These people are angry pessimists for whom the cup is always half empty. There never
is enough and good is not enough. Somehow the world is always against them or holding
out on them.
Unlike those suffering from depression, people with this difficulty usually have
relatively high energy levels. They are generally seen by others as being reasonably
or highly successful.
Despite this they consistently express discontent. Life is never good enough; they
are basically dissatisfied and discontented.
They are angry and impatient, believing themselves victims of the incompetence
or selfishness of others, blaming the basic shortcomings and unfairness of the world
for their own misery.
They argue incessantly. Even when acting as devil's advocate - they easily become
confrontational and attacking. They use aggressive conduct and needless confrontation
for stress management, enabling them to feel relief through ' dumping' their tension
Their relationships tend to be intense , persecutory and relatively short-lived.
They can be relentlessly demoralising - providing a real-life representation of
the male tyrant or nagging female stereotype.
Often the individual has been the childhood victim of over-criticalfault-finding
patterns and controlling behaviour - which they go on to reproduce as adults. Otherwise
they have witnessed family members being humiliated by similar treatment and have
learned to imitate these patterns.
Alternatively, the child had a strong personality but an insufficiently bounded upbringing
- being allowed to get their own way too much and too easily. If they are attractive
or intelligent - or otherwise admired - they frequently also develop narcissistic
characteristics. This fosters a powerful sense of entitlement and an inability to
make allowances for others or to accept criticism. It is often hidden behind a
competently sociable front. However, they usually react with aggressive behaviour
when thwarted or frustrated.
In neither case is there a secure sense of the self nor any realistic acceptance
in relation to the world - with all the disappointments, limitations and imperfections
They are often envious but rarely express jealous feelings directly. Instead they
undermine and seek opportunities to control others or put them down to maintain
their own sense of superiority.
Often they have Type-A temperaments with powerful driving and striving - frequently
coupled with perfectionism - and unreasonable demands and expectations of others.
Generally there is deep but un-acknowledged unhappiness, a sense of never having
enough and great difficulty in feeling any lasting satisfaction with any aspect
of their life. They seem only to feel secure through being negative toward and
scornful of others.
People with such difficulties often manifest great physical and mental tension. This
can be relieved through appropriate behavioural and physical exercises and hypnotic
The big physio-psychological shifts required to effect substantial change are usually
resisted. This is very difficult to achieve because the person has become habituated
for so long to extreme demands. To manage this they have cut off any sensitivity
toward themselves and cannot detect how stressed they are. Their physiological and
mental states need to be shifted well away from this highly pressurised baseline
to more comfortable and sustainable levels.
People with these difficulties are unlikely to benefit from anger management techniques
without prior attention to these underlying difficulties. They seldom offer themselves
for therapy - and rarely go any effective distance in treatment without very skilful
It is generally their partners and adult children who pay a very high price for
these behaviours. They are also likely to benefit from therapeutic help and support
to deal with the fallout.