“Understanding the Aggressive Personalities” Comments, Page 1

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14 Comments (3 Discussion Threads) on “Understanding the Aggressive Personalities”

  1. Very interesting that as the fifth bullet points out, they lack internal ‘brakes’. They seem to not care how others feel.

    Are they lacking self-awareness or insight?

    Would it matter if they were self-aware?

    I dated a man for 1 month who couldn’t be wrong. He would start arguments over the phone and twice, I told him to call his ex wife if he needed to lambast someone. Then I hung up each time.

    After the first ‘incident’ he called to apologize and was real sweet, but the second time he tried to apologize I let him know I was unavailable.

    No more calls. He couldn’t seem to understand that I don’t put up with verbal assault from anyone.

    Too bad really, but even though he had everything else going for him and was intelligent and real attractive in every other way, I’m afraid no one could PAY me to put up with that junk.

    I’m only recently divorced but honey, I’m not desparate.

  2. Good questions, M. As is quite typical of all disordered characters, they are very aware (ref: posts on neurosis vs. character disorder). They not only know exactly what they’re doing, but they are okay with it. The fact that they don’t stop to think (or more accurately, to hesitate) is more a reflection of the habitual nature of their aggressive style than it is a lack of awareness. Plus, they often manage to get away with it, which reinforces the pattern. If someone give them flack over it and they really think there’s a chance they’ll lose something they want, they’ll express regret (not the same as genuine remorse), say they won’t do it again (to keep from losing what they want) but probably will do it again anyway (the result of lack of “brakes” as well as sufficient desire). I’ve known many a therapist as well as individuals in relationships with these folks who assumed that they simply mustn’t see what it is they’re doing and who spent an awful lot of wasted time and energy trying to get them to see the light. I’m so glad you were insightful enough yourself to figure this guy probably wasn’t worth your investment! And – by the way – the fact that he had many things going for him is no credit to him whatsoever (ref: prior posts on self-esteem). There are lots of talented, physically attractive people with disturbed characters.

  3. I was out one evening with my friend and her husband when my Son-in-Law came and joined us. We were chatting away quite happily when from out of nowhere he raced at a man standing at the bar, grabbed him round the throat and lifted him completely off the floor. My friends and I desperately begged him to put him down, and then suddenly (as quick as it had started) he released the man and said “Sorry mate, let me buy you a drink”. The man could not get away quick enough.

    I said to my Son-in-law “What on earth was that for, who was he? he replied “I don’t know, I thought in was better then hitting ****(my daughter). I was totally appalled and told him he needed to get help.
    Apparently he regularly attacked people and stopped as quickly as he started, usually the reason (in his head anyway) was that the man had looked at my daughter. Scary or what???

  4. I’ve been having a similar problem with my wife. She’s been trying to dominate and humiliate me right from the beginning of our marriage 3 years ago. These include: remaining with her mother after marriage to date (she got pregnant immediately/I work late, she needs her mother’s help in looking after the child, etc.), refusing to prvide me with meals, chasing me out of the house, refusing to do housework, threatening the child, refusing to have sex, spreading stories that I am impotent/deviant/alcoholic, informing the police that I do not give her money to run the home, etc. She has also managed to extract a sizable monthly payment from me and has been trying to increase the amount.

    We are currently consuling a psychiatrist who has determined that she has an ‘aggressive personality’. She has refused to take medication or do the prescribed exercises. Meanwhile, my son, aged 2, and I are going through hell. Hope the madness ends sometime soon.

  5. I have a similar problem with my boyfriend who has been trying to get me depressed and also trying to dominate the whole of my life. He says the days of woman support are over and will not support a woman who would bring nothing to the relationship besides good home nurturing skills and sex. His basic idea is a woman must also bring bread to the table.

    He wants me to loose a lot of myself for him but he point blank told me he can never change to appease a woman and one cannot change people so I should never expect any change from him.

    He has an ex who has 3 kids with him and still does things together with her though not without kids but I sometimes do not feel comfortable about that.

    He feels he can include her even in our outings with the kids and says he doesn’t care about how i feel towards that cos he assumes he has the final decision and i must respect his decision as his partner.

    I am from a different culture, society and barely know anything much about his early years but such behavior has got me thinking he was probably a trailer trash when he was younger and that could be why he is so aggressive.

