Despotism is an acquired quality of personality, manifested in the desire for unlimited power, which is achieved, regardless of the opinions and needs of others, by requiring constant and complete obedience. Despotism in psychology is a manifestation of extremely unfavorable characteristics of the ego, its exorbitant growth, which ultimately leads to the loss of reasonable control over their life manifestations, and all actions are subordinated exclusively to the affective sphere.

Despotism in the family manifests itself as psychological and physical violence, when all methods become relevant to achieve their own power. An autocratic person lacks an understanding of the personal boundaries and freedoms of others, and those who are considered his family are perceived by him as property. Naturally, with such a perception, others are required to constantly fulfill the will of the despot, as well as to fully comply with his ideas about life, not only his own and shared, but also how the other person should behave and feel. Among the usual requirements, there may be such as a ban on tears and the need for constant joy. Such attacks on the sensory sphere, which is not subject to control, indicate a lack of adequate perception.

Such behavior inevitably causes conflicts at various levels. The victims of the despot may try to explain or swear, broken dishes and physical beatings can go into the process. Those who finally feel their powerlessness provide tacit resistance with silence, adjustment, which irreversibly violates the psyche of not only the victim, but also the tyrant himself.

Tyrannical behavior cannot stop by itself, and the less resistance is rendered, the more a person will feel like a demigod and will begin to demand the impossible, for granted. This is not to say that there are people who have never turned into despots, in trying to get what they want from others, but those who take this line of behavior in critical forms need the help of specialists. Uncontrolled violence against others, inadequate requirements and assessment of the situation are the main signs of the presence of mental disorders. In the best case, long-term psychotherapy will help to correct the situation; in the worst case, specialized medical therapy will be required.

What is despotism

Despotism in psychology is behavior that includes such manifestations as the imposition of one’s will not by argument, but by force, the manifestation of aggression , the use of revenge, humiliation, physical and sexual violence, and gaslighting. Typically, the causes of this behavior are childhood injuries, complexes and fears that a person tries to overcome in a similar destructive way, and gain confidence and integrity. The problem is that this strategy of behavior does not contribute to the establishment of harmonious relations, where it is possible to heal the person at deep levels.

The more fears are hidden inside the psyche of a despot, the more sophisticated are his methods of control and the greater the desire to control someone else's freedom. Uncertainty and doubts about one’s own attractiveness are covered by aggressiveness , which does not even give a choice to others.

Despotism in the family does not give its members a choice, even in their own respect, they are literally forced to love. Despotism often coexists with humiliation and vengeance, and if humiliation of others has more or less obvious tendencies, because, thus, a person begins to look better in his own eyes, then revenge is born global and causeless, aimed at everyone and for no reason. The deep meaning of such vengeance lies in restoring undermined self-esteem and respect.

Despite the power position and the desire for respect and exaltation of oneself, despotism excludes cooperation and respect of others. Over time, such an attitude, provoking constant quarrels and conflicts, destroys any significant and lasting relationship, as well as the psyche of the participants in the contact. Instead of the lack of love and acceptance, the despot receives fear, hatred , revenge, misunderstanding, hostility, and ultimately loneliness.

Despotism is manifested as a personality trait in men and women, only has small external differences in the choice of methods. Initially, it may seem that despotism is an exclusively male trait, just as when it comes to rape, everyone immediately sees a woman as a victim. However, women are also oppressive in many ways, it just takes on a form of physical violence less often. Women are capable of destroying a man with moral jealousy , blackmail, constant tantrums, threats of suicide , reproaches and humiliation of his dignity. The arsenal of moral torture is wider than physical, and the worst thing is that an oppressive woman will not repent of her perfect, because her actions and words are controlled not only by affect , but also by reason.

Despotism is also characteristic of older people and even children (the first manifestations of such trends are possible at the age of three years and are provoked by the onset of the crisis period).

