A little about me

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Early warning signs of an abusive personality

From: http://www.facebook.com/groups/MelanieToniaEvans

Early Warning Signs of an abusive personality

(Although emotional abuse is most difficult to detect, physical and sexual abuse is often well disguised and also difficult to detect. Abuse is secretive, furtive, stealthy, hidden, explainable, covert, subtle, crafty, well orchestrated, strategic)

You don't need to be black and blue to be abused. Emotional abuse is stealthy. Often times the abuser will never directly abuse you, they will abuse your children, animals or friends. When they do turn their bullying on you they will pick on something small, something petty. This will all be hidden and explained away, there is always an explanation for their endless pettiness. And you will always be "overreacting" or "sensitive". Discounting your feelings and minimizing their behavior keeps you off balance.

When you are finally able to leave your bully, please be prepared. They will not let you go without a fight for your sanity or even your life. During the relationship, the abuser will try to hook you by making you dependent on him.

Verbal abuse doesn't have to be "bad". Many abusers extol their mates often disguising anger as concern and praise as love.
Remember you only ever need to know one fact, if you are SCARED you are being ABUSED.

**Many of the early warning signs listed on most websites are actually late stage warning signs.
If you have an inexplicable feeling of danger, run fast, fear does not need evidence. The list below goes over some of the early warning signs of abuse. However, most of the early warning signs are very difficult to detect. Abusers and bullies have developed their tactics over years and have honed their craft.**

(Abusers do not have to exhibit all of these signs but if they exhibit more than one of these, they are abusers. Although domestic abuse often escalates, it does not have to follow what many consider to be a typical progression. They can go from “minor verbal assault” to full out physical abuse within a short period of time or even pause for years without resorting to physical abuse. Sometimes physical abuse or any other abuse doesn’t start until you’ve been trapped by marriage or children. Often times violence begins when they feel they are losing control.)

Here are some of the early warning signs of a stealth bully:

