What is an abrasive personality? (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will answer the question ‘What is an abrasive personality?’. We will do that by defining what abrasive means. We will further describe what an abrasive personality looks like, how they affect people around them, and discuss their traits in detail. 

What is an abrasive personality? 

An abrasive personality is someone who has a dominating and intimidating presence. They are direct in their manner of communicating and also controlling. They disregard the feelings of others and do not tolerate failure or mistakes. These people also hold on to their opinions quite strongly and boost their confidence at the expense of making fun of others. They do this to overcompensate for any hidden insecurities and vulnerabilities. 

However, such a manner of relating makes people uncomfortable in their presence. Although, not all abrasive personalities are aggressive or domineering at an unhealthy level, yet many have that effect on others which makes it difficult to be around them. These people are persuasive and oriented towards success. Usually, they get what they want due to their forceful approach but it is at the cost of their relationships. 

Abrasive personality 

The dictionary defines abrasive as someone who has ‘little concern for the feelings of others/ is harsh/or has a rough and cutting personality’

If we describe abrasive as a trait, it can manifest as someone being straightforward and speaking one’s mind. Such people are usually self-made and speak in an authoritative manner. They are self-assured and solve complex problems by taking charge of any tough situation. Others turn to them when they are in trouble because they know they would change the situation in their favor due to their perfectionist skills. They do their job quite well but socially, they struggle since they disregard the opinions of others and have little patience for failure. Because of this, others find it hard to share what’s on their mind in the presence of such people. 

They rarely compliment someone and if they do, people feel like it is well-deserved. They can be controlling as well and demand high-quality work from others. People rarely see them smile or encourage anyone. They are competitive people whose only goal is to reach the top no matter what it takes. 

Although honesty and having personal opinions are good qualities, but one has to look at the social context and use emotional intelligence to know what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Usually, when someone is too honest or points out opinions about others in a straightforward manner, others misunderstand it. Even if the person is hurtful or rude unintentionally, it is not taken well by people and it can lead to strained relationships. 

A person may learn abrasiveness from his/her environment. It can be a strategy they have picked up over the years and found that it gets them what they want. So, in a way they are aware of how they come across to others and take pride in their approach Then again, there is another type of abrasive personality in which people are not aware of the negative impact of their words and actions on others. Such people find it difficult to understand the body language, facial expressions, and social cues to figure out what others think of them. They lack the skills of diplomacy and do not think before they speak or soften the hit of their statements. 

Characteristics of an Abrasive Personality

There are certain features of an abrasive personality that make them stand out from others. We will discuss a few of these as follows:

They have a commanding presence

Abrasive people have a dominating aura around them. When they enter a room, people know someone important has entered. They speak in a confident manner and know how to persuade someone according to what they want. Their intelligence and analytical skills help them read situations in an instant and act accordingly. So, we can say they are somewhat intimidating but in reality, they hide their vulnerabilities quite well by a mask of ‘self-security’.  Furthermore, they appear to have no concern or care about others. Others think they lack empathy and patience. but, they just overcompensate for their insecurities so that people do not take advantage of them.   

Their communication style is direct and blunt

If we describe their communication, they are distinct because they are too direct. They take their straightforwardness and honesty as something they take pride in. However, they do not realize that they have to use moderation in their communication. Otherwise, they appear confrontational and aggressive to others. Their statements lack an emotional component so they can hurt others by their words which they do not acknowledge even if it is pointed out to them. It is hard for them to adapt their manner of speaking and usually expect others to ‘deal with it’. 

They participate in discussions with a strongly opinionated Stance

Abrasive personalities have a tendency to hold on to their opinions quite strongly. They follow a  very rigid approach while conversing with others. When people disagree with them, they seem uncomfortable and try to end the discussion as soon as possible. Many times they are not aware of the fact that their straightforward and rigid approach can push people away. Others avoid having a discussion with them because they rightly expect they would not understand.  

