Dr. George K. Simon Jr. is the author of some popular psychological "self-help" books:
- In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
- Character Disturbance: The Phenomenon of Our Age
Dr. Simon also maintains a web site "Dealing with Manipulative People".
In his books, Dr. Simon describes the character types and behaviors of the various manipulative, controlling, and "covert-aggressive" personalities that people often have to deal with in family, social, and workplace situations. He uses the phrase "disturbed character" or "character disturbance" to describe many of these people.
The "disturbed character" is a personality type applied to people who are often unencumbered by qualms of conscience and passionately pursue their personal goals with indifference to - and often at expense of - the rights and needs of others, and cause all sorts of problems for others and society at large. Character-disordered personalities lack self-restraint when it comes to acting upon their primal urges. They have too little conscience or in extreme case no conscience at all. They typically resist making concessions to societal demands, may have some antisocial tendencies, and may have diminished capacities for experiencing genuine shame or guilt. Erroneous thinking patterns and attitudes underlie dysfunctional behaviors they display. These problematic behavior patterns may be habitual and automatic, but they also are conscious and deliberate. These distorted characters resist changing their attitudes and core beliefs despite having plenty of insight and awareness. What they need and can benefit from are:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapeutic approaches are the most appropriate in this regard.
When dealing with disturbed characters, it is however also important to craft win-win scenarios so that they do not feel like they have to lose.
Brief Summary of Problematic Patterns of Thinking of Disturbed Characters
- Self-focused/self-centered thinking
- Possessive thinking
- Extreme 'all-or-none' thinking
- Egomaniacal thinking
- Shameless thinking
- Quick and easy thinking
- Guiltless thinking
The aggressive personalities
Among the most character-disordered personalities are covert-aggressive personalities, the more extreme cases of which are:
- the tele-evangelists,
- cult leaders,
- political extremists,
- Sunday night TV "success" peddlers and
- militant social activists
- They use the tactics of manipulation in their overall modus operandi and seek to rise to position of substantial power and influence. They gravitate toward and exploit the excellent opportunities for self-advancement and the wielding of considerable power under the guise of service available in such endeavors.
- George K. Simon (1996, 2010). In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People. Little Rock, USA: Parkurst Brothers. ISBN 978-1-935166-30-6.
- George K. Simon (2011). Character Disturbance: The Phenomenon of Our Age. Little Rock, USA: Parkurst Brothers. ISBN 978-1-935166-33-7.
- George K. Simon. [/ Dealing with manipulative people]. Retrieved on December 21, 2013.