Zora’s husband and children were mean to her. She recounted many incidents when they were negative, critical and sarcastic in public and in private, even when she was fixing wonderful meals for them or she was driving them wherever they wanted to go. They never considered what she wanted or how she felt. They seemed to know when she was weakest or trying her best to please them, and then they tore her down mercilessly. She kept explaining the way loving people should treat each other but they either laughed or ignored her.
Zane’s parents and wife were demeaning, demanding and abusive. In public they’d put him down and criticize him to anyone who’d listen. They tried to control everything he did and thwarted his attempts to do what he wanted. They’d laugh, even years later, at every mistake he’d made and they ignored his successes. He felt like a servant who was never good enough and who could be whipped whenever they felt like it.
Why does it matter whether they meant to be mean?
To Zora and Zane, it mattered totally. They couldn’t believe the people they loved could be intentionally mean; they must be trying as hard as they could. Since they assumed the torment was unintended, their job was to educate and teach those people better ways…forever. They shouldn’t give their tormentors any consequences since they didn’t know how hateful and hurtful they were being. Their job was to forgive their tormentors as long as it took. Surely, someday, their love would be strong enough that their perpetrators would wake up and see the error of their ways.
Zora and Zane realized why they could never set boundaries.
No one listened because there were never any consequence for being mean. It was as if Zora and Zane had no voice in their families. When Zora and Zane began to look with new eyes they saw the people around them as uncaring, not merely ignorant. They saw their tormentors enjoying being selfish, narcissistic and bullying. The choice to be uncaring was easier than paying attention to Zora and Zane. They enjoyed having a servant or a slave they didn’t have to pay attention to.
They’d chosen to be mean so often, it’d become a habit.
By now, they didn’t have to plan to be mean; it came naturally. They were the center of their universe; their feelings, whims and fears mattered. Zora and Zane’s didn’t.
Zora and Zane broke the family dynamic.
When they stopped accepting the pain and hurt, when the said “No,” and, especially, when they applied consequences, everything changed. Words didn’t have an impact, only deeds were effective.
At first, their tormentors protested loudly and tried many methods of emotional blackmail, manipulation and guilt-tripping. But when Zora and Zane remained steadfast and committed to the standards of how they wanted to be treated, when they stopped giving reasons, debating and arguing, when they stopped asking for permission to do what they wanted, when they said, “I don’t care what you think and want, you’re not nice to me so you get nothing,” their oppressors had to adjust or get nothing.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.