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02/15/2010 07:57 AM

Abusive Personality Types

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When I was in therapy, there was a great discussion on different types of personalities. The three main ones that abusers and abusees will see are passive behaviour, aggressive behaviour and passive-aggressive.

Passive--Just like it sounds. As passives, we tend to "let things slide" easier. Often we enable our abusers (whether its emotional, sexual or physical) by taking the blame, covering up for them, etc. It's important to recognize these traits in yourself, as they will tend to attract the more abusive type of person. It's percieved as a weakness and it WILL be exploited.

Aggressive--Again, like it sounds. The abuser will be directly in your face, yelling, telling you everything is your fault, physically or sexually aggressive, etc. Dealing with an aggressor is nearly impossible, unless they themselves seek treatment. When you find yourself in this situation, its often very difficult to get out of, because the aggressor will also often manipulate you and convince you either that it's all your fault, or that they're sorry and will try to be better, only to repeat the cycle once they have you hooked.

Passive-Aggressive--This one is maybe the toughest. It's also the one where you'll find the most manipulation, as everything that is done is a form of manipulation. Unlike aggressors, they're not in your face about it. They'll often mumble under their breath, making sure you can hear them, if not understand them. They'll use guerrilla humour--jeez, you're fat...oh I didn't mean it that way, I was just joking around--to belittle you and lower your self-esteem. PA's are masters at getting what they want through guilt and subtleties that often leave you feeling like you're the bad person.

An emotionally stable person will be forthright, without putting guilt on you, and will be more apt to use phrases like "I feel" and "What do you think about", and then listening to you. They won't try to guilt or strongarm you about anything, but at the same time will stand their ground if its something they need, and try to come up with a reasonable compromise for both of you.


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