MacDennis: Abusive Power and Control
There’s something to be said about how differently Mac and Dennis assert control over each other. I’m still on the fence over whether their toxic behaviors cancel each other out, or are magnified when put together… it might be the latter.
Dennis, the manipulator, aggressive:
- Positive reinforcement: praise, flattery, charm, attention, touch
- Traumatic tactics: verbal abuse, explosive anger
- Manipulation and control: deception, covert aggression, mind-games
- Minimization: belittling and trivializing, rationalizes actions with victim’s behavior
Mac, the nagger, repetitive:
- Pathological jealousy: accusations of giving attention to others, constant questioning of behavior, interrogations of whereabouts and company
- Psychological punishment: nagging, guilt trips, playing the victim
- Exaggeration: amplifying achievements, obstacles, and problems to seek attention and avoid responsibility
Motivations of Dennis:
- Personal gain
- Feeds feelings of power and superiority
- A need to feel in control
- A means to raise self-esteem
- Fear of abandonment
Motivations of Mac:
- Self-righteous egocentric narcissism
Dennis needs control. Mac’s personality doesn’t give in to that. Mac oscillates between annoyingly asserting his dominance and ignoring Dennis’ wants and needs. This feeds Dennis’ anger and the cycle continues. The cycle that Dennis has shown time and time again that he desperately wants to get out of. But he can’t. Mac has woven himself so deeply into Dennis’ life, that Dennis literally can’t function without him.
Mac is the one who’s been nurturing dependence the entire goddamn time.