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Thank you so much for this article as I have a mother who does all those horrible and painful things to me since I could remember! I recall it at age 4 I'm now 43 she just punished me again by setting up being the mastermind and robbing me of dollers and had two other people in on it my sister and her friend. It's better than the 16 months she gave me in state prison though!

She got into a fight with my attorney and the judge about God Her face was calm and looked like she did some good was almost set at ease. Another time that I'll mention there's so many times she put me in mental hospitals said I was metal and I was labeled the rest of my life but she new I was upset about there devorse hence she took advantage of it and called me mental and put me in institutions through out my copied hood would tell them to keep me 2 more months here and there. Till this day my mother lives off calling me mental and my sisters feed her behavior about it they know I hate being called that cause I'm really not.

It started well with my memory at 4 years old I had long hair to my but and she was brushing my hair she got angry and started hitting my head well she cutt I'll my hair off I was picked on badly through my child hood called ugly she new I was picked on because of it.

That's all I'm sharing for now I'm still in shock to know she has this disorder I though she was just evil and mean. What a wonderful article! My partner of 6 years is the silent treater. He's done everything from ignoring me on my birthday and holidays to degrading my intelligence. He's currently been giving me the treatment for the past week. Oh well, I text him and said if he don't step up then someone else will and they will treat me like I should be treated.

I think he has serious underlying issues from his childhood and lack of empathy to anyone. His past relationships were awful and his own children are distant from him. Eventually he will come to realize I am right, which he always does. He will never apologize but will know each time he pulls this BS, I set another boundary with his attitudes.

I think sometimes he likes that I call him out on his bad behavior. I use to cry and be completely upset for weeks, not any more. I use the time to do what I want, meanwhile he's sulking and nothing from what he claims goes right for him! Karma at its best!


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What an insightful article! I really loved your advise about considering a silent treatment as a free pass to do things our way.. I never saw it that way. I completely agree that women get much more affected by silent treatment than men.. Typically I have observed that people who chose the emotional abuse path always choose such partners on whom they can have the upper hand, maybe because they are subconsciously or consciously aware that they cannot handle someone similar to them. It may sound a little extreme but I have ended relationships in the past for this very reason, simply because I saw those people as too immature and undeserving of my patience and understanding, if they cannot care equally for me.

Okay, so my relationship is very complicated. We've both made some mistakes, but both apologized, talked it out and moved forward together. He gave me the silent treatment many times in the past but the last time we agreed that we would never do it again, since I told him that it's the worst thing that you could do to your significant other and he agreed.

We haven't talked in a week. It all began when I begged him to come to our friend's birthday and told him how much it meant for me. He said he can't come because he doesn't have any money for a gift. He lives with his family so I told him to ask his mom to bake a cake, he wouldn't. He wanted me to go to the party but not get upset with him for not coming. I said I couldn't be ok with this, I'm not mad but can't understand why he won't make an effort to try to solve the situation and ask people for help. I didn't offer him money because in the past he told me that he won't borrow money because it would mean that he must give it back!

We always go Dutch when we go out, it has been months since he paid for anything. He also told me that we won't be seeing each other over the next two weeks because he doesn't even have money for a bus ticket! I know he has money problems, but he's been broke for 2 years now and he earns money than I do. We never went on a vacation and he never takes me out. I feel like it bothers him that I want us to go out together or with friends.

He stopped talking to me a week ago, even though he was supposed to help me move to another city this weekend. He didn't even send me a text message asking he if I'm okay. In the past, I always reached out to him but this time, I don't feel I've did anything wrong. I always supported him, never called him names, never shouted at him, whenever I was bothered with something I expressed my feelings in a calm and understand way letting him know that his behavior was upsetting me.

Occasionally, he does nice things for me and surprises me with flowers, but I don't think he does it out of love anymore.

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The Silent Treatment: Psychological Abuse in Disguise - Exploring your mind

I don't understand him silent treatment. We don't live together, why doesn't he wonder if I'm okay? It's been a week I agree with much of what you said. At the same time, its important to remember that this is not a woman's problem. I am often on the receiving end. If you take out the gender specificness of the article, it works for men and women. Thanks for the article, its great for men and women who are getting the silent treatment.

