New here? Register in under one minute   Already a member? Login240912 questions, 1064685 answers  

  DearCupid.ORG relationship advice
  Got a relationship, dating, love or sex question? Ask for help!Search
 New Questions Answers . Most Discussed Viewed . Unanswered . Followups . Forums . Top agony aunts . About Us .  Articles  . Sitemap

Do abusers set out to deliberately hurt the self esteem of another?

Tagged as: Dating, Health, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (31 December 2016) 5 Answers - (Newest, 7 August 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Are there seriously people who will try to bring down a partners self esteem by making them feel bad about them self is making them feel too old for anyone else to want and not as attractive as other women ( or men ) etc .

I ask because I've recently been reading up on emotional and psychologal abuse and the man I have been with is rating highly

The part I'm having so much trouble coming to terms with is accepting that he must never have loved me or been attracted to me .

Do abusers choose a person based on weakness and do they do it for fun . Do they ever have any feeling mga for the person at all other than contempt.

View related questions: self esteem

<-- Rate this Question

Reply to this Question


Fancy yourself as an agony aunt? Add your answer to this question!

A male reader, Riot2017 Mexico +, writes (7 August 2017):

"Do abusers choose a person based on weakness and do they do it for fun . Do they ever have any feeling mga for the person at all other than contempt."

Short answer, YES.

Medium answer, YES, read about personality disorders:

Here are the personality disorders you need to be very alert and watch out for them.

Cluster A (odd)

Paranoid Schizoid Schizotypal

Cluster B (dramatic)

Antisocial Borderline Histrionic Narcissistic

Cluster C (anxious)

Avoidant Dependent Obsessive–compulsive

Not specified

Depressive Haltlose Passive-aggressive Sadistic Self-defeating Psychopathic

Long answer:

I can't talk about your partner in particular, but yes, there are people that enjoy making other person's life miserable, and many of them aren't aware of that little problem.

The litmus test for detecting these kind of personality disorder is: does your partner feel any remorse when he does something bad to you? Does your partner feels any kind of empathy to you and your feelings, or for other human beings? Does your partner mistreat animals, waitresses, or people less fortunate than him? Do es he gaslight you making you think you did things wrong, when in reality you did nothing wrong? When you confront him, does hi plays the victim, even if he is the one that that hurt you?

If you answered yes to all or most of the questions, you need to find a therapist to help heal yourself and gain enough courage to escape that relationship.

Best luck!

<-- Rate this answer

A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 January 2017):

The abusers idea of 'love' is that they want you to take care of their needs, they don't want anyone else to look after them, just you.

They do have feelings of a kind, but abusive men have personality disorders, usually narcissists or psychopaths, so they don't look at others the way people without personality disorders do.

They don't feel compassion because they do, in my experience and in others' experience, get a kick out of seeing you hurt, angry whatever. Their job is done so to speak.

It's very hard to believe I know, that there is a worryingly large number of men and some women out there, who want control of their partners and are totally willing to get that control by making you so scared, sad and insecure that you lose judgement and any ability to see clearly. That's where they come in, to tell you you're stupid, ugly, no-one else will ever want you etc etc. It's a far cry from the romantic fairy tale of love isn't it?

There are websites dedicated to teaching young men how to abuse and tale control of women, it is being taught in clubs in universities, a man wanted to come into the UK to teach men how to abuse women and he was getting thousands of men going to his lectures!! There was a petition that I signed along with thousands of other women and he was denied a visa because of this petition.

Incredible I know and a real eye-opener. I really think it should be taught to girls in schools. To teach them about abuse, what to look out for and how to protect themselves because it is rife!!

Read as much as you can about this subject because as you have discovered, there is some horrible stuff out there being done to women. If you understand who it is you're talking to and recognise if they're abusive or not (the very fact that they're often overly charming, rings loud alarm bells), you are forewarned and forearmed.

Abusive people don't stop being abusive btw, it is a mind set often caused by a personality disorder that makes them behave this way. They don't stop.

<-- Rate this answer


A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 January 2017):

Yes, they do set out to hurt the self esteem of another. Do they know they are doing it or do it deliberately? That is up for debate.

I think many don't realize they are doing it or maybe they do but their need to do it and what they are getting out of it far outweighs the other person's feelings. But there are the extreme cases of people who do set out to do it deliberately because it gives them pleasure to make others suffer. Only broken people try to break others. There is something inherently wrong with a person who does this. They are weak and insecure people who must manipulate in order to stay in control. Because deep down, they DO know you are better and out of their league and want to make sure you feel low enough not to realize that. And find somebody who can and will treat you better than they do.