    I am so bothered about this cos I love him so much and do not want to lose him. He tells me he loves me too but my problem is he doesn’t in any ways show me that he actually loves me.

    [Editor’s Note: This comment has been altered slightly from its original form.]

  6. Iam living in a hell because of my mother she doesn’t have any kind of feeling except anger hatred I feel that her main role in life is to humiliate and depreciate others specially my father she always swears at him and criticizes him and changes his merits to defaults
    she sees all other people ugly and she is the most beautiful one although now she is over sevsnty she has never changed . she ruined my life instilling in my mind that I am ugly and good for nothing she never appreciates anything she is never satisfied . Unfotunately she was forced to raise her grand daughter whose parents got divorced and abandoned her while she was a new born baby . she practised her ruthness on this poor girl she humiliate , domineered her and let her live in a complete power . I always wonder where does she get self confidence from she is not educated she never had a job . The problem is that we have a brother a copy of her he refuses to marry and he is over 40 and he is humiliating his parents and brothers and sisters whatever you do for him is nothing he refuses to pay in the house and he spent his salary in days and starts borrowing and demanding for money . what surprises me is that he has a different personality outside he talks sweetly and behaves well . what do you think

    1. While you can’t possibly control the behavior of another, you can do your best not to “enable” it. That means, not giving support when it’s not truly merited, not caving-in to unreasonable demands, not helping the person escape negative consequences for irresponsible behavior, etc. You have the power to set and enforce reasonable limits and boundaries with regard to your relationship with this person. The power to change their behavior rests with them.

  7. I have noticed in the past decade (or so) that a lot more people I meet are aggressive (bullying, put-downs, short tempered, need to assert dominance etc.). Coincidentally, a lot more people are on SSRI’s.For my own curiosity, I did research as to whether SSRI’S can cause aggression, and they can (according to my limited research on the web). Is it possible that this increase in aggressive people I’m experiencing is due to the drugs they’re taking ( for depression)? My friends, (that aren’t on depression drugs) are nice. (I know it’s a small sample.) Anyone have experience with this?

    1. Some thoughts on this: SSRIs are also known to have impulse-control properties. So for many, they actually inhibit impulsive outbursts. I think as research continues what we’re likely to find is that some people who are put on SSRIs but really shouldn’t be on them, or whose “depression” is really a manifestation of a true bipolar tendency, may be “pushed” a bit more toward hypomanic or manic-type behavior, thus losing impulse control. Also, for many true depressives, anger is an underlying dynamic, and as depression “lifts,” anger can spill forth. All that said, bullying, habitual dominance-striving, etc. are behavioral “patterns” most often as opposed to out-of-character impulsive acts. And in those cases i think it would be a stretch to put the blame on SSRis.

      Just some thoughts.

  8. It sounds like the aggressive personality is as synonymous with simply being a winner, or attempting to win. The don’t let things stand in their way.. Who wouldn’t want to be that way?

  9. For Jake – You may never have had the experience of working with a supervisor who is afflicted with a Narcisstic or Aggressive personality. I am working with a municipal judge who can be described as a Megalomaniac. He acquired his judgeship in several towns not by merit, but by aligning himself with county and state politicians. He is a tyrant who likes to scream at his subordinates in public, in order to demonstrate his “superiority.” He acts out when he does not get his way. He turns on the charm with people to get his way, and if that does not work, he strongarms them to get what he wants. I am sorry to say that I am a worker, even though I know that people with a conscience get abused the most by these personality types. But my resignation is typed and ready to go. He will try to charm me to stay, followed by more abuse when I walk away. His loss.

  10. I think the behavior you’re describing can largely be found in most humans. I am not so sure if it is a specific disorder so much as a manifestation of human nature in general. Perhaps if someone behaves this exact same way with everyone in the world, I could understand labeling them as such, but I think that just about every person has exhibited these behaviors towards at least some fraction of people they’ve encountered in their lives, and I don’t know if it would be fair to label them narcissists so much as I would label the behavior, separately.

    1. I agree that narcissism exists on a spectrum and most people will have it to a degree. Most people will also display different levels of aggression in different contexts. Some narcissism and some aggression, in context (e.g. in combat), is necessary and helpful. But I think Dr Simon is referring to people on the extreme end, where their aggression is entrenched in the way the way they deal with people because of very rigid core beliefs, and their aggression not only harms others but stops them from leading fulfilling and meaningful lives in the long run. Short term gain, long term pain.

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