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Shall We Take Our Kids’ Sanity More Seriously?

COVID-19 is an insidious killer. If we are smart, we will eventually eliminate it. But we live in societies where an often silent and just as insidious killer lurks: Aggressive personalities. This is a killer that shows no signs of abating.

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance

~Will Durant.

I can only concur with such a statement. And because I understand that learning requires three main criteria — 1. Being aware there is always so much to discover, 2. Having access to knowledge and 3. Most importantly, being humble enough to unlearn & learn again, I am addressing this urgent message to this category with the hope they could contribute in influencing their circle.

The ‘Aggressive Personalities’ concept

Dr. George Simon, PhD introduced it as below:

“The aggressive personalities are individuals whose overall “style” of interacting involves considerable, persistent, maladaptive aggression expressed in a variety of ways and in a wide range of circumstances. All of the various aggressive personalities possess characteristics common to narcissistic personalities. Indeed, there are some theorists who tend to view the aggressive personalities as merely aggressive variations of the narcissistic personality.”

He also took care of defining the following five subtypes:

The Unbridled Aggressive

These are the individuals we have typically called “antisocial” in their behavior pattern because they so frequently violate major social norms and end up running afoul of the law.

The Channeled Aggressive

Individuals with this personality type frequently channel their aggressive energies into socially sanctioned outlets such as competitive sports, military careers, etc., and tough corporate enterprise. They contain their aggression for pragmatic purposes but will cross socially acceptable boundaries when they feel assured they will get away with it.

The Covert-Aggressive

They do their best to appear benign on the surface and to veil all their aggressive agendas. Covert-aggression is the subtle, hard to detect, but yet deliberate, calculating, and underhanded tactics that manipulators and other disturbed characters use to intimidate, control, deceive, and abuse others.

For those of you who are more familiar with the Narcissism glossary, be aware the ‘Covert Narcissists’ belong to this third subtype.

They could portray themselves as a genuinely good-hearted, compassionate, and deeply virtuous person; as well as a victim: of life in general, of their co-workers, of their spouse, of their parents; you name it! Many times, they come across as constantly depressed. They feel very taken advantage of, so undervalued for how wonderful they truly are.

The sadistic aggressive

Most aggressive personalities hurt other people. But that is not their principal aim. Aggressive personalities generally simply want what they want and if they have to run roughshod over someone else to get it, so be it. Causing pain is not their aim. Getting their way is their main desire. But for the Sadistic Personality, inflicting pain and demeaning others is a primary objective.

The predatory aggressive, the psychopath (alt: sociopath)

These individuals are first and foremost characterized by their senseless, remorseless, and completely empathy-devoid use, abuse, manipulation, and exploitation of others. Some of these individuals also lead parasitic lifestyles.

Again, for those of you who have some knowledge about narcissistic personalities, the ‘Malignant Narcissist’ belongs to this last category.

What does this have to do with our kids at all?

Everything. How come? You only need to have a look at the official statistics about the number of kids who committed suicide — best case scenario, became neurotics who struggle with their self-esteem on a daily basis. What is the main root cause reported by the survivors or the victims’ families? School bullies.

Bullies tend to be physically stronger than the average student and from a personality perspective, tend to be more aggressive, manipulative, and low in empathy (Olweus, 1993).

School bullies are more likely to become those character-disturbed adults introduced in the beginning, unless they could get effective help while their brain is still in its most flexible and modifiable state.

I am inviting you to have a look at this video:

Don’t you think that no single kid/teenager deserves being abused like this young lady? What do you think has helped her cope so far, and prevented her from ending her life?

