I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO – I’m all knotted up!
PREVIOUS:Double Messages (Part 8)
QUOTE: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” ∼ Einstein
NOTE: This set of posts is a continuation of the Double Messages series. Please read or review those first.
🌀DOUBLE BINDS (DBs)
a. In the D.Messages posts, we looked at one side of this harmful transaction – mainly that of the Sender. All the basic components are the same for DBs, except for the crucial difference – the perspective of the Receiver (DMs, #2).
Eric Berne’s student Claude Steiner, in “Scripts People Live” showed how Senders & Receivers play an interactive game, each gaining points (Negative Benefits) – so the S is always in charge, while the R is always the victim & stays dependent (no S & I). ➡️ IMAGE article re. DBs
b. The other side of the transaction is the Double Bind. One way the R gets hooked is when —
📣 they’re told specific words, while
👞 the accompanying actions or non-verbal reactions
🔕 directly contradict the words that were said .
EXP: A mother screams at her child “I love you, and you’d better believe it or I’ll leave!”
• D. Binds are created by D. Messages as logic fails, Boolean questions** (in 3 parts) being asked in binary terms (in 2 parts). That doesn’t work. A person is presented with a 3-way, no-win situation: You’re damned if you do / Damned if you don’t, and / Damned if you notice that you’re damned both ways
**Boolean Logic: the main operations are the conjunction ‘and’, shown as ∧, the disjunction ‘or’, shown as ∨, & the negation ‘not’, denoted by ¬ (More…), which correspond to the 3 major components of the DM. (DMs #3)
• Accepting or trying to deal with DMs leads to a great deal of angst, causing the R to think:
Re. Actions: “I must do them both, but I can’t, but I must, but I…. If I don’t then I’m really bad!” OR, in other cases
Re. Emotions: “I have to make sense of the 2 demands / expectations, but they don’t make sense, but I have to, but I can’t … I must be crazy!”
Since DMs are inherently irrational, they must NOT be honored, which then eliminates the D.Bind
🌀 TYPEs OF D.BINDs
CONFLICT : A struggle between equal but opposing forces (intentions). ”Part of me wants to and part of me doesn’t.”
DILEMMA: A situation requiring a choice between 2 equally (un)desirable alternatives. “I’m in trouble either way.”
IMPASSE: A situation where the intention to progress is stopped by a difficulty which can’t be overcome. “I keep banging my head against a brick wall.”
PARADOX: A self-contradictory statement(s). ”My head aches from trying to stop you giving me a headache.” (More….)
Also see chart in DBs – Part 2
EMOTIONAL Bind patterns focus on giving you the illusory choice of how to feel. It’s less obviously harmful but still manipulative, & confusing:
a. Which chair would feel better, the soft one or the hard one?
b. Would you feel better if I ignored you or talked to you?
c. Which restaurant would you enjoy eating at, Olive Garden or Red Lobster?…..
>> The manipulation is the limiting of your physical & emotional choices.
Qs presented in binary form (either-or) eliminate the larger truth – that in reality you have several other possible options, like – MAYBE YOU :
a = would rather stand than sit, OR perhaps leave
b = are not interested in me either way, OR maybe prefer to talk later
c = don’t like Italian food OR chain restaurants, OR not hungry
NOTE: You’re not in a bind if you’re ‘allowed’ to speak up, object or offer a 3rd choice.
However, if you don’t go along with the other person’s suggestions, and they get angry, act hurt, plead, whine, make you feel guilty, threaten to leave…. you’re being offered a DB. Stick to your guns, don’t fall for it AND don’t feel bad!
NEXT: Double Binds (Part 2)