By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo, M.Ed., Ph.D.
Understanding The Self-Defeating Personality
Self-defeating personalities display consistent patterns of detrimental behavior resulting in problematic situations and failed relationships.
These personalities create disappointing environments, become stagnant, and fail to accomplish important life goals. These individuals lack self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. They are riddled with guilt and shame, and according to the definition of personality disorder, do have maladaptive processing methods that create problematic patterns of relating, perceiving and behaving. Their behavior does create problems in their daily lives, in their personal relationships, (preferring to stay and suffer in a bad relationship, rather than move forward in a healthy one, or to be alone,) and their off-putting behavior does diminish their ability to function in society. Social interaction is a significant component of any healthy relationship and is imperative when trying to establish relationships at a deeper level. The self-defeating personality, the consummate victim will be a people pleaser, will attempt to be optimistic, will attempt to lovingly commit, and then will wholeheartedly invest in sabotage. Their inability to love or even like themselves often leads to inappropriate choices and related conditions such as substance abuse, eating disorders, and gambling addictions, making any healthy relationship impossible.