Written by admin

March 26, 2024

 Top 100 Traits of Abusers


Every relationship between an abuser and a victim is as unique as the DNA of the people involved. Nevertheless, there are some common behaviour patterns.

The list below contains descriptions of some of the more common traits of people who suffer from personality disorders and behave in abusive ways, as observed by family members and partners. Examples are given of each trait, with some examples. Many of the characteristics fit people who suffer from pathological narcissism, sociopathy, psychopathy, and borderline personality disorder. They can also present in people who have suffered severe trauma in childhood, who are addicted or are going through a crisis. 

Please note that these descriptions are not intended for diagnosis. No one person exhibits all of the traits and the presence of one or more traits is not evidence of a personality disorder.

These descriptions are offered in the hope that non-personality-disordered family members, caregivers & loved-ones might recognize some similarities to their own situation and discover that they are not alone as well as seek support and help, to be safe and to heal. 

Should you be or have been a victim of abuse, I can warmly recommend joining our HOLISTIC TRAUMA HEALING PROGRAM. I’m telling you that because it’s a great injustice living in the shadow of unhealed emotional trauma, not knowing your free authentic self or your full potential, and superficial band aid solutions won’t help you transform. 


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The top 100 traits of abusers

1. Manipulation

Manipulation involves influencing someone’s behavior or emotions for one’s own interests, often at the victim’s expense. It’s a strategic, often subtle, abuse of power that aims to control the victim’s decisions and behaviors without their informed consent.
Example: Convincing a partner they’re remembering events incorrectly to sway a decision in the manipulator’s favor.

2. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a psychological tactic designed to make the victim doubt their own perceptions, memories, or sanity. It erodes the victim’s confidence in their own judgment, making them more dependent on the abuser.
Example: Denying that an argument or event ever occurred, causing the victim to question their memory or sanity.

3. Emotional Blackmail

This occurs when an abuser uses threats and manipulations to demand compliance from their victim. The threats often target the victim’s emotional vulnerabilities and are designed to invoke fear, obligation, or guilt.
Example: Threatening to reveal sensitive information if the victim does not comply with the abuser’s demands.

4. Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse involves using words to cause harm, such as through insults, threats, or constant criticism. It’s aimed at belittling, intimidating, or demeaning the victim.
Example: Repeatedly calling someone stupid or worthless, undermining their self-esteem.

5. Physical Intimidation

This form of abuse uses the threat of physical violence or actions that invade personal space to instill fear and compliance in the victim.
Example: Punching walls or throwing objects near the victim to demonstrate what the abuser could do to them.

6. Coercive Control

Coercive control is a pattern of behavior that restricts a victim’s freedom and rights as a means to exert power. It can include isolation, intimidation, and the enforcement of trivial demands.
Example: Controlling who the victim can see, where they can go, and what they can wear.

7. Pathological Lying

Pathological liars tell lies frequently and without apparent reason, often to present themselves in a positive light or to manipulate others.
Example: Lying about one’s past achievements or experiences to gain sympathy or admiration.

8. Jealousy

In the context of abuse, jealousy transcends normal relationship concerns and becomes an excuse for controlling or violent behavior. It’s often irrational and unfounded.
Example: Accusing a partner of flirting or being unfaithful without any evidence, then using it as justification for monitoring their communications.

9. Isolation Tactics

Isolation involves cutting the victim off from their support network, making them more dependent on the abuser and easier to control.
Example: Insisting the victim stops spending time with friends or family under the guise of wanting more “couple time.”

10. Financial Control

Financial control is a tactic used to limit the victim’s ability to act independently, making them financially dependent on the abuser.
Example: Taking control of the victim’s bank accounts or restricting access to their own money, thus limiting their autonomy.

11. Projection

Projection involves the abuser accusing the victim of their own negative behaviors or traits. This deflection strategy serves to confuse the victim and shift blame away from the abuser.
Example: An unfaithful partner accusing their significant other of being the one who’s cheating.

12. Blame Shifting

Blame shifting occurs when an abuser holds the victim responsible for their own abusive actions or for anything wrong in the abuser’s life. It’s a way to avoid accountability.
Example: Telling the victim they wouldn’t have to yell if the victim were more attentive or behaved better.

