SITE: “Personality and Alcoholism: Establishing the Link” ~ Stanton Peele (author of “Love & Addiction” highly recommended)
PERSONALITY TRAITS (cont.)
🏴 REMINDER: NO ONE has ALL these characteristics!
Pick out several that fit your ‘favorite’ addict (or yourself ??), the ones that really stand out, that are over-blown, that keep getting in the way of a success, happy life.
2. PSYCHOLOGICAL defences
Underlying the addiction are what 12-Step programs call ‘character defects’, which contribute to the desire to escape.
• Blackmail. Use threats of emotional withdrawal of acceptance, affection, approval, love, sex…. to get the other person to do something they don’t want to
• Bully. Demand others be or do what the addict wants, & won’t take no for an answer. Push, push push
• Chase. Run after someone not immediately available, or not interested in them (short of stalking)
• Come-here-go-away. Crazy-making, draw someone toward themselves & them push them away (sabotaging….) when the other gets ‘too close’
• Impatient. Can’t wait for things to unfold naturally, insist on getting attention
• Impulsive. Often acts before really thinking through consequences
• Irresponsible. Undependable, rarely /never follows thru, arbitrarily changes plans, regularly breaks promises …
• Argumentative. Always looking to start a verbal tussle, & even when they actually agree with the other’s point of view, feel the need to fight against it
• Cognitive distorted. Have many unrealistic or completely erroneous beliefs. Includes ‘all-or-nothing’, ‘black-or-white’ thinking…..
• Combative. Always feel disrespected (bumped in the subway, not being greeted….) as an excuse to be angry, or pick a fight
• Compulsive Liar. Lie when not necessary – lost conscious contact with The Truth
• Complain. Highly critical of others & Self, often their own worst enemy. Whiny.
• Cynical. Bitter, have an overall very negative assessment of people & life
• Double-messaging. Cause great confusion or paralysis in others by giving opposing info or expectations – as if both are true, (love you / hate you) OR demand that 2 incompatible rules both be obeyed
• Boundary-less. Don’t how when / where to set limits, with self or others
• Chameleon. Easily change attitude & actions to match people & their environment, blend right in, but not ‘real Self’
• Dependent. Needy. Expecting others to do for them what they can, but won’t do for themselves
• Fake. What they feel inside is not what they show on the outside
• Idealizing. Unwilling to see others for who they really are, making them better than what’s real, & better than themselves
• Passive. Unwilling to exert themself, have an opinion, participate….
• Perfectionist. Their’s is the only ‘Right Way’. If they can’t do something perfectly, it’s worthless – causing procrastination & paralysis
• Separate. Never feel part of or belong anywhere – even in ‘similar’ groups. ‘Different, not like the rest’ (negatively special)
• Superiority complex. The attitude / belief (not emotion) of seeing oneself as better than others
• Victim. Suicidal thoughts / feelings (NOT because of severe physical pain, debility or actually being trapped). Instead:
– Rage: wanting to punish everyone who’s ever hurt or abandoned them (“I’ll show you!”)
– Unwilling to dig deep into their emotional pain, for healing
• Arrogant. Condescending, sometimes or always ‘full of it’
• Demanding. “I want what I want – NOW!”
• Defiant. Don’t want to be told what to do, do opposite of what someone needs, wants or asks for – just to be ‘difficult / contrary’, but not from actual disagreement
• Isolated. Socially withdrawn, even when with others, not really connected. Can’t be reached, but complains that no-one understands
• People-pleaser. Overly agreeable, to keep the focus off themselves & get people to like them
• Sadistic (‘perpetrator’). Gets pleasure from hurting people, or secretly seeing them be hurt (physically, financially, socially….). Also harm animals & children
• Socially awkward. Feel like they don’t know what to do or say
• Thrill junkie. Deliberately goes for risky behavior, stuck in self-destructive mode
• Thwarts Authority. Rebels against ‘status quo’
• Lost / Tortured Soul – wandering in the ‘land of the living dead’
• Unearthly. Truly believe an ideal world possible, & that it ‘should be’. See everyone as one united family. However, often feel disillusioned & disheartened when the world fails to live up to their Utopian ideals.
NEXT: Alcoholism – Physical