Abusers have alloplastic defenses. They tend to blame every mistake, failure, or mishap on others, or on the world at large. They do not assume personal responsibility, do not admit to having faults and miscalculations, keep blaming others for their predicament. "Look what you made me do!" is an abuser's ubiquitous catchphrase.
The abuser is hypersensitive, picks up fights, feels constantly slighted, injured, and insulted. He rants incessantly, treat animals and children impatiently or cruelly and expresses negative and aggressive emotions towards the weak, the poor, the needy, the sentimental, and the disabled.
Abusers often have a history of battering or violent offenses. They use vile language and infused with expletives, threats, and hostility.
Abusers appear at first to be too eager. They push others to marry him, to conclude a partnership with him having dated or met only once or twice. They immediately embark on detailed and grandiose plans of having children, or making millions, or becoming famous. In a romantic encounter, the abuser casts his date in the role of the love of his life and presses her for exclusivity, instant intimacy, and sex. He acts jealous when she as much as casts a glance at another male and informs her that she should abandon her studies or resign her job and, thus, forgo her autonomy.
Abusers do not respect boundaries and privacy. They ignore other people's wishes, choices, and preferences and are the sole decision makers, not bothering to consult anyone beforehand. They treat their nearest and dearest as objects or instruments of gratification.
Many abusers are compulsive control freaks.
Abusers are patronizing and condescending, overly critical and devaluing. But this behavior alternates with idealization - exaggerating others' talents, traits, power, intellect, wealth, and skills. Abusers, in other words, are unrealistic in their expectations and emotionally labile.
Some abusers are sadists-masochists. They find sadistic sex exciting and have fantasies of rape or pedophilia. They forceful during the sexual act and like inflicting pain or find it amusing. Others "merely" abuse (usually their closest) verbally - curse, demean, call ugly or inappropriately diminutive names, or persistently criticize. Typically, they then switch to being saccharine and "loving", apologizing profusely and trying to appease their victims by buying them gifts.
Many abusers have a specific body language.
"Haughtiness – Physical posture which implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Some abusers maintain sustained and piercing eye contact but refrain from physical proximity (observe personal territory). The abuser takes part in social interactions – even mere banter – condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux "magnanimity and largesse". But even when he feigns gregariousness, he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the "observer", or the "lone wolf".
Entitlement markers – The abuser immediately asks for "special treatment". This way, he shifts responsibility to others, or to the world at large, for his needs, failures, behavior, choices, and mishaps ("look what you made me do!"). The abuser reacts with rage and indignantly when denied his wishes and if treated the same as others whom he deems inferior. Abusers frequently and embarrassingly "dress down" service providers such as waiters or cab drivers.
Idealization or devaluation – The abuser instantly idealizes or devalues his interlocutor. He flatters, adores, admires and applauds the "target" in an embarrassingly exaggerated and profuse manner – or sulks, abuses, and humiliates her.
Abusers are polite only in the presence of a potential would-be victim - a "mate", or a "collaborator". But they are unable to sustain even perfunctory civility and fast deteriorate to barbs and thinly-veiled hostility, to verbal or other violent displays of abuse, rage attacks, or cold detachment.
The "membership" posture – The abuser always tries to "belong" while also maintaining his stance as an outsider.
Most abusers always prefers show-off to substance. They are shallow, though claim to have talents and skills bordering on genius. They never admit to ignorance or to failure in any field – yet, typically, they are ignorant and losers. The abuser's self-proclaimed omniscience, success, wealth, and omnipotence as well as his name dropping and false autobiography are easily debunked. His actual condition is evidently and demonstrably incompatible with his claims.
Emotion-free language – The abuser likes to talk about himself and only about himself. He is very impatient, easily bored, with strong attention deficits – unless and until he is the topic of discussion. He is not interested in others or what they have to say. He is never reciprocal. He acts disdainful, even angry, if he feels an intrusion on his precious time.
Abusers are divorced from their emotions. The abuser intellectualizes, rationalizes, or speaks about himself in the third person. Most abusers get enraged when required to delve deeper into their motives, fears, hopes, wishes, and needs. They use violence to cover up their perceived "weakness" and "sentimentality". They distance themselves from their own emotions and from their loved ones by alienating and hurting them.
Seriousness and sense of intrusion and coercion – No matter how good his sense of humor, the abuser is never self-deprecating. This is the outcome of the abuser's sense of grandiosity, his fantasies and delusions, and his confabulation.
The abuser is easily hurt and insulted (narcissistic injury). Even the most innocuous remarks or acts are interpreted by him as belittling, intruding, or coercive slights and demands. His time is more valuable than others' – therefore, it cannot be wasted on unimportant matters such as social intercourse, family obligations, or household chores. Inevitably, he feels constantly misunderstood.
Any suggested help, advice, or concerned inquiry are immediately perceived by the abuser as intentional humiliation, implying that the abuser is in need of help and counsel and, thus, imperfect. The abuser is both schizoid and paranoid and often entertains ideas of reference.
Finally, abusers are sometimes sadistic and have inappropriate affect. In other words, they find the obnoxious, the heinous, and the shocking - funny or even gratifying. They are sexually sado-masochistic or deviant. They like to taunt, to torment, and to hurt people's feelings ("humorously" or with bruising "honesty").
While some abusers are "stable" and "conventional" - others are antisocial and their impulse control is flawed. These are very reckless (self-destructive and self-defeating) and just plain destructive: workaholism, alcoholism, drug abuse, pathological gambling, compulsory shopping, or reckless driving.
Yet, these – the lack of empathy, the aloofness, the disdain, the sense of entitlement, the restricted application of humor, the unequal treatment, the sadism, and the paranoia – do not render the abuser a social misfit. This is because the abuser mistreats only his closest - spouse, children, or (much more rarely) colleagues, friends, neighbours. To the rest of the world, he appears to be a composed, rational, and functioning person. Abusers are very adept at casting a veil of secrecy - often with the active aid of their victims - over their dysfunction and misbehavior.