They have a tendency to put people at unease in their presence

People with an abrasive personality are prone to act in an overconfident manner. They boast about their accomplishments and success. They do this to overcompensate their hidden insecurities. For that, they may even boost their ego at the expense of making fun of others. Their manner of speaking may involve overriding others or disregarding them which makes them feel above others. Although they do not do this intentionally, people feel uncomfortable and attacked in their presence. 

They have difficulty understanding the emotions of others

Abrasive personalities find it hard to understand the emotions of others. Accordingly, their communication is devoid of any emotional component and regard for others. People find them uncaring and lacking empathy. Since such type of speech requires patience and putting thought into it, they do not prioritize their energy in doing so. If someone does need emotional support, they are unable to say the right thing to make them feel better. Most likely, they might change the subject, say the wrong thing, or make an insensitive joke to lighten the environment. This may backfire. 

So, their inability to read the moods of others or the emotional tone of the situation puts them at a disadvantage. 

They have a Black and White worldview

These people understand the world from a categorical black and white view. For them, it is hard to understand that a grey area can exist. People find it hard to shake their beliefs or opinions. Accordingly, they don’t make any exceptions or bend the rules. In a way, this makes them demand a lot from others in terms of expectations. The world is like a battlefield for them where only the fittest survive. So, they compete with others and expect the same from their subordinates. There is no room for the underdog in their life. 

They can be impatient and controlling while dealing with others

As mentioned earlier, abrasive personalities have high expectations from others. They want quality work and want it quick. Due to this, then can be quite forceful and impatient. They do not tolerate mistakes or failure from others. They can get what they want from others based on such a manner of approach, yet it is at the cost of putting them in distress and discomfort. 

Examples of people with such personalities include Richard M. Nixon and Marian Keyes among many others. 

FAQs: What is an abrasive personality?

What does it mean to have an abrasive personality?

An abrasive person is someone who is dominating and intimidating. They are outspoken and hurt others without acknowledging their mistakes. They are driven to be successful and do not tolerate other’s mistakes. This can make them forceful and impatient. Some of them have an awareness of the impact of their words on others. Whereas, others are not that self-aware.

What is a brash personality?

Brash means rude, self-centered, and abrasive person. A brash personality would usually be someone who demands others to fulfill whatever they ask of them even if it means putting others at an inconvenience. These people can be quite straightforward and often look for what they might gain from situations over the needs of others. 

How do you deal with abrasive co-workers?

One can deal with an abrasive worker by being careful about your own behavior. Usually, such personalities’ behavior does not change so it is up to the person to manage their behavior according to such personalities and don’t let them take over your energy. It is also important to identify your limits and seek help if necessary. 

Is being direct a bad thing?

Being direct does not mean it’s bad. However, one has to carefully choose words to avoid offending others. There is a difference in being direct and rude. Such a line needs to be identified by a person and accordingly express their mind without getting out of line. 

How do you talk to someone who is blunt?

Usually, one talks to someone blunt in a diplomatic manner and confront them tactfully. One can make them feel aware of how their words can have an impact on others. They can even be requested to acknowledge their mistakes and to be kind in the future. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed What is an abrasive personality?. We found that an abrasive personality is someone who has a dominating and intimidating presence. They are direct in their manner of communicating and also controlling. They disregard the feelings of others and do not tolerate failure or mistakes. These people also hold on to their opinions quite strongly and boost their confidence at the expense of making fun of others. They do this to overcompensate for any hidden insecurities. 

However, such a manner of relating makes people uncomfortable in their presence. Although, not all abrasive personalities are aggressive or domineering at an unhealthy level, yet many have that effect on others which makes it difficult to be around them. These people are persuasive and oriented towards success. Usually, they get what they want due to their forceful approach but it is at the cost of their relationships. 

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://knowyourarchetypes.com/abrasive-personality/

https://www.bustle.com/life/zodiac-signs-virgo-marry-astrologers

https://hbr.org/1978/05/the-abrasive-personality

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