Tagged: “Trust”

Power makes me a man.  Forgiveness makes me a wimp.  Hey, I like those 2 sentences.  Maybe you can use them in your forgiveness talks.  Really now, don’t you think that humans are made for power……you know, the survival of the fittest.

There is a big difference between power **over** others and power **for** others.  The former leads to domination, which might lead you eventually to have to forgive yourself for treating people as pawns in your quest for domination over them.  On the other hand, power **for** others means that you use what influence or skills you have to make a better world for others.  This can require strength of character, patience, altruism, and even suffering for those others.  So, which form of power are you discussing: power **over** or power **for**?  This distinction makes all the difference.

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You just made a distinction between power **over** and power **for.** I will take power **over** all the time because this power **for** others usually results in my being taken advantage of.  No thank you. I am better off being the one in charge.

Your trust seems to be damaged.  If so, this idea of power **over** others may be a defense mechanism to aid you in not being hurt again.  Am I correct about this?  If so, then your quest for power **over** others will not heal your inner wounds caused by others.  Of course, I could be wrong about this, but please introspect for a while to see if you have unresolved inner wounds in need of healing.  Please write back if you have new insights.

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How can one reconcile with a NPD spouse, who has been emotionally and physically abusive and forced to leave?

Reconciliation involves trust and trust needs to be established slowly, especially when your spouse, who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), was forced to leave. Is your spouse interested in reconciling? If so, I strongly recommend that you see if your spouse is beginning to develop what I call “the 3 R’s” of remorse or inner sorrow, repentance or sincerely apologizing to you for the multiple offenses, and recompense or making up for the damage done within reason.
Further, those with narcissism need to be convinced that they have a problem and one possible opening for this is to see if your spouse is truly willing to understand and to practice humility, which is the direct opposite of a narcissistic pattern. You can read more on humility here:

Humility: What Can It Do for You? (This link will take you to my personal guidance column at Psychology Today.)

With perseverance from both of you, your spouse may slowly become convicted of the need for more humility and the practice of the 3 R’s. I wish you the best in this courageous journey.
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In your experience, when do children begin to truly forgive parents who have behaved very badly?

In my experience, people tend to start forgiving parents once the children are emerging into adulthood and are beginning to leave home or have left home. Before that, the child is both very dependent on the parents for basic needs and, when young, does not necessarily have the cognitive insight regarding how deeply unjust the parental behavior is. The young adult can be shocked at the depth of anger and at the seriousness of the parental injustice when looking back. Because of this, the struggle to forgive can take time, but definitely is well worth it. The forgiving might lead to a genuine reconciliation with the parent, if the parent also wishes to reconcile, which, in my experience, most parents want.

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I so do not want to admit this, but I have no trust at all for my ex-partner. She is constantly accusing me of things I have not done. She wants to reconcile. Can there be genuine reconciliation without trust?

Genuine reconciliation requires trust by both people. Yet, that trust can come slowly, taking time. So, you can get together even without full trust, but the true reconciliation will require that trust to eventually be established. I recently did a blog on Psychology Today’s website centered on this question of reconciling with an ex-partner. You can find that essay here: 6 Things to Consider Before Reconciling with an Ex.

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