13. Neglect

Neglect is failing to provide for the victim’s basic needs, whether emotional, physical, or psychological. It’s a passive form of abuse with long-term damaging effects.
Example: Ignoring the victim’s emotional needs, like not providing comfort or support during times of distress.

14. Sexual Coercion

Sexual coercion involves using manipulation, threats, or pressure to force the victim into non-consensual sexual activity. It violates the victim’s autonomy and sense of safety.
Example: Pressuring the victim to engage in sexual acts by saying, “If you loved me, you would do it.”

15. Humiliation

Humiliation is the act of making the victim feel ashamed or foolish, often in front of others. It’s aimed at diminishing the victim’s self-worth.
Example: Making fun of the victim’s appearance or intelligence in public to embarrass them.

16. Guilt Tripping

Guilt tripping is a manipulation technique where the abuser makes the victim feel guilty to control their behavior, often suggesting that the victim owes them.
Example: Saying, “After all I’ve done for you, you owe me this,” to make the victim comply with a request.

17. Possessiveness

Possessiveness reflects the abuser’s view of the victim as an object or property, leading to excessive restrictions on the victim’s personal freedom and relationships.
Example: Demanding to know the victim’s whereabouts at all times or getting angry when the victim spends time with others.

18. Stalking

Stalking involves repeated surveillance or unwanted attention that causes fear or distress. It can occur both within and outside of relationships.
Example: Following the victim, showing up uninvited at their workplace, or constantly messaging them.

19. Boundary Violation

Boundary violation happens when the abuser disregards the personal space, privacy, or boundaries set by the victim, demonstrating a lack of respect for their autonomy.
Example: Reading the victim’s texts or emails without permission, or entering the bathroom while they’re using it.

20. Threats of Violence

Threats of violence are verbal or non-verbal indications of intent to harm, used to intimidate and control the victim.
Example: Saying, “I’ll make you regret it,” while clenching fists or displaying weapons, to instill fear.

 “An abuser isn’t abusive 24/7. They usually demonstrate positive character traits most of the time. That’s what makes the abuse so confusing when it happens, and what makes leaving so much more difficult.”
Miya Yamanouchi 

21. Exploitation

Exploitation involves taking advantage of the victim for personal gain or satisfaction, disregarding their well-being in the process. Abusers may exploit their victims emotionally, financially, or sexually.
Example: Persuading the victim to take on additional work or debt under the guise of benefiting the relationship, but actually intending to benefit oneself.

22. Victim Blaming

Victim blaming occurs when the abuser holds the victim responsible for the abuse or for causing the abuser’s violent behavior, thereby deflecting responsibility from themselves.
Example: Telling the victim that they wouldn’t have been hit if they had just listened or behaved better.

23. Withholding Affection

Withholding affection is a manipulative tactic where the abuser intentionally denies affection or emotional support as a form of punishment or control.
Example: Refusing to speak to or touch the victim for days after an argument, regardless of the victim’s attempts to reconcile.

24. Sabotage

Sabotage involves the abuser deliberately undermining the victim’s efforts to improve their situation, whether it be personal achievements, relationships, or career opportunities.
Example: Convincingly talking the victim out of pursuing a job opportunity or education because it threatens the abuser’s control.

25. Public Embarrassment

Public embarrassment is a tactic used by abusers to demean and control their victims by humiliating them in social settings.
Example: Criticizing the victim’s opinions or belittling their accomplishments in front of friends or family to undermine their self-esteem.

26. Constant Criticism

Constant criticism is a relentless assault on the victim’s character, abilities, and choices, intended to erode their self-confidence and independence.
Example: Continually finding fault in everything the victim does, from the way they dress to the way they speak, often without basis.

27. Mood Swings

Mood swings in the context of abusive behavior are unpredictable, drastic changes in the abuser’s emotional state, used to keep the victim on edge and in a state of constant appeasement.
Example: Switching abruptly from affectionate to angry without any apparent cause, leaving the victim confused and anxious about triggering a negative response.

28. Undermining Achievements

Undermining achievements involves the abuser dismissing or diminishing the victim’s successes and efforts, often to maintain control and diminish the victim’s self-worth.
Example: Responding to the victim’s job promotion with indifference or by saying it’s not a big deal, instead of offering congratulations.

