Experts say that many of our abusers lack self-esteem and this causes them to hide it with an outward show of obsessive self love and attention seeking.
That has always puzzled me.
It leads many of us, in an attempt to be kind, and to try to address the deeper issue, to allow ourselves to be further harmed.
To attempt to LOVE away the disease.
I BELIEVE it is often true that abusers, at the very CORE of their problem, have been made to feel worthless as young children...or to be feel that their WORTH was dependent on the way others saw them.
...but in the case of the abuser I dealt with, that self esteem issue was so deeply buried that he could not recognize it.
No one, including him, would EVER consider his self esteem to be low.
Whats funny about it is that heaping praises upon him does not HELP his issues but only further "feeds" his feeling of being BETTER than other people.
On the other hand, people on the other end of the low self-esteem spectrum CAN be helped by being praised and lifted up.
I guess that is why it is important to figure out the best way to react to someone who may, indeed, have low self esteem... to minimize the harm to ourselves and to learn that we cannot help these people by sacrificing all that we are.
The Parable of the Two Caged Lions