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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » When the signs aren't so clear-cut -- experiences with abusers' personality traits

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Author Topic: When the signs aren't so clear-cut -- experiences with abusers' personality traits
-Lauren-
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I was thinking to myself recently about abusive personality traits and how subtle they can be. While we have an excellent abusive partner checklist, lots of those items listed are for only advanced abuse, and in the context of a romantic relationship.

So here's my idea: in this thread, people who have experienced abuse from people in their lives (not just partners) can list and explain various traits they've noted in common between abusers, that also make them scream "WARNING" when meeting someone new or noticing change in someone they already know. Responders can check off previous posters' items that also apply to them, share their stories/elaborate, and add their own. I'll start:

Martyrdom with manipulation - Seems to constantly talk about the sacrifices they make for others, will often insist on doing nice things for other people just to turn around and demand repayment later, or simply for more bragging rights. Will use previous favors, gifts (even Christmas gifts given to children), and assistance to guilt into fulfilling their wants.

Entitlement - The world revolves around them and their needs. One is always expected to drop everything to attend to the abuser/manipulator. Though often too self-centered to respond favorably to requests for assistance from others, any failure to meet their needs (even as simple as missing a phone call) is met with drama, anger, even rage.

A drug/drinking addiction - Manipulators/abusers often find themselves lonely and miserable due their crappy behavior, and often turn to substances/addictions to escape the feeling.

What have your abusers/manipulators had in common? What makes you go "Get away!" before any of the major red flags even have a chance to wave?

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Blue Koi
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I was just talking to a girl friend of mine who has a guy friend (we'll call him Aaron) that thinks they are in a relationship. She told me about the things that he had been saying, and right away I thought of it as being an abusive relationship, even though they were only friends.

Blame: They accuse you of things you haven't done in order to make you feel as bad as they do. Aaron even openly admitted to my friend that he said certain things to make her feel as horrible as he did. Here are examples:

"You are a really bad friend. If you were a good friend, you would drive down to Detriot to come see me"

"I can't believe you spend so much time with you family. Can't you just cancel on them to hang out with me?"

"Why didn't you pick up your phone when you were at the gym? You're trying to ignore me on purpose"

Exaggeration while guilt-tripping: Making situations seem worse than they are in the hopes that their victim will feel bad enough to give in to their wishes:

"You've ruined my life"

"I can never love anyone again because of you"

"You've made me hate myself"

Empty Threats: Contraditions between what they say they are going to and what they actually do. Later on, this could turn into serious threats, but at the beginning, it's about little things to try and get an emotional response from their victim.

Things like saying "I'm not going to call you for a few months" and then calling in a few days


I think these are all manipulating factors that I have encountered or that my friends have experienced.

--------------------
"Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."

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hollisterrr
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i would say sudden change of mood,
for example,
people who say terrible things to you on and on but eventually they act sweet and apologize, manipulating you to think that they're "nice" for apologizing when they'll keep doing the same thing.

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Angelfire
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I have just read through this and thought I might add some of my experience to it.
A couple of months ago I got out of a relationship that at the time was not abusive, but had the warning signs that it could have potentially been a really abusive relationship.
I never noticed these things at first but now that we have broken up I can see them a whole lot more clearly and that if I had stuck around it could have turned out badly. The more I think about it the more I realize how lucky I was to escape early.
I’ve listed what I can think of and some examples that I saw in his behaviour.

Quick to Anger: he could become very angry very quickly. I remember one time when I was driving us back to my place that he got a phone call from his brother asking him where something was and he was soon yelling at his brother telling him that he did not know. In a short time the level of his anger rose quickly and over a simple and irrelevant issue. I was quite scared and quietly shaking as I was driving. I noticed this anger again but not quite on the same level when we got into a small argument, thankfully for me, over the phone.

Lies and Inconsistencies: he would lie about many different things and a lot of the stuff that he told me had many inconsistencies in them, I particular noticed this when he told me something that he had told me before and something about it was different.