29. Invalidation

Invalidation is the abuser’s refusal to acknowledge the victim’s feelings, thoughts, and experiences as real or significant, often implying that they are overreacting or mistaken.
Example: Telling the victim they’re being too sensitive or that they’re imagining things when they express hurt or concern.

30. Indifference

Indifference is displayed when the abuser shows no empathy or concern for the victim’s feelings, needs, or well-being, making the victim feel unvalued and alone.
Example: Showing no reaction or concern when the victim shares something important or when they’re visibly upset or in distress.

31. Cultivating Fear

Abusers often maintain power by instilling a pervasive sense of fear in their victims. This fear can be of physical harm, emotional distress, or even the threat of loss—loss of the relationship, stability, or social standing.
Example: Suggesting subtly or overtly that something bad will happen if the victim doesn’t comply with the abuser’s demands or expectations.

32. Forced Dependency

Forced dependency is a tactic where the abuser makes the victim reliant upon them for emotional support, financial stability, or basic needs, effectively trapping the victim in the relationship.
Example: Taking control over the finances and limiting the victim’s access to money, making it difficult for them to leave the relationship.

33. Devaluation

In the cycle of abuse, devaluation follows the initial idealization phase, where the abuser begins to demean, degrade, and show contempt for their victim. This erodes the victim’s self-esteem and can make them feel undeserving of better treatment.
Example: After a period of seeming perfect, the abuser starts to criticize the victim’s appearance, intelligence, and worth as a partner.

34. Hypercriticism

Hypercriticism refers to an excessive and unwarranted focus on the victim’s perceived flaws or mistakes. It’s often relentless and disproportionate to the situation, serving to undermine the victim’s confidence.
Example: Critiquing every aspect of the victim’s life, from their cooking and cleaning to their choice of friends, implying they can do nothing right.

35. Sarcasm

While sarcasm can be harmless in some contexts, in the realm of abuse, it’s used as a cutting tool to belittle and demean the victim under the guise of humor.
Example: Making sarcastic remarks about the victim’s new job or interests, implying that their efforts are trivial or ridiculous.

36. Dismissive Attitudes

Abusers often display dismissive attitudes towards the victim’s thoughts, feelings, and achievements. This tactic invalidates the victim’s experiences and portrays them as unworthy of serious consideration.
Example: Laughing off or ignoring the victim’s expression of feelings or when they share something important to them.

37. Triangulation

Triangulation involves the use of a third party to validate the abuser’s viewpoints, thereby isolating the victim and making them feel unsupported or irrational.
Example: Bringing someone else into an argument to side with the abuser, making the victim feel outnumbered and wrong.

38. Spying or Snooping

This trait involves the abuser violating the victim’s privacy by monitoring their communications, tracking their movements, or invading their personal spaces without consent.
Example: Reading the victim’s texts, emails, or diaries secretly to keep tabs on them or using tracking devices on their car or phone.

39. Emotional Withdrawal

Emotional withdrawal is a control tactic where the abuser withholds emotional support, affection, or validation from the victim, often as punishment or to exert control.
Example: Giving the silent treatment or becoming emotionally distant after an argument, refusing to discuss the issue or reconnect until the victim apologizes.

40. Creating Chaos

Abusers often create an environment of constant turmoil to disorient the victim and keep them in a state of stress, making it difficult for the victim to think clearly or act independently.
Example: Starting arguments over minor issues right before the victim needs to leave for work or an important event, disrupting their focus and emotional state.


Domestic violence, battering and verbal/mental/emotional abuse is a global epidemic impacting more women than war and cancer combined, and many men and children are also suffering from abusive relationships.
Ignorance, misinformation and misconceptions are actively fuelling this injustice.
If we’re to eradicate relationship abuse and domestic violence, we must first end victim-blaming!
We like to imagine that the world has grown more enlightened about domestic violence. It is no longer legal – in many countries, at least – for a man to beat or rape his wife. But despite the efforts of the #MeToo movement and the fact that more countries work towards gender equality and installing laws against abuse, domestic violence remains a global epidemic, present in every culture and community worldwide. There are also some scary trends that are going in the opposite direction.

41. Relational Aggression

This involves damaging someone’s social relationships or social status through gossip, exclusion, or manipulation, often seen in coercive control scenarios.
Example: Spreading rumors about the victim or telling mutual friends that the victim is to blame for the abuser’s actions, isolating the victim socially.