You have no idea how much this article helped me. I'm currently going through a silent treatment phase from both my mom and husband for two different reasons, they are not related what so ever, just a coincidence! I grew up suffering from this from my mom and then when married I found out that my husband does it too: It hurts so much and makes me feel bad. It caused me to actually have depression and I had to take medications for that! Your article is thorough and gave me some relief knowing that I'm not alone in this! And your suggestions in the section "Changing You Will Change the Relationship" are very helpful and I would print them and post them on my wall if I could, because I need to remind myself of them every time this happens.

I added your article to my favorite list becuase I know that I'll need to read it over and over again. I like your comment about writing, but I would like to add a warning or perhaps, just a piece of insight: If a man is NOT highly invested in a relationship and a woman tries to force the communication, I believe it's likely to backfire and earn her more resentment and blame instead. It's very important to think about how to do this respectfully so the other person doesn't feel defensive! Anthony, it sucks to feel unappreciated!

If you really haven't said anything wrong, I encourage you to look at why your significant other is so sensitive to your remarks. Is it her own little "ism" or does she lack faith in you? These are two very different reasons for the silent treatment to kick in! Thanks for the advice. I'm going through silent treatment right now and it definitley hurts. Sometimes I've said something wrong, I realize it and apologize after the silent treatment. I try to be good, nice and understanding. But it seems like it's not appreciated enough.

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There is a lot of useful and excellent information here! I'm rather surprised at how many women think that the Silent Treatment I call it the "ST" is only used by them and not men. They're actually better at it than women, I think if their psychological makeup predisposes them to do so , because most men are relieved by silence, whereas most women are conditioned to talk things out.

I'm a talker, a former teacher and someone who enjoys expressing my views readily and bluntly. By the way, bluntness can often trigger an ST outbreak in your guy AND be used to break it up! Yes, sometimes, guys just want to retreat from talking, at which they often don't excel, into their "space". I've finally got my husband to tell me when he needs that, so I know it's not the ST. I'm also fortunate that I love long periods of alone time myself, so if he's off sulking, it's not that big a deal, but the thing that bothers me is that he's trying to get back at me or that we TWO are not really dealing with an issue.

I like the idea of going ahead with what you feel like doing and not consulting a man having an ST fit--for that's what it is: Unlike the way to deal with tantrums ignore them , ignoring silent treatments is counterproductive after a point. I'd give it a day at most. Another tactic I use is forcing communication, often in writing.

Since I know my husband loves me and wants to remain in the relationship, I remind him bluntly, yet adding that I don't prefer this solution, that if he plans to keep ignoring me, then he is giving me the message that he does NOT want me or the relationship any more. I tell him that I will not tolerate being treated this way and that he can leave.

This usually has the effect of "knocking some sense" into him psychologically, not physically, of course! Or, if it's mainly the guy, who as you wrote fears confrontation often a result of parental abuse or punishment , then he needs therapy. A good therapist can teach the man how to address disagreements, fear of confrontation and loss of control by boosting his self-esteem and learn to stop projecting insecurity onto others, such as his partner.

Most people I know who have used this approach therapy , learn new, constructive ways to address old, toxic feelings that not only help them in relationships but in life as a whole. Don't be surprised if your once sulky, manipulative spouse, after therapy, is not only acting in a more respectful healthy way toward YOU, but toward others.

His new way of interacting with people may get noticed at work and lead to a better job that further boosts self-confidence. He will have more positive experiences and probably more or at least better friendships, too! People men or women don't act like this without some painful things in their past that cause them to be deeply insecure and unhappy people. I don't believe I said that, Grant, and this has been addressed quite a bit in these comments already. Thank you for taking the time to stop by! Somehow the notion is set about guys giving the silent treatment to girls..

He gets mad and does something that hurts you. You tell him "Hey, you hurt me when you do that. I'm cooling off and I am not going to let you influence me to hurt you less. So if you want this to change, change what YOU do! You'll have to find a way to see his silence as something that has no power to hurt you.

