In society there are plans in place for people who commit murder. For killing someone’s soul there are no legal punishments. For humiliating individuals beyond the pale, there are no bonds issued. J. A. Gilbert
In her book the “The Lovely Bones,” Sebold describes a killer who stalks young female victims – then sexually overpowers them before savoring the delicious “death moan.”
In a less physical way bullies commit soulless acts. E.g., those who exhibit anti-social personality disorder are particularly prone to heartless, dispirited behavior. An APD:
- Engages in repeated fights or assaults as a consequence of irritability and aggressiveness.
- Exhibits reckless disregard for safety of self or others.
- Shows a consistent pattern of irresponsible behavior, including failure to find and keep a job for a sustained length of time.
- Shows no evidence of sadness, regret or remorse for actions that have hurt others.
As employees they can seem contentious and combative, relishing the excitement and victim status that derive from appearing “wronged.”
Imagine these people in a parenting situation. The character Walter Mathau portrays in the movie “Hanging Up” is described as suffering from “uproar” – a contrarian who goes out of his way to display difficult, disruptive habits, ones that most often result in put-downs of people whom he “loves;” – in this case, his daughter (played by Meg Ryan). An emotionally abusive adult exhibits the following behaviors:
- blaming or belittling the child in public
- talking about the child negatively
- always assuming the child is at fault
- having unrealistic expectations
- admitting to disliking or hating the child
- threatening the child
- being emotionally cold and unsupportive
To children (who need affirmation, support, and constant reassurance) it can be especially damaging to be raised by a contra variable – someone who is vindictive, who deliberately refuses to praise, or who embarrasses or demeans them.
Sufferers of anti-social disorder traipse through life repeating the same dysfunctional pattern – never learning, not improving – their lives an insane patchwork of disorderly confrontations, unsuccessful connections and severed relational cords – meaningless and without purpose from a lack of insight.