42. Chronic Dishonesty

Abusers may habitually lie or withhold information to control or manipulate situations to their advantage, keeping the victim off-balance or in doubt.
Example: Lying about where they were or who they were with, and then accusing the victim of being paranoid or controlling when questioned.

43. Impulsiveness

Impulsiveness in abusers can manifest as sudden, rash decisions or actions without consideration of their impact on the victim, often leading to erratic and unpredictable behavior.
Example: Making a large, unnecessary purchase that impacts joint finances without discussing it with the victim, then justifying it with anger or dismissal when confronted.

44. Entitlement

Entitlement is the belief that one deserves certain privileges or treatment regardless of their actions or impact on others, often leading abusers to justify their behaviors.
Example: Expecting the victim to prioritize the abuser’s needs and desires above their own, regardless of the consequences or the victim’s feelings.

45. Digital Harassment

Using technology to control, harass, or intimidate a partner, including incessant texting, email monitoring, or social media stalking.
Example: Sending constant messages demanding to know where the victim is, who they are with, or what they are doing, and getting angry if not responded to immediately.

46. Objectification

Treating the victim more as an object for use rather than as a partner deserving of respect and autonomy, often manifesting in the context of sexual or domestic relationships.
Example: Making comments that reduce the victim to their physical appearance or sexual usefulness without regard to their feelings or consent.

47. Love Bombing

Initially overwhelming a victim with affectionate actions, gifts, and promises to gain their trust and affection, only to withdraw it once control is established.
Example: Showering the victim with gifts, compliments, and attention in the early stages of a relationship, then using the initial investment to justify later abusive behaviors.

48. Victim Playing

Manipulating others to gain sympathy or support by portraying oneself as the victim of unjust treatment, often shifting blame away from one’s own abusive behavior.
Example: Telling friends or family that they are the one being mistreated in the relationship, garnering sympathy and isolating the victim.

49. Selective Attention

Paying attention only to behaviors or actions that can be criticized or used as justification for abuse, while ignoring positive or neutral behaviors.
Example: Ignoring the efforts the victim makes to create a positive environment and instead focusing solely on any minor mistakes or perceived slights.

50. Silent Treatment

Refusing to communicate or acknowledge the victim’s presence as a form of punishment or control, leaving the victim isolated and confused.
Example: Not speaking to the victim for days after a disagreement, regardless of the victim’s attempts to make amends, to exert control and induce guilt.

51. Psychological Bullying

This involves using intimidation, threats, or humiliation to control or hurt someone mentally and emotionally.
Example: Mocking the victim’s beliefs, interests, or ambitions consistently to erode their confidence and self-worth.

52. Feigned Helplessness

Pretending to be unable to perform tasks or make decisions without the victim’s assistance, manipulating them into constant caretaking or decision-making roles, which detracts from their autonomy and independence.
Example: Claiming inability to handle basic household chores or make minor decisions to keep the victim overly engaged and responsible for the abuser’s well-being.

53. Overstepping Boundaries

Ignoring or deliberately crossing the personal limits set by the victim to maintain control or assert dominance.
Example: Using the victim’s personal belongings without permission or invading their privacy by reading their messages or emails, signaling a disregard for their personal space.

54. Unpredictable Behavior

Engaging in actions or emotional responses that are erratic and not easily anticipated, creating a constant state of tension and apprehension in the victim.
Example: Reacting with disproportionate anger to minor issues or showing unexpected warmth after a period of coldness, leaving the victim unsure of what to expect.

55. Reinforcing Gender Norms

Using societal or cultural stereotypes to justify abusive behavior or to enforce roles that limit the victim’s freedom and expression.
Example: Insisting that household or parenting responsibilities are solely the victim’s duty because of their gender, while using this as a basis for criticism or control.

56. Disregarding Consent

Ignoring or violating the victim’s right to agree or refuse in matters affecting them, especially in intimate situations, to exert control.
Example: Initiating sexual contact without the victim’s explicit consent or coercing them into agreeing through manipulation or pressure.

57. Minimizing Abuse

Downplaying or denying abusive behaviors when confronted, or when the victim seeks support, making it difficult for them to validate their experiences.
Example: Claiming that an incident of physical violence was just a joke or an accident, and accusing the victim of overreacting.

