Author Topic: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference  (Read 21901 times)

Certain Hope

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An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« on: August 11, 2006, 08:08:37 AM »
Copied from main message board for reference


Hi,

For the most part, the people who have brought the most havoc into my life have not been obvious abusers...  at least, not at first. Each one began to show his true colors only at the point where my own personal interests diverged from his or hers. I've never been physically beaten, deprived of food and shelter, or literally locked into a room from which there was no escape. But I've been locked in, alright, by the controlling manipulation of people who had everyone in the vicinity convinced that they were kind, genuine human beings. For the most part, my abusers have been people who outwardly seemed to be caring, empathetic individuals who were genuinely concerned with the welfare of others. They are fakes.

Abusers can be masters of disguise and covert operations. The abuser hones his skills to expert precision, lest people see through his mask to the ruthless ambition and envy beneath. Above all, the abuser seeks to keep that mask firmly in place, so as not to lose the support of those who've been fooled by his outer facade of smoothness and apparent reasonableness.

I found this list of characteristics which so perfectly describes my abusers and I'm sharing it here because, to me, awareness of the techniques used by these chameleons is our best defensive weapon. None of this is anything new, but sometimes I think it's easy to lose sight of the fact that not all those who abuse others are outwardly aggressive and obvious. I hope this will help others as it has me to keep open eyes and ears open for danger signs in others to whom we might feel drawn.

1. Charming in public  ~ exuding warmth and charm, an abuser smiles and tells jokes, praises and flatters you, outwardly supports you
with a show of approval and reassurance, makes you feel valuable and appears to be  attentive to your needs

2. Rumor-monger in private  ~ criticizing you behind your back, he may suggest that you have personal or emotional problems, carefully building a case against you via calculated misinformation passed on to others behind the scenes. He manipulates others into criticizing you and then rewards them for their participation in his plot to undermine your image in every way.

3. Two-faced  ~  He pretends to support you while planning to destroy you; then when you challenge him, he suddenly transforms from supportive to bullying. His soft-spoken manner hides his destructive intentions, his flattering words hide his desire to control you, and  his seemingly warm personality hides his take-no-prisoners attitude.

4. Distorts truth and reality ~ He misleads people by omitting key facts. He's extremely concerned to preserve an appearance of integrity, all the while withholding significant information. He misleads people by omitting key facts, he quotes hearsay as important and authoritative, then  justifies his opinion by falsely claiming others think the same way. Master of the half-truth, he misstates and belittles your viewpoint, asks questions that demean you, then interrupts before you can fully respond, he changes the subject before you can correct his misstatements, then he adds new false accusations faster than you can respond to old ones.

5. Hypocritical ~ His spoken philosophy and behavior don't match, his words creating a positive image which does not match his actions. He describes his mistakes as minor, but your mistakes as serious, or ignores his own mistakes while always highliting yours. 
- He calmly demeans you, but is angry because you don't respect him. Not respecting him = pointing out the inconguities and inconsistencies between who he claims to be and what he actually does and says.

6. Evasive ~ He acts confused by any complaint about his behavior and always shifts the focus to others. He acts like he is the one who is being victimized. He tries to make you feel guilty for hurting him, accusing you of behavior that was far worse than his and asserting that you are the cause of his bad behavior (if he ever does admit to behaving badly).
 
7. Pompous  ~ He acts like a know-it-all and never apologizes, unless to prove how rarely he makes a mistake He's a prima donna ... condescending in words, tone of voice and mannerisms. Every issue which effects him is high drama and he'll try to demolish the opposition in every discussion to keep the focus on himself.

8. Self-righteous ~ In order to disguise his corrupt character, he always claims the moral and ethical high ground. He brags about the goodness of his own character while suggesting that others have dubious motives. He frequently talks of his superior ethical standards, implying that others don't have his high standards and using distorted examples to prove that others are not nearly as superior as he.


9. Obsessed with image  ~He believes that his image is more important than reality, so he disguises his true emotions and desires. When you see beneath his persona, he will suggest that your actions have hurt his image. Alternatively, he says that your proposed actions (i.e., exposing him) will hurt your own image.


10. Passive-aggressive  ~  He'll keep you in the dark by sulking, instead of confronting issues.

11. Pretends to care ~ While pretending to care about others, he is at his most manipulative and dangerous. Most people are taken in by his apparently positive energy, enthusiasm and charisma, but in reality, they are naively being fooled by an attractive personality which hides a morally and ethically corrupt abuser who is coldly and ruthlessly pursuing his own selfish ends. His expression of affection is tainted with possessiveness and he compliments you only because it serves his purpose. He has a look of concern, but he doesn't truly respect you. He pretends to be your friend while tearing you down, destroying your reputation, weakening your position, and exaggerating the importance of your mistakes.

