The psychological harm imposed on another human being by acts of cruelty can last many years if not a lifetime. Most of us avoid inflicting pain on anyone, sticking to the unspoken social golden rule to ‘hurt no-one.’ When we hurt another person, we typically begin to feel remorse, we apologise and express regret and sorrow. Hurting another person can be distressing. But there are those who take pleasure in intentional cruelty. Some even go as far as getting a real high or ‘buzz’ out of it when observing the distress being caused to others. The online Oxford Dictionary describes cruelty as, ‘ Willfully causing pain or suffering to others, or feeling no concern about it: ‘people who are cruel to animals’ – ‘a cruel remark’ There are many ways that people can be cruel to others. There’s no excuse for cruelty and it is socially acceptable and wrong. Intentional cruelty is a crime in most countries punishable by law as it can have long term psychological effects on others. Common types of Intentional Cruelty Domestic violence Internet trolling Animal Cruelty Bullying & Cyber bullying Manipulation Neglect Psychological & Emotional Abuse Child abuse Sexual Abuse Verbal Abuse Control & Exploitation Pedophilia Racism Psychological Effects Of Abuse Depression Withdrawal Not able to trust Feeling trapped and alone Low self-worth and low self-esteem Emotional instability Underachievement Dependence on abuser Sleep disturbances Suicidal thoughts or attempts Substance abuse What causes some people to enjoy cruelty? According the Association for Psychological Science, two studies reported by psychological researcher Erin Buckels of the University of British Columbia uncovered that individuals who score high on a measure of sadism appear to get pleasure from practices that hurt others, and are eager to exhaust additional efforts to make people suffer. Common Types of Abusers Who Enjoy Cruelty To Others Everyday Sadists – there is the argument of psychological disorders being present in Everyday Sadists’. Psychologists talk about the ‘Dark Triad” of personality disorders consisting of Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy. People who score high in the dark triad traits see people as tools to use, manipulate and exploit in order to get what they want. Sadistic Personality Disorder – involves gaining pleasure from inflicting and witnessing the discomfort and pain of others. This can also be expressed in a physical, emotional or sexual nature. Displays of aggression and cruel behaviour is common in a person with this disorder. Internet Trolls – are people who join discussions online to cause arguments and get pleasure out of harming others online by posting comments with the intention to insult and upset people. In the Canadian study mentioned above, the authors wrote in their paper about Internet Trolling, “… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.” Bullies – Whether is cyber bullying or any type of bullying this is a form of control by someone who needs to harass, intimidate, put down, hurt others and make themselves feel good by being cruel to others. Bullying is usually carried out by someone who picks on those weaker than themselves by harassing them, threatening, insulting, humiliating or physically hurting them. Sources The New findings are published here: Psychological Science Journal Psychology Today – 10 Ways to spot an ‘Everyday Sadist’ Internet Trolls are narcissists, psychopaths and sadists Action Against Cruelty Where to get Help If you’re feeling any psychological problems due to abuse or If you’re putting up with any type of cruelty there is help available. You can talk to your Doctor who can recommend a local counsellor. Or search for one nearest you www.theaca.net.au Lifeline is a 24-hour crisis phone and online free counselling service. Phone: 13 11 14 Kids Helpline – A free 24/7 phone counselling service for children to young adults. Phone: 1800 55 1800 Contact your local police In case of emergency – If your life or the life of someone you know is in danger contact the emergency hotline on 000 Share this Facebook Twitter Pinterest Where to get help 24/7 Helplines Lifeline: 13 11 14 Kids Helplines: 1800 551 800 Mensline: 1300 789 978 Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36 Headspace: 1800 650 890 Talk to your doctor and see a mental health professional. Visit CCAA to search for a Christian counsellor near you.