58. False Promises

Making commitments or promises with no intention of keeping them, used to placate the victim or to delay their decisions to seek help or leave.
Example: Promising to seek therapy or change behaviors after an abusive incident, with repeated failures to follow through.

59. Excessive Gift-Giving

Using gifts to overshadow or compensate for abusive behavior, creating a confusing contrast in the victim’s perceptions of the relationship.
Example: Showering the victim with gifts or favors immediately following an abusive episode as a means to avoid accountability and to keep the victim emotionally tied.

60. Reputation Smearing

Spreading false or exaggerated information about the victim to friends, family, or community members to isolate the victim and control their narrative.
Example: Telling others that the victim is unstable, unfaithful, or abusive, thereby undermining the victim’s support network and credibility.

Abuse Statistics That We Still Need to Improve


  • In 2018, more women were murdered in Italy than in any other year, since statistics were started. * EU.R.E.S Ricerche Economiche e Sociali
  • The world has more slaves now than ever in world history (trafficking / trafficking / sex slavery, with the vast majority of women).
  • Violent and abusive porn videos, especially with very young girls, have most searches on the porn sites.
  • Sex dolls who are programmed to say no are increasingly in demand.
  • Russia recently reduced the penalty for wife abuse. If the woman gets a few legs broken, the penalty is fined or 15 days imprisonment, like the penalty for speeding.
  • Countries and states are reinstalling anti-abortion laws.
  • 38% of all female murders in the world occur by the woman’s partner / ex partner. * WHO (World Health Organization)
  • In Europe, only 11% of women report abuse and sexual violence. * Information from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Institute of Economics
  • Not even 1% of all rapes lead to a penalty. It is by far the easiest crime to get away with. In the United States, for example, only 5 out of 1,000 sexual acts of violence result in punishment. * Rainn statistics
  • 39.3% of Italians believe in 2018, that women can avoid being exposed to sexual violence if they cover up, if they don’t get drunk and don’t flirt. Facts show that women who wear burkas also get raped and sexual crimes are not more common during the summer months when people show more skin.
  • In 2018, 7.2% of Italians believed that when a woman says no to sex, she instead means yes and that she actually wants to. * Istat Instituto nazionale di statistica

61. History of Violence

A pattern of violent behavior or aggression toward others, not limited to the current victim. This history often predicts future actions.
Example: Telling stories of fight ts or conflicts with previous partners or colleagues as if they were normal or justified, indicating a pattern of resolving disputes with aggression.

62. Intense Monitoring

Keeping excessively close tabs on the victim’s whereabouts, communications, and interactions, often under the guise of concern or love.
Example: Insisting on access to the victim’s phone logs, social media accounts, and email to monitor their activity under the pretext of ensuring their safety.

63. Unwarranted Jealous Accusations

Expressing baseless accusations of infidelity or attraction to others, used to justify controlling or isolating the victim.
Example: Accusing the victim of flirting or having an affair with no evidence, often citing normal social interactions as proof.

64. Diverting Responsibility

Shifting blame for abusive behavior onto external factors like stress, alcohol, or the victim’s actions, thereby avoiding accountability.
Example: Justifying verbal or physical abuse by blaming a bad day at work or the victim’s behavior, suggesting the abuse was provoked rather than taking responsibility.

65. Excessive Critique of Friends/Family

Criticizing the victim’s choice of friends or family members, aiming to isolate them from their support network.
Example: Making derogatory comments about the victim’s friends or family, suggesting they are a bad influence or do not have the victim’s best interests at heart.

66. Using Children as Leverage

Manipulating children or the victim’s relationship with them as a means of exerting control or inflicting emotional pain.
Example: Threatening custody battles or suggesting the victim is a bad parent to manipulate their emotions and decisions.

67. Creating Dependency

Making the victim financially, emotionally, or physically dependent on the abuser, limiting their ability to challenge the abuse or leave.
Example: Controlling all household finances and allotting the victim an “allowance,” making it hard for them to make independent financial decisions or leave.

68. Discrediting Others

Dismissing or undermining the credibility of anyone the victim might turn to for support, including friends, family, and professionals.
Example: Telling the victim that therapists, police, or family members won’t believe them or that they are overreacting, discouraging them from seeking help.

