To those us of who have a conscience and feel bad about anything even minor we do that has hurt someone….. we wonder….. how can someone be so intentionally abusive, cause so much prolonged harm and suffering, and not feel bad about themselves or feel guilt about their actions???
As per Dr George Simon – an expert in toxic people…. it is because they have a disturbed character and do not have a conscience, and do not feel remorse, shame or guilt.
And despite what many will say…… there is in fact a healthy amount of shame and guilt felt by people with a healthy character, when they have done something wrong that hurts someone.
As I read more articles by Dr George Simon, I am validated in my understanding of toxic people and their lack of conscience. But, with the insight that they do know what they do is wrong, and they make choices to cause harm.
This is also explained in the book my Dr Robert Hare (world expert in psychopathy/sociopathy) named ‘Without Conscience’.
And it’s worth noting, most psychopaths are not serial killers or serial rapists. They are often undetected, living amongst us – unknown to be a ‘disturbed character’ unless you know how to detect them, due to their lack of empathy, conscience, guilt, remorse. And they can fake these – so it takes considerable awareness to detect them. Even Dr Robert Hare admits to being manipulated by them.
My insight – that toxic people will keep causing harm, unless they choose to feel remorse, choose to develop shame and guilt… is also validated in Dr George Simon’s work.
When someone is rewarded by their own toxic behaviours, and they feel no shame, no guilt and no remorse, they will likely continue these toxic, abusive behaviours. Which I have known and seen, all my life.
So when I see people talk about shame and guilt being unnecessary emotions, I know that is wrong.
I also note, unhealthy levels of shame and guilt present in ‘good neurotic’ people, is something many complex trauma survivors feel. I understand the term neurotic means very anxious and with regard to complex trauma, the person victimised may feel toxic shame that is NOT theirs to feel, at all. Often due to the shame being projected onto the victim, by the perpetrator.
Dr George Simon also explains a ‘good neurotic’ person, is very different to a ‘disturbed character’, as explained in all these articles
Victims of abuse, should not feel shame for the abuse, but often we do.
And perpetrators of abuse, often feel no shame, when in fact, they should.
The shame is shifted from the perpetrator – to the victim.
The healing takes place, when the victimised person – moves toward letting go of that shame that is not theirs to feel. A difficult process, and one I am still dealing with in the healing journey.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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