Addictions aren’t just about substance abuse and chemical dependence. Beyond the organic factors, there are also psychological traits that predispose us to extreme dependence. They eventually give rise to an addictive personality.
You can be addicted to many things, not just chemicals. There are also addictions to gambling, sex, new technologies — almost any situation or object. Ultimately, the object is not the focus. The important things are the psychological patterns that lead to addiction.
Therefore, recovering from an addiction doesn’t just mean quitting a habit like using drugs. We also need to understand what an addictive personality is in order to manage it. To do that, we’ll need to know its characteristics, especially those that are not so evident. Here are seven of them.
1. Addictive personality: lack of commitment
One of the most notable characteristics of an addictive personality is having difficulty following through on commitments and projects. They are people who get excited easily, but soon lose interest and give up.
They also find it difficult to get places on time and do activities for a long period of time. In general, there is a lot of instability in their plans and goals. They find it impossible to express why they suddenly lose interest in something.
2. Difficulty with rules and authority figures
Those who have an addictive personality generally see nothing positive in rules or regulations; they consider them an obstacle. They don’t think there is anything constructive about setting limits or guidelines.
People with this kind of personality tend to either challenge authority or completely ignore it. These people consider people in authority as an annoyance. They don’t value their actions and assume that their role is simply to oppress.
3. Lying as justification
It’s very common to find that a person predisposed to addictions is also a person who doesn’t mind lying. Their lies invade every single area of their lives. They see nothing wrong with it because lying has become just a way of life for them.
The main purpose that their lies fulfill is to avoid having to face the consequences of their actions. Every time they know they did something wrong, they will lie to either justify it or deny it. They think it’s a perfectly legitimate way to avoid responsibilities.
4. Oscillation between feelings of superiority and inferiority
The ego structure of an addicted personality is very variable. They fail to form a realistic idea of themselves. Thus they are constantly oscillating between grandiosity and inferiority. They tend to be overly sensitive to criticism, reacting defensively and then resenting them. Often, they like to impose their will, even if they know they’re not right. However, they can be excessively submissive in other situations.
5. Boredom and despair
Addicts and people predisposed to addiction say, “I’m bored,” a lot and get tired of things very easily. They don’t enjoy processes, nor do they do not have enough patience to enjoy the little things in life.
They are used to their needs being immediately satisfied. That’s why it’s also common for them to feel desperate very quickly and be stressed or anxious. It’s very difficult for them to perform tasks that require thoroughness and perseverance. They want to finish everything quickly in order to move on to something new as soon as possible.
6. Searching for harmful situations to socialize in
People with an addictive personality tend to look down on those who are calmer than they are. They like very lively people, even if they aren’t good for them or are just occasional friends. They get involved in areas where excess prevails — whether it’s food, drink, or anything else. They want to experience constantly intense emotions, but only certain social circles can provide it.
7. Falling into excesses constantly
People with an addictive personality go overboard. They try to push the boundaries. Moderation is not their thing, instead considering it “boring” or “bland”. That’s why they often eat too much, drink too much, and sleep too much.
Fortunately these addictive personality traits are characteristics that can be worked on and restructured. Part of the work to be done centers around anxiety and impulse management. There is a latent, hard-to-satisfy angst inside, so relaxation techniques are often helpful as part of a comprehensive plan.