69. Ignoring Boundaries

Refusing to respect the victim’s personal space, privacy, or the limits they set on the relationship.
Example: Reading the victim’s diary or insisting on accompanying them to medical appointments against their wishes, showing disrespect for their privacy and autonomy.

70. Arbitrary Rule Setting

Establishing a set of often unspoken rules that the victim is expected to follow, which may change without notice, keeping the victim in a constant state of uncertainty and attempting to comply.
Example: Expecting the victim to adhere to specific household standards or routines without prior agreement, then punishing them for failing to meet these arbitrary expectations.

71. Fluctuating Commitment

Abusers may oscillate between intense declarations of love and commitment to indifference or threatening to leave, manipulating the victim’s emotions and attachment to the relationship.
Example: After a severe argument, the abuser might suddenly propose marriage or a significant commitment, only to withdraw the offer during the next disagreement.

72. Inducing Guilt

The abuser makes the victim feel guilty for the abuser’s actions, feelings, or for circumstances beyond the victim’s control, often to gain sympathy or compliance.
Example: Blaming the victim for the abuser’s financial problems or emotional distress, suggesting that if the victim behaved differently, the abuser wouldn’t be in such a situation.

73. Recounting Favors

Keeping a tally of every good deed or favor they’ve done for the victim, using this list to make the victim feel indebted and justify abusive behavior.
Example: Reminding the victim of all the times the abuser has helped them financially or emotionally, especially when the victim tries to address the abuse or express dissatisfaction.

74. Unwillingness to Communicate

Refusing to engage in meaningful conversation about the relationship or the abuse, shutting down attempts to discuss feelings or issues.
Example: Walking away, ignoring, or changing the subject whenever the victim tries to talk about their feelings or the dynamics of the relationship.

75. Hyperbolic Statements

Making exaggerated statements that are not based in reality, often to manipulate or control the victim’s perceptions.
Example: Claiming that the victim is the only reason for the abuser’s happiness or survival, placing an unreasonable burden on them.

76. Reinforcing Stereotypes

Leveraging societal or cultural stereotypes to justify abusive behavior or to demean

the victim, further entrenching power imbalances within the relationship.
Example: Telling a female victim that she should be submissive and obedient as per traditional gender roles, using this as a basis to demand compliance with unreasonable demands.

77. Disregarding Partner’s Needs

Systematically ignoring or minimizing the victim’s needs, wants, and preferences, treating them as inconsequential compared to the abuser’s.
Example: Making unilateral decisions about moving, large purchases, or other life changes without considering or even discussing them with the victim.

78. Aggressive Driving

Using driving as a means to intimidate or frighten the victim, such as speeding, erratic driving, or refusing to let the victim out of the car.
Example: Driving dangerously fast or recklessly when the victim is in the car, especially following an argument, to instill fear and demonstrate control.

79. Financial Deception

Engaging in deceitful behaviors related to finances, such as hiding assets, accruing secret debts, or stealing from the victim.
Example: Taking out credit cards in the victim’s name without their knowledge or consent, leading to financial strains that the victim is unaware of until it becomes a crisis.

80. Misrepresenting Facts

Deliberately providing false or misleading information to the victim about matters affecting their relationship, health, or safety to manipulate or control their actions.
Example: Lying about having a terminal illness to prevent the victim from leaving or about the legal implications of actions like seeking a divorce, to scare the victim into compliance.

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81. Exploiting Trust

Taking undue advantage of the victim’s confidence and reliability to further self-interests, often breaking promises or revealing confidences to manipulate or harm the victim.
Example: Convincing the victim to share secrets under the guise of deepening trust, only to later use this information against them in arguments or to control them.

82. Emotional Chastising

Critiquing or punishing the victim for their emotional responses to abuse, thereby invalidating their feelings and right to react. This often leaves the victim feeling they are overly sensitive or irrational.
Example: Telling the victim they are ‘overreacting’ to insults or aggression, suggesting their emotional response is the problem, not the abusive behavior.

83. Restricting Freedom

Limiting the victim’s ability to make personal choices, from social engagements to clothing choices, effectively curtailing their autonomy and freedom.
Example: Forbidding the victim from visiting family or friends without the abuser’s permission, claiming it’s for the victim’s own good or out of jealousy.

