Mobbing is one of the most commonly practiced forms of social opprobrium there is. Sophie Henshaw, DPsych, says workplace mobbing is on the rise. Is mobbing a pathology? Certainly it can be can closely linked to Sadistic Personality Disorder.
Individuals with sadistic personalities behave cruelly and aggressively towards others. Symptomatic of their mental illness is manipulation through fear, threats and intimidation to achieve their objectives and satiate their needs.
Eric Maisel, PhD, in his article The Punishing Personality Type, describes someone whose barely cloaked rage fosters an insatiable compulsion to inflict pain on others. This individual is profoundly ill, driven by a relentless need to harm for reasons that have at best a superficial basis in reality.
Reasoning, discussing, compromising are all words that fall without effect on the ears of the punisher. It is easy enough to spot punishing personality types. They’re the ones doing the punishing.
Some punishers seek out a certain class of victims. In Nazi Germany it was blacks, Hispanics, Jews, the disabled, homosexuals and gypsies. In schools it might be isolated, dorky misfits. At work, independent thinkers are often targeted. Whatever the excuse, the punisher’s first instinct is to punish.
Dealing with the Sadistic Personality type is difficult. They’re implacable foes, incapable of compassion or remorse. They’ll pay almost any price to punish their victims, placing their careers and even their freedom at risk. They perceive any attempt to appease them as a weakness that further stirs them to new heights of cruelty. The punisher does not quit, so basic is his or her need to inflict pain.
It’s crucial to your long-term wellbeing to be able to identify this malevolent personality type. They may be quite articulate and winsome, but their behavior eventually gives them away. When you see a person engaged in punishing a large part of the time, someone who always recommends or metes out punishment over reward or compromise, this is a punisher. The shame and humiliation they try inflict is the self-gratifying behavior of a sinister personality that feeds on the pain of others.
If you’re targeted by a punisher, don’t put up with this behavior. Share openly what’s happening and who’s doing it. Here are some coping suggestions:
1. When problems occur in almost any form, it’s best to get to the root cause to make effective changes. Psychcentral warns that mobbing behavior is like bullying on steroids. Start protecting yourself by documenting everything in detail, including odd feelings and suspicions. As time goes on more patterns of behavior may emerge and the profile of a punisher is made clear.
2. Give yourself space and time to figure things out. Seek someone in authority where you work who you can trust to disclose your experiences to.
3. Don’t allow isolation to set in. Punishers, like spiders, succeed by isolating their victims. Enlist family, friends, medical practitioners and your lawyer to help you cope, plan your strategy and work on your behalf.
4. Take care of yourself each day-set aside time for relaxation, meditation, whatever best serves to get your punisher out of your head.
5. Actively seek to build and engage in meaningful life activities.