Didier Pleux

From Emperor-Adults to Tyrant-Parents

Didier Pleux is a doctor in development psychology, a clinical psychologist and the director of the French Institute for Cognitive Therapy. He is the author of many works of reference on education, including such successes as De l’enfant roi à l’enfant tyran, Exprimer sa colère sans perdre le contrôle, Un enfant heureux and Peut mieux faire.

It would seem everyone in our society has a complaint about incivilities, widespread selfishness and the loss of “values” in an increasingly materialistic society whose members are perceived as rude and badly brought up. But who are those members of society who have no concern for others and who behave solely according to their own wishes? What are the processes that lead to such behaviour and what are the consequences? Are we witnessing the emergence of a new pathology characterised by a swollen ego?
Such behavioural dysfunctions are not limited to the public sphere; they also destroy personal relationships, friendships and work relations.
Because these dysfunctions are prevalent (they concern ordinary citizens as well as certain political leaders) and they cover the range from “normal” to “pathological” behaviour, we are all increasingly subjected to the tyranny of such “emperor-adults”. Their constant quest for immediate pleasure, their low tolerance of frustration, their overblown egos and their refusal to become aware of others are all part of the unravelling of the social bond.
In an earlier book Didier Pleux studied the child as tyrant; he now examines the emergence of the adult as emperor, in order to understand the process, and to warn against the dangers for an “emperor” to slide into the “tyrant-adult” profile. Pleux describes here a valuable methodology to help individuals deal with a number of “tyrannical” situations and to avoid suffering at the hands of people who are frustration-intolerant.

• To understand the phenomenon of frustration-intolerant adults, the author offers an original analysis of increasingly frequent forms of aberrant behaviour.
• A salutary examination of a social pathology.
• Advice for everyone on how to avoid tyrannical adults — and how to avoid becoming one.
• For healthcare professionals: a new psychotherapeutic understanding, definition and grasp of a number of pathologies (unwarranted bursts of anger, addictions, violent acts, dyssocial personality disorders, sexual delinquency) under the heading of “frustration-intolerance”.