ACoAs MANIPULATING Self & Others (Part 3b)

juggling people 

PREVIOUS: Manipulation #3a

SITEs: 20 Subtle Signs of Workplace Bullying
Workplace Danger – Manipulative People”

BOOK: 30 COVERT ways of M. ~ Adelyn Birch

 

FORMS of Manipulation (cont.)
2. Indirect / Covert
A more subtle form, tactics (Evasion, Diversion, Blame….) are effective because they carefully hide aggressive & exploitative intentions, while putting the other person unconsciously on the defensive.
— Sometimes all it takes is a particular facial expression, non-verbal gesture, glance, glare, stare, or shrug
— Sometimes the manipulator will send a carefully veiled “Now there’ll be some hell to pay!” message without making any kind of direct threat

ACoAs
As stated in Part 1, M is an attempt at getting our needs met, but only indirectly, because we’re not allowed to HAVE them (shame is what we feel about each need never provided by our family). Back then, trying to get anything we needed always ended in being made fun of, punished or completely ignored.
BUT since needs are NORMAL & therefore don’t go away, we look for alternative ways of meeting them, while still obeying the toxic rules – putting ourselves in a double bind.

Manipulative TACTICS
Avoid Asking
Expecting others to guess what you need & then provide it. When they don’t – not being mind-readers – you feel very angry, get depressed & assume the ‘universe’ doesn’t want you to have the needs

Bribery
First you reward someone by identifying what they want/need & give it to them, acting like a ‘genuinely’ nice person. Then later pleasantly suggest you’d like something in return. They’ll usually feel compelled to return the favor

Bugging / Pushypushy
At the other extreme, always nagging to get what you want, repeating the question, requesting or demanding, insisting…. to wear others down until they finally give in. Can’t tolerate NO as an answer, & constantly over-step boundaries

Charm / Good Looks
Use your best assets to encourage people to favor you over others (work, dating, purchasing…) by being positive, cheerful, self-confident, well-groomed, with approachable body language – to make them feel special for having your full attention

Conditional Approval & ‘love’
You’re kind, pleasant, helpful – but only if they’re just like you. Want what they can do for you, let you control them…. But get angry or withholding if they disagree, set limits on you, stand up for themselves, won’t go along with your agenda….

Dishonest watching & listening
Pay close attention to what people tell you about themselves & their body language, figuring out their psychological/emotional makeup, in order to identify weakness or strength you can exploit

Distorting Facts
Manipulate info & reality by making it seem better than it is. OR leave out crucial info in an explanation, use info against the person, overwhelm with facts & statistic, lie, make excuses, exaggerate, act like you know everything…. to avoid responsibility & feel more powerful

double-BDouble-Binding
Keep someone who wants to please you in bondage (paralyzed) by subtly giving opposing messages they must obey or accept without question, to keep them confused & off balance (EXP: smile while insulting)

Exploiting
Use other people’s time, energy, money, talents – only for your benefit – by convincing them it’s for a good cause, will make them feel good, will provide ‘spiritual benefits/rewards…. or by promising some big reward while ignoring their rights & interests

Fake Emotions
Use contrived emotions to get what you want & have the upper hand, by acting angry to scare someone, solicitous to soften them, caring to keep their attention, weak & needy to get taken care of, insulted to create guilt…..fear & relief

Fear-&-Relief
To get someone to do what you want but is resisting, you artificially create sudden mood swings, by first working on their fear (disapproval, threats to leave, withhold money….). When when they’re weakened & disarmed, ready to give in – you stop the pressure, tell them it’s OK…. which makes them so relieved they’ll do whatever you want

Flattering / Kissing up
Making others feel good by complementing them, acting totally interested in their lives…. so they’ll want to please you. It makes it hard for them to say NO, even against their better judgement, so you won’t be disappointed or think badly of them

NEXT: Manipulation #3c

ACoAs & BLAME (Part 1)

the BLAME GAME
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

is a healthier way to live

PREVIOUS: ACoAs wanting revenge #2

SITE: “Blame – What’s the Use?” Psych & religious

PostSatir’s BLAMER Role


BLAME as a ‘social disease’
– by Carl Alasko
“Deeply embedded throughout our society is the destructive psychology of blame. We tend to view it as a necessary behavior, a way to seek justice, a synonym for accountability or responsibility. It is none of these.
In fact, blame is a four-headed beast that attacks our very spirit.

We can launch these behaviors separately or fuse them into an assault that can annihilate the intended target. Painful emotions can & do kill. Consider those who commit suicide when battered by just one of these toxic tactics – that of humiliation. Indeed, blame is so unrelentingly harmful exactly because its primary function is to injure.

