Subjectivity Of Abusers
We have written about how most abusers are deeply narcissistic, meaning that their worldviews are riddled with subjectivity. All of our worldviews are riddled with subjectivity actually since we are all subjects filtering objective reality through our own sets of perceptions and experiences, but the difference is that people we would term psychologically healthy are able to take a step back and see things more objectively, to see themselves in the correct dimensions of a situation instead of as the center of everything, to put themselves in the shoes of the people around them.
Abusers aren’t really capable of putting themselves in others’ shoes because they see these people as extensions of themselves. Abusers can only really relate to others through their own egotistical point of view. This is probably one of the main reasons why most abusers don’t believe they’re abusive and strongly come to their own defense when accused of it. As we’ve talked about, abusers aren’t necessarily sadistic although abuse and sadism are highly correlated. What abusers are is concerned with control.
They’re concerned with making their environment and all the people in it extensions of themselves. And since they can’t put themselves in the shoes of others they have a hard time seeing why their abusive behavior is abusive. They think in terms of what’s good, right, and necessary for them or how they would respond to that behavior, not in terms of the effect it has on the unique individuals who are the recipients of their abuse.
This insight can take some of the edge off of the painful feelings of those recipients as they come to see that their abuser is not necessarily evil but instead emotionally immature, scared and alone in the universe like everyone else, desperate to find a way to control an environment perceived as hostile. The goal then becomes helping everyone in the abusive situation find a community oriented, healthy, loving way to confront existential anxiety together, a way that doesn’t trample on the rights, needs, or feelings of anyone.