Do you have a hobby or incomplete tasks to catch up on? This is when you can enjoy your progress without getting interrupted by him, so do it! When he comes back to make up, instead of criticizing him, I would stay neutral about his behavior and instead, tell him about all the progress I had made while he was "away. I have a husband who gives me the silent treatment whenever we have a fight. After we make up, I always tell him that his silent treatment is very unhealthy and hurts me emotionally. He says it's not a silet treatment and that he is merely cooling off.

When I tell him cooling off is for a few hours and not days , he says I have no right to tell how long he needs to cool off. What am I to do? Alima, I'm sorry that you're going through this. You can't change him, of course, and you've taken an important first step when you recognize that your own actions can contribute part of the problem. However, it's not ok for him to be dishonest and then expect you to be all smiles and rainbows, either.

Here's what I'd encourage YOU to do:. Figure out what you need to feel good again if you KNEW that he would not ever understand or try to help. How could you solve this problem all by yourself with no assistance from him? Once you have that answer and start to live your life without placing these kinds of expectations on him, you'll be surprised to find out how your relationship and you will change.

Yes, I'm considering it of course. We went for a short time a year ago, and we have individual therapy but I'm more constant with it than he is. As everyone knows, money is often the issue with therapy As for the "silent treatment" that I talked about yesterday, it ended when I silently went to bed by myself.

An hour or so later he came by and said "are you ok? He said "I don't know" still angry voice. I responded that I could come and not talk, if he'd like. He said "ok, if you don't talk". Then he cuddled me in bed and fell asleep, all was good in the morning. Now the issue is coming back on this misunderstanding me wanting him to reassure me before leaving because of the recent lies, and him feeling extremely controlled into not being able to go see his friends we had without starting it over.

I'll wait for a better time to initiate this conversation Much of what you say makes sense to me - with your situation changed, would you be interested in couples therapy? I've read your article twice in the past months, as if sort of makes me feel better when this happens in my marriage. I am 7 weeks pregnant after years of trying to conceive, and trying to stay as calm as possible in the situation.

I've done it all wrong, in this crazy attempt to easy my own emotions and the anxiety that comes from feeling this gap between us. I even guilt him by saying that I'm pregnant and that the stress that he is making me feel right now is not good, and that he sould be here to calm me not stress me out Just writing this out I can see how frustrating I must have been since he woke me up in a good mood about his plan of a day with his friends.

The hardest thing is really not doing anything. It's so hard for me to live my life as usual, when my whole body-mind-emotions are focused on this situation and being so sad about it. If my brain understands that I should just get work done, I have no concentration and feel so unhappy right now. And I don't like confrontations either, so the mere idea of going out to see friends myself, or whatever, feels like pouring oil on fire, which I really don't feel like doing at all. I know it will be better eventually, and I guess I can be happy that it has been much much less frequent recently.

But it still hurts. This tendency kinda reminds me of a familiar phrase, something like "I don't know what love is, but I know it when I see it! Im a guy that's currently going through the silent treatment because of some squabbling, I would love to get through this temporary issue the best way I can so that Ill know how to handle it. The first paragraph is me totally. When me and my wife fight, which only happens maybe once a year, I go silent because I just don't want to be a mean jerk to her. She understands that now and just lets me be until we both cool down a bit and talk things out the next day.

Stonewalling is used also outside of intimate relationships to humiliate and control a target, and to evade accountability. This is a very well said article. I would agree that most people don't know how to respond to the "silent treatment", especially in relationships. I love your Harry Hardhead analglgy. I will for sure be quoting that the next time one of my friends talks about giving her bf the silent treatment. Personally, i have never been a fan of this technique. Silence will not solve any relationship issues, it only makes the problems worse because no one is dicussing why they are angry.

Honestly, I believe people usually do the best they can, but get tangled around because of various allegiances and wind up having to make do without assurances because this is better than lying to someone. Your post is somehow poetic, GeorgeGould, which is great, but I admit that I don't understand your second paragraph very well. Perhaps Love isn't love, sometimes, or at least it doesn't feel like it. That's where the word derives from the French: Caring for others isn't easy, fair, or worthwhile unless sacrifices made for relationships are made freely.

