As mentioned in my previous post titled “Discernment and Judgment,” people with OCPD can be quite judgmental when their gift for discernment is poisoned by all-or-nothing thinking. Their judgments can be so damaging that those who listen to them on a frequent basis are often left with their identity confused and self-esteem lowered.
People who are on the receiving end of frequent OCPD judgments should discount all all-or-nothing attacks made against their identity in order to preserve their own self-esteem.
A common story that I hear again and again is that of people coming out of a relationship with an OCPD partner more broken than they were before. This unfortunate outcome is most likely due to having listened to the all-or-nothing judgments of people with OCPD for far too long.
Those closest to people with OCPD must be vigilant in critically analyzing their judgments. No matter how true they might sound, recipients of their judgments need to recognize that OCPD judgments are in fact inaccurate because of their all-or-nothing thinking. Simply put, do not listen to any negative judgments from a person with OCPD.
When people with OCPD are attacked by their own judgments, most of them defend themselves in a very harmful way. Instead of saying to themselves, “No, I am not a failure! Look at who I am,” most will say, “No, I am not a failure! Look at what I have done!”
Many people with OCPD fall for this trap because they often do have an impressive portfolio of excellent work. Their performance then becomes the foundation on which they build their worth. When they perform excellently, they feel good about themselves; when they perform poorly, they feel bad about themselves. People with OCPD who repeatedly experience these ups and downs can then fall deeply into performance addiction.
SO WHAT NOW?
HOW TO CO-EXIST WITH THE OTHER (OCPD):
Stop judging others. Even when others fail to meet your standards, stop yourself from making judgments about them in your mind. Challenge yourself to think more in the middle.
HOW TO CO-EXIST WITH THE OTHER (OTHERS):
Stop listening to the judgments of your OCPD friend. Try to understand that his or her anxiety causes him or her to think in extremes. Be patient and encourage your OCPD friend to think more in the middle.
HOW TO SAVE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM (OCPD):
Stop listening to yourself. Until you have eliminated your all-or-nothing thinking, your mind is actually quite unreliable and your judgments are flawed. When you defend yourself from attacks that are made against your identity, do not be tempted to focus on what you have done. Instead, focus on who you are. If there is too much hurt, fear, and lies that are hindering you from getting in touch with who you really are, read “The Gift Unwrapped,” my best attempt at summarizing the true identity of our kind.