Why Do People Abuse Other People?

Why do people abuse other people?

No matter the reason, abuse is never okay.

In the United States alone, around 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner. These types of relationships often lead to vicious cycles that can be difficult to break free from.

While there is no excuse or justification for abusive behavior, there are reasons why it occurs. To gain a better understanding, it helps to examine the typical characteristics of an abuser as well as the thought processes that lead to abuse.

The Profile of an Abuser

While no two abusers are exactly alike, they tend to share common characteristics. These often lead them to being abusive towards their romantic partners, and possibly other people in their life too.

Here are some common personality traits shared by many abusive people:

  • Entitlement: People who abuse people tend to feel entitled to act (or react) however they please in a given situation
  • Unresolved Trauma: Often, abusers have their own abusive pasts, which is where they learned the behavior
  • Lack of Responsibility- Abusers often don’t take responsibility for their own actions, or they will blame the victims
  • Substance Abuse Issues: Many abusers have issues with alcohol and other substances
  • Lack of Empathy and Compassion: Abusers have difficulty taking the feelings of others into account
  • Insecurity: Although they may not show it, abusive people are often very insecure
  • Jealousy: Abusive people are often extremely jealous towards their romantic partners
  • Aggressive Behavior: Abusive people often act aggressively towards other people, including children and animals
  • Controlling Nature: Abusive people are driven by a need to control everything around them

Abusers may also face a number of unaddressed psychiatric issues that contribute to their negative personality traits. These all combine to create an abusive personality profile.

Reasons Why People Abuse Others

Before we get into why people abuse other people, it’s important to address the main reason why a person becomes abusive.

Abuse is primarily a learned behavior. That is, nearly all abusive people have experienced some type of abuse or neglect themselves. This can usually be traced back to how they were raised as a child. Studies have linked childhood abuse to a number of psychological and behavioral issues later in life, including abusive tendencies.

More often than not, these issues are unresolved and fester over time, leading the abusive person to act out and have little impulse control. An abusive person feels justified in what they are doing and often blames the victim, which results in a toxic cycle of abuse and domestic violence.

Dealing with Abusive People   

There are many reasons why people abuse other people, especially within romantic partnerships. However, no matter what the situation is, the abuser still makes a choice to act that way.

It’s important to recognize that abuse is never okay, no matter what the circumstances are. It’s also never the victim’s fault, despite what the abuser might claim. Now that you know more about why people abuse others, you’ll be better equipped to deal with abusive people in the future.

If you or someone you know is being abused, or acting abusive, help is possible. Contact us today for counseling services to help you regain control.