 
12. Plays the victim  ~ He exaggerates his pain and suffering, trying to make you feel guilty for causing his pain and claiming that you don't appreciate him (all he does for you). He becomes angry and indignant when you try to reason with him, then says he is tired of doing all the compromising. Some of his favorite phrases:  "Why are you ruining it for the rest of us?"
"Don't you want to help us succeed instead of standing in our way?"
"You hurt me when you did that."(or said that)
"You hurt my feelings when you did that."(or said that).
"You hurt others when you did that."(or said that).
"How could you do this to me?"
"I thought I could count on you."
"You betrayed my trust in you."
"Why are you ruining it for the rest of us?"

Bevy

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2006, 11:46:39 AM »
Thank you for the description of a narcissist. The impact of this behviour in my life  has been devastating. Unfortuneatly, I let my partner's behaviour wear me down until I was unable to work in my profession, unable to clean my home, lost my friends ( who couldn't stand him) and went on medication for depression.
The lack of empathy such a person demonstrates is searing to anyone's self esteem and I am feeling this because he is having an affair which he lied to me about for months. He may be having affairs with two women. Funny how my intuition told me through my body. I could not bear to sleep beside him. Something was so "off" about him. He was distancing himself. Although I begged to know what was going on hie told me I was having a nervous breakdown, having episodes of manic depression etc. This was his favourite weapon. Undermining me with accusations of insanity when I wanted to talk about issues. I have never responded on a chat board before. Thanks again

reallyME

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2006, 09:01:55 AM »
Bevy,

I speak for the others (and not in an Nistic way), in saying we WELCOME you and are glad you came here.

I too have lived through an affair.  Things got really weird a while ago, when I mentioned to my husband that I'd like another child.  All of a sudden, for 3 days after that, he began not using protection during our encounters together.  The odd thing was, he suddenly got really GOOD in bed...I mean, like he had been TRAINED by someone.  I sort of just ignored what I was suspecting, until...

a couple days later, I had such a bad female itch problem, that i had to see someone for it.  I went to the doc and they came into the room to tell me gently that I had TRichomoniasis and that it only comes through sexual contact.  Therefore, since I had been with NOBODY but my husband, guess where it came from? 

My reaction to the news:  "you've GOT to be kidding me!  ROLAND?  an affair?  WHO WOULD WANT TO SLEEP WITH HIM?"  The doctor and nurse both giggled (they tried not to, but I'm quite the comedian at times)...They said "is this something that is really shocking to you?"  I said, "no, no, you dont understand...my husband is UGLY!  NOBODY WOULD WANT TO SLEEP WITH HIM!"  I thought the nurse would have split a rib she was falling over laughing so hysterically, and so was I by now, just watching her!

When I got  home, my laughter was GONE and I was face to face with the culprit.  He was laying in bed and said to me, "so? what'd the doc have to say?  it wasn't nothin? yeast infection?"  I replied, "Well, 3 things actually....one is YEAST, another is URINARY TRACT and the last one is AN STD, ROLAND!!!!!!!!!!"  He said, "oh ok...um, what's that?"  I said, "ever hear of SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES????!"  He said, "yeah I heard of em, but what's that got to do with YOU?"  I said, "Um, DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! WHO WERE YOU SLEEPING WITH ROLAND?  WAS IT YOUR BOSS OR SOMEONE ELSE?"  He said, "Me?  YOU'RE THE ONE!  How do I know YOU weren't with anyone, since you cheated on me years ago!"  I said, "I AIN'T HARDLY BEEN ANYWHERE BUT TO MY SCHOOL!  WHO WOULD I HAVE SCREWED THERE?"  He said, 'Well, I didn't sleep with ANYONE!"

The next day, we all went to the zoo as a family and I was going to be leaving to spend time with the Mom I love (as opposed to my bio Mom).  I walked around that zoo in excrucating PAIN and my husband just pretended like NOTHING WAS WRONG and like HE DID NOTHING WRONG.  I finally told him I was considering just leaving him, unless he told me the truth.  He insisted, and does to this day that he never slept with anyone.  To this day, I DO NOT BELIEVE HIM.  He has lived in a family of denial while his father molested both his sisters and his Aunt Physically BEAT her daughter...nobody ever did a damn thing about any of that!  So, why would he admit to cheating on me?

I prayed long and hard, talked to all my closest friends and relations about what to do.  I got all different answers like, "you have BIBLICAL grounds to leave him, Laura!"   "Till death do you part...for better or worse"   "He's a )^)#$_@$&#@_ for doing this to you.  Just get out and do not look back!"  "I knew it would come to this, Laura.  just like happened with your father and me.  You need to get out on your own.  You always knew he was crazy."

I finally realized, "I AM ALONE IN THIS DECISION!!!  NOBODY CAN CHOOSE TO STAY OR LEAVE EXCEPT ME...IF I STAY AND KEEP HAVING SEX, I RISK GETTING A WORSE DISEASE.  IF I LEAVE, I FACE THE UNKNOWN."

