Passive Dependent People

I like the works of Dr. M Scott Peck – a psychiatrist that never forgot that we human beings have a soul, we are answerable to the Higher Power, and there is a right and a wrong. He never forgot about God. So many in the mental health profession today seem to be godless. As a reminder, here is how Dr. Peck defines “Love”.:

Dr. M Scott Peck wrote: “I have defined love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional. The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love.”

Would it not be good if we all would love in this way?

Here are a few paragraphs from Dr. Peck describing “Passive Dependent Personality Disorders.” Prepare to be sad.

People with this disorder, passive dependent people, are so busy seeking to be loved that they have no energy left to love. They are like starving people, scrounging wherever they can for food, and with no food of their own to give to others. It is as if within them they have an inner emptiness, a bottomless pit crying out to be filled but which can never be completely filled. They never feel “full-filled” or have a sense of completeness. They always feel “a part of me is missing.” They tolerate loneliness very poorly. Because of their lack of wholeness they have no real sense of identity, and they define themselves solely by their relationships.”
– M. Scott Peck

“Specifically, one whose life is ruled and dictated by dependency needs suffers from a psychiatric disorder to which we ascribe the diagnostic name “passive dependent personality disorder.” It is perhaps the most common of all psychiatric disorders. People with this disorder, passive dependent people, are so busy seeking to be loved that they have no energy left to love.”
– M. Scott Peck

“The inner feeling of emptiness from which passive dependent people suffer is the direct result of their parents’ failure to fulfill their needs for affection, attention and care during their childhood. It was mentioned in the first section that children who are loved and cared for with relative consistency throughout childhood enter adulthood with a deep-seated feeling that they are lovable and valuable and therefore will be loved and cared for as long as they remain true to themselves.

Children growing up in an atmosphere in which love and care are lacking or given with gross inconsistency enter adulthood with no such sense of inner security. Rather, they have an inner sense of insecurity, a feeling of “I don’t have enough” and a sense that the world is unpredictable and ungiving, as well as a sense of themselves as being questionably lovable and valuable.

It is no wonder, then, that they feel the need to scramble for love, care and attention wherever they can find it, and once having found it, cling to it with a desperation that leads them to unloving, manipulative, Machiavellian behavior that destroys the very relationships they seek to preserve.

As also indicated in the previous section, love and discipline go hand in hand, so that unloving, uncaring parents are people lacking in discipline, and when they fail to provide their children with a sense of being loved, they also fail to provide them with the capacity for self-discipline.

Thus the excessive dependency of the passive dependent individuals is only the principal manifestation of their personality disorder. Passive dependent people lack self-discipline. They are unwilling or unable to delay gratification of their hunger for attention.”
– M. Scott Peck

“It is said that “neurotics make themselves miserable; those with character disorders make everyone else miserable.” Chief among the people character-disordered parents make miserable are their children. As in other areas of their lives, they fail to assume adequate responsibility for their parenting. They tend to brush off their children in thousands of little ways rather than provide them with needed attention.”
– M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

“Dependency may appear to be love because it is a force that causes people to fiercely attach themselves to one another. But in actuality it is not love; it is a form of anti-love. It has its genesis in a parental failure to love and it perpetuates the failure. It seeks to receive rather than to give. It nourishes infantilism rather than growth. It works to trap and constrict rather than to liberate. Ultimately it destroys rather than builds relationships, and it destroys rather than builds people.”
― M. Scott Peck

“One of the problems that people commonly have in their adult relationships if they have never received a firm commitment from their parents is the “I’ll desert you before you desert me” syndrome.  – M. Scott Peck

“Boy Crazy” , or “Daddy Issues” are terms used to minimize the pain and suffering of these victims of a loveless home. Beware….. inconsistent love also causes the same sad effects. I find it distressing to see young people dating. Ironically, the most desperate-for-love children are the ones allowed to get into emotional situations that they are too immature to understand. They get emotionally hurt over and over causing a cycle of more desperate searches for “Love”. Their parents seem not to notice or not to care and are all too willing to sacrifice their children to the godless society of amoral rules of behavior.

On the other hand, children that come from a home where they know there is love are more emotionally mature and ironically do not seek the roller coaster of emotions associated with pre-mature dating. When THEY venture out into the world, they have a much better handle on who they are.

In short, if your 13 – 14 – 15 – 16- 17 – and 18 year old are desperate to date…… you are not providing enough love and security at home. Children need to know Mom and Dad love them.

Exterminate Reminders of Our Imperfection

The ability to effectively communicate the dynamics of a weakness or failure to a person with an imperfection for the purpose of helping that person overcome the problem is difficult even when that person is aware of the imperfection and has asked for help. I apparently DO NOT HAVE this ability to help these people. I cannot point out ketchup on side of person’s mouth without making a new enemy for life – voodoo dolls and pins being stuck in my doll forever.. Sadly when one makes an enemy the only gain is having …. one more enemy. Yes, I did read: “How To Win Friends and Influence People” – it did not help. I apparently do not have the DNA to learn a foreign language or to help a person through a personal crisis. Candidly, I never tried hard with the foreign language thing.

Dr. M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled and People of the Lie discusses how people deal with their own “weaknesses”. As a psychiatrist while in the armed forces, Dr Peck was assigned the task of studying very successful military officers. These were men that advanced through the ranks quickly. They were liked by their peers and had a successful family life. Everything they touched seem to turn to gold. The military wanted to understand the reasons for their success.

On one day Dr. Peck took these very successful people to a classroom and asked them to independently write down on a piece of paper the three things that were most important to them in their lives. Dr. Peck was taken-aback at how seriously these men took their assignment – taking 45 minutes to over an hour to write three words. Not surprising the #2 and #3 most important thing was a varied array of interests and experiences. HOWEVER, for all twelve of these very successful officers the #1 most important thing they wrote down was: “MYSELF”. Now this manifested itself into the discipline these people had for self improvement. When these people saw something in themselves that was a “weakness” or an “imperfection” they worked diligently to improve themselves in that area.

Several years later, Dr. Peck was working with inmates at a prison. One prisoner, guilty of many evil actions, became comfortable with talking to the doctor. Dr Peck asked this man: “What is the most important thing in your life?” The man replied: “My self-esteem” How close to the answers from several years earlier!  Not-withstanding, “Self-esteem” as a priority manifested itself in a much different manner. When this man of many evil actions saw some “weakness” or “imperfection” in himself he would EXTERMINATE from his life the person or thing that reminded him of that weakness or imperfection..

I tend to think of people that do evil things -on purpose, frequently, and without remorse – as being evil people. I am told I SHOULD look at them as being Children of God – made in His likeness – who do not have the knowledge to do good. This is a hard ideal for me to be comfortable. A concept that I have no problem with is that sometimes good people -even very good people – do something “Bad” THIS DOES NOT MAKE THEM A BAD PERSON. It does not. It does NOT. IT DOES NOT! There was one very good man that never did anything bad. His name is Jesus Christ. The rest of us, all of us, do bad things. We sin. We try harder. We ask for forgiveness. We ask for help. We ask for God’s help and we ask trusted friends for help. That said, only God will never let us down.

In closing I’d like to add one addendum to Dr. Peck’s “Extermination Observation”. Frequent evil doers are not alone in exterminating from their lives reminders of their “Weaknesses”. Sometimes even the best among us -God’s most gifted and devout- will shun friends that tried to help by stressing their weaknesses too much and their talents not enough. Sometimes Satan is involved by confusing us when we are in crisis. When this is the case, prayer is the answer. God will not let us down. It is never too late to re-evaluate our reality, our self-worth, or the value of our friends.