Psychological DISORDERS – Psychopathy (Part 5a)


PSYCHOPATHS & SOCIOPATHS
are mentally & emotionally dangerous

PREVIOUS: Personality Disorders (Part 4b)

POSTs on Emotional Immaturity 

SITEs: “8 Diversion tactics used by NPDs, PSs & Ss to manipulate you into silence”
• “One in 25 of you is a sociopath”


4. SOCIOPATHS (Ss) & PSYCHOPATHS (PSs)
Sociopathy  – a pervasive & persistent disregard for morals, social norms, and the rights and feelings of others

Psychopathy – characterized by amoral & antisocial behavior, extreme egocentricity, the inability to love, failing to learn from experience….. 

These are both antisocial PDs, at the far end of the spectrum. he FBI identifies them both as sensation-seeking, with predatory behavior, a lack of remorse & the need for control or power over others. There is some debate as to whether they’re fundamentally different or just different in degree of mental illness. While there are overlaps, & psychiatrists often considering them as the same, criminologists treat them differently because of  their outward behavior.

Some Ss & PSs will seem cold, indifferent & mysterious, but not all – because they’re can be very skilled at social camouflage. Around the average, unaware ‘normal’ they can hide in plain sight, like being the perfect neighbor or partner. But it’s all a con job, using fake charm to achieve whatever their goal happens to be in each situation.

✥ SIMILARITIES ✥  They:
• begin to show up around age 15, & may start with cruelty to animals
• can be charming, despite being unable to empathize with others
• don’t feel guilt or remorse
• convincingly seem to show fear or disgust, but lack both
• can have intense emotional outbursts, or be violent
• are completely self-serving & don’t care about putting themselves or others at risk
• disregard laws, social mores, conventions & the rights of others
• some can be treated with medication, & sociopaths perhaps with therapy
(Artwork by Chato Stewart)

Lisa E. Scott’s article “Narcissist or Sociopath? What’s the Difference?”  suggests that Narcissists are a subset of Sociopaths. The following distinction can be useful, altho too simplistic:
“Narcissists see others as a means to validate their existence. The less validating you are, the less useful you are to them.
Sociopaths see others as entertainment. The less entertaining you are, the less useful you are to them.”

NOTE: If someone complains about being abused by a PS or S, they’re not likely to be believed because those types seem to be so friendly – even helpful! HOWEVER – Superficial pleasantness is one of the top criteria for both disorders. Often these anti-social predators will appear nicer, more honest & more interesting than the person they’re abusing!

Shannon Thomas (Salt Lake City therapist) says: “Narcissist, Sociopaths & Psychopaths are notorious for picking targets that initially boost their ego. It could be someone’s appearance, age, intellect, career success, family & friends….
Once the target is hooked, the toxic person sets out to tear down the exact qualities that attracted them to their victim in the first place. It’s entertainment for the abuser to destroy an originally healthy & happy person.”

NOTE: However – co-dep ACoAs make the best targets. Without a strong sense of identity (“I don’t know who I am”), we will look to anyone who initially makes a fuss over us, guides & helps us (controlling) & makes us feel needed. But without Recovery we’re just sitting ducks, manipulated & then thrown away. So we feel abandonment devastation & think: “See I knew I was defective!” ✳️ See how she’s sitting forward & he’s not?!

✥ DIFFERENCES ✥

SOCIOPATHS
ORIGIN: Sociopathy can either be congenital (inborn emotional deficiency), or from brain injury or lesions. But most often it’s developed – from a combination of family tree inheritance, the child’s personality makeup, & either very low or very high intelligence. These under-pin negative social factors: a severely destructive early family life, poverty, lack of education, direct exposure to violence to self & others, delinquent peers…..

Continual abuse & neglect harm neurological growth in children, affecting the autonomic nervous system, which results in long-term physical & psychological damage. (MORE..“….abuses scar the brain….)
— S. can be caused by years of  childhood trauma, as well as parental addictions, dissociation, narcissism, …. OR
— S. can be caused by damage in the form of parental over-protection, over-indulgence, lack of boundaries, emotional unavailability….. (More in #5b)

NEXT: Disorders #5b

Passive Aggressives – Review for ACoAs (Part 3)

not Pass-Agg 

WHAT A CONCEPT:
Honest doesn’t mean hostile. 
Pleasant doesn’t mean passive!