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Myriam Ben Salemhttps://medium.com/@myriambensalem
Myriam Ben Salem was born in Tunisia, a small country in North Africa. Myriam did pretty much everything earlier than the average: walking, talking, singing, dancing. Promoted throughout her entire education, Myriam was also the leader of every end-of-year party. Myriam is a mentor with a deep passion for helping others grow and find their own internal truths to reframe their lives. She spent 9 years working at a high level of consultancy and management in the Information Technology, Human Resources, and Research sectors, only to realize that perfectionism and pressure were damaging herself and those around her. After three burnouts and an existential crisis, she dramatically embarked on a painful journey to reinvent herself from within. Now she guides organizations as well as people in redefining the most integral aspects of internal value, truth, and care, promoting a daring greatly culture and re-humanizing their personal life through stories, play, laughter, and thought-provoking discussions to create real and permanent change. Myriam is deeply passionate about everything life has to offer. She educates through any possible means including writing – a discovered skill emerging naturally during the transformational journey -- on the importance of reconnecting with our common birth’s gifts making of all of us seeds of greatness only numbed by the life-time conditioning. She is guided by the fundamental universal correct principles or what is also known as our spirit, our conscience and the manifestation of our 4th and most important form of intelligence: the spiritual one! Reconnecting with her principles Center was what truly helped her on her path of moving from ego to self-love, in promoting continuous learning, and acquiring the humility to discover a calling: a higher mission than her small self. She is described as vivacious, confident, compassionate, authentic, funny, warrior, vulnerable, grateful, bold, mature, showing integrity with an abundance mentality, and always seeking the best way forward for herself and every person she interacts with.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this lovely Myriam! You have amazing understanding of personality disorders. As a child, I was bullied even by a friend who always threatened to assault me if I did not do her bidding physically. Finally, one day in seventh grade, I will never forget, I stood outside her brother’s car and shaking in my boots said, ”Go ahead.” She never bothered me again. We remained friends/acquaintances for years.💖

  2. I’m with you Myriam in wanting to come up with solutions. Being a parent is a very challenging role, that nobody has been given a golden book from which to draw from. But that is no excuse for what we read about hear about and know from our own experiences where bully type/narcissists trample over other people and children to get their way. These personality/character disorders, whatever we want to label them really does begin at home, where they were raised–for the most part. There are fruits that fall from the tree and are just plain sour and mean; different from others in their family but that I think is rare.
    In the US we’ve always had in house nurses and counselors but I don’t know how much they are allowed to delve into one’s family unless there is physical abuse. In California where I am from, the laws are now very strict on abuse and if a doctor even suspects abuse happening they must by law report it to social services. This can lead to the incarceration of the abuser who has physically harmed a citizen.

    • Thaaaaanks my sweetie for stopping by and for making me feel so good because of the hope there are people out there having the same concern 🙏💙🙏

      This being said, the problem is indeed the laws only punishing the PHYSICAL abuse! The emotional subtle abuse can be way more dramatic, and this is the awareness we ALL need to start having…

      For instance a Covert Narcissistic mother would be having 3 roles for her SONS: the Golden son — and this one will become a narcissist, the Scapegoat and the Forgotten one. Those two would develop Anxiety Disorders with different levels. Their daughters become perfectionists.

      This means one of the kid will be another character-disturbed individual and the others neurotics struggling in life and could easily be bullied or find themselves in toxic relationships.

      Is this regulated? NOPE! Is this dangerous? HELL YES!

      What is the most brilliant therapist able to do without this recommendation of radically changing the law? They could work with the kid for months, and only 1 INCIDENT at home could destroy everything…

      That’s what is making the current situation so problemtic! The experts are NOT ENABLED TO BE EFFECTIVE… That’s extremely sad anf I so hope a global awareness and mobilization could occur to fix it!

  3. This one hits very close to home for me. I was thankfully never bullied, if I was, I don’t think I would’ve made it out alive as I wasn’t raised in a home full of healthy caregivers. I did however marry a bully. A bully with ASPD, PTSD and a TBI, so I do know how it feels to be bullied. As an adult, I was able to figure it out but it took the care of a therapist and domestic violence center. And thankfully they understood what was happening when I couldn’t see the forest – only the trees.

    Where I think what you recommend has true merit, one concern is who would raise these children? Our foster system isn’t known for being as stable and supportive as these children would need. And most abusive/aggressive partners might end up killing or severely hurting their partners when they try to leave. Statistically it takes seven tries for a woman to leave her abusive partner. Most abuse survivors know when it is safe and how it is safe to leave. They know their situations better than anyone. So forcing them, may be deadly.

