The primary mistake with abusers
The primary mistake with abusers is to reinforce their victim identity by:
- Emphasizing childhood or other experiences in which they were mistreated
- Validating their resentment and anger as “appropriate,” which validates the distorted perspectives that go with anger and resentment
- Reinforcing their sense of entitlement — they should be respected, which, to them, means their partners must submit
- Confronting them in shame-inducing ways, before they learn to regulate shame with compassion
The primary mistake with victims is urging them to think and sound like abusers.