84. Social Isolation

Deliberately cutting off the victim from their support network to increase dependence on the abuser, making it harder for the victim to leave or seek help.
Example: Moving to a location far from the victim’s family and friends under the pretext of a fresh start, then limiting phone or internet access to keep them isolated.

85. Undermining Self-Esteem

Systematically devaluing the victim’s perceptions of self-worth through constant criticism or comparison, eroding their confidence and independence.
Example: Repeatedly telling the victim they’re lucky to be in the relationship because no one else would want them, making them feel unworthy of love or respect.

86. Dichotomous Thinking

Framing everything in black-and-white terms, leaving no room for nuance or complexity. This thinking can justify the abuser’s actions while leaving the victim feeling inadequate or wrong.
Example: Insisting that any disagreement with the abuser’s viewpoint is a betrayal, forcing the victim into a constant state of agreement to avoid conflict.

87. Revising History

Changing details about past events to benefit the abuser’s narrative, often making the victim doubt their memory or sanity.
Example: Denying that an abusive incident occurred or insisting it happened differently, making the victim question their own recollection of events.

88. Insults Masquerading as Jokes

Delivering demeaning comments under the guise of humor, making it difficult for the victim to confront the abuse without seeming humorless or sensitive.
Example: Making derogatory comments about the victim’s appearance or intelligence, then laughing it off as a joke when the victim expresses hurt.

89. Interrupting

Consistently cutting off the victim mid-sentence, denying them the opportunity to express thoughts or opinions, effectively silencing their voice in the relationship.
Example: Talking over the victim whenever they try to speak about their feelings or opinions, signaling that what they have to say is unimportant.

90. Deflecting Blame

Shifting responsibility for abusive actions onto the victim or external circumstances, refusing to acknowledge personal fault.
Example: After an episode of verbal abuse, the abuser blames the victim’s actions for provoking them, insisting they wouldn’t have lashed out if the victim had behaved differently.

91. Prioritizing Needs Over Others

Consistently placing their own needs and desires above the victim’s, often at the expense of the victim’s well-being and without regard for fairness or equity.
Example: Making significant decisions, like moving or changing jobs, based solely on the abuser’s desires without considering the impact on the victim.

92. Weaponizing Insecurities

Using the victim’s vulnerabilities or past traumas against them, often to control or degrade them.
Example: Bringing up past insecurities about the victim’s abilities or appearance during arguments to undermine their confidence.

93. Extreme Competitiveness

Turning even minor situations into competitions, needing to ‘win’ over the victim to maintain a sense of superiority.
Example: Turning simple household tasks or discussions into contests, belittling the victim if they do not ‘perform’ to the abuser’s standards.

94. Deliberate Ambiguity

Keeping intentions or statements vague, leaving the victim uncertain and constantly guessing about the abuser’s needs or potential actions.
Example: Giving vague responses to plans or promises, leaving the victim in a state of limbo and unable to make informed decisions about their own life.

95. Fearmongering

Instilling fear about the outside world or potential outcomes, making the victim feel that staying in the abusive relationship is safer than leaving.
Example: Telling the victim that they would never survive or be able to cope without the abuser, exaggerating dangers to keep them dependent.

96. Smear Campaigns

Spreading false or misleading information about the victim to friends, family, or the public, often to isolate the victim and control the narrative.
Example: Telling others that the victim is unstable or abusive, undermining their support network and credibility.

97. Resistance to Change

Opposing any changes that might shift the relationship dynamic or reduce their control, even if those changes would benefit the relationship or the victim.
Example: Reacting negatively to the victim’s attempts to pursue personal growth opportunities like education or therapy, insisting things stay the same.

98. Implying Threats

Making veiled threats or suggestions of harm to keep the victim compliant, often without explicit statements of intent.
Example: Hinting at violent outcomes or consequences in a way that scares the victim but leaves the abuser plausible deniability.

99. Disrespecting Privacy

Intruding on the victim’s personal space, communications, or boundaries without consent, treating the victim’s private life as open for scrutiny and control.
Example: Reading the victim’s personal diaries, messages, or emails without permission, justifying it as concern or suspicion.

100. Engaging in Power Plays

Using situations or decisions to assert dominance over the victim, making them feel powerless and dependent on the abuser’s whims.
Example: Making unilateral decisions that affect both parties or retracting previously agreed-upon arrangements to remind the victim of the abuser’s control.

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