Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shamelessness

While surfing the Web I came across an ad you've probably seen by now - an ad for people looking "to have an affair." Call me old-fashioned, but I was a bit shocked at this ad looking for married people who want to cheat on their spouse.

I mean, it's one thing to do that, and it's another to be so shameless about it that you are anti-shameless!

What are such people trying to prove? That they are shameless, of course. Which is why they call the corresponding virtue modesty = being discreet about things you ought to hide or be ashamed of. That ain't just a virtue: like wearing clothes, it's common sense. It's best not to show off what you should keep hid.

It reminded me of something I discovered through various experiences (some bizarre) that may be useful to you.

It arises out of the following question: Since normal people play the same mental games narcissists do, unknowing what they know, deluding themselves, and reasoning backwards, how can you tell when you are dealing with a pathological personality?

I'll never forget the moment I realized the significant difference between people you should just shake your head at and those you should be wary of.

It was a little thing, a man I had known for years in my place of work, a man I had previously liked and considered a friend. But the moment resonated. I found myself stunned and gaping at him, as if seeing him for the first time, while that little voice in my head said, "He's shameless! Things have gotten so bad 'around here,' and he is so spineless that he's gone all the way to shameless!"

Reeking of false pity for "the old guy" he said he "didn't want to get into trouble," this viper said, "I don't want to sound, but ..." and then proceeded to BE what he claimed he didn't even wish to SEEM like.

But that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was that his act stunk. It was so transparent that there was nothing to see through anymore. The guy was as naked as Adam and Eve but too shameless to put a fig leaf on it like they did.

That alarm proved to be well-founded. The man was capable of anything and had been a troublemaker who liked to come between others all along.

But what I first noticed was his shamelessness. Like the Emperor in His New Clothes, this guy just expected me to refrain from calling him on this bullshit. In other words, this guy didn't care that I saw him naked: he just got in my face with it to make me pretend I didn't. (On the twisted premise that a thing ain't wrong if you don't get caught and called on it.)

Note how similar this is to a narcissist's pathological lying, when they tell you something they know you know isn't true. They don't want to make you believe it - they just want to cram this lie down your throat = make you accept it in silence as though it's true (to avoid conflict).

At that moment I sensed that a crucial moral boundary had been passed and that the man was depraved. The future proved it. To my shock, he proved capable of things I'd never have believed of him.

Since then, this tenet to watch out for the bad sign of shamelessness has always proved true in my experience.

Give me the man or woman who, caught with their pants down, is ashamed. Beware the man or woman who, caught with their pants down, flashes you the moon.

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5 Comments:

At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if it's because they are practically delusional when it comes to underestimating us ant-people that inhabit space under them? My N just seems to try to pass of his bull as true because he never learns that I am not a stupid idiot. It's like a cognitive deficit. I can't tell you the number of times I've said to him a variation of; "Hello, I'm not an idiot. I know what you're doing!! Yoo hoo!" But I honestly think he just can't keep it in his head that I'm not an imbecile. I wonder if they don't feel shame because we're just so darn insignificant to them down here in the dirt screaming and waving up at them like Lilliputians.

 
At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ant-people unite!!!!

My N was shameless. He even admitted it to me, or rather flaunted it in my face.

He told and showed me that his trick was to "act out" right in front of people, because they couldn't believe it was true, or what he had the b@lls to do. Oh boy, he was unhinged.

I think the trick is, even when you are told, normal people can't believe someone does this. It is hard to get, even more disturbing the freak admits it.

For awhile I made excuses, thought he was so severly maladjusted, you know socially. I guess I was embarrassed for him- but it was all
an act. Kathy- this guy is worthy of a book- he is their leader. Though he really is a psychopath. That's it, no conscience at all. Taht one had me confused for forever, until- ding dong- I got it and EVERYTHING made sense. He was not defensive, timid, nope....he played at friendship and then told you to your face in bloody detail you were dirt to him.

