Why do most people with personality disorders hurt a family’s most beloved pets? It is related to their desire to show off their power as well as to force sentient beings to comply with their will. For better or for worse, total submission of all family members — including both human beings and animals — is expected. Threatening to harm pets, refusing to care properly for an animal that allows it to be properly socialized, or forcing a family pet to submit willingly to humiliation, pain, restriction or movement, or physical discomfort are all red flag warning signs that a family pet is being harmed by a selfish personality that acts with a perverse sense of entitlement.
Every country should have a national database listing domestic violence victims who are of the canine or feline variety. No human should be able to adopt a pet from a shelter if that person has been reported for having a propensity to neglect or harm an animal — including being sent to a home with any child who shows early warning signs of developing Childhood Conduct Disorder. But most importantly, every person in the United States should be made aware that people with Cluster B personality disorders mistreat animals like family pets on a regular basis. It’s actually a huge red flag warning sign that they have a narcissistic temperament, one that leads them to rationalize the mistreatment and abuse of their own pets on a whim or to use the threat of mistreating other people’s favorite animals as a weapon against them.
Because people who are narcissistic by nature or have Anti-Social Personality Disorders (whether by nature or nurture) all have a tendency to mistreat animals — if not their own, then the beloved pets of loved ones, neighbors, and human targets they wish to frighten, control, intimidate or emotionally hurt. They believe they are entitled not only to harm the animal — their abusive sense of entitlement thinking leads them to truly believe it is morally within their right to callously or sadistically abuse the fundamental human rights of others.
Like the people who coordinated the November 13, 2015, wave of terrorist attacks on the city of Paris in France, people who have more extreme, violent, or aggressive Cluster B personality disorders see harming an animal that belongs to a person they love as a tool. Threatening to harm, injure, maim, kill, or otherwise terrorize a pet is incredibly damaging to the psychology of the victim, many of whom are humans who consider their favorite critters to be part of the family. Whether someone is traumatizing a human by threatening their family members or pets or they are engaging in acts of narcissistic abuse so heinous that lives are forcibly taken, it’s NARCISSISTIC ABUSE… a truly inhumane form of emotional terrorism the abuser subjects his or her targeted victims to endure.
“Abusers who want to strike fear into the heart of a scapegoat, target, or random victim might threaten to harm an animal. More than likely, they will actually target animals like dogs, cats, neighborhood pets, or non-threatening wildlife for abuse.” — @NSFM_OhMy
It is easy to figure out by watching children interacting at a park or beach which of the kids are likely to learn egocentric disrespect of animals. Parents who overlook a small toddler or young child when they act like an aggressor in the presence of wildlife, for example, teach their children by apathetic example that it is perfectly okay to traumatize an animal.
Understand refusing to train or housebreak an animal is also a form of animal abuse. So is over-handling or micro-managing the life of an animal.
Typically the same parents that fail to correct a toddler that goes after the family pet, a flock of seagulls or pigeons, and/or derives pleasure from “scaring” animals (or others) are invariably the same parents who tend to overlook when one sibling is mean to or bullies another. These are the same parents who will become quite incensed if you bring it up, claiming the person disconcerted watching the abuse is being overly sensitive.
Conversely, such parents may overlook or laugh when and if their youngster over-handles a family pet. Think about life from the animal’s perspective. Do dogs and cats truly want to be compulsively humanized to the point of awkward discomfort or aggressively manhandled? Trained to pit fight or worse — never allowed freedom of movement, confined in cages or tied to ropes in yards? How about picked up repeatedly by a larger creature and punished for showing any signs of resistance?
If your partner bullies or excuses abuse when and if they participate in it or they “under parent” their children, understand that whether they have a personality disorder of their own or not that they are actively engaging in the act of “Narcissistic Abuse”. Since children form the bulk of their personalities between birth and the age of four, as older children, teens, young adults, and grown-ups everyone is likely to subconsciously replicate the tone and tenor of primary caregivers with regard to life lessons about empathy, egocentrism, and respect for other sentient beings in the world.
As such, people who are raised without regard for family pets — for instance, a culture that eats dogs instead of moving them into the house and letting them take up 90% of the viable real estate on the marital bed — might not have a personality disorder. They may be inclined to emotionally disconnect empathetically when and if they see an animal specifically so their mind — desensitized to witnessing and participating in traumatic events — can stay the immoral equivalent of “Gray Rock” (a method abuse survivors learn to protect themselves from feeling toxic aftershocks after being forced to witness or endure cruel rights transgressions in any form.
Those folks are not likely to treat four-legged creatures or animals that other humans are emotionally attached to as living creatures with great care. For that reason, they — by habit and cultural inculcation — might forget to, say, care for a pet they were asked to responsibly look after. A dog might be let loose from the yard, an indoor cat might be purposefully let out the front door, or some other passive-aggressive act against the creature (like failure to feed, water, or clean a cage) may occur.
Then there are other situations that indicate pathology in the thought-form of an abuser is actually one of extreme discord with those who have kindness in their hearts and would not choose to harm a family pet for all the tea in China.
People who suffer from something called “Childhood Conduct Disorder” as children — those who are inclined to wound, neglect, or be cruel to animals — actually suffer from an extreme form of ASPD (Anti-Social Personality Disorder) symptomatology. Namely, they either have a sadistic streak that sends pleasurable emotions surging through their system when they physically harm another and/or they have low to no empathy. Such is one of the key diagnostic criteria for having one of the more caustic personality types, something setting them apart in a monstrous way from all humanity.
People who have a personality disorder and are violent or aggressive may delight in harming animals. They may pretend the harm was caused accidentally (if they have a Covert Narcissistic streak) or they may do something cruel to a pet or wild animal callously.
Be very clear there is a huge distinction between someone who deer hunts seasonally and someone who kills the family dog, fish, bird, exotic animal, or cat. One may harm an animal respectfully for meat, killing it in a humane way that is quick; the other will intentionally menace a human target by threatening to hurt, harming, or killing a sentient being their victim emotionally perceives as a companion animal used much the same way a licensed service dog is used to calm an emotionally distraught person facing a huge bout of anxiety.
If your partner, child, or someone you know is guilty of animal cruelty, use safe judgment. Contact your local domestic violence shelter or advocate to discuss your concerns and document any time and date specific incidents. Take photographic evidence discreetly and don’t hesitate to call the police when and if it is warranted, but do so with a note of caution.
If a person is extremely dangerous due to psychology or temperament, always protect human lives FIRST. If calling the police over animal cruelty gets you killed, it won’t help anyone. Instead, consider first removing the pets, children, and YOURSELF from the aggressor’s environment. Once you are physically safe, work with local law enforcement and social services professionals to decide the safest and most pragmatic approach to deal with the dangerous person’s toxic mess.
Harming animals with a sense of elation is a huge red flag personality indicator. Resist the temptation to rationalize, excuse, justify, or minimize animal cruelty.
Threatening to harm pets or neglect them is a common Narcissistic Abuse tactic employed by Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Narcopaths. Only Dark Triad personality types tend to actually go through with it, but threatening to harm a pet is an extremely abusive way to psychologically manipulate and emotionally control a partner who is attached to an animal or who has a high level of emotional sensitivity to animal rights or abuses.