to yourself when you noticed the lies, the grandiose nonsense spew from their irrational brain and the tantrums over not getting what they felt they were entitled to. You stood back, observed and took note of the patterns. The type of person who only calls when they need something, the person who doesn’t have the care to ask how anyone is when they do call, the person who puts you at the bottom of their priorities repeatedly and is insulted when you don’t give in to their immediate needs/demands.
We don’t want tension in our lives, we don’t want our loved ones treated poorly. When no progress is made when someone brings the point up that relationships are give and take (not take and take), what is the next step? We should not tolerate lies and I consider withholding information to be the same thing. Admit when you fuck up because people can get over the truth far more easily than they can a lie. Hiding the truth and being unable to admit your mistakes is cowardice. Avoidance and giving people the silent treatment when others question anything…is manipulation.
What points to these people having a genuine personality disorder is the following. The inability to follow through with any plan that requires more than a few weeks of dedication, easily angered, easily insulted, a constant need for praise, perpetually distracted, lack of sincere care for other’s needs, failure to interact if they have nothing to gain, expecting to achieve massive success without any work ethic, ability to play the victim in order to get what they want, finding co-dependent people to take care of/worship them, easily influenced by others and a chameleon when it pertains to their opinions and views. Such as criticizing someone’s spirituality ‘You aren’t getting all religious on me?’ to being a staunch judgmental ‘Christian’ a few months later. Changing their ‘dream’ careers with great frequency and convincing everyone it’s always been their ambition to (insert career path here).
Rather than being oneself and abiding by your own principles/interests and attracting likeminded people, this type of personality also has a way of molding themselves into fitting in with their latest social group. They will alter their beliefs, their hobbies, their style and push themselves into being the center of attention. This is a narcissistic trait and once they no longer need something from these people or they have been ‘insulted’ for whatever reason, they have no qualms cutting them out of their lives, if they are the one’s ostracized first, they play it off to mask the pain of rejection.
The frightening part of this type of individual is that you never know who they genuinely are. Were they themselves two years ago, three weeks ago, last weekend? This is not to be confused with people growing and learning over time as that is maturing in a healthy manner. We will all find new hobbies and we may change our career paths at some point in life. This is meeting a new person every time you see them and their fleeting enthusiasm makes them insufferable. They are also instant experts who have no need for petty training or education because, in their minds, showing interest makes one an oracle of oracles. How can we put our trust in someone who doesn’t have a clue about the content of their own character?
Projecting an image does not dictate who you truly are. You can talk out of your ass all day about how wonderful kindness is, how beautiful it is to help the less fortunate, share inspirational quotes about never giving up, but in the end, it is how you actually treat people that defines character. When your actions continuously fail to match your words, everyone will eventually see that you are indeed full of shit. You are lying to yourself and everyone else, thus making your entire existence a lie.
I continuously read about setting boundaries with those who are toxic and/or self-serving. While this sounds good in theory, it doesn’t always work as planned due to the person in question not comprehending boundaries. The self-absorbed or Narcissistic personality only considers their own needs. When you have reiterated the same message and it fails to register (think of the ‘friend’ who perpetually shows up uninvited, the relative who repeatedly asks for money, etc.), you have two choices. You can continue to waste your breath in an effort to be a good person or you cut them out of your life to spare your sanity.
We need to stop feeling guilty for not meeting other’s demands. You aren’t a terrible person for not wanting to be used.