Sadism involves deriving pleasure through others undergoing discomfort or pain. The opponent-process theory explains the way in which individuals not only display, but also enjoy committing sadistic acts.[clarification needed] Individuals possessing sadistic personalities tend to display recurrent aggression and cruel behavior. Sadism can also include the use of emotional cruelty, purposefully manipulating others through the use of fear, and a preoccupation with violence.
|Spineless sadism||Including avoidant features||Basically insecure, bogus, and cowardly; venomous dominance and cruelty is counterphobic; weakness counteracted by group support; public swaggering; selects powerless scapegoats.|
|Tyrannical sadism||Including negativistic features||Relishes menacing and brutalizing others, forcing them to cower and submit; verbally cutting and scathing, accusatory and destructive; intentionally surly, abusive, inhumane, unmerciful.|
|Enforcing sadism||Including compulsive features||Hostility sublimated in the “public interest,” cops, “bossy” supervisors, deans, judges; possesses the “right” to be pitiless, merciless, coarse, and barbarous; task is to control and punish, to search out rule breakers.|
|Explosive sadism||Including borderline features||Unpredictably precipitous outbursts and fury; uncontrollable rage and fearsome attacks; feelings of humiliation are pent-up and discharged; subsequently contrite.|