I opted to stay.  I am still here with him...19 years.

I put my foot down and told him, "If there is EVER another time that i even HEAR of anything like this, I WILL BE GONE!"

So far, he's been faithful but he still acts like a 4 year old and pouts when I want him to CONFRONT things.  I am the "pants" in the family, if you can't tell.  This is NOT how I wanted my marriage to be, but I married him in the first place, to escape another control situation I was living in.  Jumped from frying pan into the fire somewhat.  He used to be more active in "disciplining" the children, until that escalated into ABUSE and I told him he would NEVER HIT MY CHILDREN AGAIN!  I have left him 3 x to wake him up and even to hopefully LEAVE him, but I went back when he went to counseling and it helped.

Our latest crud is that we own a restaurant that my brother in law (an N) holds the deed to.  My husband thinks I'm perfect fine working long hours with no pay, and I finally put my foot down on that, after my doctors told me NO MORE!  YOU ARE GONNA KILL YOURSELF WITH STRESS!  I told him, "I will work 5 hours or NO HOURS!  YOU DECIDE, but you are nOT talking me into ANYTHING that will harm my health, and since you do not CARE about how this is affecting me, I WILL CARE FOR MYSELF!"

He's ticked right now, cause I told him I would not work 7 hours on Friday.  I am KEEPING my stance on this one :)

~Laura

Hopalong

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2006, 06:36:49 PM »
Welcome Bevy--
Glad you're here and congratulations on the brave step of trying a forum!
I've been posting here for a year and have been enormously helped, instructed, and comforted by these friendships.
(Took me a long time to recognize that indeed we are all real, and can really make a difference to each other.)

Try starting a thread (on the main board, not this reference list, click on the New Topic button...good way to introduce yourself.)

Hope to hear more from you.

Hopalong
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2006, 06:37:55 PM »
Hey RM,
How about copying your post over to the main board...Thanksgiving thread? Or a new one?

((((((((((((((((((((Laura, who's having a very rough holiday))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

reallyME

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2006, 11:30:25 PM »
well, Hops, I already put my post in this forum and Im too tired to bother moving it to another spot.  If someone wants to delete it, it's fine.  I shared with bev what I wanted to.

~Laura

tsarina

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2007, 01:16:37 AM »
Thanks for your abuser's tricks, I sure could relate.  I have been in an abusive marriage/divorce/reconciliation for 17 years.  He keeps me thinking I am confused and crazy.  I have left him 8 times, divorced and got back together.  I am working on leaving him again for good but it is very hard and confusing.  I just started therapy and support from the local woman's center.  I would love to break the connection for good with him.  By 5 pm today I had my plan in place and he came home and by 7 pm I was thinking, this is not so bad.  I don't want to hurt him. Boy do I need validation and a back bone.  I am grateful for this place to share my experience and feelings.  I also like hearing from others in similar situations.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. 

Peace
Lisa :shock:

Hopalong

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2007, 01:34:29 AM »
Hi Lisa...welcome!

I'm so glad to hear you've started support with a women's center as well as therapy.
It sounds as though you're really determined to find clarity about your marriage.

That's half your battle. And now you're getting a 3rd rung for your ladder...
I know you'll find seasoned survivors of both marriage and divorce to hear you here.

Welcome again. Grab a thread any time you're ready...we're ready to listen.

Hopalong
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Certain Hope

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2007, 08:12:28 AM »
Welcome, Lisa :)

I remember several talks with the lady at the women's shelter that left me feeling all pumped up and ready to get away from my ex.
And then, just as you said, he'd come home and *poof* my resolve was gone. It was just as though he had a "spell" on me. And I didn't want to hurt him, either. It was when I saw how much he wanted to hurt me that I was able to move my feet.

It's wonderful that you're getting support now, Lisa... I'm so glad you're here.
Looking forward to reading you... share as you're ready and I know you'll get plenty of support and encouragement here!

With love,
Hope

Ami

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2007, 08:42:12 PM »
Dear Lisa,
   I beat you. I have been with an abuser for 27 years                                            Love  Ami
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.        Eleanor Roosevelt

Most of our problems come from losing contact with our instincts,with the age old wisdom stored within us.
   Carl Jung

Child of N

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2007, 12:50:53 PM »
Brilliant list - where did you find it? I would like to know the source for more information.  Thanks!

Certain Hope

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2007, 01:34:53 PM »
Brilliant list - where did you find it? I would like to know the source for more information.  Thanks!

Hi, Guest... you're welcome! It's been awhile, but I think it was from this site:  http://www.kickbully.com/page1e.html

Hope

hannah

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2007, 03:08:32 PM »
Hope,

This is an incredible list. Very helpful.


