The most dangerous predators among us are ingeniously veiled. They carefully surround themselves with people entirely unlike themselves, that is, with deeply empathic human beings who wish to please others, who are slow to judge, who are excessively tolerant and who have an eye for the good to be found in others. They know how to exploit to their own advantage such character traits. It is their association with such people that maximizes their chances of perpetuating the facade and keeping themselves from exposure. "Narcissism & the Dynamics of Evil"The underlining is mine. I want to focus your attention for a moment on the kind of good person, good qualities, and good intentions which are used to support and hide "the most dangerous predators". If good is used for the evil purposes of predators then good itself becomes dangerous. We really must make determined efforts to not allow good to be used as a cloak for evil, especially if that good resides in ourselves. We are responsible to others to make sure our good natures and qualities are not used by predators to get within striking distance of their victims.
A group of people who are admire and cultivate the qualities of being "deeply empathic", people pleasers, reluctant to judge, "excessively tolerant" and who choose to see only the good in others, are Christians. You do not have to be a Christian to value and hold these qualities, but as a group Christians tend to value and emphasize and reward these qualities. So I'm talking especially to Christians. I hope the rest of you stay tuned, because I'm still talking to you, too.
There is something fundamentally wrong with our idea of how "good" people should be if we are not discriminating enough to make sure our "good" is not used to facilitate evil. If the "good" qualities we boast of are used as weapons in the hands of a predator then our "good" is actually turned to evil. This is very serious business.
Let's consider for a moment the quality of "slow to judge". It is easy enough to imagine why a predatory narcissist would find these people very expedient to their ends if you pause to think even for a moment on it. The day of inevitable exposure of the narcissist is long postponed, perhaps forever, if the narcissist is able to surround himself with people who will suspend all judgment of the narcissist's behaviors and ascribe non-malevolent motives to the narcissist for his bad acts. When the day of exposure arrives, the narcissist has these ardent supporters who will protest with all the vehemence and conviction of their good souls that the narcissist is misunderstood and hastily misjudged. This makes it difficult for others to maintain their just assertions against the narcissist because the good reputations of the narcissist's supporters are now used to make the accuser look bad by contrast. It can be nearly impossible for a victim of a narcissist to press their claims when so-called good people form a protective ring around the evil-doer and divert the slings and arrows back to the victim. This behavior of the "good" people actually guarantees the narcissist will continue to have access to his or her victim as well as access to new victims in the future. If that isn't evil in itself, I do not know what is. If we do not exercise our frontal lobes, that is, our ability to judge between things, then we guarantee that evil will prosper in our presence.
Let's look again at the list of qualities that the predatory narcissist looks for in those he surrounds himself with:
slow to judge
belief in the basic good of others
When we bestow these graces upon evil people we can safely state that these qualities become evil themselves. These qualities, by themselves, are neither good nor evil.
Chew on that for moment.
What determines whether or not they are good qualities is upon whom and in what circumstances we exercise them. This goes against what most good people believe. They see these qualities as unqualified virtues regardless. It is this kind of thinking the narcissist exploits.
The least virtuous of these qualities, in my opinion, is the extreme reluctance to judge. All the other qualities spring from this one. So I will state here that judging is absolutely necessary if we are going to avoid being used by evil people. The word judgmental has gotten an extremely bad rap over the years. The psychologizing of our society has led to this idea that everyone is basically good and that all forms of guilt are deleterious to individuals. This is because everyone is construed to be some form of victim, therefore they can't help how they behave. Pop psychology has done more to facilitate narcissists than any other modern philosophy. Pop psychology preaches that all the badly behaving person needs is a empathetic ear (i.e. talk therapy). Pop psychology relies on an extreme reluctance to judge any kind of behavior; it preaches that we must all be excessively tolerant of others; and underlying all of its dogma is the fundamental belief in the basic good of humanity. So, as you can see, Christians aren't the only ones prone to over-value (and misapply) the qualities listed above. In fact, Christians used to be a lot better at holding evil doers to account, but pop psychology has infiltrated Christian thought which means Christians and secularists are thinking very much alike on this. "Nice" is now the "virtue" a vast number of people are pursuing and competing to have ascribed to them. "Nice" now equals "good" in the minds of many. "Nice" people think it is not nice to hurt people's feelings. They bend over backwards to never hurt anyone's feelings. This, of course, is impossible to accomplish. Someone is always going to get their feelings hurt. Shouldn't we strive to make sure that if someone's feelings get hurt that it is the predatory ones among us who get clobbered and not their victims?
It is no small thing to let your goodness be exploited, used, and manipulated by predatory narcissists. Your good qualities are only good if they support good. All too often people fall for the notion that their eternal patience and determined belief in the good of all people will cause others to rise to the occasion. The narcissist will never rise to this occasion in the way you hope. They will only see opportunity for protective coloration by standing very close to you and letting your goodness hide their badness.
It is imperative for you, your family, and your social circle that you engage your rational powers and start discerning between good and evil. Discernment = judgment. Not a bad word. I have said before that "nice people suck". In this context, of how "nice" people often let themselves be used by evil people, I am speaking. There is a time for everything. Always being "nice" is a sign that you do not understand there is a time to not be "nice". There is a time to judge. A time to take an unpopular stand. A time to hold evil-doers to account no matter the cost to you. A time to protect the innocent and abused from those who have very successfully hidden their malignancy heretofore. A time for war.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Eccl. 3:1-8