1.They usually make the rules in the relationship, where you go, who spends money.
2.They push boundaries little by little. You have less privacy or free will as time goes on.
3.They’re always right and you’re always wrong; their sense of entitlement means that you’re too sensitive. If they tell you that you overreact or you blow things out of proportion, you are being abused.
4.They control you with their disapproval, name-calling, putdowns, blame and guilt. Even minor name calling such as goofy or stubborn are big red flags.
5.You’re afraid you’ll trigger a mood. Mood swings that go from angry, rageful, affectionate, to apologetic.
6.You’re told you would be alone without them or that they are the only person in the world that cares as much as they do. This is the beginning stage of isolation.
7.Social isolation. They will slowly cut you off from friends and family. They will always have something bad to say about your friends and they will not allow you to do nice things for them.
8. Pettiness. This is a form of disguised brow beating. Subtly criticize minor things like leaving a light on.
9. Superiority. He indicates that he is smarter, in general better than other people. He may even believe his possessions such as his woman, pets and material belongings are better than everyone.
10. Jealousy. He may stand and stare at any man that looks or talks to you.
11. He suggests: setting up a bank account in his name, getting married and having children within six months of dating. Everything is in his name.
12.Treating you like a sexual object, constantly touching you during inappropriate times even while sleeping.
13.Degrading views on women. They make negative comments about women, their mother and previous girlfriends. Always blames past girlfriends. They tend to be dumped by girlfriends first.
14. Possessive. They may make a surprise visit to your home or work. Check up on you even if you live together. Call, email, text frequently.
15. Infrequent anger or rage. They are often calm after an episode.
16. Asks a lot of questions. Relentless questioning. Interrogative.
17. You are always on their dime and their schedule. They are always acting in "your best interest". They claim any harm they do is to "protect you".
18. They may never hit you directly, they may throw objects at you, hit walls, grab things away from you, stomp, intimidating body language, break things, keep you from leaving, grab you, etc.
19. Gas lighting. Behaves or acts like they did nothing. Claims to not have said or did something, even immediately after saying or doing something. May hide or move objects then blame you.
20. They often fail to follow through on promises. They always have a "surprise" in store for you such as a gift or vacation.
21. They are demanding, you have to accommodate their every whim. They take up all of your time and energy. You feel tired all the time.
22. They remind you of their sacrifices.
23. He will often need "help" when doing an undesirable task. Generally, you are left to do these tasks by yourself.
24. Their actions and words don't add up. They will push you off a cliff and then run to catch you.
25. Crazy-making. They manipulate you, keep you on edge to the point where you feel like you are going crazy. You start exhibiting depression, unusual behavior, etc. This is all the proof your monster needs to blame you for his abuse.
26. Some abusers are unable to laugh at themselves or see humor in frustrating circumstances. Rigid, inflexible.
27. Guilt trip. They will refuse to go anywhere without you, even if it is an extreme burden to you.
28. Animal cruelty, call animals names, neglects them, scares them.
29. They will tell you that you are using them or you’re taking advantage of them.
30. You feel like you can't trust them, you are scared for no reason.
31. Your children or animals begin to behave differently.
32. Grandiosity. They buy things they can't afford. They always have the latest gadget. They may claim to know people in high places.
33. They may get into physical fights or relish violence.
34. They get frustrated very easily and have trouble coping with normal daily stresses.
35. Often times they enjoy chaotic circumstances. They may even seem to enjoy it when people cry. Seems to lack empathy.
36. They will talk about themselves often. If you have a story, they have a better one.
37. They rarely seem to take responsibility for their actions or mistakes, it is always someone else fault.
38. They might hint that they have been in fights before or their ex girlfriend enjoyed rough sex.
39. You may notice a strange family dynamic; there is almost always a family history of mental problems.
40. You may notice that he always wants to talk while you are trying to sleep or wakes you up at night for to say I love you or any “innocent” reason. This is a form of denial of basic physical needs.
41. He comes on to you after you say no to sex or is "playful" during sex. He may not wait for you to be fully ready resulting in painful intercourse. Does not engage in foreplay. Is often too “passionate”.
42. Bottles up emotions. Unable to identify emotions. Claims he is concerned when he is angry.
43. You feel irritated or bugged by his presence for no reason. Even when he is apparently being “kind”.
44. You feel off balance, like the wind has been knocked out of you, the rug pulled from under your feet.
45. Your dreams and expectations go unfulfilled.
46. You want to run as fast as you can but you feel paralyzed.
47. You are bewildered all the time but you don’t know what the problem is.
48. Feeling like something is wrong, the little things that are odd, but they are easily forgotten and not a big deal.
49. You feel like you’re being pushed around, they’re bossy.
50. You’re always caught off guard; they surprise you or shock you.
51. He sends you mixed messages. His words and emotions don’t seem to correspond with each other. When you question that, he tells you that you have no faith in him or he makes you take some or all of the responsibility.
52. They pretend to be hurt when you express your feelings. Even telling you that hey are hurt that you would be upset at them for something they did that was not intentional.
53. They play with or collect weapons.
55.They are "very generous" beware their generosity is very expensive.
56. Intimidating body language.
57. They are easily hurt. You feel guilty if you express disappointment. So you begin to comply with them to avoid tension.
58.They are very generous, beware they’re generosity is expensive. This is called loan sharking.
59. They disclose intimate details of their life or their past, quickly in the relationship in order to create closer bonds or “test the waters’. Shares inappropriate information.
60. He pressure’s you to go to couples counseling. Because “we share the responsibility”.
61. He calls you a victim.
62. Makes statements like, you’re too good for me, you can do better. This is an attempt to garner sympathy.
63. The way they treat service personnel or those in lower social standing.
64. Sulks often especially when they do not get their way. A form of passive aggressive behavior.
65. Very serious, aggressive, arrogant or threatening body language, poise, afect, facial expressions, eyes, mannerisms, conduct.
66. May not appreciate your opinions, emotions or thoughts.
67. His control may at first appear to be impassioned and loving but transforms into needy and clingy. May not go places without you, claims to love being with you all the time.
68. May suggest you are interested in other men, accuses you of cheating.
69. Abuse by proxy, tells your friends and family that you are unstable. Challenges you in court, uses the law.
70. You notice small changes in yourself. You lose interest in things that mattered, you may get sick, weight changes, health problems, mental health problems, etc.
71. Never accepts responsibility for anything, ever. The world always owes them.