Reasons for Despotism

Despotism is not an inborn feature and does not depend on the characteristics of the nervous system and other physiological factors, however, the prerequisites for its formation are laid rather early. The opinion that despotism is inherited is due to the fact that being brought up by imperious parents who did not hear the needs of the child, but only required unconditional obedience, a person adopts this model of behavior as a norm. In childhood, this quality has no place to manifest itself, since children are weak, but as they grow older, gain physical strength and master the moral methods of violence, manipulation and coercion, a person begins to realize a despotic form of interaction at all levels.

Despotism unconsciously forms a desire for revenge on others for the insults. One case is not enough for this, usually staying in a toxic relationship or bringing up by such methods. Insults, humiliations, cruel punishments of a child may entail the desire to punish not only parents, but the whole world, because he remained deaf and blind to his grief. But not only mistreatment can serve as a prerequisite for the development of despotism, as well as excessive suggestion about the uniqueness and uniqueness of a child’s personality, its superiority over others. The opinion of parents is very important and forms a self-attitude, having entered the real world, such a person experiences stress from the fact that not everyone worships him, but someone openly ridicules the flaws. In such situations, the path is chosen to force the surrounding society to think and perceive their own personality within the usual framework.

Confirmation of one’s power for a despot becomes an obsessive neurotic idea that is not fed by need, since the methods of satisfying it are selected inadequate. Psychological injuries must be carefully opened in safe conditions, learned to look at them without horror and pain, to develop new ways of responding, recognizing such a story of your life. The despot’s attempts to get love and recognition are reminiscent of driving in a fallen hair with a hammer - it’s painful, useless and requires tremendous effort.

Signs of Despotism

In a society where the perception of violence and the boundaries of the individual is violated, despotism can be perceived as a manifestation of character or even respected. People who received injuries of a dependent type in childhood, in adulthood, fall in love with despots and tyrants, again without noticing a gross violation of their freedom.

One of the characteristic signs of despotism is the perception of physical and psychological violence as a norm of behavior and a way to regulate relationships. Such mechanisms are the main ones in interaction with the despot; he practically does not know how to ask, negotiate, or seek compromises.

Any kind of violence is used if the partner’s behavior does not correspond to the despot’s wishes, and at first he can demonstrate his dissatisfaction and allow another to correct himself, if this does not happen as soon as possible, then another will be punished (blow to the face or a week of silence is not important). It is worth noting that the requirements for the behavior of a partner are often quite strange, and discontent will cause what others perceive as normal. The thing is that anger causes any behavior or opinion containing the personality of another, and not his personal.

Often manifested such behavior as gaslighting , when a despot convinces another that everything bad is the result of his imagination . They can talk for a long time about the fact that the abuse was invented. But rudeness is perceived as such because of the unstable mental state of the victim of the despot himself. His influence and guilt are never recognized, on the contrary, another may be accused of manipulative tantrums, when in reality it is tears of pain. Humiliation and insults in others become the norm, and when trying to clarify relationships, a person can be blamed for the lack of a sense of humor, explaining such statements as a joke. So that a person does not have doubts about the inadequacy of a partner, his social circle is limited, relatives and friends who could share their opinions gradually disappear.

Typically, despots try to completely destroy the other person’s self-esteem in order to have even more leverage for control. Although in the first stages of the relationship, on the contrary, they will sing you. The mechanism is approximately the following: a person gets used to receiving huge doses of compliments, therefore, at the first criticism he will do everything to improve, then there will be more criticism, and the desire to correct the situation is stronger. In the end, you can find an idea from which it is very easy to manipulate the consciousness of another: “I’m really terrible, the rest just don’t notice it, and this great person knows everything about me and continues to be there.”

It is important that the despot appropriates all the victories for himself, and hangs all the defeats on his partner, while the other can be blamed even for his own troubles at work, spoiled mood and stuck in traffic. Attempts to appeal to an adequate perception of reality are futile.

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1 Comment on “Despotism”

  1. Article on the case. But what to do about it? How to deal with despots?

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