Friday, April 15, 2016

When we pathologise behaviours of person or group of people…

I think it's a dangerous thing. I think it stops us from looking at ourselves. I think when you label manipulative behaviour, emotionally abusive behaviour and socially inept behaviours as those of sociopaths or narcissists or persons on the autistic spectrum (these being the popular go-tos) what it does is unhelpful.

Firstly,  are you really qualified to diagnose someone and if you are, are you so qualified you can do it over the interwebz?! Really really?

How do I mean unhelpful?  Well, I think it is generally an endpoint, not a conversation starter - and bad unhealthy dysfunctional relationships are not the prerogative of the disordered.  They're something you can end up doing to each other.

I think it others the abuser and makes them less recognisable as our partners who we love or - ourselves..

 I don't want to suggest that people in an abusive relationship should stick it out for the possibility of change or that 'red flags' in a burgeoning relationship shouldn't make you run. I think absolutely run.

But monstrifying the person just, well, it doesn't ring true to me. I'm not saying there are no deliberate predators or monsters. I'm sure there are. Hell, there are people who promote the wheel of abuse  as a relationship technique. Sick fucks. But I think there are also people who don't know any better or who fall into destructive behaviours unconsciously.

Of course intent isn't magic. And it doesn't matter if the effect on you is what the other person intended - it still hurts / undermines / kills you inside. So if it's a pattern,  you're best advised to get the hell out, get safe.

Why it's important to me to not pathologise or demonise, is that it doesn't inspire introspection on one's own destructive behaviours. Because _you're_ not a monster or a predator or a sociopath or narc. But you might very well manipulate or gaslight or otherwise screw over your partner in the throes of self absorption. People fail all the time.

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