  1. This is an excellent and thorough list... An emotional though very important read. I might repost it to my blog, if you don't mind! Thank you for posting this.

  2. I recently left an abusive relationship these are very accurate signs women do not be fooled by generosity, do not hang on to promises that are never fufilled, it all comes with a price and often times these men when you do decide to leave will not be of help to you or your future leave while you still have some dignity intact it takes a long time to heal from a relationship with someone who has been abusing you. I am 3 months pregnant I left my abusive partner when I was 8 weeks pregnant. I was often told how stupid I am and put down alot anything I trusted him with turned out to backfire on me and all my personal history was explotied and used to degrade me when infact everyone makes mistakes, we just dont need to be reminded everyday of this. Love yourself and fix what is worth fixing! It was easy to leave to because I knew I needed to be loved in the right way nd when it feels wrong in love it is WRONG! True love does not hurt and anyone who loves you will do what they can to prevent you from hurting, or feeling badly. I was simply tired of crying and blaming myself and wondering why I was not good enough to be treated well by my partner, that made me realize I had to leave if I ever wanted a truly happy life and sound relationship with someone in the future. Women please practice self preservation it will save you from so much tears, disaster and heartache! Its never a mistake just a lesson in life! Be happy and embrace your inner goddess she is waiting for you to love her!

    1. AMEN! Well said! God bless you and that wee one! It sounds like you are in a good point in your life now. I feel the compassion, strength and know where you have been. Please be well and let me know how you are doing privately if you would like to. hopewhentherewasnone@gmail.com

  3. wow wish i had seen this 4 yrs ago.I knew I was in a a busive relationship but this confirms it.

  4. yes, this is invaluable information. I have to PRINT this and save it. I am reading a book right now called WHY DOES HE DO THAT? Please get it everybody and read it, it might help you not to go into that abusive relationship in the first place !!

  5. Thank you! Sadly no one starts a relationship armed with knowledge about an abusive relationship and there are times when signs are subtle or many brush them off. Kudos to you for getting out!

  6. In all this criteria, one thing is totally missing. Well several things. You have to diagnose that fact that most abusive people are sociopaths/narcissists. They are and become very methodical in there plight to gain total control over that person. In addition to that, if you meet an inexperienced sociopath, they usually get caught or arrested for their actions. When the courts order them to batterers intervention, you are sticking like minds in a group to not get better, but to GET BETTER AT IT. It is the meeting of the minds to learn more from each other. This is no joke. Sadly if you know the signs of a sociopath you will find those traits in abusers. They are control freaks. Yes sociopath/psychopath is the same. They are not mentally ill, and have a family history of genetic sociopathy. My ex husband's father was a convicted abuser, his cousins, his uncle, and his brother grew into that as well. I knew his brother as a child. Even their sister was an abuser. It is genetic and environmental. His mother was bipolar I with psychotic tendencies. Not only is there mental illness there is narcissistic personality disorder and sociopaths as well. By the way, he married a woman with a master's degree in psychology. I know he did this as a challenge to see how long he can keep and control her even though she is suppose to be educated in this subject. It is a challenge to him. I already know he has worked his magic on her. She took off all the males on her Facebook page and now, she never gets on the page except to add family pics. It is really sad. All started after she had a baby. And he still to this day tries to get to me. Now he does domestic violence by proxy using my son as a weapon against me. Very sad. They never get better and can't. they just keep honing their craft.

  7. It is sad. But so many of us look past or get so wrapped up in "love" that we don't see the signs until it is too late! It is not a joke. I'm not laughing at all. None of this is taken lightly. Is it a cycle or a choice? I have met people that were severely beaten as children but they "choose" not to be an abuser or a victim. How can one arm themselves against a sociopath or whatever when you didn't grow up in that situation? I totally agree with everything you say, don't get me wrong. I lost my son over 4 years ago when his Dad turned against me-Parental Alienation. My heart goes out to you! Prayers and please let me know how you are.

