The Charmer – Attacker

You can enter a room and find ways to entertain the guests even though you rather avoid crowds. People are attracted to your sense of humor and charm. You are the life of the party and appear to have your act together. People would never guess that you are very insecure and fearful of rejection. You experience difficulties managing your strong feelings of frustration and anger. You enter relationships with persons that easily submit to your viewpoints and demonstrate blind allegiance. Isn’t a relationship where someone hangs to your every word, deed, a sustainable one? How long can a person demonstrate unconditional acceptance to each of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors?

Many with this personality type grew up in environments where emotional, physical, or sexual abuse was present. They were made to feel unworthy of the love of a parent and many times turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with feelings of rejection and insecurity. Like the nurturer/sabotager, the charmer/attacker attempted to find acceptance through peace-making behavior. Many times, he was not successful and found solace from friends, drugs, music, and other moral relative themes. He learned his social presentation from the media and social functions with peers. He found that drug usage helped to alleviate his feelings of insecurity and fear when with others.

Persons addicted to drugs or alcohol can possess many of the personality traits of the charmer/attacker. The charmer/attacker gains a sense of control by keeping relationships with others that unconditionally accepting his behavior. Many times, a nurturer/sabotager is attracted to this personality type due to charmer’s ability to utilize humor, and charm to present to the nurturer that he or she is needed and valued. This is not to say that the charmer/attacker does not need the nurturer. He is very compatible with someone that will avoid conflict and ensure harmony in the relationship.

The charmer/attacker usually does not remain committed to one partner in a relationship. Due to drug abuse and/or the lack of substance in his relationship, he is easily lured to one-night stands and other high-risk activities. When these or any of his activities are challenged, he will become aggressive and threatening in attempts to regain control of the relationship. His feelings of insecurity and fear of rejection will be tapped, which will contribute to his pathological responses of projecting blame and making empty promises. His years of hurt and anger will surface in verbal, and physical attacks. He will use intimidation and abusive tactics to deal with relationship problems and force his partner to submit to his will. Initially, he may use his charm and make promises to change his behavior. As his credibility declines, he will revert to psychological and physical tactics to control the relationship. Domestic violence is a common theme in this relationship.

The charmer/attacker is a person that takes from the world to gratify his needs without considering the consequences of his actions. Many anti-social (sociopath) characteristics can be found in this personality type. The charmer wants to world to yield to his needs and performs contrived acts of love and respect to attract others to give him what he wants. He has not internalized the concepts of love, respect, and honesty due to his egocentric views and constant pursuit of self-gratification. Remember, as a child this person was rejected and had turned to other outlets for his needs. He never developed the concept of morality other than what he learned from morally relative themes. His destructive behavior usually continues until he suffers severe life consequences such as incarceration, or near death experiences. The charmer/attacker can be very skilled at presenting a caring and loving message to others but only does so to get what he wants. He may initially reciprocate positive virtuous behavior, but he will perform these virtues less and less as the relationship goes forward.

For the charmer/attacker to move to a healthier state, he must begin to evaluate the consequences of his behavior. Even though he is self-serving much of the time, his behavior results in poor relationships and superficial experiences. He has not created purpose and meaning in his life. These consequences must become more powerful than the rewards from his narcissistic and egocentric behavior. The charmer/attacker must begin to accept responsibility for his hurtful behavior and address his own past hurt in order to identify ways to manage his tendency to fulfill his needs at any cost. He must identify specific acts that are hurtful to others along with the precipitants to his acting in hurtful and abusive ways. Many people that fall into this personality type will need extensive therapy and support groups to help them to identify the hurts that they have inflicted on others and to keep their “demons” in check. Support groups for addicts and victims/or perpetrators of abuse are most common for this personality type. The charmer/attacker will need to identify triggers to frustration and anger, which are the driving emotions to his behavioral presentation. He will need to develop ways to regulate strong emotional responses to his perception of rejection, and hurt, while controlling his impulsive response for quick fixes to feeling good again.

The first step towards a healthier state is to take responsibility for acting in unhealthy ways by abusing people and addictive substances. Look at the how you justify your actions to feel good while ignoring how your behavior impacts others. Taking daily inventory of behavior and using love, respect, and honesty as a moral guide can help people with this personality to recognize and repair the hurt that they cause others and themselves. Secondly, the charmer/attacker must accept that he will feel neutral and bad some days and not act in high-risk ways to gain a “high” or feel instant pleasure. Negative emotions play an important role in our lives. They let us know that we need to slow down and process our environment and relationships. Feelings of sadness, hurt, frustration, and anger tell us that we need to get in touch with the present moment and take care of ourselves in positive and nurturing ways. Abusing drugs, alcohol, and the people that are close to us will not accomplish this. We must reach out to others and show love and respect while allowing these virtues to be reciprocated. By demonstrating acts of love and respect to others, we turn our attention away from ourselves and begin to move our negative emotions to a more rational and neutral state.

Finally, the charmer/attacker needs to develop the ability to let go of those concerns and difficulties that he has no control. Negative emotions will not pass when a person fixates on issues and concerns that he cannot impact or change. This contributes to his irrational thinking and feelings of helplessness. During times of duress, this person will be inclined to look for quick fixes to rid his thoughts of the uncontrollable issues. He will verbally and physically hurt others to release his frustration and anger. He will abuse drugs and alcohol to alleviate his feelings of powerlessness and insecurity. By focusing on what actions he can control and treating others with love, respect, and honesty, he can begin to develop meaningful ways to approach concerns and problems while maintaining healthier relationships.

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