PREVIOUS: Passive-Aggressive ACoAs (Part 2)

SITEs:” Emotionally Volatile People
• “Difficult People & how to Handle Them

 

REVIEW (cont.)
3. CAUSEs of the game
ACoAs – from our family, school, religion…. we were NOT allowed :
• to be angry, to the point of not even knowing we are!
• to know what we wanted, how we felt, what we preferred (being too much of an individual got smashed – so it left us confused)
• to ask for anything (don’t bother them)
• taught to never put ourselves first
AND
• always had to always be perfect (no mistakes) – so better not choose anything
• no matter what we did, we were punished, so we couldn’t win
• safer to not be too visible (in a dangerous family, & later in abusive relationships)
taking any risk was discouraged, made fun of, punished (so now we can’t risk ‘failing’& being disappointed)

4. EFFECTs of the game
a. Negative BenefitsWE DON’T:
• have to figure out who we are, what we want & need
• have to disobey any of the toxic family rules
• have to admit we’re angry, even raging, underneath
• have to stand up to the ‘control freaks
• have to make a mistake & deal then with the consequences
• AND we get to blame others when something goes wrong
• & maintain the illusion of being nurtured (taken care of by others)

b. Negative Consequences:
• we are dis-empowered, loose self-esteem, stay a victim, are infantilized, stay mute, don’t risk anything
• always feel scared of losing people (FoA), of being disapproved
• increases our Self-Hate & Loneliness

• never get what we really want, unless by accident or by luck
• lose out on many opportunities to grow, to be heard, to have fun
• always feel scared of losing people, of being disapproved of
• make other people mad at us, a lot! for forcing them to carry all the responsibility & then getting blamed

4. HEALTHY
a. General: We need to identify
• all the ways we were hurt as kids, including the specific messages we got & still obey, like ‘don’t feel’ , ‘don’t talk’ (Toxic Rules)
• prevent the Wounded Inner Child from running our life BY growing a Healthy Adult & Loving Parent  who then can make executive decisions about how to own & express our needs
book-end with the IC, to outgrow living in the past. If done consistently, it will teach the IC the difference between what’s possible & real in the present, vs the way it was in our dysfunctional family

b. For Passive-Aggressives – we need to:
own our resenpassiveagrro3tments, anger, rage, bitterness, which are hidden
• learn safe ways of discharging our rage & healthy ways of expressing it to others, when it’s needed
• practice saying what we need, want, like, prefer – to find out that nothing bad happens to us or others
• stop looking for other people to be in charge of our lives, tell us what to do, make our decisions & choices
• keep a safe distance from anyone who is easily provoked to anger

Practice making ‘I statements’ every day, silently to yourself, so that it becomes easier & easier to say out loud:  “I want… I need… I don’t like… I’d rather…  that’s not for me… ” UNTIL it’s second nature!

c. For Volatiles – we need to:
• find out what’s under the rage: the reality of child abuse & neglect we lived thru, and the pain it created
• accept that the rage is legitimate, but our actions are not always healthyScreen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.24.27 PM.png
• work on getting our rage out in safe, appropriate places (therapy groups, 12-step programs, doing rage-work at home, drawing, writing…)

own our Inner Sadist: make friends with it, but don’t ever let it act out
• learn calming techniques (bio-feedback, meditation, prayer, visualizations…)
• become safe enough to feel what’s underneath – grief, sadness, loneliness, hurt, sorrow, vulnerability
• keep a distance from P-As, who try to pull us in by their surface charm & ‘interest’ in us

Practice comforting & mentally holding the IC, so he/she doesn’t feel so alone with all it’s pain.  Give ourselves permission to cry – it is not a weakness – no matter what our family taught us!  Crying clears out toxins & releases pent-up emotional stress. It’s very necessary!

Realistically, while P-As can definitely work on having permission to express anger & rage, it’s usually up to the V. to STOP the game, stop reacting to / expecting (anything) from the P-A. Maybe even have to leave!

NEXT: Qs – Are you P-A?

Passive Aggressives – Review for ACoAs (Part 2)

P-A person

I’M NOT ALLOWED TO BE ANGRY
– but you are (lucky you)!

