Hot and cold behaviours

This is an expression that I use to describe a form of behaviour that is both manipulative and destructive, and if it is easily spotted you can break yourself from the destructive cycle.

Hot is the use of intense emotion. This can take many forms; not all of the forms are negative, for example someone can be immensely hot by excessively lavishing another individual with praise, gifts or attention. Another, more destructive form of hot is where the individual will be intensely angry toward another in an attempt to control a person.

Cold is the polar opposite of the above behaviour. This is where there might be a complete break into indication, no one responding to emails, social media, texts... you may not even see the individual who was singing your praises for a long time as if they'd simply vanished off the face of the earth.

These are two very extreme forms of behaviour which can cause unsettling behaviour in a person, and many people who have experienced this particular form of extreme behaviour might describe being with a partner, working with the boss, or having a family member who was very difficult to be round. One of the more common expressions used is 'walking on eggshells'. This is absolutely no way to live for either party. No one should fear another person, or the retribution that the individual will want should their wishes not be adhered to.

Exposure to this style of behaviour can leave you feeling isolated, alone, or even segregated from friends and family. This form of behaviour could have two disastrous effects on people; primarily so that your entire attention is focused upon the individual subjecting you to this style of behaviour, secondly keeping you off balance and in a state of conformity making you ultimately acquiescent to another's wishes.

If you find yourself in a relationship like this one of the best things to do is to talk to someone such as a trusted friend or family member, but if that is too embarrassing then the therapist is a good neutral alternative as they are completely impartial. Hot and cold behaviour does not always indicate an abuser, but it can indicate someone who has been subjected to abuse. That being said, this form of destructive behaviour has to be addressed and not allowed to progress, as it can have calamitous effects on both parties.

Counselling for either one party, or couples therapy, might be a great way to address the balance and restore equal footing with both people in your relationship. Not all relationships end in heartache, as this type of behaviour, once addressed, can be resolved with resounding success.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Brian Turner BA (Hons.) MNCS Snr Accred / Supervisor. (Prof. Dip PsyC)

I am a psychotherapist that uses a diverse and wide spectrum of techniques to ensure that my clients feel empowered and confident, so they are able to achieve what they wish to achieve when presenting with a broad range of issues.… Read more

Written by Brian Turner BA (Hons.) MNCS Snr Accred / Supervisor. (Prof. Dip PsyC)

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