PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (#3c)
ADULT Confusion (cont.)
3. OTHERS confusing US (cont.)
b. INCOMPLETE responses: Others can confuse us when trying to give us info, often in the guise of help – which is only useful if it’s what we need at the time, & in a form we can use.
Vertical – using School Levels as a metaphor
You ask someone for help or info at level 1 or 2, because that’s as far as you’ve gotten about a subject / project / lesson…., but the response is given at level 3 or above.
You won’t be able to use what’s offered, & be confused or fail – if you try to apply it before you’re ready.
Anyone who responds that way is NOT actually paying attention or asking you for some context (“Where are you in your process?”). More than likely they’re in a narcissistic / co-dependent fog & just offer whatever they know, have done, or would like themselves, without considering you at all.
Someone will try to provide what they think is a perfectly logical answer, but is actually incomplete. It’s because they’ve left out a crucial piece of info somewhere along the line (X) which they assumed you knew, but of course you do not. You know something’s missing, so you ask for clarification.
It’s so aggravating when the person says: “Well, what do you want to know?” Since you can’t possibly know that missing piece, you can only say you’re confused. If you insist they explain more thoroughly, AND they can’t or won’t – both of you will get very frustrated, & possibly quite testy!
c. OTHER ways
How we can confuse others is the same as what they can do to us (Part 3c).
Motto: “If I can’t convince you, at least I can confuse you!”
Re. THEM – We get confused when someone:
• asks for something small & then when you do it, you find out there’s more to the ‘thing’ they want (a quick ride home turns into several stops to pick up a fiend, their dry-cleaning, cigarettes….)
• injects a comment that has nothing to do with the current topic
• never gets to the point, only talking around a topic
• makes everything into a joke
• smiles or laughs when talking about something personally painful (childhood abuse, a death, an insult…)
• talks really fast & doesn’t take a breath, but doesn’t say anything meaningful
• tends to exaggerate, even lie, so you can never tell what’s really true
• they claim to be or do something they can never live up to
• use complex words or long explanations to express something simple
Re. US – We can get confused when someone:
• accuses you of something you didn’t do or say
• ‘comes on to you’ but has no intention of following thru (a tease)
• does the opposite of a direct request you made
• doesn’t pick up on cues you give about who you are or how you feel, so treats you as if you’re someone else (in their head)
• expects you to read their mind (know what they want)
• ignores or insults you to your face, but praises you to others (parents)
• ignores what you’re saying, leaving you wondering if you were heard
• is symbiotic, assuming you are the same as them
• is usually ‘there for you’ in some situations, but definitely not in others
• only says what they think you want to hear
• reacts to your Adult or happy IC ego states from their PP or WIC —> (Cartoon )
• reacts negatively to a positive or neutral statement
• repeats what you say – but in reverse (I hate holidays / Oh, you love holidays / Paint my room any color BUT brown / & then they paint the room brown )
• pretends to understand what you’re saying but doesn’t, letting you go on thinking they’re ‘connecting’
• says they’ll do something (“I’ll call you later”) but rarely or never does
• says “You know what I mean” without enough context
• twists your words / intentions against you
• uses emotions to manipulate (creating guilt, fear…)
• uses their authority to manipulate you into going against your principles or best interest ……
NOTE: Many of these can easily lead to frustration & anger! That’s normal. Remember – if you’re on the receiving end – it’s not you that’s off!
NEXT: Confusion (Part 4a)