Promises that he never kept: I can’t think of a specific example but he would sometimes say that he was going to do something but would never do it.

Emotional Blackmail: the main example that comes to mind is when I actually broke up with him, I was talking to him over the phone when I told him that I did not think that the relationship would work out, and at the time I was not sure if I was making the right decision or not and told him, then after this he tells me that he was planning on taking me out to dinner that very night and was going to propose to me.

Manipulation: if we had a fight, which was not often, he would make me think that it was my fault, even when I knew that it was not or not entirely my fault and it would always be me who was apologizing and feeling bad


I hope what I have listed helps others who might need it [Smile]
(If I have listed any of these examples wrongly, or if any of these are wrong, or if any of the volunteers feel that what I have written is wrong or inappropriate I am sorry and feel free to change it.)

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-Jill
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Never wrong. It's always a big red flag for me when someone can't admit to being wrong, even over little things. On more than one occasion I've seen abusive people people put a disproportionate amount of effort into "research" to prove themselves right. I've also seen these people drag up long passed incidences where I was incorrect in an effort to make me doubt myself. I think the ultimate goal of this behavior is to wear people down so it's just easier to go along with them instead of going through the production of an argument.
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Anon555
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Martyrdom with manipulation and Entitlement sounds like exactly what my dad does.... He always wants something in return when you do something for him. Also I seem to have to do everything for him and he's reluctant to do things for me at times, even when I'm asking for help.

Also, one thing I hate is when he brings up things he's done for me in the past, or things that happened in the past--even many years ago--to one-up me in an argument when it has nothing to do with the situation at hand.

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Onionpie
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They say things to put you on their side at the time, and this often leads to contradictions. A form of emotional blackmail, I'd say.

An example of a minor contradiction I'd been dished out by this boy full of them:

At one point, he was talking about how "reserved" I am, but he said he understands totally, "people say I'm really good at reading people, at understanding how they feel."

A month later, when I was a little upset that he'd completely misinterpretted my music (and accused me of showing [via my music] that I was HAPPY in a very shitty situation), he told me "I'm not good with people, I don't catch on to things, I misinterpret people's feelings a lot, I can't help it!"

It may seem like a minor thing when looked at as an individual case like that, but chances are it's not going to be ONE contradiction. Another thing I'd been told. At the beginning of the relationship, when he was happy with me: "My friends said I should go for it, they said they think you're worth it, and that you'd make me happy."

At the end, when I finally ended the relationship: "All my friends kept telling me to dump you because they said you were weird."

He used to tell me I was the most lovable person in the world, I could have anyone love me or do what I want, I was a "goddess".

The last thing he said to me was "good luck with any other guy, I'm just saying this -- most guys would just say **** you and leave because of the way you are."

What happened to his goddess?

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Onionpie
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They say things to put you on their side at the time, and this often leads to contradictions. A form of emotional blackmail, I'd say.

An example of a minor contradiction I'd been dished out by this boy full of them:

At one point, he was talking about how "reserved" I am, but he said he understands totally, "people say I'm really good at reading people, at understanding how they feel."

A month later, when I was a little upset that he'd completely misinterpretted my music (and accused me of showing [via my music] that I was HAPPY in a very shitty situation), he told me "I'm not good with people, I don't catch on to things, I misinterpret people's feelings a lot, I can't help it!"

It may seem like a minor thing when looked at as an individual case like that, but chances are it's not going to be ONE contradiction. Another thing I'd been told. At the beginning of the relationship, when he was happy with me: "My friends said I should go for it, they said they think you're worth it, and that you'd make me happy."

At the end, when I finally ended the relationship: "All my friends kept telling me to dump you because they said you were weird."

He used to tell me I was the most lovable person in the world, I could have anyone love me or do what I want, I was a "goddess".

The last thing he said to me was "good luck with any other guy, I'm just saying this -- most guys would just say **** you and leave because of the way you are."

What happened to his goddess?

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Onionpie
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sorry for the double post, my computer spazzed :x
Posts: 1311 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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