Acting Out - Acting Out behavior refers to a subset of personality disorder traits that are more outwardly-destructive than self-destructive.
Personality-Disordered Individuals often behave in ways that are destructive to themselves and to those around them. When a behavior or trait is more destructive towards others than self- destructive, that behavior or trait is sometimes referred to as "acting-out".
People who suffer from Cluster A (odd or eccentric) personality disorders Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) Schizoid personality disorder (SPD) & Schizotypal personality disorder (STPD) more typically engage in "acting-in" behaviors.
People who suffer from Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic) disorders - Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) Borderline personality disorder (BPD), Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) & Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) more typically engage in "acting-out" behaviors.
People who suffer from Cluster C (anxious or fearful disorders) - Avoidant personality disorder (AVPD) Dependent personality disorder (DPD) Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) more typically engage in "acting-in" behaviors.
Examples of Acting-Out Behaviors
Alienation - The act of cutting off or interfering with an individual's relationships with others.
Baiting - A provocative act used to solicit an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another individual.
Blaming - The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.
Bullying - Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.
Chaos Manufacture - Unnecessarily creating or maintaining an environment of risk, destruction, confusion or mess.
Cheating - Sharing a romantic or intimate relationship with somebody when you are already committed to a monogamous relationship with someone else.
Circular Conversations - Arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no resolution.
Domestic Theft - Consuming or taking control of a resource or asset belonging to (or shared with) a family member, partner or spouse without first obtaining their approval.
Emotional Blackmail - A system of threats and punishments used in an attempt to control someone’s behaviors.
Engulfment - An unhealthy and overwhelming level of attention and dependency on another person, which comes from imagining or believing one exists only within the context of that relationship.
False Accusations - Patterns of unwarranted or exaggerated criticism directed towards someone else.
Favoritism - Favoritism is the practice of systematically giving positive, preferential treatment to one child, subordinate or associate among a family or group of peers.
Frivolous Litigation - The use of unmerited legal proceedings to hurt, harass or gain an economic advantage over an individual or organization.
Gaslighting - The practice of brainwashing or convincing a mentally healthy individual that they are going insane or that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false. The term “Gaslighting” is based on the 1944 MGM movie “Gaslight”.
Harassment - Any sustained or chronic pattern of unwelcome behavior by one individual towards another.
Holiday Triggers - Mood Swings in Personality-Disordered individuals are often triggered or amplified by emotional events such as family holidays, significant anniversaries and events which trigger emotional memories.
Hoovers & Hoovering - A Hoover is a metaphor taken from the popular brand of vacuum cleaners, to describe how an abuse victim trying to assert their own rights by leaving or limiting contact in a dysfunctional relationship, gets “sucked back in” when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior.
Hyper Vigilance - Maintaining an unhealthy level of interest in the behaviors, comments, thoughts and interests of others.
Hysteria - An inappropriate over-reaction to bad news or disappointments, which diverts attention away from the real problem and towards the person who is having the reaction.
Impulsiveness - The tendency to act or speak based on current feelings rather than logical reasoning.
Infantilization - Treating a child as if they are much younger than their actual age.
Imposed Isolation - When abuse results in a person becoming isolated from their support network, including friends and family.
Narcissism - A set of behaviors characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, self-centered focus, need for admiration, self-serving attitude and a lack of empathy or consideration for others.
No-Win Scenarios - When you are manipulated into choosing between two bad options
Objectification - The practice of treating a person or a group of people like an object.
Pathological Lying - Persistent deception by an individual to serve their own interests and needs with little or no regard to the needs and concerns of others. A pathological liar is a person who habitually lies to serve their own needs.
Projection - The act of attributing one's own feelings or traits to another person and imagining or believing that the other person has those same feelings or traits.
Proxy Recruitment - A way of controlling or abusing another person by manipulating other people into unwittingly backing “doing the dirty work”
Push-Pull - A chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness in a relationship without appropriate cause or reason.
Raging, Violence and Impulsive Aggression - Explosive verbal, physical or emotional elevations of a dispute. Rages threaten the security or safety of another individual and violate their personal boundaries.
Sabotage - The spontaneous disruption of calm or status quo in order to serve a personal interest, provoke a conflict or draw attention.
Scapegoating - Singling out one child, employee or member of a group of peers for unmerited negative treatment or blame.
Shaming - The difference between blaming and shaming is that in blaming someone tells you that you did something bad, in shaming someone tells you that you are something bad.
Splitting - The practice of regarding people and situations as either completely "good" or completely "bad".
Stalking - Any pervasive and unwelcome pattern of pursuing contact with another individual.
Testing - Repeatedly forcing another individual to demonstrate or prove their love or commitment to a relationship.
Thought Policing - Any process of trying to question, control, or unduly influence another person's thoughts or feelings.
Threats - Inappropriate, intentional warnings of destructive actions or consequences.
For More Information & Support...
If you suspect you may have a family member or loved-one who suffers from a personality disorder, we encourage you to learn all you can and surround yourself with support as you learn how to cope.
August 25, 2014 - OOTF announce an exciting new development - it's called Out of the Storm - a support site specifically designed for people who suffer from CPTSD - Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At OOTF we have often welcomed members who are dealing with CPTSD as a consequence of having been in a relationship with someone who suffers from a personality disorder. Nevertheless, for a long time we have recognized that CPTSD sufferers have a distinct and unique set of concerns and issues.
Nov 9, 2013 - OOTF has just launched a new "Future Goals" forum. This forum is a safe place to store your goals of what you would like to achieve. Setting goals can help us move forward, and give us something to focus on while we are working our way through day to day issues. Goals can change, be amended or added to over time as we either achieve them, or determine new goals as our lives unfold.