The most common characteristics of abusers

  • Abusers abuse sporadically because they know that if they were abusive all of the time, people would distance themselves from the abuser and the narcissist cannot bear to be alone.
  • They might only abuse very few people. Those people tend to be kind, generous and sensitive to the needs of others and give too much.  They can also be people who are in a vulnerable position such as those with no family support, in poverty or a foreign national trying to fit in an unfamiliar country.
  • Abusers will go out of their way to appear normal and will probably go to a lot of trouble to self-promote, this self-promotion will generally be vocal but it can be in the form of making gestures such as turning up to help with the school fund raising event, but usually their contribution will be minimal.
  • The push relationships too far. They always want more than the abused person wants to give, but they also want the abused person to take more than they want to take.  This comes in three forms 1) they tell the abused person who they are (according to what the narcissist wants them to be), this changes depending on the circumstances of the abuser, 2) they are too intimate too quickly and assume a more intense relationship than the other person is ready to have, 3) they will bestow presents/money etc. whether the other person wants it or not and will then expect that they have purchased favour/multiple favours.
  • They use their voice to control. Most narcissists are very loud or very quiet.  Loud voiced narcissists use their voice to dominate any conversation, quiet voiced narcissists use their voice so that the person that they are talking to has to lean into them and block out any background noise.  They also use it to express rage so that they can intimidate or embarrass, in particular, but not exclusively in public places.  They also use the “silent treatment” (lack of voice) to manipulate another person (make them feel invisible).
  • They use body language as a weapon, They can bristle with hostility, twitch with anger, ignore eye contact or look bored and annoyed when another person is talking, they can roll their eyes or simply get up and walk away from someone without reason.  They can also physically push in front of another person, physically touch them in an inappropriate sexual way or simply to claim dominance such as pushing them forward into a space/room.  This is to claim ownership and to let the other person know that they feel they can touch them where ever they like and ignore personal boundaries completely.
  • If the victim is unaware of narcissistic abuse, they can project good intention and can remain unaware of the abuse because they will see it as “having a bad day” or an isolated incident from a grumpy person.  They can fail to see the pattern and make excuses for the abuser and take inappropriate responsibility the abusers actions.  The victim is unaware that although the abuse can cease for sometimes long periods of time, the abuse is relentless and will never stop.
  • The abuser may apologise, but it is never sincere, just a means to an end, to stop the victim from shutting them out. Narcissists are master thespians, so the apology might appear to be authentic, but it never is.
  • The abuser will also make a lot of false promises such as “I am so sorry, I will never do that again (hit you, cheat on you, be verbally abusive to you, embarrass and humiliate you in public)”.  It is not true, they will they get a bit high on the pain/embarrassment/humiliation they cause, it makes them feel “big”.

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