PREVIOUS: Passive-Aggressive ACoAs (#1)

SITE:When your Defenses lead you into trouble

REMINDER: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 

REVIEW (cont)

2. WHO plays the game (Chart – slide #7)
a. P-As always look for & often find another person who is overtly angry / volatile* (V.) to play the game with – no fun being stuck with all that UN-expressed rage alone! (See: Inter-personal games, Eric Berne).  As adults, they desperately need to maintain their illusions of being perfect, in the faint hope of getting or keeping their parents’ approval, being taught that strong emotions are considered dirty, messy, dangerous – even murderous! This pattern of being P-A is another unhealthy way of copin4 stylesg with intense FoA – fear of abandonment

b. ✶ Volatiles need P-As (or their part, or the game wouldn’t work):
• it gives them an excuse for letting out some of their rage ‘legitimately’
• it’s much safer than aiming the rage at the real target – their family
• the rage makes them feel powerful, to cover vulnerability & emptiness
• Vs are used to being disappointed, too, and are equally unconsciously addicted to finding people they can act out their childhood ‘story’ with.  And P-As do continually disappoint! It’s their trade-mark, & it can be used to identify them.

Sooner or later, usually later, it is inevitable that Vs will get angry, raging, even nasty at P-As – out of legitimate, intense, longstanding frustration!
Of course: Vs have to stick around for this! They’re part of the game.

DIRTY POOL – P-As unconsciously, sometimes knowingly, always use ‘available’ Volatiles as their own personal pressure valve – as if getting the V. to explode with rage would relieve their own pent-up hostility. When Vs get angry, P-As get very self-righteous. They feel victimized & cry: “I haven’t DONE anything!  Why are you attacking me?”

SO THEY GET TO:
• accuse Vs of being controlling, even though they set the V. up:
— to take care of them emotionally & practically
— to vent their anger/rage for them
— to make all the decisions in the relationship!

• make Vs the crazy or bad one (instead of themselves), of being abusive & unfair, of reacting to ‘nothing’. That way the Vs can be ‘the monster’ for pouring out that vile stuff (anger) which P-As are terrified in themselves.
Then they can continue to feel superior & ‘clean’, keeping their ‘good boy / good girl’ status. After all, P-As can point to being easy-going, never raising their voice, or letting out that ‘nasty‘ anger – right?

BUT that’s exactly the point – they don’t DO many things that are their responsibility, as well as not expressing their needs / wants.

When P-As make other people responsible for all the decisions they should be making Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 11.41.09 PMdo themselves, (even if they like the ones being made for them), they are neglecting to ‘show up’, hold up their end, be an equal partner or peer – ie. an adult.  P-As passively, stubbornly – yes angrily – demand to be taken care of! but never say what they actually want or need, because they don’t have permission

• THEN, if/when something goes wrong – when they don’t like the choices the V. made for them, or are disappointed with the outcome – they can blame the other person & continue to play the victim role

• AND P-As can say to the other person: “YOU’RE always making the decisions! YOU’RE so controlling!” (& unspoken: “I hate you”). Wow! How dishonest.
✶ BUT if the V. stops playing the game, the P-A may finally tip their hand – if only briefly – showing the true rage behind their mask

EXP: Mark (P-A) & Sandy (V.) meet at a classical concert & become art-loving, theater-going friends. Mark regularly says self-deprecating things that are clever & funny, & Sandy obliges by laughing.
After a few months Sandy becomes increasingly uncomfortable with her complicity in Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 12.04.49 AMMark’s self-hate. The next time he makes a crack about himself – she doesn’t laugh & is quiet.  He gets annoyed & indirectly insults her for not responding ‘correctly’.

Later he buys her a B/day gift which deeply offends her artistic & Christian values – an ugly-made Indian goddess statue – knowing her religious background! She can’t imagine his intention – but is outraged. She instantly blows up at him & gives the gift back. Naturally he’s hurt & angry – but doesn’t show it. Instead he mails her a scathing note – making her the ‘bad one’.  End of friendship! Sandy feels ashamed for blowing up but also relieved.

NEXT: Passive-Aggressive ACoAs, (Part 3)

Passive-Aggressive ‘Nice’ COMMENTS

screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-8-13-46-amI HAVE LOTS OF WAYS
of being covertly angry
PREVIOUS: P-A #1

SITE27 Most Passive-Aggressive Things That Ever Happened

** Southern P-A forms of “Bless your heart!” (humorous but true)

P-A Commuter Types – (London)

Some things Passive-Aggressives SAY:

Using their cherished bag-of-tricks to combat insecurity, especially if they feel pushed outside their comfort zone, P-As silently hope for attention & approval, trying to prevent loss of connection by avoiding confrontation.

