Alpina Publisher has published the book "On the Hook: How to Break the Circle of Unhealthy Relationships" on how to recognize the aggressor and save yourself from partner violence. As the recent campaign #I'm not afraid to say has shown, so many people simply do not understand that what is happening to them is violence against their personality. Our society has accustomed us to the routine of violence, harassment and humiliation, so sometimes we simply cannot recognize the aggressors in our lives.
At the same time, relationships, of which violence has become an invariable part, lie in wait everywhere: not only at home with a partner, but also at work with bosses or even with their own parents. Norwegian authors - journalist Aud Dalsegg and lawyer Inger Wesse - go into detail on the various incidents of violence we face on a daily basis. Perhaps in the described you will recognize situations from your life or even notice the features of the aggressors. Most importantly, the book offers practical guidance on how to cope with difficult situations and change your life for the better. Here is an excerpt from "On the Hook", which describes the typical behavior of the aggressor, that is, a person who tends to be violent towards others.
Common traits of aggressors
Perhaps you recognize yourself in these stories, perhaps they remind you of something from your personal experience. This is just a small part of what we have heard over the years of work. While these stories differ, they have something in common: the behavior and reactions of the aggressors. If you are afraid of someone you live or work with, a family member or coworker, then this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. If you feel very insecure, don't dare to be yourself and notice that someone is trying to suppress you, you should be vigilant and watch the words and actions of this person. Here are the typical traits of an aggressor pulling you into a health-damaging relationship.
The aggressor considers himself perfect
He (she) feels superior over other people in terms of morality, experience and knowledge, and also often - intellect and appearance. He (she) never did something wrong, and if they did make a mistake, then it is the fault of someone around. If you find out about his (her) infidelity, then this can be explained by the fact that you are incorrigible and hopeless, too fat and a lot of other reasons.
The aggressor hides his true self behind a lie
about myself and others
The aggressor hides his true identity behind distortions, lies about himself and others, manifested in manipulation and abusive behavior. He or she needs to focus on others, especially you, in order to focus all of his attention on your "inferiority." The more you "sink" in this or that quality, the more impeccable the aggressor feels. As if your imperfection feeds it.
The aggressor is always ready to condemn
The aggressor believes that the truth about other people, about their weaknesses and negative qualities is revealed to him. He (she) proclaims himself the judge over the rest. The subject of judgment is your worthlessness, inferiority, treachery, dishonesty, weakness, illness, etc. He (she) has an amazing ability to find your pain points and weaknesses. New accusations against you constantly arise, and the verdict is passed a priori. One gets the impression that you have been sentenced to life, with no opportunity to atone for your wrongdoing or to receive a "pardon." The aggressor can appeal to your past "sins" committed many years ago. But you are not just being sentenced: this self-proclaimed judge also considers himself entitled to punish you using various forms of psychological and physical abuse.
The aggressor follows the law of the jungle
The aggressor attacks all the time. When he (she) feels that his (her) role as an impeccable person is under threat or that his (her) need for power and control is not being met, the aggressor attacks. This allows the aggressor to divert your attention from himself and not give up his position. The aggressor acts according to the law of the jungle: attack is the best defense. Kill - or you will be killed.
The aggressor's words usually diverge.
with his actions
The aggressor is very eloquent, he is convincing in words, but note that his actions hardly correspond to the stated judgments.
The aggressor needs constant activity
He (she) usually hides the inner emptiness behind a whitewashed facade, so the aggressor seeks activity at work and does not tolerate peace and quiet in his free time.
Aggressor despises weakness
The aggressor wants to look like a strong, active person and therefore intolerant of the manifestations of feelings and vulnerability of other people - especially when it comes to loved ones, even their own children. In such manifestations, he sees weakness.
Do you not understand how - good or bad - the aggressor treats you? Respect or hate you? These people are easily confused by showing different sides of their self. One is friendly, positive, kind. The other is the one that only people in the immediate environment usually see: vindictive, full of hatred and overwhelming. With words, eyes, facial expressions and certain actions, he (she) can offend others. Beautiful words about caring and love for your neighbor, as a rule, remain only words. These different “I” of the aggressor can quickly replace each other. Many who have watched this process say that it resembles the flip of a switch: suddenly the aggressor becomes a different person. This is reflected in his gaze - on the eve of the storm, his eyes darken, the aggressor seems to blow cold.
The aggressor seeks control
over other people
The aggressor wants to have power over other people, especially over those with whom he lives or works. Your will, opinion, or needs are being suppressed. At work, the aggressor prefers to deal with compromisers. In private life, it requires others to obey and adjust to their tastes and ideas. The aggressor's tendency to control and subjugate does not diminish even after a divorce or breakup, or as children grow up.
The aggressor demands
increased attention to yourself
The aggressor is always dependent on attention from other people. If he does not get attention in an amicable way, then he uses negative methods of influence. Such people may start a quarrel or start actively protesting if they encounter opposition to their will, or simply out of boredom.
characterized by emotional immaturity
Often, the emotional reactions of the aggressor resemble those of a small child, he is dependent, selfish, demanding and rarely takes into account the needs of others. The aggressor's actions are impulsive. The emerging need must be satisfied immediately, and not in an hour, day or week. He (she) does not understand what the consequences of his (her) actions may be. Some little thing can provoke a sudden attack of rabies of the aggressor, he (she) can react inadequately or subject you to punishment that is incomparable with the "offense" committed by you.
The aggressor lacks empathy
The aggressor is deaf to the feelings of other people. He (she) does not repent, having injured and offended another person. The aggressor is able to scold you, and a minute later behave as if nothing had happened. At the same time, he (she) can reproach, criticize you for certain reactions, accusing you of allegedly "chewing" something that is long overdue to forget.
The aggressor plays
the role of a martyr
The aggressor easily enters into the role of a victim or a martyr - thus single-handedly securing the right to suffer.If the aggressor sees that you feel bad, he or she will always get worse. The aggressor's suffering is paramount. Very often, the aggressors manipulate their loved ones, imposing guilt on them. Thus, they control people and gain power over them. Aggressors can behave "selflessly", claiming that they care more about their loved ones. In the future, this can be used as a weapon against them. For example, when an elderly mother says to an adult son or daughter: "And this is gratitude for everything I have done for you!" Aggressors always “fall prey to” bad inclinations, lack of morality, or the weakness of others. This is how they explain their own mistakes. The role of the victim is played out just brilliantly, it seems that the aggressor sincerely believes in its authenticity.
The aggressor tells a lie
Aggressors are rather loose with facts. They can calmly tell a lie, even when their lies can be easily refuted. Often they invent something to justify some of their actions, lie or hide the truth in order to present themselves in the best light.
Photos: Wikipedia, Alpina Publisher