Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

The Dynamics ofTerritorality, Possessiveness, and Abuse

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Mar 7, 2014 8:31 PM

What's the psychology behind the bully, dictator, abuser or possesive creep who won't share, won't yield, won't let go of control to do what's kind or fair? Very often, there's a person who feels small, insecure, impotent and tries to control everything around him, to insure that he's in charge of his environment and the people in it. Included here are powerful leaders or recipients of great generosity whose past left them never trusting that their territory will not be invaded and that their personal space is not sacrosact. Pathetic as it is, such Napoleons feel small unless they're the boss, even when they know they're in the wrong. They scare people with their threats, tempers, and aggressive maneuvers but their souls are lost, small, and they do harm to the world around them.

The trouble is that they can't see it, believe it or own it. To know that they, who already fear powerlessness, really are mean, bad and truly powerless to be otherwise is too much to take. So, they proceed in their abuse of control and gain power, maybe money and the false admiration of some who fear them and the distain or pity of those who see them clearly. They need consequences to stop them from thinking they have nothing to lose at others' expense. They need to know that the only road to respect is letting go of control. It's a real Catch-22. To become what they fear, is the only way of learning that there's nothing to fear anymore.

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