The following statements are meant to express disappointment, hurt & hostility, but are coded in the form of underhanded innuendos instead of respectful honesty. Totally confusing most people, this style insures that P-As do not get their needs met!
When P-As give those little looks, roll their eyes, or throw out subtly nasty comments, most won’t catch on that they’re being messed with, but it may feel like being on an emotional roller coaster.

It can leave someone wondering:
“Did I hear right? / / Did they mean to be mean? / / If I react, will they make a joke or tell me I’m too sensitive?……”,
which is what the P-A wants – for others to always be off-balance.

NOTE: Emotionally healthy people are self-reflective, so not only do they have decent self-esteem, but also are not afraid to own their ‘stuff’.  So they tend not to point fingers at others, keeping the focus on themselves, are not ashamed of their emotions, & can communicate in direct ways using ‘I’ statements.
EXP: “I’m not going to be able to be able to help you with that.”// This is who I am, please accept me as is….”

BUT dyed-in-the-wool P-As have none of those characteristics. Almost all of the following statements are ‘you’ types of comments (some implied), and none of the “I” statements admit honest wishes & needs or take personal responsibility

This list includes things can be said/written between family members, between friends, between mates, at school & at work.

I’m not mad = this is a lie if their over-all pattern is being P-A
Fine. Whatever = sulking, they want you to stop bugging them
Sure, I’d be happy to = they don’t want to & have no intention of doing it
I’m coming! = foot-dragging so they don’t have to do something you want
I didn’t know you meant now = means I won’t let you control when I do what you want, which I don’t want to do anyway

• You’re asking for too much / just want everything to be perfect = they don’t want to do what you asked but can’t get away with putting it off, so they do it badly or half-assed, then are defensive when you rightly object to a sloppy execution
If you really want to = means I don’t really want to, but won’t say so
You decide / whatever you want = (as a pattern) never taking responsibility for what they want & them criticized your choices
Don’t bother! = means I really want you to do _____, & angry that you won’t
• We’re all watching your progress and hoping the best for you = we don’t have a lot of hope or confidence in you, but want to sound supportive

• Oh my dear, you’re looking so much better today = boy have you been looking like something the cat dragged in lately
• This is far too complicated for you to understand = dumb, dumb, dumb
• It’s nice that you’ve found a friend – finally = You’re not very desirable
• How is your therapy progressing? = you’re such a mess, I don’t think even this will help // You don’t seem to be getting any better
Aren’t we pretty today? = Who do you think you are? / / Is that what you’re going to wear? // What you’re wearing is ugly

If you insist! = means I don’t want you to, but won’t ask you to stop
It’s fine if you’re late, again = feel disrespected but they think it’s too petty to object directly (don’t have a right to be considered)
No worries = short for Screw You
I thought you knew/ are in the loop = they had no intention of including you

Thanks in advance = you’re expected to do something they want, without your input or consent
• I was curious about / surprised / confused by…  = a disguised criticism
I h0pe it’s worth it = they’re worried about a choice or decision
you’re making & don’t want you to do it, and hope you fail

• You’ve done so well for someone with your limitations /with what you had to work with = means the P-A is patting you on the head, but is actually very displeased & disappointed in you, & blames you
So… (by itself) = another form of Screw you, or what’s your point?
— If in a sentence: So….When are we going? / have you called them back yet?…..  = the P-A is clearly agitated, worried…. but won’t admit it

I was only joking = sarcasm meant to stab at you. It’s not funny
• I didn’t mean anything by it = means ‘pretend you didn’t get it’
• Don’t take it so personally = means it was a very personal barb
Why are you getting so upset? = means “Ha, I got you!”
I didn’t do anything (wrong) = complete denial of their abuse or neglect
You’re too sensitive = P-As don’t want you to object to their hostility
You’re so intense / too emotional = P-As are hiding their own anger & pain, so don’t want your emotions to stir up their suppressed ones
You’re imagining things = means that if you’re ‘crazy’, they’re home free

NEXT: P-A ACoAs (Part 1)

ISSUES for Angry ‘Nice’ People (Part 1)

P-A issues
AS LONG AS I’M ‘GOOD’
I’ll be OK (I 
hope!)

