The list below contains descriptions of some of the more common traits of people who suffer from personality disorders, as observed by family members and partners. 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.
1. Abusive Cycle - This describes the characteristic rotation between destructive and constructive behavior that typically exists in dysfunctional relationships.
2. Alienation- Interfering or cutting a person off from relationships with others. This can be done by manipulating the attitudes and behaviors of the victim or of the people with whom they come in contact. The victim’s relationships with others may be sabotaged through verbal pressure, threats, diversions, distortion campaigns and systems of rewards and punishments.
3. “Always” & “Never” Statements - These are but rarely true.
4. Unresolved anger – The belief that they have been wronged, invalidated, neglected or abused.
5. Avoidance - The practice of withdrawing from relationships with other people as a defensive measure to reduce the risk of rejection, accountability, criticism or exposure.
6. Baiting and Picking Fights - The practice of generating a provocative action or statement to obtain an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another person.
7. Belittling, condescending & patronizing speech - Giving someone a verbal put-down while maintaining a facade of reasonableness or friendliness.
8. Blaming - The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.
9. Bullying - Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.
10. Catastrophizing - The habit of automatically assuming a “worst case scenario” and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.
11. Chaos Manufacture - The practice of unnecessarily creating or maintaining an environment of risk, destruction, confusion or mess.
12. Cheating - Sharing a romantic or intimate relationship with somebody when you are already committed to a monogamous relationship with someone else.
13. Chronic Broken Promises - Repeatedly making and then breaking commitments and promises.
14. Circular Conversations - Arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no real resolution.
15. Cognitive Dissonance - The discomfort that most people feel when they encounter information which contradicts their existing set of beliefs or values.
16. Confirmation Bias - The tendency to pay more attention to things which reinforce your beliefs than to things which contradict them.
17. “Control-Me” Syndrome - A tendency to foster relationships with people who have a controlling narcissistic, antisocial or “acting-out” nature.
18. Denial - The practice of believing or imagining that some painful or traumatic circumstance, event or memory does not exist or did not happen.
19. Dependency - An inappropriate and chronic reliance on another individual for their health, subsistence, decision making or personal and emotional well-being.
20. Dissociation - A psychological term used to describe a mental departure from reality.
21. Divide and Conquer - A method of gaining and advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.
22. Emotional Abuse - Any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of fear, obligation or guilt.
23. Emotional Blackmail – Using threats and punishments to control a person.
24. Engulfment - An unhealthy level of attention and dependency on a spouse, partner or family member. It comes from believing that we only exist within the context of that relationship.
25. Entitlement - An unrealistic expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.
26. Favoritism - Giving positive, preferential treatment to one child, subordinate or associate among a group of peers.
27. Fear of abandonment - A pattern of irrational thought which causes a person to think that they are in imminent danger of being rejected or replaced by someone else.
28. Feelings of Emptiness - A chronic and acute sense of nothingness or emptiness, so that their own existence has little worth or significance to them.
29. Gaslighting - The practice of systematically convincing an individual that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false.
30. Harassment - Any sustained or chronic pattern of unwelcome behavior.
31. Hoarding - Accumulating items to an extent that it becomes detrimental to quality of lifestyle, comfort, security or hygiene.
32. Holiday, Anniversary & Memory Triggers - Mood Swings triggered or amplified by emotional events such as family holidays or significant anniversaries and events.
33. Hoovers - A Hoover is where an abuse victim gets “sucked back in” when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior.
34. Hyper Vigilance - The practice of maintaining an unhealthy level of interest in the behaviors, comments, thoughts and interests of others.
35. Hysteria - An over-reaction to bad news or disappointments.