Chump Lady is very honored to interview Dr. George Simon, author of “In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People” and his new book “Character Disturbance.” (See both for sale in the right hand corner Amazon box). Dr. George Simon is a leading expert on manipulators and other disturbed characters and has studied character disturbance for over thirty years. This makes him a go-to read if you’re dealing with infidelity.
For more about Dr. Simon, check out his excellent blog http://www.manipulative-people.com/
CL: I really enjoyed your books. Before I read your work, I had read several books on narcissistic personality disorder and what rang false to me, based on my personal experience, was that narcissists have low self-esteem or can’t deal with shame. Your books were so refreshing by contrast — as you argue some people are disordered, that it’s an issue of character, and that traditional therapeutic strategies aren’t very effective.
If someone takes this approach, the character disordered person isn’t going to get much help — and it’s not likely they’re going to get any better.
GS: This research is in its infancy. We just don’t know. Some folks seem to have empathy deficits built into their wiring. There is something wrong, but we don’t know enough yet. We really don’t. Just because the brains of psychopaths work differently when you study them doesn’t necessarily mean those brains were different from birth. The degree of empathy deficiency and the degree to which it is strictly part of the programming versus a developmental issue [is unclear].