  8. I've just broken up a textbook abuser. He got away with it for 18months, but one day, well enough was enough! You have to watch out for the SMART ones, because they seek out the more "challenging" target AND they read these lists to learn how to get under the next ones's radar!

  9. They choose the people MOST vulnerable to the love-bombing. Before they even kissed you, they had your conquest planned out. Before they kissed you they knew how to get under your skin. The smarter YOU are, if you are empathic (their most satisfying target), the more evil and sneaky your Psychopath is going to be because they love a challenge.

    The only way to prevent this in the future is to PAY ATTENTION to the red flags and listen to your gut. And even then, there is always the chance that someone is just that much smarter and can get past your defenses. They can't resist empathetic and empathic people. We are like candy to them.

  10. I am not sure if my husband is an abuser or not., but he is very annoying about what I comment on. For example if I happen to say that it cold outside he will comment that it isn't at all and things like that and it goes like that about everything that I say. Another example is when I happen to remark on some crime in which a person of another race is implicated he will call me a racist and I am not anything like that, I have friends of all kinds. In regards as to what happens with out house he controls everything. Then he picks a time of his choosing and whatever it is gets done. When I got my driver licence he said he didn't know why I needed and said I was not good at driving. Maybe I am being too sensitive but it still bothers me. My daughter is a teenager and he lets her call me everything under the sun as far as namecalling goes. He says nothing to her and just watches his sports. This goes on quite a bit.


  11. That is Mental/Verbal abuse. Because a person doesn't lift a fist or hand to you does not mean it is not abuse. Do you feel safe enough to voice your thoughts or concerns over this? Your daughter needs to respect you! She should not be allowed to speak to you this way and nor should your husband allow her to do so! Are you happy?

    1. I am very impressed with this page. There is much written about abusive personalities, and I have read PLENTY. I have a history of being in abusive relationships and because of this have researched it plenty and even started studying psychology (though I don't have the finances to continue unfortunately). I would love to be able to help people in these circumstances as well as the poor broken souls coming out of these circumstances). I have just (finally) left a 6 year relationship with an abuser. After my history with more aggressive abusers I thought I was finally in a loving relationship as this "gentleman" showed absolutely no signs of violence or aggression. BEWARE though ladies! There are those (and they are just as dangerous as the aggressive types, and after all it's the mental pain "mind-games" that ruin you the most! Physical pain is fleeting compared to what they do to your mind! I only realised, after nearly losing myself completely, after years of manipulation of my mind that I was in fact yet again deep into a very abusive relationship. Be careful ladies! They are not always violent and aggressive! Take everything on this list as a warning, even without the "aggressive" points the rest are still red flags that you could be heading down a road of losing yourself and being ruined through abuse. There are "stealth bullies" out there that don't need to shout, scream, show no agression or violent behaviours but they will get under your skin nonetheless and break you completely! Get out while you can! And DON'T turn back! I also left my child's father (who was a more aggressive bully) when my child was 5 months old. I have had struggle on struggle to support myself and my child on my own. My boy is now 11 and though we never have money and life is tough for us I burst with pride at the fabulous, lovable, caring, empathetic and intelligent person he is. He would NOT be who is if I had stayed with his father! No-one is perfect, and every-one has faults, men and women are different and will disagree. But it can't be love if you "lose yourself". These men use the word "love" as a tool to manipulate. Love HAS to come from both sides. If u feel that u are always the one giving love and they are just taking (and don't listen to the nonsense about everything they have given you or the money they have spent on you, that is just another manipulation, money has nothing to do with love!) And you feel like they are "turning you inside out" then get out... It won't get better. They truly believe they are superior, so why would they change?! And look out for the "False apologies"... They say they are sorry and sometimes even admit that they were wrong... But be careful and be mindful, it is only to placate you, they just go and do it all over again and will even deny that they had ever apologised previously or admitted their wrongfulness. Gaslighting can be extremely subtle, so be very careful! You start thinking you are going crazy because they contradict themselves (but never admit to it) they say you said things that you didn't and that you didn't say things that you did, and they TWIST things that you say or feel. And of course, you are always to blame! You are worth better!