PREVIOUS: Intro b

SITE: Danger of Suppressing Anger

QUOTE: Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways”.  Sigmund Freud

ISSUES
GREAT DESIRE:
• to be loved  //  to not be attacked // to not be alone or lonely

BASIC FEARS:sad girl
• of self-reflection //  being abandoned //  being punished

UNDERLYING ISSUES:
• feel inadequate, not entitled, self-hating, shame-bound
• not allowed to be assertive or angry, always assume rejection

WELL-BEHAVED, But ALSO:
• controlling, critical, unforgiving // indirectly cruel, attacking, vengeful
• depressed, fussy, hard to please, moody, shy, thin-skinned, withdrawn

PAY-OFFS for using defenses (ie. Negative Benefits)
1. False Weakness (see Original LL)
a. Avoid facing childhood pain
• Connecting with the pain of past & current emotional injuries makes us feel vulnerable, out of control, small & helpless. Anger is energizing – but not allowed – so we end up in constant anxiety, & don’t know why

bCreate physical pain (real or not), as substitute for #a.
• If we’re workaholic (do, do, do) and not allowed to rest / relax / have fun, we can get sick to slow us down
• If we’re not allowed empathy, sympathy, emotional support…. then physical ailments become a way to elicit some of it ‘legitimately’, since sufferthey are tangible & considered acceptable, while emotional hurts can’t be seen & are often considered a weakness
• If we’re not allowed to be/feel taken care of or to find the right kind of help, practically or psychologically, then being weak, sick, incapacitated…. can get us some attention

cContinue being mistreated & abused

• Some of us are so used to being in the victim role – which we really were as kids – that we don’t want to give it up as adults, because it would create separation anxiety from the family & our bad-parent Introject.
Being a victim is about the ‘poor MEs’, staying emotionally immature, waiting to be taken care of. While there is a lot of anger under this position, it’s not supposed to show!

dGet approval for a role
STOIC:Es in the body
Not letting ourselves experience & deal with jealousy, anger, sadness, fear…. is considered ‘strong’, & gently admired in many parts of our society, including the religious community.  They tells us it’s not OK (weak or un-spiritual) to admit to or show unpleasant ‘negative’ emotions, especially anger. It’s called  ‘loosing it, being emotional’. 
We’re even told that all emotions ‘cloud our judgment’.
Unfortunately obeying these dictates is harmful both physically & psychologically   (CHART)

DOORMAT: Being such a ‘nice’ person that you have no opinions or boundaries may make it easier on some people to be around us – especially narcissists – & superficially satisfies our WIC’s desperation to never be abandoned by others, but it insures that we abandon ourselves  (MORE….”Recovering Doormat”)

2. False Strength (See Reverse  LL)
a. Superiority
• Admired – as martyr, ‘good guy’, saint, ‘spiritual’
• One-up – needing others to be needy, sick, dependent, not successful

b. Controlling
• Emotional blackmail, to keep others fearful, attached to us
• Demand our own way (always) – ‘nice’ is only superficial
• Destroy ‘loved ones’  – if they try to be free, happy, themselvesignoring you

c. Punishing
• When we – the ‘good’ GIVER (G) – continually help / rescue/ dominate – another person, the Receiver/ victim/ inferior (R) must:
— have unquestioning, blind loyalty, never object or question
— always provide affection & total attention, care-take
• If the R. objects, withdraws or rebels, then:
— Giver (G) sees R. as selfish, ungrateful, abusive
— G. will punish R. overtly or covertly, attacking or withdrawing

NEXT: SYMPTOMS of Hidden Anger (#1)

Secretly Angry “Nice” People (Intro-a)

secretly nice -1I ALWAYS HAVE TO ACT NICE
to hide how angry I really am

PREVIOUS: Multiple Intelligences #3e

POST: What about Anger?”

 

REVIEW
Our culture does not support, tolerate or excuse expressing anger in obvious ways – except when participating in or watching sports, or being drunk! Oh right, the BIRDS can be angry – but not humans! One reason is that most people assume there’s only one way to let it out – explosively, dangerously – which of course scares people, since it can be physically & emotionally unsafe.
But it’s not the only way (“Ways to react” posts).

