Your personality is a mix of your inherited genes, your growth experience, and other components of your temperament along with learned behaviors. While everyone has personality quirks, it can be difficult for you to function if your personality develops instabilities. This difference is called a personality disorder. Although the American Psychiatric Association (APA) does not formally recognize masochistic personality disorder, some physicians still recognize and diagnose it as a personality disorder.
Here are some characteristics of a masochistic personality disorder that you may find interesting.
Definition of masochistic personality disorder
This personality disorder includes strong characteristics of self-destruction, with pleasing people on their own and refusing to accept positive stimuli. He can fight self-defeat and be extremely hard on himself. You will hold onto resentment instead of doing something to people who insult or hurt you. This is a common struggle for people with a masochistic personality disorder.
This personality disorder is sometimes confused with sexual sadomasochism, in which one person dominates another who submits to them. Hollywood movies like to portray their characters like this, but that’s an exaggeration and it’s not common. The most typical masochistic personality does not include this type of behavior. More often, the masochistic person wants to inflict humiliation and pain on himself more than on others.
How did this personality disorder develop?
Unfortunately, this disorder often develops during childhood due to being over-controlled by parents. Of course, parents must control their children’s behavior, but this type of parent requires compliance and obedience at all times, without exception. They need to handle every situation their child is in, which often results in not allowing their child to express their own opinions. The child can be expected to act like a little adult, fulfilling the responsibilities of the parents.
Parental love is a type of conditional love. If the child behaves in an acceptable manner and fulfills all of his responsibilities as expected, his parents will accept them. The child can be severely punished if he does not obey. The child’s self-esteem is linked to his performance. The child can gain a sense of accomplishment by doing household chores as he gains acceptance from the parents. A child growing up often struggles with pain and anger towards his parents. They harbor bitterness towards their parents, but they never act on it. Simultaneously, the child will experience guilt and shame for feeling this way about their parents.
The adult masochist
Masochistic adults with this type of childhood are docile and often less creative individuals. His feelings of defeat are common. These adults may feel the need to be a martyr at work or at home with selfless offerings or services. This is to appease your feelings of martyrdom.
The strange thing about pain and masochistic personality disorder
You may like to watch a movie that scares you, or ride a roller coaster because it scares you, or you may like to eat spicy foods that hurt your tongue. This is standard human behavior, and scientists call it benign masochism. It is labeled harmless because we know that there is no real danger involved in doing these things, that it is a condition of benign masochists to experience pleasure. It is typical behavior unless you are overly driven to this behavior.
Antisocial personalities like a masochistic personality disorder go beyond this benign behavior and can be destructive in nature. Studies show that masochistic and antisocial behaviors are connected. Often times, masochistic behavior predicts risk-taking and delinquent behavior in adolescents. These teens require a sensation seeking experience. They will look like brave people and will be inclined towards dangerous activities. They may find it rewarding to experience pain in their activities and reject recognition or reward for what they have done.
Other features of a masochistic personality disorder
There are other common features associated with this disorder. This is just a short list, but you can still get an idea of what drives these people.
Masochists choose relationships that lead to disappointment and failure. You may have a friend who always seems to have associations with people who hurt or mistreat them. If you have this disorder, you are expected to drift into a bad relationship where you are mistreated even if there are other people you could choose from. It’s frustrating for friends to watch, but it’s almost as if the person can’t help it.
2 – Success
If you have a masochistic personality disorder, you will feel guilty about your achievements or successes. If people acknowledge something you have done, they will respond with shame or depression. You need to feel bad about yourself. Often assume that a masochistic person succeeds soon after. In that case, they will have an experience that causes them pain, such as having an accident or failing in an area that was previously very simple.
3 – Refuse help
Another characteristic of this disorder is that he rejects any help from those around him. Inwardly, you are afraid of help because you feel you don’t deserve it, but you need to feel pain. Letting go of pain can be difficult. It has been your identity for so long. This is why therapy or counseling is so complicated.
4 – Self-induced rejection
The masochist may do things on purpose to incite anger or rejection from other people. They may make fun of their children or their spouse in public to provoke outrage. The masochist may feel ashamed of being rejected by others even though his behavior caused it. They may be surprised by people’s reactions, but they like the pain of another rejection.
5 – Refuse acceptance
Masochists quickly tire of people that they are nice to them. They will lose interest and reject these people out of frustration that they are not bad. They feel that they do not deserve to be treated well.
6 – I can’t finish a task
Masochists find it difficult to finish tasks even if they have the ability. Even if they don’t finish their things, they will help others get things done. This is because helping makes them feel accepted.
7 – Self-sacrificing people
A masochist chooses self-sacrifice at work, school, or home. They overdo things to help others. Your actions may be seen as generous or selfless, but they are actually due to a need to be accepted by others. If they receive any moment of recognition for them, the masochist will reject it and may end up causing pain by failing at something else or hurting himself.
How do you know if you have masochistic traits?
There are some common traits of this personality type that you can see in yourself or others. Here is a list of these traits that indicate your struggle with masochistic behaviors, according to PsychCentral.
- Work overload: You tend to push yourself to the brink of exhaustion. You don’t set limits on yourself, but keep going until you’re ready to quit. It seems commendable but it is self-destructive in nature.
- You struggle to feel loved: You struggle to be accepted. You’re the one who tries to remember everyone’s birthday or gives little gifts all the time. You do extra things to make sure you show your love, but you never feel loved by others.
- You are very critical of yourself: you go to extreme lengths to show that you are worth it. You feel the need to be an excellent parent, student, and co-worker. Inside your head, you are very critical of yourself.
- You find it hard to say no: Maybe you work hard to please people. You assume things not because you want to do them. But because you want to be loved and accepted.
- Maybe you’re complaining, but you’re afraid of trying to change things: you see something you don’t like, but still refuse to do anything about it.
- You Suffer the Pain: You feel like you have to endure pain in relationships even though you may struggle with humiliation and shame.
- Sometimes you feel trapped – you can feel trapped in a life of self-defeat. You may feel desperate for your future.
How can you get help with a masochistic personality disorder diagnosis?
If you think you may be struggling with masochistic behaviors, here are some suggestions for finding relief.
It may be difficult for you to accept help, but good advisor It will help you understand the patterns of life that cause you pain. You can learn what triggers their behavior.
Reject your inner critic
Learning what makes you listen to your inner critic is vital to freeing yourself from masochistic behaviors. It is helpful to understand what it sounds like and how to refuse to compromise on this review.
Take responsibility where necessary
You can learn to control your emotions and feelings without blaming others. You may feel angry about what happened to you during your childhood. There are positive ways to express your anger in a non-self-destructive way.
May need cry about your past. It can be helpful to work with your childhood pains. It can be challenging to cope with these pains, but if you are working with a counselor, they can help you cope with hope for your future.
Final thoughts on masochistic personality disorder
Having a distorted self-image is characteristic of a masochistic personality disorder. If you or someone you love has these tendencies, seek help immediately. It is possible to break free from this self-defeating behavior to enjoy a life that is not based on your performance.