  12. This should be passed out at the start of every school year starting with 8th grade or so. I stuck around thinking I am worthy and i am going to prove it to him, however there was always something new to knock u down... all the flags were there but I had no knowledge of any of this until now that I'm out of the "mess." The huge 1st flag was lets have a child 3 months into the relationship I love u so much- and he already had kids (i didnt).

    Definitely info that needs to be given to kids 8th --- each year while in High school. Parents should have this handy too for the home- bith for male and female children, nowadays you never know.

  13. I agree! That is when a lot starts! Are you out of this now? You are worthy of so much more! BIG HUGS!

  14. This is a great list. I ended an 18 month long relationship because he showed all the classic signs of an abuser. I decided to test him out by letting him think he "had" me, that I would live the rest of my life with him, figuring that he'd lower his guard. He did, and became petty, bossy, demeaning, controlling and the rest. The a ha moments came to light. The vague history of his abusive past paved true to the present. I was a challenge: brave, accomplished, strong, and resilient. But I'd been in an abusive relationship before, healed from it and knew the warning signs. The key is to wait that 18 months before you emotionally commit to the man. I refused to fully commit emotionally. Poof, 18 months and he's the jerk I thought he really was, under the veil of saccharin kisses, compliments and random hits on your ego. So, let him think he "has" you, never move in with him or become dependent in any way. If he behaves consistently nicely after he's gotten you, then maybe there's hope. This guy of mine got a job in another state, and I told him I would join him, just to get him to leave. I knew he'd be trouble. I told him I couldn't come to join him due to personal family issues, that I wasn't available and I was sorry, he should find someone who is. He took it well, but if I'd broken up with him, or criticized him in any way, I think he would have wanted to do me some permanent harm. Play them as they play you. Get an escape plan early in the dating arena. They're all potential abusers unless proven otherwise. Men are instinctually abusive and only the more refined, civilized ones are worth a woman's time of day.

  15. I am happy you were able to get away! I believe everyone should listen to their gut instinct they have about a person. We all tend to brush these off and not just in a dating relationship.

    But, I don't believe one should live in fear of abusive relationship. Some do and never able to break free and find the right "one" or they keep attracting "Mr/Ms. Wrong".

    Being smart about learning and looking for the warning signs of an abuser is a good step in the right direction. There are cases where couple's have been together for years before "Nice guy/gal" breaks. Something happens to causes them to snap and start abusing their partner.

    It's scary! Sometimes it's almost that you can never really know the person you are attached to.

    1. Everything I have been reading makes me thank myself for loving myself more than to be abused. I had met someone some months ago, and he was clingy to quick! I never spoke to him ever again. My radar stays on alert!

    2. Everything I have been reading makes me thank myself for loving myself more than to be abused. I had met someone some months ago, and he was clingy to quick! I never spoke to him ever again. My radar stays on alert!

  16. Over two thirds of this list apply to the guy I broke up with a few months ago, and it was this article (and other similar ones) that made me realise that i wasn't just being "too sensitive" and "fragile" and I needed to leave, so thank you for writing it.
    Thankfully I left and have got over what he used to do and say, but I am angry that, just weeks later, he is already in another relationship and almost certainly treating her the same way. All I can hope is that she sees the signs too. Thank you again!

    1. Great for getting out before it was too late! I almost wish I could let the anyone that gets in a relationship with him or people like him to run for the hills! Sometimes the next one doesn't see the signs as the abuser looks for the next victim that has the same traits that we had.

  17. Thank you ever so much for taking the time to forewarn us! I was previously in an abusive relationship. This new guy seems attracted to me, but I always had an uneasy feeling. When I saw your list - this guy has 5 red flags! Definitely not going to pursue anything.
    Thank you for your kindness