Since everyone was born with the ability to feel anger (A.), just as we have the natural capacity to experience all the other Es – in varying degrees – each of us figures out how to deal with it, based on our personal tendencies & what we copied or learned as kids. In our society, A. is usually called a ‘negative’* emotion – even by the best regarded teachers, writers & therapists. This is wrong!
This misnomer comes from NOT separating the TEA components:
❤️ The Emotion itself (physical energy & information about our environment), vs.
💀 the way we frame it in our Thinking (acceptable or unacceptable), vs.
✍🏽 how we Act on it – Positively or Negatively.

*The E. of Anger itself should never be designated as a negative! It is not only blatantly inaccurate to do so, but does it a great injustice – because A. gives vital information about bad things happening to us or around us. NO emotion is negative, only harmful thoughts & actions are! Anger is a necessary & appropriate reaction to 3 main things:
✔︎ being scared, being frustrated & being hurt (such as threatened, ignored, disrespected….). (see T.E.A. // ‘Feelings aren’t facts’ )

★ And anger is a healthy response to any abuse & deprivation of very real needs (attention, safety, respect, love, freedom, encouragement, comfort….)

Normally, Anger can be:
• an immediate response to a particular situation, or
• gradually built up from a series of real or perceived injustices or threats, or
• a slow escalation from long-term abuse, neglect, or being treated unfairly

Emotionally HEALTHY Nice People have good self-esteem. They are:
• direct, clear & positive in communication & behavior
• happy, self-assured, assertive, confident, relaxed, easy
• well-behaved, socially appropriate, well-mannered, generous
• thoughtful, helpful, kind, loyal, respectful, sensitive to others

But when someone doesn’t have any safe outlet for their anger, it will go underground. It becomes a part of our ‘Shadow“,  (aspects of ourselves we find unacceptable) so we reject & push the anger into the unconscious.
However, the emotion never goes away on its own – until it’s expressed in safe ways and by fixing the causes, if possible. Instead, it stays locked in our muscles, ligaments, organs & auras. (See ‘Symptoms)
Over time, this trapped energy will become too big to be contained & will end up coming out sideways!

Freud once likened anger to the smoke in an old-fashioned wood-burning stove: Normally, the smoke goes up the chimney, safely away. But if this is blocked up, the smoke will leak out – thru the grate, under the door, thru the vents…. choking everyone in the house. It needs to be cleaned out. But if all avenues of escape stay blocked, the fire will eventually go out, making the stove useless.

In the same way, blocking up the natural flow of our anger-energy becomes harmful to self and others. If we shut it down for too long, it puts out our internal fire, & makes us ineffective. We need a safe outlet for all emotions.

NEXT: Secretly angry nice people (Intro-b)

ACoAs MANIPULATING Self & Others (Part 3c)

in your head  

PREVIOUS: Manipulation #3b

SITE: 8 Ways to spot Manipulators

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 

Manipulative TACTICS (cont.)
Foot-in-Door
Start by asking someone for a small favor they don’t mind doing, then foot in doorwhen they’re in the middle of it, add on other things or ask for the big thing you really wanted – making it hard for them to say no

Guilting
Telling a conscientious victim they don’t care enough, are too selfish or have it easy, to keep them in a self-doubting, anxious, submissive position. OR make someone feel bad that you don’t have qualities, people or things the way they do (you’re jealous /envious), so they’ll feel sorry & volunteer to help you

Judgmental – the (T) form of T.E.A.
— all the time about everything, which is narcissistic
— occasionally, when old abandonment terror is triggered by a person or situation, but you don’t recognize it’s a reminder of childhood neglect & abuse

Mirroring (negative)
Physically &/or verbally copying someone you want to influence, by using their same body language, intonation pattern, language, preferences… making them feel ‘seen’ – so then they’ll copy you (symbiosis)

Over-promising
Saying yes to anything asked of you even when you’re not interested or it doesn’t suit you, & you don’t have time anyway – just so you’ll be liked. You over-book & then forget or cancel at the last-minute

One up-One Down
a. Feel superior – morally better with more value as a person, rather than being better at certain things (not just having a higher IQ), in order one upto keep everyone away, & not acknowledge your need for connection, help, comfort….

b. Feel inferior, believing you’re worse than everyone else (weaker, dumber, less capable….)
— to stave off assumed inevitable abandonment, disappointment AND
— obeying Toxic Rules “I am unlovable” / “I’m too much trouble” / “Don’t have needs”….
— living in deprivation, trying to get others to meet your needs

c. Fake humility – hiding the compulsion to dominate – by being the servant, helper, assistant, perhaps to serve a ‘higher cause’…. while controlling things from the wings