    I think the issues of domestic violence, bullying, racism, and sexism all come from unhealthy thought patterns. I also agree that treating children with their neuroplastic brains is the way to do it. The how is the tricky part. From my experience, the court system wouldn’t save children from being forced into visitation with abusive parents during a divorce. Every person has rights, no matter how terrible they are, as long as they don’t get caught being their most terrible self. In some of these cases it might even be better for the parents to stay together. Is abusing the mother better than having the abuse fall on the children?

    Even therapists in these situations can’t (or won’t) do much. I had a couple’s therapist get on the stand and act as though she couldn’t remember the majority of our sessions. She basically only attested to me being sad and my husband being aggressive. Which doesn’t hold much weight. During a session I told my ex it was hard for me to get over the night he pointed a gun at me, his reply – you wouldn’t get the F out of my face with the F was I supposed to do. There therapist said, when that situations was brought up he didn’t deny it. That was it.

    This post bring so many questions to my mind. But we’d need to have more a more accountable system in general to have any of it work. I’m not sure how that happens, but I’d love to be a part of the change.

    • Millions thanks JoAnna for stopping by and being bold enough to share your story! I so value it! 💙
      This essay, as well as another one around narcissism, are the result of some very hard times I’ve been going through for 3 weeks. The trigger was a horrible discovery I made about my family after deciding to get knowledgeable.

      I’ve been learning during those 3 weeks what I didn’t learn in months… And what is mind-blowing is that I’ve been re-adjusting from day today.

      If you read the other article, you’ll see I was talking about how UNCONSCIOUS the strategies of most kinds of narcissists excluding the ‘malignant’ one were; thus that it was nonsense to blame them. Btw, I had a similar experience as the one with your ex I talked about in the previous article. So, I might have an idea about your caregivers.
      I am literally contradicting myself in this one after having the honor of discovering Dr. George Simon’s work. He’s simply a genius! He is stipulating they know EXACTLY what they are doing, and that the Narcissistic Disorder is not really a Personality (mask people wear in general to fit in) Disorder; rather a Character one. It means the problem is in the disconnection from the conscience (giving us the possibility to know what is right from what is wrong). It also means their levels of shame and guilt are extremely low, explaining why they can do the same abusive thing over and over again.

      This is making so much sense for me even if it is extremely painful since I was confused about how possibly ‘strategies’ and ‘unconsciousness’ could be combined.
      What I’m trying to say here is that those aggressive people are not automatically openly violent or that they are more men than women. So many of them belong to the COVERT ones, and I would say those are the most DANGEROUS for the kids’ sanity because their ABUSE is so subtle and difficult to explain…

      I am so aware the new alternatives I am recommending are not obvious in terms of execution; since they would definitely need changing the laws and acknowledging the FRIGHTENING truth that NOT EVERYONE DESERVES THE RIGHT TO PARENTING…

      I know how hard this is to be accepted; like all the stigmas anyway. I know that this might even sound like non-principled. But here is the thing my friend: PRINCIPLES SHOULD APPLY TO PRINCIPLED FOLKS.

      I also know the sad truth that the world is ruled by those character-disturbed aggressive individuals in its majority making the task of changing the laws even more difficult.
      Nevertheless, I keep faith that so many people around the world are kind-hearted and do care about the sanity of their own kids as well as the future generations. That’s exactly why I’m hoping some mass mobilization could probably come out of this idea and make a serious discussion around it start 💙

  4. Oh, you’ve jumped into a world that I’m all too familiar with, Myriam from my own lived experiences. Thank you so much for all you’ve offered here in describing aggressive personalities (both men and women can embody these characteristics-tortured souls come in human packages) as well as some possible solutions that could support children in their growing up experiences. How important to heal our souls as human beings, to get to the very source of much of the ancestral toxic patterns that need desperately to be broken. May we find all kinds of pathways to holistic transformations for the heart, mind, body, and soul.

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