He'd easily be a serial killer- but he's smart and knows he'd not last long in prison. He even drew pictures of women being tortured,but he was so "holy."

The n experience is the most disturbing I have ever had- by far. And I have delt with raving alcoholic/drug addicts.

Another great post.

 
At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My N, when caught, has been running all over the net erasing his reviews of hookers, his ads for casual sex partners and his wife is on his side. I had an emotional affair with him that's ALL! I wasn't calling phone sex lines nor did I have a computer full of porn.

Sites like the ones you are talking about? Try so very hard to sanitize this disgusting behavior. My N even tried to send an article about how "affairs help bad marriages" to all his targets. Typical N now he's playing the victim because he got caught! And his wife told! Yes, they do think and act like WE are idiots.

These sites really are disgusting unfortunately, we can't get them closed down because they're not illegal, just immoral. The only places worse that I have seen (unfortunately) are the 'hooker review sites' - they review these guys 45 min. romps with prostitutes like these women were a good steak. Talk about objectification.

It never ceases to amaze me how these Ns make their major misdeeds morally equivalent to our minor missteps. They are incapable of shame or introspection. They just know what makes THEM feel good and heaven forbid we criticize or point out that its wrong!!

(and btw - ever notice how Ns won't allow anonymous comments on THEIR blogs - and somehow they make it that they are "protecting the integrity of their blog"? LOL!)

GREAT POST Kathy!

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very painful part of dealing with my ex-N was realizing that he had no shame, the only concern he had was getting caught, once he was caught, then he focused on trying to get away with it. Not once did he feel guilt or shame for anything he had done wrong, just mad that he got caught and might have to deal with consequences. My ex-N had the gall to tell me that he had waited until I was stuck with kids to be his true self. Brutal. To realize he truly didn't care about me, just treating me badly and getting away with it.

 
At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope this is not too late nor too long:

Kathy, I would never call you or anyone who values contracts old fashioned! I would even assert that if contracts are ever corrupted out of style then civilisation will shortly follow. I am disgusted by these ads and their shameless encouragement of those who would dishonestly free-ride at someone else's expense.

I am still reeling from contract-abuse hell, which brought all the "let me help you, damsel in distress" type of predators out of the woodwork. What really threw me was the very friend whom I confided in turned out to be one of them! I had known this guy for over 3 years and we were both part of a philosophical/economic/political discussion group. We had covered the importance of contracts and everyone in the group felt very strongly about the topic. Since it was a legal matter, I chose not to share publicly with the group but was glad to have the support network.

This married-with-5-kids "friend" chose my most traumatic time to make a pass at me! I was shocked but too overloaded to deal with it effectively. I felt split. At first, I was conflicted between my disgust and my platonic affection for him. I felt very sad when I thought about his wife and kids which grew into anger when he kept publically talking about how happily married he is, while simultaneously continuing to chat me up, often in public using coded language. When I was more settled, I realised that no true friend would take advantage like that and that he was taking too much interest in my troubles; fishing for information.

He was also one of the most vocal people in the group over how important keeping a contract is, but perhaps it only counts in business and not with your family. Ugh!

At first I thought that I should just shake my head, but what followed was worse. Right when I needed the support of my network, I was cut off from it. Games were started and he seemed to find the situation funny, which made me furious. It was as if he could do no wrong and any feedback that all was not ok was filtered out. When I politely requested (in exasperation) that he not contact me privately, he suddenly went very cold and dismissive.

I have since left this group, not because of him and his politicking but because the group appears to be going nowhere. It was a difficult decision because there are some wonderful, supportive people in the group. Another thing that infuriated me was that this joker would short circuit the rapport built up between members for his own ends. When I first joined this group, it was the only one available, but now I have more choice and I have since joined another which seems to show more promise, so things are working out. Perhaps some of the other members may end up joining me.

-Regards, Cassandra

 

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