Certain Hope

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2008, 11:10:29 PM »

Bumping this up... because it is just as valid today as it was nearly two years ago, when I first posted it here.

If you've ever endured an invasion of the personality-snatchers or encountered a personality-inventor, here are the tools of her trade:


I found this list of characteristics which so perfectly describes my abusers and I'm sharing it here because, to me, awareness of the techniques used by these chameleons is our best defensive weapon. None of this is anything new, but sometimes I think it's easy to lose sight of the fact that not all those who abuse others are outwardly aggressive and obvious. I hope this will help others as it has me to keep open eyes and ears open for danger signs in others to whom we might feel drawn.

1. Charming in public  ~ exuding warmth and charm, an abuser smiles and tells jokes, praises and flatters you, outwardly supports you
with a show of approval and reassurance, makes you feel valuable and appears to be  attentive to your needs

2. Rumor-monger in private  ~ criticizing you behind your back, he may suggest that you have personal or emotional problems, carefully building a case against you via calculated misinformation passed on to others behind the scenes. He manipulates others into criticizing you and then rewards them for their participation in his plot to undermine your image in every way.

3. Two-faced  ~  He pretends to support you while planning to destroy you; then when you challenge him, he suddenly transforms from supportive to bullying. His soft-spoken manner hides his destructive intentions, his flattering words hide his desire to control you, and  his seemingly warm personality hides his take-no-prisoners attitude.

4. Distorts truth and reality ~ He misleads people by omitting key facts. He's extremely concerned to preserve an appearance of integrity, all the while withholding significant information. He misleads people by omitting key facts, he quotes hearsay as important and authoritative, then  justifies his opinion by falsely claiming others think the same way. Master of the half-truth, he misstates and belittles your viewpoint, asks questions that demean you, then interrupts before you can fully respond, he changes the subject before you can correct his misstatements, then he adds new false accusations faster than you can respond to old ones.

5. Hypocritical ~ His spoken philosophy and behavior don't match, his words creating a positive image which does not match his actions. He describes his mistakes as minor, but your mistakes as serious, or ignores his own mistakes while always highliting yours. 
- He calmly demeans you, but is angry because you don't respect him. Not respecting him = pointing out the inconguities and inconsistencies between who he claims to be and what he actually does and says.

6. Evasive ~ He acts confused by any complaint about his behavior and always shifts the focus to others. He acts like he is the one who is being victimized. He tries to make you feel guilty for hurting him, accusing you of behavior that was far worse than his and asserting that you are the cause of his bad behavior (if he ever does admit to behaving badly).
 
7. Pompous  ~ He acts like a know-it-all and never apologizes, unless to prove how rarely he makes a mistake He's a prima donna ... condescending in words, tone of voice and mannerisms. Every issue which effects him is high drama and he'll try to demolish the opposition in every discussion to keep the focus on himself.

8. Self-righteous ~ In order to disguise his corrupt character, he always claims the moral and ethical high ground. He brags about the goodness of his own character while suggesting that others have dubious motives. He frequently talks of his superior ethical standards, implying that others don't have his high standards and using distorted examples to prove that others are not nearly as superior as he.


9. Obsessed with image  ~He believes that his image is more important than reality, so he disguises his true emotions and desires. When you see beneath his persona, he will suggest that your actions have hurt his image. Alternatively, he says that your proposed actions (i.e., exposing him) will hurt your own image.


10. Passive-aggressive  ~  He'll keep you in the dark by sulking, instead of confronting issues.

11. Pretends to care ~ While pretending to care about others, he is at his most manipulative and dangerous. Most people are taken in by his apparently positive energy, enthusiasm and charisma, but in reality, they are naively being fooled by an attractive personality which hides a morally and ethically corrupt abuser who is coldly and ruthlessly pursuing his own selfish ends. His expression of affection is tainted with possessiveness and he compliments you only because it serves his purpose. He has a look of concern, but he doesn't truly respect you. He pretends to be your friend while tearing you down, destroying your reputation, weakening your position, and exaggerating the importance of your mistakes.

 
12. Plays the victim  ~ He exaggerates his pain and suffering, trying to make you feel guilty for causing his pain and claiming that you don't appreciate him (all he does for you). He becomes angry and indignant when you try to reason with him, then says he is tired of doing all the compromising. Some of his favorite phrases:  "Why are you ruining it for the rest of us?"
"Don't you want to help us succeed instead of standing in our way?"
"You hurt me when you did that."(or said that)
"You hurt my feelings when you did that."(or said that).
"You hurt others when you did that."(or said that).
"How could you do this to me?"
"I thought I could count on you."
"You betrayed my trust in you."
"Why are you ruining it for the rest of us?"

sus

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Re: An Abuser's Tricks ~ Reference
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2009, 02:37:56 AM »
Thank you for posting this!
Lord, I want to be whole.