Previous: Traits of Victims (Part 1)
A BULLY – Anyone who :
– uses emotional, verbal &/ physical tactics to force their way on others, either by aggression & intimidation or subtler forms of coercion
– is habitually cruel or overbearing (even in the guise of friendship or caring), especially to smaller or weaker people
– has an authoritarian personality, combined with a strong need to control or dominate, with a hatred for certain categories of people (children in general, gender preference, ethnic or religious groups…)
– uses their position to humiliate others, to keep them ‘in their place’ and thus make themselves feel more important
– looks for the V’s ‘tell’ – a weakness they can exploit – and DO (Read more…..)
• Whether in a family, on the playground, on the street or at work, bullies and criminals don’t usually target their Victims at random.
CHILDREN bullied by family:
– the abusers ‘smells’ a child who is naturally compliant & wants to please, so they can be manipulated to do what the bully wants, OR
– the child is too clever & insightful, making them a threat to the power base of the Abuser, so the child must be crushed!
ADULTS bullied by anyone:
While it is NOT the Vs fault, their past history of trauma can make them more vulnerable – anxious, insecure, not able to defend themselves verbally, may seem odd, be withdrawn, not fit in with their culture OR are too needy & clingy. They may also be someone who is envied for their intelligence, talent & achievements.
• We can ALSO divide Victims into 2 other broad types:
a. Passive – most common – has few social skills, unhappy, not able to use humor to diffuse conflict, lonely, depressed, reacts easily to being baited, tries to placate or be overly helpful
b. Provocative (will have some, but usually not all these traits)
– restless, irritable, restless, clumsy, immature, impulsive
– may have learning disability (ADD, dyslexia, autism …), but gifted!
– poor social skills, misreads social cues
– reacts aggressively to authority, hard time dealing with rules
– had no patience for delay, easily aroused to anger
– may tease others & not know when to stop
– fights back & keeps at it, but always looses, with frustration & great distress
– can be annoying, not easily cared about – & gives off an unconscious message that they deserve to be abused
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Here we are looking at the preconditions to being abused, rather than Resulting behaviors, emotions & beliefs caused by prolonged exposure to Ps. ✶ We need to keep in mind that all these qualities are Defense Mechanisms created by the False Self in an attempt to survive years of mistreatment. They are NOT the fundamental & unique traits of the True Self, which are different for each person.
1. PSYCHOLOGICAL / SPIRITUAL
• Vs come from some form of religious, physical, emotional, mental &/or sexual oppression & abuse (See the ACoA Laundry List)
• may have a personality disorder – such as Dependent, Anti-Social, Paranoid, Co-dependent, Love &/or Sex addict, Passive-aggressive ….
• very sketchy awareness of who they are fundamentally (personal characteristics, abilities, skills, talents….)
• lack of motivation from within – only by what others want, or what we think they need (projecting our own onto others, without realizing it)
• have a chronic feeling of emptiness / nothing is enough to fill the void
• believe they’re a fraud & will be found out. Lie when it’s not necessary
• do not know, nor are permitted to exercise their basic human rights
• are afraid of being visible, so don’t share much about themselves
• feel responsible for others’ actions/ reactions, but not facing their own
• have trouble having fun, taking themselves too seriously or not seriously at all
• men & women both have a strong need for relationship to validate themselves (but it’s expressed differently)
• have a deep need to be needed, & gain a sense of worth by care-taking the abuser, being their parent substitute or domestic slave
• live in a fantasy world of “If only __ would do….” things would be OK
• have the illusion they can do something to fix the P.
• consistently compromise their ethics, values & beliefs in favor of the P.
• use the abuser as their Higher Power, but often deny the reality of a Loving God or Benign Universe
• subject to real long-term stress disorders (auto-immune disease, back pain, migraines….), OR psychosomatic complaints (not physically based)
• may exhibit obsessive-compulsive behaviors (pulling out hair, rocking, excessive cleaning…)
• thinks about, plans or attempts suicide, or self-harms (cutting..)
• has one or more addictions as self-medication (food, sex, drugs, alcohol, exercise….)
• has various phobias (of dirt, of going outside, of being noticed…)
• avoids almost all social interaction OR can’t stand to be alone
• compulsive: gets stuck in a course of action & can’t seem to shift out of it, even when given a good alternative – AND -
• impulsive: doesn’t have self-control, does whatever they feel like at the moment, without thought to options or consequences
• start things but never seem to finish anything
• never seem to get it together to leave the abuser (while thinking & talking about it) OR keep leaving BUT always going back
NEXT: Trait of Victims – Mental & Emotional (Part 3)