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Consequences Related to Becoming Punishing, Explosive, and Abusive

Being aware of and thinking about the potential consequences before you simply react with hurtful, disrespectful or abusive
behavior can be part of the de-escalation strategies portion of
your Excalation Prevention Plan

by Dave Decker M.A.


    • Time and relationships with your partner (others withdraw from you)
      ...e.g. separation or divorce
    • Time with your children
      ...if your family is no longer together
    • Relationships with extended family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances
      ...e.g. holding grudges/having “feuds” with others
    • Relationships with co-workers
    • The ability to communicate openly and honestly
      ...for you and the other people around you
    • Safety, trust, caring, and emotional and physical intimacy
      ...for you and others
    • Self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence
    • Others’ respect for you
    • Your personal power end up feeling powerless and victimized much of the time
    • Spontaneity, fun, and good times in your life
    • Work responsibility, jobs, and career opportunities
      ...disciplinary action and consequences on the job
      ...being suspended or put on probation at work
      ...quitting jobs impulsively and abruptly
      ...e.g. when you’re angry with a supervisor]
      ...being fired/terminated from a job
    • Your freedom
      ...having OFP’s and restraining orders filed against you
      ...being arrested by the police
      ...having to go to court
      ...spending time in jail
      ...being put on probation
    • Your objects and personal property
      ...having to replace or repair items you have damaged or destroyed
    • Your money
      ...through attorneys’ fees and court costs spent in legal proceeding related to restraining orders, divorce hearings, and disorderly conduct or assault charges
      ...spent fixing or replacing the property and possessions you have broken
      ...spent paying for therapy, workshops, or treatment programs
    • Your ability to experience and identify feelings other than anger
      ...your anger becomes a “bad habit” and the only emotion you allow yourself to feel
      and express in your life
  • Your physical health
    ...You may develop headaches, chest pain, gastrointestinal distress, or even suffer a stroke or a heart attack
  • You feel depressed and/or anxious and may isolate or withdraw from life
  • You don’t ever get to address important couple and family issues
    ...your explosive and disrespectful anger ALWAYS becomes the issue
  • You feel “out of control,” “crazy,” “nuts,” “insane” (or other people think you are)
  • You create fear and intimidation in people that you say you love
  • You may injure yourself
    ...e.g. hurt your hand when you hit a wall or a door
  • You hurt other people you care about
    ...emotionally (you can contribute to others feeling depressed, anxious, or shameful)
    ...physically (you may actually injure other people by what you have done)
  • You feel guilty and remorseful about what you are doing or have done to people whom you say you care about
  • You create shame, fear, and insecurity in yourself and others, destroying your own and others’ self- esteem and create an unending cycle of misery and unhappiness
  • You never face and acknowledge who you really are
    ...i.e. what is underneath your harsh and disrespectful anger (e.g. your vulnerability and humanness
  • Others lose their real identities around you
    ...they are not able to be who they really are and want to be
  • You teach your children to aggressive, disrespectful, or abusive bullies or to be passive, compliant, and people-pleasing “doormats”
  • Your children are forced to take on adult and parental roles in the home
    ...e.g. trying to intervene in an argument between you and your partner
    ...e.g. trying to comfort your partner or you after an explosion
  • You or others around you may use alcohol, drugs, food, spending, or other compulsive behaviors to medicate the pain that your punishing, disrespectful, and abusive anger creates
  • Stress and tension will be a constant presence in your relationships
    ...others will always feel fearful and intimidated and feel like they “have to walk on eggshells” around you
  • You violate the important values that you say you live by
    ...e.g. a belief that you should never be physical with a woman or a child
  • Your anger overshadows everything else in your life
    ...the anger you experience creates more and more negativity, hostility, and anger in you and others
    ...your anger becomes your primary identity (who you are as a person)
  • You cannot follow through with plans for couple or family activities
    ...hostile arguments beforehand force you or your partner to cancel plans at the last minute
  • You avoid intimacy and true emotional connection will never really be close to those with whom you are disrespectful and punishing
  • You may kill yourself or others
    ...e.g. when driving or committing suicide or homicide


© 1987 David J. Decker, MA, LP
Phone: 612-725-8402 or 651-646-4325 -






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