Hot and cold behaviours

Have you ever heard the saying 'blowing hot and cold'? This is an expression that I use to describe a form of behaviour that is both manipulative and destructive. If it is easily spotted, you can break yourself from the destructive cycle.


What is hot behaviour?

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.

What is cold behaviour?

Cold is the polar opposite of the above behaviour. This is where there might be a complete breakdown in communication; not responding to emails, social media, texts, etc. 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.

Blowing hot and cold in a relationship

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 a 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.

Is this a sign of emotional abuse?

Hot and cold behaviour does not always indicate abuse, 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.

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:

  1. Primarily, your entire attention is focused on the individual subjecting you to this style of behaviour.
  2. Secondly, they are keeping you off balance and in a state of conformity, making you ultimately acquiescent to another's wishes.

How to break the hot and cold cycle

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 you feel unable to open up to loved ones, then a therapist is a good neutral alternative as they are completely impartial.

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 the relationship. This type of behaviour, once addressed, can be resolved with resounding success.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Normanton, West Yorkshire, WF6 2DB
Written by Brian Turner, BA (Hons.) MNCS Snr Accred / Supervisor. (Prof. Dip PsyC)
Normanton, West Yorkshire, WF6 2DB

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.

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