10 Things Emotional Masochist Will Never Tell You

Find out if you or your partner is an emotional masochist

By Sid
10 Things Emotional Masochist Will Never Tell You

What is Emotional Masochist?

In a healthy state of mind, it is human nature to avoid pain and discomfort in every way. The phenomena of emotional masochism involve a person gaining a sense of satisfaction and pleasure from being hurt. At the root, it is a form of self-victimization and self-sabotage. An emotional masochist feels contented when they expose themselves to unnecessary and avoidable pain. Here are a few ways to tell if someone is an emotional masochist.

3 Signs of an Emotion Masochist

1. Fighting Over Minor Issues

An emotional masochist often finds themselves getting into unnecessary arguments. Latching on to a trivial matter with one of their friends, family, romantic partners, or coworkers. The issue at hand is of a very insignificant nature which sometimes makes the people around the masochist confused. Since the intensity of the reaction does not match the slight inconvenience or disagreement.

2. Criticism toward Oneself

By the definition of an emotional masochist, they can never be good enough for themselves. They judge their work, abilities, body, etc. much more harshly than they would judge others. They refuse to let themselves be happy and succeed. They can’t help being mean to themselves for no reason.

3. Endure Toxic People

Putting up with unfair treatment is another sign of emotional masochism. Indulging someone’s unjust treatment toward you and their harsh behavior is a way of letting yourself be emotionally hurt. If someone allows other people to consistently treat them poorly and does not defend themselves, they may be an emotional masochist.

10 Things an Emotional Masochist Will Never Tell You

1. They only feel loved when they are treated poorly

In the mind of an emotional masochist, a person who treats them well and cares for them is not someone to keep in their life. Often when they meet someone too nice to them, they do not wish to keep interacting with them. This is the reason they will sometimes pick fights and force people to be mean to them. It is the only reality they know. They feel like they are incapable of being loved and cared for. They openly reject the kindness shown to them and prefer to keep themselves in pain.

2. They don’t realize they are self-sabotaging until it is done

Many times people have been carrying out self-destructive acts for so long in their life they do not know how to stop the pattern from happening. Sometimes they are not aware of what they are doing because it seems natural to an emotional masochist. They are addicted to getting hurt. In their head, they might be doing what is right for them, and what is right in their head is that they deserve to be abused and mistreated. The emotional masochist might even decide to put an end to these behaviors but their mind tells them it is not wrong to want to be hurt.

3. They feel powerless against themselves

The fact that emotional masochists enjoy pain does not mean that it doesn’t hurt them. It only means that they desire to be in emotionally negative spaces because that is what they are used to. Even if they think they do not want to be punished, they usually feel like they have to self-sabotage. It is as if they do not have a choice in avoiding discomfort. Their mind forces them to don things that will trigger a series of events that will eventually come back to cause them pain.

4. They lose interest if they are not being emotionally tormented

To hold emotional masochist's attention, you need to cause them negative emotions. People who are emotional masochists will get bored if you seem to be a caring and affectionate person. Courting an emotional masochist means being distant, giving them the cold shoulder, and treating them poorly. They usually are not attracted or interested in someone who doesn’t do this. This may seem strange to someone who does not understand what goes on inside the head of an emotional masochist. People who are abusive and toxic are the ones they will latch on to and give all of their time and attention to.

5. They find it difficult to defend themselves

If you do not believe that happiness, contentment, and joy are emotions you should feel you will unknowingly keep yourself from performing actions that lead to these. They do not stand up for themselves because they think that they are not worthy of being defended. It may be a form 0f justifying abuse and manipulation. They stay in abusive relationships knowing there is no hope of bettering the relationship. Just as you would not defend someone at fault, they do not see fit to defend themselves. An emotional masochist is under the impression that everything bad that happens is only their fault.

6. They push loved ones away

When an emotional masochist starts to get close to someone, they force themselves to push them away. When people who care for them try to confront their issues, and emotional masochist distances themselves. They move away from a contented and joyful lifestyle deliberately. They reject happiness and invite easily avoidable pain. Instead of choosing to communicate how they feel to their family, they stop speaking to them entirely. Sometimes this distancing will only be emotional but at other times a masochist will run away from happiness. They prefer to remove themselves from healthy environments where people care for them.

7. They can’t let go of negative past experiences

Let’s be honest. At times all of us have stared at our bedroom ceilings and thought about old events that have hurt us or negatively affected us. But at the end of the day, we are capable of moving forward and spending our time and energy on the present. Emotional masochists tend to hold on to any and every awful experience. They devote their time thinking about all the terrible things that have happened to them.

8. They want to feel like the victim

In an emotional masochist’s whole life, they have always played the role of the victim. Therefore, they are unfamiliar with any other fulfilled, contented role. When they are in harm’s way, they feel as if they belong. Playing a happily satisfied character in their life would feel uncomfortable and unnatural. They seek pain, so they can maintain this image of themselves in their head.

9. They think they deserve the pain

A person stuck in this self-sabotaging cycle feels as though they are only worthy of being unhappy. If someone treats them well, it feels like a lie. They consider themselves unworthy of love and joy. They enjoy the pain because to them the abuse is warranted and justified.

10. They create reasons to be unhappy when there aren’t any

When the life of an emotional masochist is going well and there is no drama, they feel the urge to create problems. Because without constant problems and difficulties and pain their life feels like an act. It is normal to want good times to last forever. We have all had the thought. Even though that is impossible, we try our best to elongate the happy times to the best of our ability. Unfortunately, this is not the case for an emotional masochist. On the contrary, they wish to leave their comfort and happiness behind to willingly chase pain.

How to Work Out a Relationship with an Emotional Masochist

It can be extremely challenging attempting to maintain a healthy relationship with an emotional masochist. In all relationships, one of the key factors in keeping it healthy for both parties is open and honest communication. With an emotional masochist as your partner, it can become more difficult. Be patient with your significant other. Try to control angry reactions and instead take a gentler, understanding approach. It’s easy to get frustrated and mad when your partner is repeating destructive behaviors even though they know it is harmful. Support them as much as you can without it taking a toll on your mental health.

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Emotional masochism is not entirely uncommon. With therapy and patience, and emotional masochist can change their ways. But for true recovery and betterment, the person must be genuinely willing to change their patterns and actively work on bettering themselves. There is no simple easy solution to this. Dealing with emotional masochism is a journey and a tough one at that. If your loved one is an emotional masochist, they need your support more than an average partner. What’s most important is to keep showing up for each other.


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