I find myself wondering how silence is relative to something "in the air", as well. If someone's needs are met, perhaps that is better than not. I'm also reminded today of a line by Depeche Mode: Make me think of some great reward Very good Hub Abuse can be narrowed down into one statement " Power and Control " Keep in mind ladies Control isn't love. You asked what I would do differently? The honest answer is that if you treated me the way you're treating your wife, I would leave you.

I believe that a person who loves me acts like it. I believe if someone acts like I don't exist to them, then I should respect that I am not important to them. Very good subject, there is more of this abuse around than most people think, only a lot never discusses it with other people as it makes more problems in their marriage. Thanks, nice to see many are opening up about it. I hope you'll find a less harmful way to manage your hurt and anger in the future. I give the silent treatment a lot.

I guess I never considered how it would feel if my man gave me the silent treatment. I appreciate your honesty. Also, I know that many people feel like you do, that talking can be a waste of time. You say you stay because you love, but you also say you act like she "never existed" to you. Can you see how a person might feel abused by this? And if you do see this, do you think this will ever help fix a problem or will it make her lie and say sorry when she isn't really sorry?

Well i am tell you guys, specially to all the wifes.. Most men do not like arguing, talking much,. But we are much easy to pls Just give us a simple saying sorry, in deepest sincerity.. Men will forgive and forget. Its because " i love my family, i don't want to be broken family, and i know my wife , as family she loves us, she loves our children But as a man, as a father, head of the family Ive never tolerate if they done something wrong And im so much agree. Just to let them know Thanx for give me time for what i feel.

Hi Ai yih, and thank you for posting this. If you stop in again, I hope you'll tell us why you did not simply leave if her betrayal was a deal breaker. Silent treatment no laughing matter! Though space in relationships is important, it can be carried too far, even relatable to passive aggressive behaviors in shorter terms Thanks for this great topic, Kathy.

The silent treatment is another form of abuse and should be addressed. Many people disregard the indiscriminate types of abuse - thank you for exposing this topic. I really like how you explain that the silent treatment is due to that person's problem not yours. Growing up, when my mother and I had a disagreement, usually because I sided with my father in one of their arguments, my mother would give me the silent treatment for 3 days.

I always took 3 days for her to get over it. It was very uncomfortable, living in a home with someone making faces, turning away silently when our paths crossed and working hard to show you how disgusted she was with you. Now 40 years later, I just plow through and keep talking to her while she sulks. I find something that she cares about and it forces a response. So she gets over her sulk in an hour or two typically. You have dealt with an aspect about the gender relationship over which we usually maintain silence.

The central theme of the hub is rightly pointing at an alrming aspect. But one cannot be sure that the silence is abusive? It might be owing to one's weakness? It happens that in some sensitive issues it becomes difficult to say something, and if happens to be the earlier days of marriage it becomes obvious that silence rule between the two.


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  4. However a long time silence is definitely an abuse over which you have expressed a lot. Thanx for an insightful matter. I don't think leaving is your only choice, but you'll have to figure out if your husband is an abuser who also drinks, or if he has an addiction to alcohol. From everything you described, he appears to meet the clinical requirements for a diagnosis of alcohol dependent. I have a couple of other articles that may help you with what you are going through. They will advise you to start going to Al Anon, because alcoholism is an illness that affects the whole family, but by sharing the experience, strength, and hope of other people who have been in similar situations, you may be able to have a good life whether you stay or leave.

    First of all thank you for the information in this article. I found your article because I was searching for an advice on Google about how to cope with abuse and silent treatment and I am happy I found this information and am feeling hopeful I might get the specific advice from the author of this article.

    I am 31, married for 8 years now, have a kid who is 6 and living with my husband which I think he is abuser. At this moment I am totally confused and don't understand what is really going on in our relationship and how to cope with this situation. Only thing I know for sure is something is wrong with our relationship and I am feeling unsure about my future life with my husband, even I wonder if it is the best solution to leave him. When I got married with my husband, I thought he was quite, honest, humble, kind and calm person. I liked him and I fell in love with him because of I believed that found a person who I could be safe and happy with.

