Psychology Link Roundup

A roundup of links and links-to-links, mostly by Reddit user Invah:

Abusers and “Show and Tell”: “The common thread with personality disordered individuals is that what they tell you and what they show you is not the same.” Goes on to discuss the linguistic and conversational tricks abusers use, and why those tricks work.

The comments contain priceless link lists.

When people don’t believe their behavior is abusive: passive voice and distancing language (male perpetrator, female victims perspectives)

How to Do a Discourse Analysis – especially point 8, “Identify linguistic and rhetorical mechanisms.”

What Is Proof of Abuse? explores how abuse victims are challenged to prove their abuse according to a standard that perpetually shifts to exclude whatever proof they provide, and why listeners feel compelled to apply that standard.

The Actual Reason Women Don’t Like ‘Nice Guys’** (heteronormative perspective): “The problem is this: “Nice” is not a diagnostic position of a person’s character or personality.

  • “Nice”, when treated as a diagnostic position, is toxic, shallow, and potentially dangerous.
  • We teach our children to be “nice” in a way that subsumes their own needs, boundaries, and desires.
  • Because “nice” people have learned a non-functional approach to interaction and personal relationships, inappropriately considering others’ needs as more important than their own, their default mein is needy.

And needy people are fucking exhausting.”

Most of the discussion is gender-neutral, and sheds light on why abuse survivors fall into this trap and tank their own relationships. Given the number of estranged parents who fit the description, I’m eager to learn more about it.


A late addition, 8/19/16: One way to make your declaration of abuse credible and side-step victim-blaming, a lesson from attorneys discusses how listeners tend to identify with the accused, not the victim, if they haven’t been a victim of abuse. As a result,

[R]ecognize that highly emotional or declarative/blaming language will potentially alienate the listener. People don’t tend to accept conclusions they haven’t drawn themselves. So a victim of abuse, in an attempt to garner validation and sympathy, will use expressive language that communicates how they feel and what they think about what happened.

Emphasis added, because that’s one of the best pieces of advice on persuasion that I’ve ever read.

Invah goes on to explain how lawyers, who “have a gift for using language as a tool,” get around listeners’ knee-jerk reactions.


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