Aversive Interpersonal Behaviors

An Overarching Framework
  • Robin M. Kowalski
Part of the The Springer Series in Social/Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)


In 1993, James Redfield published the Celestine Prophecy, an intriguing book describing the nine insights of life as revealed in a fictitious Peruvian manuscript. As individuals uncover each of the insights in sequence, they learn that the physical world is a huge system of energy. However, because people do not know how to harvest that energy, they compete with other individuals for the energy that they can acquire directly from them. Thus, throughout history, human conflict has stemmed from competition for the energy that flows between individuals. By controlling another person, people can increase their own energy by “stealing” some of the other individual’s energy. The method that people use to gather another’s energy is referred to as a control drama and reflects patterns of behavior that were learned in childhood. Thus, some people control others by making them feel guilty. Others direct people by monopolizing conversations. Still others control people by ostracizing them and depriving them of valued interpersonal resources. So, aversive interpersonal behaviors, at least in part, reflect people’s control dramas or the methods that they invoke to gather energy from others (Redfield, 1993).


Romantic Partner Attributional Style Individualistic Culture Interpersonal Behavior Social Confrontation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin M. Kowalski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Carolina UniversityCullowheeUSA

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