• There’s also an unacknowledged psychological paradox embedded in blame that preserves its vampire-like longevity: Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.04.05 PM.pngHuman beings are hard-wired to dump their uncomfortable emotions on to others. So blame helps reduce our anxieties by externalizing our fears & stresses.

Naturally this does not excuse or condone it, since humans are also capable of learning how to accept & deal with our inner ‘demons’.

We see how political candidates temporarily surge in popularity when attacking an opponent, which reinforces the ‘value’ of the tactic. Then the opponents responds in kind, & the cycle continues. This dynamic is also at the root of bullying, whether in school or on the street. The bully’s internal anxieties are relieved by debasing another person or group. Thus blame feeds the roots of every form of bigotry, sexism and racism.”

🌀 🌀 🌀

ABUSE / cruelty: ‘Blaming the victim’ is holding someone responsible for pain they have or are suffering, especially when they did not cause it & had no way of preventing it.
Adult Blamers, in the present: the mental decision (conscious or not) to accuse someone of causing our suffering (even if accurate), WITHOUT acknowledging any possible part we may have in the source of our pain (like sticking around for it)

Damaged parents often blame their children & the whole world for their shortcoimages-2mings & life stressors (Your made me hit you! If it weren’t for you I could have…..). It’s only natural then that as children we take on the blame.
So we learned to:
• make ourselves accountable for what was not our responsibility, AND
not hold others accountable for their bad behavior, and/OR
• blame others for our troubles, the way our parents did

SELF-HATE is the result – incorrectly blaming ourselves when anyone hurts us, even though we have nothing to do with causing it.
ACoAs IRONY:
While pointing out other people’s shortcomings (as it affect us, of course), being hurt by them triggers our S-H, to deny feeling vulnerable.
But we have it backwards – we blame ourselves for the source of our pain to avoid holding our parents accountable for those original wounds.

Reality: We did not deserve being blamed as kids, & we don’t deserve our S-H now, which is simply agreeing with the Perpetrators. In many alcoholic & other unhealthy families, no one took responsibility for their abusive or neglectful ways, & certainly never for their thoughts & emotions.

• It’s imperative for ACoAs to identify when or if someone is actually doing something harmful, neglectful, abandoning – to us or to others. If we are not sure, we can start by making a list of all the ways & times various people have hurt us or our loved ones, & look for common threads.

This is a sincere effort to clarity what we’ve experienced, especially when at the hands of someone who is taking out their damage on us.
The legitimate motivation for this kind of inventory has to be the desire to identify & distinguish between:
• when we’re angry because of unrealistic expectations & assumptions, vs.
• breaking denial about harmful relationships we hang on to, so we can outgrow the addiction to abuse

NEXT: Blame #2

ACoAs WANTING REVENGE (Part 1)

little devils 

MAKE THEM SUFFER !
The same way they made me suffer!

Post: ANGER CATEGORY #12 – Retaliatory

POSTS: Parents Blaming Us / ‘Shame’ / ‘Guilt’


DEF: REVENGE
, Vengeance, Retribution, – injury inflicted as punishment in return for one received
• To plot revenge – the bitter desire to injure another for a wrong done to oneself, a loved one or others like oneself
• To avenge – exact satisfaction for a sense of injury, following a wrong received. Any form of personal action against an individual, institution, or group for some perceived harm or injustice.

1. AS CHILDREN
😡 Many of us hated one or more parents for their neglect & cruelty – but that was to-o-o dangerous to admit! We wished they were dead or that we were.
BOOK: “So the Witch Won’t Eat Me” by Dorothy Bloch (NY psychoanalyst) gives an excellent explanation in her intro.

a. External CAUSES – Growing up, our parents & other adults:
• neglected, attacked & humiliated us, assumed the worst of us… blamed us unfairly for everything
• AND didn’t allow us to defend ourselves, never bothered to ask for our side of a situation, didn’t believe us, weren’t on our side nor defended us

b. Internal –
All children:
• are vulnerable to & at the mercy of their caregivers
• think in B & W, simple cause & effect, so a believe in JUSTICE – that the world SHOULD be fair
• AND, assume they’re the center of everything, therefore everything that happens to them is about them (good or bad)!
SO
It makes sense to a kid’s mind that, when our parents hurt us —
• they were justified in what they were doing to or not doing for – us
• somehow we caused it, even if we couldn’t figure out what we did wrong

• we deserved whatever was dished out: “The gods punish us for our own good (a lesson) & because we deserve it (being bad)!”
BUT
• we were in constant, intense pain.  Even though we had no choice but to accept blame, still – we wanted it to STOP! Of course.
• no one else seemed to notice or care – no one helped (maybe someone did try, but it didn’t work out & we stayed trapped)
• we couldn’t get any justice from them (they didn’t care how their abuse effected us)
• they got away with it – were never held accountable! UNFAIR

AND
• we tried & tried – to figure it out, to change ourselves and get them to change, to protect ourselves & others in the family
• but nothing got better, so we got more & more frustrated and hopeless
• failing to MAKE adults stop hurting us, our sense of danger never left
whivoodooch led to getting angrier & angrier.
Being powerless in an unsafe family, especially one that was actually life-threatening – will always generate RAGE
• and after all – fair is fair – eventually we began to have fantasies of REVENGE, to even the score, so the world would be in balance again.