    My husband likes to spend time with his friends and drinks. Actually he doesn't like to say "no", if somebody asks him to hang out with him and drink something together. And if he starts drinking he doesn't have control over how much drinking is enough and when is the time to go home.

    Especially when he is upset, he drinks way too much and spends his all money. When he is sober, he is good dad and good husband. At least I think so. His this behaviour was bothering me almost from the early days since our marriage and each time I failed when I was trying to express my feelings, even we ended up with huge drama, argument followed by silent treatments over couple of days. Normally he apologised and I forgave him. I can remember he threatened me, hit objects, he will commit suicide if I don't stop nagging at him and blaming him for his drinking habit with his friends for few times when he was drunk.

    Over years my life is going like this. I didn't leave him because I trusted that he isn't that bad person to ruin our life and he would change and also I couldn't imagine I can raise my child by myself as I don't have much support from my family. I am financially dependent from him now. He doesn't drink everyday but when he drinks he becomes totally different aggressive person.

    Initially he was better then now, he apologised, he promised to change and I could see he was trying his best to be better person. But I think he's getting worse gradually and even getting more aggressive then before when he's drunk now, even acting violently among his friends. Everything was OK until he made a trouble. I told him not to drink excess on that day and we had to go home not too late and he agreed. But as he drinks he forgot what I told him and drunk too much until he lose his control.

    I was too worried, because he claimed that he could drive home even though he was too drunk. As I insisted him to go home by taxi, he started getting angry at me because he was capable to drive car even if he's too intoxicated to walk straight and started creaming and pushing chairs.

    Six Ways to Respond to the Silent Treatment in Relationships

    His friends tried to stop him he got more angry and fought with them. It was such as shame for me and it was the first time that he acted so violent among people outside home. The saddest part was my kid witnessed all of his violent act on that night. He's friends took us home that night and that night I couldn't sleep well because I was disgusted, ashamed, disappointed with his acts and felt in doubt about our relationship.

    I felt insecure and worried my and my kid's wellbeing.

    The silent treatment can cause stress and emotional trauma

    I felt like I am walking on the eggshell. But I hoped that he would wake up and realise how bad he behaved last night and feel guilty when he's sober. But next morning he didn't even feel guilty at all, didn't apologise, therefore he didn't communicate with me. I asked what was going on? I asked him if is it right to drink like that and behave like that? We both got angry at each other even though I don't understand what he is thinking and why he is refusing to confront with his drinking problem and we didn't talk on that day. Since then we both treated ourselves silently and we slept on separate bed for 3 days.

    He didn't try to open up with me about the real issue, instead of it he just shut out. I am still don't understand what to do, and this relationship seems miserable and unpredictable and even insecure. And I don't know how to express my feelings, if he decides to talk if this happens, but I don't think so. I am just speechless! Also I am worried about my kid's future. Dad must be a role model for his kids, but I don't think he's showing good model to my kid. Also if he drinks again today or tomorrow and threatens us because of he is still angry at me or what? I am not sure what's going on with him?

    I am bit scared of it in deep down. What should I do now? Is leaving him only option I have after all? Please give me an advice? I am totally confused now. Sorry for writing too long comment. But I hope you will read it and help me. My husband and I have financial difficulty at this moment actually we always had and he is the only one who is working to feed us.

    I know he is really exhausted because of his hard labour work and he says he drinks to cope with his stress and pressure. But I don't accept his this kind of solution drinking. We have discussed about this situation once and he had agreed to try to not do it again. But, it seems he has forgotten. See of remaining comments. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.

    To provide a better website experience, pairedlife. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: What Is the Silent Treatment?

    Here are some ways to respond to the silent treatment. Take Time to Cool Off During a time of silence both partners should pause to reflect on what led up to the silent treatment episode, especially if it was preceded by an argument, fight, or emotional outburst. Give Your Partner Space to Think Avoid trying to figure out what your silent partner or spouse is thinking. Apologize if You're Truly Sorry Think about whether you really may have done or said something to hurt your partner or make them angry.