People-Pleasing / Perfectionism
Constantly trying to be or do whatever others want, or what you think they need/want, going above & beyond what’s called for or expected. Make yourself indispensable so they’ll approve of you & never ‘go way‘

Victim
Put a burden on others to be the ‘good parents’ you never had, BY:
• dismissing your own ‘voice’ & not taking up enough spacevictim
• going along, suffering in silence – but others can feel it
• give up what you want to avoid conflict, but are quietly resentful
• don’t ask questions, but always trying to explain or defend yourself
• talk in indirect or convoluted ways, instead of declarative statements
• withholding, as a form of silent disapproval
• believing you have nothing worthwhile to contribute……

COMBINED Manipulation of Self & Others
Taking on the Scapegoat Role as a child (NOT the same as being scapegoated by the family). It’s the child’s attempt to spare the obvious narcissist / addict their pain, by taking it on & acting it out for them – assuming this will alleviate the heaviness it can feel in others.
It’s a way the child denies admitting that the abandoning adults are as sick as they are & not willing to change

This manipulative tactic (usually unconscious) continues into adulthood – the ACoAs continuing to sacrifice their own needs, good name & protect familystanding in life – if it will make others ‘feel better’ by avoiding responsibility for their own damage

On one level this Role is genuinely taken on in the name of love, but at a deeper level it’s about the fear of losing connection, the ultimate childhood terror.
Unfortunately, the sacrifice is never successful or unappreciated, only being disrespected & dismissed. So when the Scapegoat is treated badly or ignored, this ACoA gets very angry at anyone they’ve been trying to ‘save’.

Adult Scapegoats only focus on being rejected or & invisible, left outfeeling unloved, excluded, attacked – BUT not seeing that they
— allow themselves to be used & toyed with by unscrupulous types
— experience real or imagined slights as a direct rejection, as if others are focus on them, or hell-bent on hurting them
— perpetuate childhood environment of fear, loneliness & abandonment BY not having a strong core identity based on self-esteem & self-respect.

NEXT: Manipulation #4a

Weak DECISION Styles (Part 3)

I’LL RISK EVERYTHING –
to feel that ‘high’

PREVIOUS: Bad Decision Styles – #2

 

 

PART 3: Last 6 of 18 types of unsound decision-making (D.M.) styles & their corrections (no known source).  While these types represent dysfunction, they’re based on each person’s native approach to life, with the addition of an unhealthy upbringing.

Some EFFECTS of bad D.M.:
• we compromise ourselves – our self-worth, values, needs….
• we don’t get what we say we want, so we can obey our Toxic Rules
• we do get what they want, but at the expense of others, damaging our relationships
• they generate anxiety, distress, shame, guilt, self-hate….
• we experience physical symptoms, aches and pains, major illness
• have to learn lessons the hard way instead of making life easier
• waste a lot of time, either doing unnecessary things or having to cleanup a mess later

• we hurt, disappoint, ‘abandon’ people we care about & love
• loss of important opportunities, with some that can’t be retrieved
• suffer unnecessary financial distress, debt, loss of valuable property
• get in trouble with authorities, the law, go to jail
• they may lead to accidents, permanent injuries, deathconsequences
• they’re a waste of our precious life, talents, abilities, potential….

Allowing for Nuances
• Most decisions are NOT written in stone, so they’re nor forever, even tho some do have far-reaching consequences, so it’s wise to strive for ‘sane’, healthy, adult choices as often as possible
D.M. is inherently circular, since most are made by moving back and forth between:

a. the characteristics we want our choice to meet (the ‘new’ car we want to get should be small, used & inexpensive but not worn out)
b. identifying the possibilities we can choose from  (depending on where we live, how much money we have, our knowledge about used cars…)
— The alternatives available influence the criteria we apply to them, and vice versa – the criteria we set influence the alternatives we consider

• ACoAs tend to lump all types of decisions together – all are huge, impossible, overwhelming, undo-able — we think ALL have equal importance & equal consequences. NOT SO!
We can divide decisions into (at least) 3 levels of importance & intensity. Use these suggestions to make your own outline.  It can be argued than any choice can cause a big problem OR have a great benefit, but if we use our Adult observation we can have a general sense of what to expect, as long as we don’t limit our thinking to what happened in our childhood

SMALL-ish Decisions: where to do for dinner, what to wear, when to talk to someone, to go or not go to a party, which errands to do when, buying something for the house…..
MEDIUM Decisions: Where to go on vacation, what diet to use, to go back to school, change accountants, redecorate, get a new car….
BIG Decision: change careers, get married or leave a relationship, move to a different city or country, stop using drugs / alcohol / cigarettes, start going to therapy, have an operation…..

