Monday, April 23, 2012

Educating Ourselves About Personality Disorders

Catholics spend a lot of time thinking about their faults and trying to improve.   We study the four temperaments to understand the weaknesses of our personality types, and we read about the saints for inspiration.  Then we run into personality problems with other Catholics, and we are disillusioned.  We think, "How can this be? How can I be hurt most often by my brothers and sisters in the faith?"   Maybe it is because we interact with them more and/or we have higher expectations because they are Catholic.  I don't know.  The disillusionment can be taken to a whole new level if that Catholic is a priest, because we hold them to the highest standards of all, even though we know that they are "only human" and pray regularly for holy priests.  As hard as that is, it's even worse when it is a "good Catholic" family member who is hurting us.   Light's House is a great support site for anyone who suspects that their familial relationships are not normal.

Sometimes a person does something that makes us feel uncomfortable, but we are not sure why. It is helpful to have a vocabulary to help us express and clarify the discomfort.  This list of Top 100 Traits of Personality-Disordered Individuals can do just that.   It may help us recognize our own unhealthy behaviors and give us the impetus to change them.

Familiarizing ourselves with the Top 100 Traits can also help us recognize when the situation we are dealing with calls for different techniques to deal with it than what we have been using.  After all, we cannot change other people, only our reaction to them.  Sometimes the only solution is to go "low contact" or "no contact" with the individual, even if it is a family member.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Wendy, I know this is an old post, but I wanted to thank you for posting this. I'm not sure if you knew how much of a difference you made by simply sharing information, but it has provided an enormously helpful resource and I appreciate it. Thank you!!