Part of the attitude of abuse seems to be an elevated sense of self-importance. Or self-importance through comparative denigration. How could he/she ever leave me? Nobody else will want him/her.
Turns out that this is on the continuum of the narcissistic personality disorder. I’m so wonderful, and you are not. Direct tie to bullying behaviour generally, including the serial bully.
So one must generally be wary of the person who speaks disparagingly of others. Lots of academics do this, where narcissism seems to come with the territory. Ha! That’s why I can fail you, you lucky students, says such an academic. Ha! That’s why I can say your paper is terrible, you lucky researcher, says such an academic reviewer. Plus, with the continuing volume of student registrants and submissions of academic papers, there is ideal fodder for the serial bully.
Lucky, lucky, lucky