✶ The more we come to believe “I KNOW WHAT I KNOW”, trusting our intuition & judgment, the easier the process of D.M. becomes.

Weak DECISION Styles (Part 2)

IT’LL ALL TURN OUR GREAT –
no matter what they say!

PREVIOUS: Bad Decision Styles – #1

 

 

PART 2: Next 6 of 18 types of unsound decision making (D.M.) styles & their corrections. (No known source) While these types represent dysfunction, they’re based on each person’s native approach to life, with the addition of an unhealthy upbringing.

4 general Categories of D.M.
By Command – made without input from anyone else
By Consultation – inviting & include input from others
By Vote – discuss options & then call for a vote, majority rules
By Consensus – keep talking until everyone agrees on one outcome

Warning SIGNALS (interchange a. & b.) that:
a. you’re about to make a weak, unhealthy or dangerous decision:
• when you’re exhausted, sick, emotionally distressed or overwhelmed
• are not willing to change your mind when a situation changesbad choices
• only think of what you want & how you feel, ignoring everyone else
• base your choice only on fear, anxiety & low-self-esteem
• don’t plan for dealing with difficult people or unexpected events

• don’t consider the bigger context, or the possible consequences to you or to others
• twist yourself to fit other people’s expectations of how you should behave, conform to peer pressure or automatically agree with the majority (being overly dependent on others)
• ignore available information (newer, better) that would help you make a better choice about a person or situation

b. you have made a weak, unhealthy or dangerous decision:
• when you didn’t do anything even tho it was important to act
• acted before you were ready or before the time was right
• made a choice using familiar CDs, such as B & W thinking
• ignored glaring problems or important factors that you knew about a situation
• ignored hints that told you something was wrong or there was too much uncertainty

• chose a way of doing something so you wouldn’t have to ask for help
• picked an action based on “well at least I” ……have a job, don’t look stupid, have a boyfriend, am safe, to available information — which comes from a poverty or victim mentality
• based a decision on what you thought you should do, rather than what was right for you & the situation

Weak DECISION Styles (Part 1)

NO MATTER WHAT I PICK –
it’ll always be wrong!

PREVIOUS: Procrastinators Anon Tools

 

 

PART 1
• First 6 of 18 types of un-sound decision-making (D.M.) styles & their corrections. (No known source) While these types all represent dysfunction, people gravitate to one of these styles as a reflection of their inborn approach to life, along with an unhealthy upbringing.

• No matter what our personal style, ACoAs have a great deal of difficulty making decisions. This deficiency has nothing to do with our basic intelligence, only our damage. An apparent exception are those in the Hero / Rescuer family role – who seem to be able to make decisions easily & continuously. But the hidden worm in the fruit is that they only do it on behalf of others. Decisions for themselves are rare & usually unhealthy

– D.M. is the process of identifying & choosing alternatives, based on our values & preferences &
– D.M. is the process of reducing enough uncertainty & doubt about our options to give us the freedom to pick out the best one at the moment

SOME REASONS we have trouble with D.M.
• not having a clear identity (who am I, how do I present myself, what do I need or want….)
• letting the WIC (wounded inner child) be in charge of considering what to do, who either acts impulsively or is stuck / paralyzedbad decisions
• not trusting the knowledge, judgment & experience we’ve gathered throughout our life

• not realizing we have options to choose from, or better options than we think we have
not having permission to change our minds – about anything!
• being in denial about what we know regarding a person or situation

• fear of making the wrong choice – we think the wrong one will have life & death consequences, or result in severe punishment or self-hate, afraid of taking risks, asking for help, getting good things

• co-dependence: wanting to please everyone, all the time
• growing up with a series of double-binds (paralyzes us)
• not having enough or the correct information to decide accurately
• using CDs (cognitive distortions) in thinking about a problem

➼ As we Recover, some of these reasons melt away, some diminish & some we struggle with throughout life – & which is which will be different for different people.