They do seek out certain types of victims, yes. Ones who are looking for redemption, who are lost in life, who are vulnerable, in a bad place and craving love and approval. Many lost souls out there and they find these people who will cling to them. Who cling to the fairy tale and the idea of love conquers all. These same people eventually become dependent on them and it becomes an addictive relationship. The one who withholds feelings is in the power position. Make no mistake. They do this with intent. The victim, the one who is forever insecure because the abusive one is not meeting their basic needs and holding back their emotions, is the one who always comes begging back for their attention. It is like needing a fix. It is very unhealthy. The more the abuser ignores them, the more the abused keeps coming back, desperately seeking to be loved. The abuser knows this. It is like they are pulling the strings of a puppet. Now, let's be clear, the abuser will always give their victim enough love to keep them around. They are master charmers and manipulators. They will play the good guy and pretend to have feelings and empathy but it is all an act. They can turn their feelings on and off at the drop of a hat. And they can compartmentalize. And in my view, because of these abilities, these people are some of the most dangerous people to ever cross paths with. They can and will destroy you WITH your permission. Now, if you feel you are involved with such a person, it may be the toughest thing you ever do because you fear abandonment and being alone. But you NEED to cut off their oxygen supply cold turkey. And cut contact. They thrive on you being locked in. Break free. Then THEY will be the one who is POWERLESS. The victim needs to realize they have the power in their hands. They have had it all along. They need to be strong enough to seek self worth in themselves first. And once they know their value, they will find another who will willingly validate their self worth and not make them beg or plead for it.

<-- Rate this answer


A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (1 January 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI agree with Aidan,

There isn't a cut and dry answer as ALL people are different. But what seems to be one of the MAIN attributes of narcissists and abusive people is that they do NOT have empathy. They SIMPLY lack the capability to understand feelings. Doesn't mean that they do NOT understand how to MANIPULATE others and their feelings.

They also KNOW how to "fake" being a good person. Because they KNOW that BEING with a "good" person is what they want and that in general "GOOD & DECENT" people want to be with and around "GOOD and DECENT" people.

And MANY MANY abusive people also know how to SPOT a person who doesn't put her/himself first. Who is easy to manipulate. Doesn't mean that person is weak, it just means that the person is either USED to being abused in one form or another, only thinks kindly of other and ALWAYS give people the benefit of the doubt.

How do they CHOOSE? I don't know. But my guess is they go for people whom they think they can control and then they either "love-bomb" or pull/push game. But I don't think they JUST go for someone they can control, I think they GENUINELY go for someone they can see themselves with for a short or long term.

And then you have the ones who are utterly psychopaths, who do it for shits and grins.

I think the thing to do when meeting a new person, whether it's a potential love interest or friend is to proceed slowly. And NOT make excuses IF the other person does hurtful things.

Whether he really loved you or felt attraction is really irrelevant, what IS irrelevant is that YOU can now (hopefully) recognize an abuser tactics. Don't take HIS behavior on you. HE was the asshat here. HE made YOU doubt yourself, but that needs to stop - DO NOT give him power over you anymore. Say F*** IT! I don't CARE anymore how he felt about me, I LIKE me and I deserve better.

Trying to figure THEM out (the abusers) is pointless. Knowing what motivated them is moot and a waste of time.

Focus on YOURSELF and your future.

<-- Rate this answer


A male reader, no nonsense Aidan United Kingdom +, writes (1 January 2017):

Abusers are complex. Yes, they do undermine a person’s self-esteem and sap their confidence. This is part of their apparatus of control. A two-pronged approach of undermining a person to the point where they believe that they don’t deserve and won’t find anything better, and isolating them from the friends and family that can counteract this, is generally what is done. You’d be surprised how many beatings and vile names an apparently tough, resilient person will take at the point where they depend on their abuser for validation and self-worth.

Why do abusers do it? I think that depends. Some do it for the thrill: they enjoy the power. They can be nice one minute and unspeakably cruel the next and they enjoy holding all the control in the relationship. Other people, if they don’t enjoy the power, nonetheless feel the need to be in absolute control and can’t deal with compromises and dealing with another human being on an equal basis. Others may simply have been socialised in abusive environments and not know any different: they learn the patterns and replicate them in their own relationships.

For the abused partner, the question for me isn’t whether the abuser means to do it or not. The question is how likely are they to stop? Are they willing to change? When they try, do they commit to it? Is their attitude really changing beyond the surface? If not, I think that a partner should think about how their partner is making them feel. They should ask themselves whether they are being taken away from others in their lives. They should ask themselves whether they really are happy, or just too afraid to look for better or even go it alone. It’s good for everyone to know what the traits of an abusive character are, because what you spot, you’re less likely to be drawn in to.

I wish you all the very best.

<-- Rate this answer


Add your answer to the question "Do abusers set out to deliberately hurt the self esteem of another?"

Already have an account? Login first
Don't have an account? Register in under one minute and get your own agony aunt column - recommended!

All Content Copyright (C) DearCupid.ORG 2004-2008 - we actively monitor for copyright theft