ACoAs – Dealing with Disputes (Part 1)

to many disagreements

PREVIOUS: Being Right #5b

SITE: “Side Taker. You fight – we decide who’s right.” FUN site


When there is a difference in taste, opinions, needs, goals…. between you & another person (or group) – it doesn’t automatically mean either you or they are wrong. Each one feels their version of events is the right one, & for each person it may be. YOU do not have to give up yours – just to keep the peace.

But ACoAs tend to hang out at the extremes – of everything – including disputes:
↘️ either thinking others are always right & we never are, discounting our own point of view altogether (co-dependent), OR
↗️ that our way of thinking & feeling is the only right one, discounting everyone else’s altogether (narcissist)

In the previous set of posts we’re reminded to acknowledge & accept that everyone has their own angle on life & it’s never exactly like ours. So at the very least – we should consider what others have to say, seeing if they have a point – with can include something good we’ve never thought of! Then evaluate it in light of our experiences & personal preferences, & maybe agree with it – or not.

But when you express who you genuinely are & what you need / want —
— AND a parent / spouse / ‘friend’/ adult-child / boss…. gives you a hard time : strongly objects, tries to change you, tries to prevent you from pursuing or reaching a goal / attacks….
— you may feel angry, but deeper is sadness, frustration & loneliness.

However, unless we’ve done a lot of our own FoO work with a sense of our True identity, then having an intense disagreement with someone – where they’re angry with us (we’re hurt & angry too), & especially if they’re using narcissistic ‘logic’ to prove their point, we ACoAs will buy whatever they’re selling – outright.

● We’re left with the painful obsession about what just happened, which can go on for hours or days. We’re torn between outrage, fear & S-H. Was I right? or were they right? Should I apologize? What if it’s my fault? I can’t stand having someone angry at me…..
This kind of mental self-torture comes from not being clear about who we are (True Self) & fear of separation (abandonment), but most of all not knowing that we’re being abused & that we didn’t cause any of it !

If we stick around such people, without a strong UNIT (adult & good parent), our WIC is intimated & continually re-traumatized. If we engage, we’ll alternate between dragged-out verbal fights & folding in childish helplessness. (Excellent Article : “Gaslighting & Spite“).

🔶 Dealing with unhealed people is always very frustrating & painful. Even more so if you do have a modicum of mental health:
If you have the courage to object to any form of emotional abuse, or to something not done that should have been – usually because of passive- aggressiveness (insult her appearance, lie about where he was, forgot to buy an essential staple – again, didn’t pick up the kids, didn’t —– as promised)…..

……AND the problem-person refuses to admit any responsibility – or even a valid explanation – for their behavior, but always makes it your problem, putting all the blame on you…… (See post: “P-A comments“)
– you will find yourself greatly frustrated, but mostly aware of being powerless to get your needs met from such a person.

Holding in hurt & frustration, letting it pile up, & then exploding. ACoAs are afraid of conflict, but blowing up makes us feel worse than dealing with an issue while it’s still relatively small

• Blowing a small hurt or slight way out of proportion, & then reacting to that. Many times “Message received was not Message sent”. ACoAs hear some things thru the lens of family & school insults & bullying, so a casual remark can sound like a major insult

• Being defensive (over-explaining, denying, lying….), instead of considering the possible validity of the other person’s objection or point of view about us. ACoAs hate being caught in an imperfection, error or mess-up

• Refusing to even discuss a dispute, even if it’s presented in a reasonable way. Negative: because of feeling shame, guilt or arrogance (“not me!”)
Positive: from knowing that no matter what you say, you’re not going to be heard, they’re going to get nasty, or you’ll always be made wrong.

NEXT: Dealing with disputes #2

2 thoughts on “ACoAs – Dealing with Disputes (Part 1)

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 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.