    Ask Yourself Whether it's Just a Personality Difference Is your partner an introvert while you are more of an extrovert? Set Rules for Healthy Communication When communication is difficult it can help to create some rules. Others, however, say that typically the silent treatment is just a poor form of communication. Changing Your Approach to the Relationship Since the silent treatment is a way for your partner to gain control, you need to take care of yourself so their behavior doesn't leave you feeling humiliated and rejected. Remind yourself that your partner feels uncertain and out of control.

    How the Narcissist Uses The Silent Treatment to CONTROL YOU

    Do not resort to sulking, pouting, or badgering. Try to maintain a calm attitude if you can. Take a walk to get a breath of air. Consider whether you too might be trying to control the relationship more than your partner is comfortable with. Other Ways to Address the Problem The majority of arguments don't start because of what is said. What is your real goal? A goal of making another person do what you want will never work in the long run!

    The Victim's Role In some cases, the silent partner is attempting to escape another toxic dynamic. The silent treatment is part of a "demand-withdraw" pattern that is deadly to relationships! Finding Healthier Ways to Communicate This means you'll need to learn some healthier ways to confront issues, too, and learning takes time. A Special Note About Abuse When people feel out of control, they seek ways to regain control, as we already discussed. Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Abuse Domestic violence often starts with emotional abuse or verbal violence.

    This article explains how abusive tendencies develop and what can help break the cycle. Verbal Emotional Abuse Besides an emotional abuse poem this article provides an in-depth explanation of emotional abuse. Questions must be on-topic, written with proper grammar usage, and understandable to a wide audience. Well, you have only a couple Either find a way for it to You should remember that What you should do is count Yes, it sounds like something What if the silent treatment happens at work, and one person or a few people do it?

    There aren't enough details I'm confused by the "expert review. These are hurtful situations. Why does the author of This article automatically assume that it is tbe man giving the silent Treatment? I am Going through this with my wife Right now and she is the one giving Me the silent treatment. She asked Me if I was mad at her because she Cant take off from work to be with Me at my surgery.

    I told her I was Disappointed and then she got Upset with my answer. Now the Silent treatment. How to bring on the silent treatment: Thank you for the article I have a question: So now I have started giving her silent treatment. Am I doing the correct thing? Wonderful hub and great tips! Thank you very much. Here's what I'd encourage YOU to do: Good information, I gave you a thumbs up! I get what you're saying now.

    BTW, welcome to HubPages. I see you signed up! Ai Yih, your question just now showed up, so I am sorry for the delay. However, I need to ask you to think about one thing: Gud day, Well i am tell you guys, specially to all the wifes.. Most men do not like arguing, talking much, Our main reason. Its better not to talk, than talking nonsence You ask why im not to leaving on my wife, Its because " i love my family, i don't want to be broken family, and i know my wife , as family she loves us, she loves our children Im talking in general as a Man , Husband Hi Need Advice, and thank you for reading.

    Thank you for reading. That was a thought-provoking response. I will think about it. This website uses cookies As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. Take some time to cool off. Give your partner space to think. Don't apologize unless you're truly sorry. The silent treatment is a passive-aggressive action where a person feels bad but is unable to express themselves. Their being 'silent' still communicates a message. Abusers punish their victims by refusing to speak to them or even acknowledge their presence. Through silence, the abusers loudly communicate their displeasure, anger and frustration.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Silent treatment disambiguation. Retrieved 1 August Who's Pulling Your Strings? How to Break The Cycle of Manipulation. Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Control freak Complex post-traumatic stress disorder Dehumanization Depression Emotional blackmail Just-world hypothesis Machiavellianism in the workplace Narcissism in the workplace Personal boundaries Personality disorders Psychological manipulation Psychological projection Psychological trauma Psychopathy in the workplace Scapegoating Self-esteem Social dominance orientation Suicide among LGBT youth Sycophancy Victim blaming Victim playing Victimisation Whistleblowing.