Without help, comfort or a way of escape, we had to suppress the pain as best we could, but our fantasies scared us.
We could’t attack our parents directly, because —
– we were too dependent on them
– they had some positive qualities we used to deny the bad ones
– it wasn’t safe to rebel outright

We needed to deny our fury at them. We weren’t big or strong enough to punish ‘those mean, stupid adults’ the way they deserved, so we did the next ‘best’ thing :

• Masochism, Revenge in REVERSE – some took it out on ourselves (self-mutilation, fantasies of being hurt/ tortured, tried suicide either directly or by dangerous activities….) as a way of punishing our abandoners

Sadism: As kids, some of us hurt smaller, younger, weaker things, such as:
— an older child hurting or even killing a new baby in the family
— bullying (in person, on line….)
— physically torturing birds, cats….
— stealing, hiding or breaking other’s toys & possessions
— making fun of someones disabilities…

NEXT: Wanting Revenge #2

ACoAs: PATTERNS of Mistrust (Part 1)

protect heart
I HAVE TO PROTECT MYSELF AT ALL COSTS
– even if it keeps me from being loved!I

PREVIOUS: UNDER-Trusting (Part 3)

 

IMP:
We are not to blame for being deeply mistrustful of everyone.
But we also need to be clear about how we perpetuate the patterns created by our trauma so we can stop beating ourselves up, feeling ashamed, & limiting our options. (CDs: INFO & the Brain)
Instead we can try out new internal beliefs & external actions.

• We have experienced many, many betrayals by the important people in our lives – whether family, friends, spouse, school, church or government. Some or all of these betrayals are so extreme we may never be able to forgive, regardless of what the ‘gurus’ tell us. This is not to deny the benefits of forgiveness – just that if we are not able to do it (yet) but believe we should, ‘or else’, we unfairly add to our self-hate & sense of failure.

PATTERNS* of Mistrust
* All of these are being generated by the WIC in an attempt to protect ourselves from further harm, but are totally unsuccessful, since they prevent us from getting the closeness & love we so desperately need – AND have a right to. And all are forms of control based on trying to stave off more PMES abandonment.

a. FAKE MEWIC pretending
We clearly got the message that who & what we were as a child was unacceptable to our parents. So as adults, when interacting with others, the WIC in dress-up tries to ‘improve’ our personality by twisting in unnatural avatars – into something we think some present-day person or group is going to want or find acceptable

• We spend a lot of time trying to figure out “how I should feel”, “what I should wear”, “what I’m going to say”…… & never get it quite right, because it’s artificial. Of course, if we’re being run by our WIC, we don’t know who we are or how to relate from a place of empowerment, so it’s very hard to be healthy and safe at the same time

b. LABELING
Some of us decide at the beginning of a relationship (potential friend or lover) what kind it’s going to be, without having enough information about the other person or giving it enough time to develop organically.
We may think: “THIS ONE IS :peopel labels
• just going to be a friendship
• just for sex
• isn’t going to last
• just casual
• permanent  / ‘the one’
• the one I can’t live without
• I’ll hate forever”……

Again, we’re trying to control the outcome & be prepared for the inevitable abandonment we expect.  Preconceived notions may –
• actually create a self-fulfilling prophecy of loss because we prevented it from growing into something positive
• shock us with unexpected results, if we have illusions about it
• severely disappoint all unrealistic expectations
• occasionally surprise us by turning into something better than hoped for

c. PARANOIA
Because we were so often hurt as a child, we conclude that for the rest of our lives everyone** will inevitably do us harm, sooner or later.  So we assume the worst of anyone we meet, men & women, although some of us may be more afraid of one gender than another, depending on which parent was more paranoidconsistently damaging or crueler.

• We actually scan our environment for the potential danger we’re sure is there & – of course – we find it.
• We ALSO ignore all the neutral or positive people & things around us, so we can maintain our ‘story’ that “The whole world is dangerous”, in order to validate our childhood trauma

** This is our reaction even with people who have consistently proven to treat us well, making it hard to benefit from anyone who can be there for us – in healthy ways

d. OVER-TRUSTING (recent post)
Everyone tells us about themselves, subtly or not, yet we ignore all the unhealthy things we hear & experience in people we ‘need’, staying too long at the party & getting trampled. Then wonder why we can’t trust!

NEXT: Patterns of Mistrust (Part 2)