Boy I put my foot in it this time! I mentioned my next topic at the end of Serendipity vs Zemblanity, not giving it much thought. So here I am, late at night researching emotional sadism and *cough* *sputter* *cough* goodness gracious! I've read some interesting things, most of what I read wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but no matter, we shall tread forward and just step a tad more carefully in the future when picking the next subject.Let’s start with emotional sadism, and for arguments sake, let’s just keep this fairly “vanilla”, as in *a tad boring and little, if any, sexual references (so sue me if I used suggestive pictures…I can, so I did). So an emotional sadist takes great pleasure, or at least it makes them feel better about themselves, to inflict emotional pain on others. I was actually surprised that psychopath/sociopath websites were where I found emotional sadism mentioned the most. Guess I never thought about it, but it does make sense.
Now, emotional masochism is a tad less scary, but no less dysfunctional. Okay, maybe a tad less. How many people do you know who are just gloom and doom types? Seems they’re not happy unless they are somehow martyring themselves. Their world is always angsty. I think a few times I've been an emotional masochist by circumstance, but more times by choice. I continued down paths that I knew the only outcome would be emotional turmoil and pain. And I skipped happily down that road singing lots of angsty songs to make it hurt even more. I’m good like that.
So, can we choose to stop these behaviors? I think **emotional sadism is one of those fairly nasty ones that require professional help if you want to kick the habit. **Emotional masochism, on the other hand, can go either way. I think in some instances, serious counseling may help, in others, just recognizing the behavior is sometimes enough to curb or even stop it. My Mom has a saying, “You have 5 minutes for your pity party and then you need to move on”. Yeah, I've heard it more times than I can count…so I am fully aware of my tendency toward emotional masochism, I also recognize what (and who) causes it. These days, I prefer to avoid, rather than indulge (Categorizing Relationships).
So where do you fall? Emotional Sadist or Emotional Masochist?
*It should be noted your vanilla is anything BUT boring, Mr. S.
**Not a licensed psychologist, that’s just my own personal opinion.