Lack of Conscience - Individuals who suffer from Personality Disorders are often preoccupied with their own agendas, sometimes to the exclusion of the needs and concerns of others. This is sometimes interpreted by others as a lack of moral conscience.
The Missing Moral Compass
One of the things many Nons find especially painful is the way some people with Personality Disorders can appear completely oblivious to the pain and chaos they cause. This can range from the partner who is unconcerned about breaking promises repeatedly, to the physically abusive person who appears to have no concept of the need to change their behavior.
It’s like they just don’t ‘get’ that sorry is not just a word you say, it is something that involves acknowledging abusive or neglectful actions and then taking firm steps to change them. Accountability to some people is almost foreign concept.
Some PD/Non conflicts related to conscience can also be understood in terms of Situational Ethics, where the PD individual feels their end justifies their means.
What it Looks Like
- A parent beats a child and then tells the child, “you made me do that”.
- A sex offender shows no remorse, and goes on to repeat offences.
- A teenager posts a video on-line of them beating up a homeless person.
- A colleague sabotages a co-worker’s efforts and then bullies them for attempting to seek redress from management.
How it feels
When someone you care about abuses or neglects your basic human rights and needs, it can lead to feelings of low self-worth, doubt and depression. You might wonder what you’ve done to deserve it, or you might wonder what you can do to make them pay attention and take responsibility for their behavior. Sadly, if someone with a Personality Disorder lacks a proper moral compass, asking them to change is rarely successful.
What NOT to Do
- Do NOT accept abuse, seek help from appropriate outside sources.
- Do NOT blame yourself, nothing you did or did not do caused this situation.
- Do NOT try to ‘fix’ the person. Speak the truth once, and once only, and then take steps to protect yourself if the person shows no signs of changing their behaviour.
- Do NOT act in ways which are contrary to your own moral values, or go into ‘payback’ mode.
What TO Do
- DO report abuse of yourself, children or animals to the appropriate authorities.
- DO read up on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every one of those statements applies to you and your children.
- DO take steps to protect the resources you need for your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of any dependents.