Not to minimize the economic and social havoc that today’s headliner “identity thieves” create in their victim’s lives; nevertheless, there is a whole other breed of identity thieves, around for centuries, I suppose, whose work often goes unspoken about—except, perhaps, to counselors, clergy, or other trusted listeners….
Unlike my dying supervisor-mentor, described in the previous post, who used honesty by way of compliments to build people up, there are those who use cruel words camouflaged as “honesty” to tear others down, so as to build themselves up.
These narcissistic individuals, it seems to me, are a breed of identity thieves who prey on others’ insecurities to rob their victims of belief in themselves—their gifts, their talents, their abilities.
As a teacher, I was attuned to recognizing students’ identity crises and bringing my concerns to their guidance counselors. After that point, I would not be privy to the knowledge of the particulars, of how the children’s psyches were damaged.
Of course, children, who are the most vulnerable, aren’t the only victims of this kind of identity theft.
Even adults can be victimized by other adults, by persuasive narcissistic “put-down masters” who corrupt others’ self-concepts.
Verbal abuse. Emotional abuse. The perpetrators are identity thieves of the most potentially deadly kind—they steal healthy, positive, images of oneself.
Retirement can be a vulnerable time. Is there someone who chips away at your confidence, not with healthy realistic questioning, but with unhealthy, negative nay-saying?