What is New?

WHAT IS NEWEST ON THIS BLOG?

June 23: edited my post on Gaslighting to insert a link to a very good video by psychologist, Ross Rosenberg, explaining how gaslighting starts in childhood, and how to heal from parents who gaslight.

June 6: PBS's Frontline takes on the issue of human sex trafficking of abducted teenage girls in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Click HERE for that.

May 17: Turpin parents get 25 years to life for abusing their children. Final words from children and parents at sentencing. Click HERE for that.
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Thursday, May 8, 2014

what is the personality makeup of an abuser?

name of cartoon/illustration: The Narcissist
image is ©2014 Lise Winne
(for information regarding licensing any images contact LilacGroveGraphics (att) yahoo.com)

(note: for further reading about what constitutes abuse, including more on the personality of abusers, and whether they can be rehabilitated, go to this post). 

SOME TELL TALE SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE IN A RELATIONSHIP
WITH AN ABUSIVE NARCISSIST:
(note: some active addicts display traits of abusive narcissism too)
1. Retaliates and punishes you for confronting them (or even for hinting at criticism)
2. Can never be wrong or they will be enraged
2. Diminishes and downgrades your feelings while being hyper sensitive if their feelings are hurt
3. When you beg a normal person to stop hurting you, they do, while narcissists love to take the opportunity to hurt you more
4. Pries into your feelings, thoughts and what you do to save it up to use it against you later while keeping their own motives, thoughts and feelings close to the chest
5. Plays favoritism games: is overly sweet and kind to one person while scapegoating and vilifying another
6. Will do anything to keep up an image even if they have to lie and reject you to do it
7. Believes they are more special than others and entitled to special treatment
8. Often sweet to strangers, but abusive to family members
9. Arrogant

I liked these power point presentations by Jeni Mawter on the subject:
According to this article abusers come with several personality disorders: Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder.  

Abusive mothers: This article (from my favorite source of identifying emotional abuse) and this article from Parrish Miller underlines some of the characteristics of abusive mothers. These include the following: secretive, keeps motives and plans close to the chest, violates boundaries and tries to keep you from having autonomy, plays favorites with one child and scapegoats another child, encourages the favored child to abuse the scapegoat, is never wrong about anything, minimizes or invalidates feelings and experiences, you are responsible for her feelings but she is never responsible for your feelings, hypocritical, whistle blowing by any of her children unleashes severe punishment and threats to remain silent, undermines, criticizes, demeans, denigrates, she makes you look crazy or insane as a tactic to gain control, smears you, lies and aggrandizes herself in stories about herself, overly sensitive to any criticism however small, extremely defensive, teaches her children to be wary of her wrath, will get even unless she is placated by getting what she wants, petty and punitive, exploitative, shaming and blaming, attention-seeking, and if she loses everyone and everything in the process of becoming so ruthless and abusive can become pathetic (and weepy  -- "Why does everyone hate me?"). From my reading, mothers seem to fall into the Narcissistic form of personality disorder than the other disorders mentioned.

Abusive fathers: Abusive fathers have some of the same traits as abusive mothers, but there are also traits that are exceptional to fathers. This article explains what they are. Some differences include perceiving wife and children as his personal property, children being disowned for disappointing him, putting career and interests above family, blaming his failures on others, rage that is often more violent and physical than abusive mothers display, makes promises only to consistently disappoint, has to be right and in control at all times, shames his children in front of others. Sexual abuse, slandering and stalking is much more prevalent among abusive fathers than abusive mothers.    

Abusive siblings: This article explains that sibling abuse can be sexual, physical, emotional or verbal. Abuse thrives in environments where there is parental favoritism, or when parents are emotionally withdrawn and unavailable, neglectful, absentee, are not positive role models of conflict resolution or are abusive towards children themselves. This article explains the difference between sibling rivalry and sibling abuse. Sibling abuse can lead to the abuser lacking empathy and having narcissistic qualities while the victim often has low self esteem and depression. I discuss sibling abuse in depth in this post.

Abusive male partners: This article cites some of the warning signs of male abusers with female abusers: jealousy, controlling behavior (which includes having to know every detail of your movements and life, trying to control your decisions), quick romantic sweep-you-off-your-feet obsession and involvement, blame-shifting for problems, blame-shifting for feelings, hypersensitivity, cruelty to animals or children (or anyone in a weakened position), playful use of force in sex, use of isolation as a control tactic, the word "consequence" is used during an argument, downgrading of others so that victim has doubts about others and will look to abuser for validation, verbal abuse, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde personality, alcoholism or substance abuse, history of battering or sexual violence, negative attitude toward women, threatening violence, breaking or striking objects, use of force and intimidation during an argument. 

Abusive female partners: This article makes it clear that forty percent of all domestic violence disputes in Britain come from cases where the male is the victim. This article from Wikipedia says that it is probably under-reported because of stigma. This article and this article cite the same kinds of issues and patterns of abusive behavior that males exhibit. As with the men, it is also about power and control. However these characteristics are more prevalent in abusive female partners than male partners: for physical violence it manifests in terms of slapping and shoving, unreasonable jealousy, possessiveness, blames the victim for acts of aggression when she is the one who is perpetrating the abuse, blames the victim for having affairs when she is the one who is having affairs, paints her partner out to be a sex offender or domestic violence offender or gay or a philanderer, spreads rumors and lies, when she is criticized or feels hurt retaliates by having affairs or breaking things, uses the word "consequence" during arguments with the victim, fakes or inflicts injuries upon herself to get attention, over-spends or steals money from the victim, can never resolve disputes without having the upper hand. Tends to be more narcissistic than male abusers. Women are also much more likely to admit to abusing their men as evidenced by this British article.    

Abusive co-workers: Work place bullying has been linked to a rash of suicides as this article claims. This article claims that co-worker abuse and bullying can take many forms including taking credit for things you did, standing too close for comfort, gossiping behind your back, ostracism from lunches and parties and other worker hangouts, criticism for your performance, damaging or smearing your reputation, taking your ideas and presenting them to the boss, constantly bringing up your mistakes. Bullying at work is hard to combat. This article states that in 81 percent of cases, nothing appears to be done about the bullying (data compiled from workers who fill out surveys about their work place environment). This article states that many workers who complain about being bullied are let go whereas the bully is allowed to remain and often gets promoted. 


Abusive bosses: Huffington Post has a number of posts on how to deal with an abusive boss. However in the long run it can effect your overall physical and emotional health. This article gives you ways to think about whether you should remain in a job with a difficult boss. This Forbes article tells how to deal with an abrasive boss. I find it interesting that there are hundreds of internet articles on how to deal with an abusive boss and keep your job, but not a lot of articles that say it is plainly wrong to be abused by superiors in the workplace. Even psychology articles are written in such a way as to help workers find a way to put up with abuse through meditation, yoga, mental practices while you are being berated and screamed at and how to calm the situation with compassionate responses. Bull! Why the double standard? Why are bosses given free rein to bully, abuse and intimidate, but parents, siblings, partners and co-workers are looked at as aberrant and unnatural if they abuse? Interesting!! And not right... 
  

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