Double MESSAGES – Mind Games (Part 4a)

confused turtle THEY’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY
but I can’t figure out what’s wrong


REVIEW posts:‘Emotional abuse’  and ‘Toxic family Rules’


REVIEW: Double Messages (DMs) are manipulative forms of verbal & emotional abuse – always about control rather than love, no matter what someone tells you. DMs are not usually blatant or presented directly, but often come in the form of seduction or as accusation. They’re structured so that the Receiver is deliberately conned into believe there’s no solution, & so no escape from the trap. We can also play this game with ourselves, & ACoAs often do.

In most cases, Receivers who are vulnerable to Senders’ DMs are not likely to know a way to side-step or challenge the game, because they are:
children, who are -of course- dependent on their caretakers & don’t stand a chance when subjected to a manipulative parent
• oblivious: any adult raised by such a parent, therefore pre-conditioned

•‘normal’ people who are too idealistic & naive, assuming no one would wish them harm (like themselves), especially if the S starts out by being ‘so nice & helpful’
• adults conditioned by their society, religion &/or family to accept whatever an ‘authority’ tells them, without question not allowed to think for themselves, or to think clearly, no matter how natively intelligent

SPEAKING OF GAMES (see Part 3), these 2 posts are a slight digression from the topic of DMs & DBs, but so striking that it’s worth including. The following examples may or may not be a part of some DBs, but they’re cruel, the same way DBs are. This is by fall inot DBno means complete, so add your own family’s dysfunctional games as you become aware of them.

DEF of GAMES, from Eric Berne’s “Games People Play“:
“A pre-set, structured series of social transactions, superficially plausible but with (selfish or destructive) hidden motives, leading to a well-defined predictable outcome.”
Games are usually dysfunctional, subconscious programs created by the Little Professor ego state (& scroll down), to gather ‘strokes’ not allowed directly – negative ways to emotionally feed the Self. As far as the WIC is concerned, even negative strokes are better than none at all

NOTE: Some games are for fun & generally harmless, like a flirting ritual used to cajole someone into bed – as long as both people understand the rules & agree to the outcome.

HARMFUL mind GAMES – article by Brenda Nelson, 2008.
These are examples of abusive emotional TRICKS played by parents on their children, and on each other! They insure not being able to form strong family bonds, generating a lack of trust in the children, who will NOT look back on them fondly.

🦨 When You’re Older / Maybe for Your Birthday / Wait ‘til Christmas
This game starts any time a child asks for something (a doll, a bike, a trip, a car…. ) which the parent has no intention of providing. While sometimes asking a child to wait is legitimate, most often it’s just a cowardly & dishonest way for a parent to avoid saying ‘NO’ outright.
What unhealthy adults don’t realize is that children will always hear these phrases as a promise : “Yes, but later”.
What’s really going on is that the parent hopes the child will forget, but of course they don’t – they just wait. What children also never forget is the broken promise, but which is in fact being lied to & conned

🦨 Your Mother / Father Said
When parent A tells parent B to make the child to do something, & makes B be the messenger: “Your mother said you have to clean your room  pronto / Your father wants you to mow the lawn, right now……”. This is chickening out by both adults, a triangulation (A should have told the child him/herself), and
B can make A seem like the bully (bad cop), while staying the ‘nice’ one (good cop).

NEXT:  Styles of DMs, Part 4b

2 thoughts on “Double MESSAGES – Mind Games (Part 4a)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.