There comes a time for most of us (an age and stage appropriate time) when our Soul (or our Spirit, if you prefer) cries out to be fed, to be nourished, to finally get to direct our lives.

Often, we can see we have a third of our life left.  Make it grand, magnificent, awesome; full of wonder and joy; full of the deepest peace.  Be the hero of your life, an example of what’s possible.

This is especially true for people who have spent their lives doing what comes naturally and what they were trained for; taking care of spouses and kids, helping, supporting, people-pleasing and enabling.

Feed your Soul; not your childhood rules.
Many people were trained to think their life’s work was to make sure others came first, to care for others, to give them what they wanted, to be co-dependent.  Of course, when our children are little, we must take care of them; their lives do depend on us.

Then comes the time when we must kick them out of the nest, when they must fly on their own, when their survival depends on their own efforts.  We are no longer “mommy” or “daddy” wiping their noses, keeping them away from hot stoves, paying for everything.  We are now loving parents wanting loving, adult relationships.

We can’t give in to the old rules that we must make sure everyone else is settled and secure before we’re allowed to take care of ourselves.  We don’t have to save everyone first.  Now, we must listen to what’s been calling from the depths of our Souls.

It’s selfish to feed your personality and ego; it’s not selfish to feed your Soul.
Some cultures were clear about the stages of life:

  1. Our childhood.
  2. Our householder days.
  3. Feeding our Souls

I’m not talking about running away with the pool boy or pool girl.  I’m not talking about throwing away spouses or partners.  I am talking about clearing out the selfish, narcissistic, bullying, abusive, controlling, entitled, vultures, hyenas and leeches so we can focus on feeding and nourishing our Souls.

It’s simple to know what your Soul needs; not necessarily easy to figure out how to do it.
What makes your Soul sing?  Stop bullying yourself.  Let your guilt evaporate; it’s only bad gas.  And if the old, outdated rules say it’s wrong to spend money on yourself, tell that voice to grow up.  Live within your means and feed what’s been starving.

Let your Soul run your life.
End the inner war by siding with your Soul.  Use your adult skills in the service of your Soul.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling
2 CommentsPost a comment

Does the most difficult person create melodrama, occupy everyone’s thoughts, become the focus of attention and planning, and rule your family?  Has family life become a soap opera or a chapter in the life of the Kardashians?

Nancy’s toxic mother was always kind of crazy.  In Nancy’s childhood, without warning, her mother would go berserk, lashing out with fists and words.  Nancy’s father simply gave in and told the children to do the same.  It was easier to hide while riding out the storm than to try to argue or fight.

Now that Nancy and her siblings were grown and independent, with families of their own, it was even worse.  Nancy’s mother still ruled.  Nancy’s children had to dress and look the way her mother wanted…or else.  Holidays were planned the way she wanted…or else.  Everyone had to live where she wanted and give their money to her when she wanted…or else.

Ned’s oldest daughter ruled him and the rest of his children.  If they didn’t please her, an endless tirade would be unleashed, and everyone would be called in to force the offender back in line.  No amount of reasoning and begging would change his daughter’s mind.  Only a groveling apology and an acceptance of blame would do.

Do you walk on eggshells?
There are many signs that tell you who you’ve given control to.  For example: who fights to the death over trivial things, who do we try to placate or satisfy, whose wrath do we fear, who do we think, talk about and adjust to before any holiday gathering, who do we wish would get too sick to come?

Don’t let bullies rule your thoughts and family.
Don’t give in to emotional blackmail, manipulation, abuse and narcissism.  Don’t let words and feelings like “guilt” or “love” hold you hostage.

Take charge of your thoughts, energy and family.
Nancy rebelled.  She proudly claimed the title of the rebellious, selfish daughter.  She stopped worrying about what her mother might do.  She spoke up and challenged her mother, and the family rules.  In support of good behavioral rules, Nancy became the most stubborn person in the family.  She split the family; three against two, two against three.

Ned started talking like The Father.  He told his daughter the rules of good behavior and he started enforcing them.  One Easter when his daughter went berserk and slapped one of her sisters, Ned called the police, filed a report and had her removed.

To bullies and narcissists, only actions and power count.
That’s the language they understand.  They may hate it, but it’s the only way to have a hope of changing their behavior.  And if they don’t change, you will still have created a wonderful space for your life by preventing them from polluting your kingdom.

The same is true for the controllers in your circle of friends or at work.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situationThe 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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

To a narcissist – your bullying partner or your alienating ex, your toxic parent, your abusive, adult child, your manipulative, controlling friend – you are not a person.

What I mean is that to us, a person’s voice counts, their feelings and wishes matter, they get to vote.  To a narcissist, you’re not a person.

Typically, narcissists are:

  1. The center of all attention and concern.
  2. Right and righteous.
  3. Interested in you only as an object; a slave, property, a toy.

Think about those thousand or ten thousand of interactions you’ve had with the narcissists in your life.

  • Masters don’t let slaves vote.  The feelings of slaves don’t matter.  Slaves are property.  They get to do all the work and take the beatings with a smile.
  • Narcissists do whatever they want to the furniture.
  • Narcissists play with their toys like cats play with mice.  Narcissists get to discard their property and toys whenever they’re bored with them.  If the toys don’t like it, it’s their fault and their problem.
  • Narcissists are not grateful to slaves, property, toys.    

Does that pretty much sum up most, if not all, of your interactions with some people?

What if narcissists are nice or charming one time?
Imagine those thousand or ten thousand interactions you’ve had with each person.  Put each one in a DVD case and attach them individually as the surrounding background you have to any image of that narcissist.  If they’re nice one time, you can cover one of the ten thousand rotten interactions with that nice one.

Oh look, still 9,999 rotten ones surrounding that person.  Now you can see what you’re dealing with.  When they’re nice or charming, they simply have an agenda to get something from you.

What do you think will happen after they get what they want?

How do you know they’ve changed?
Performance over a long time leads you to trust your estimation of what that person is likely to do.  They still have 9,999 incidents to balance out.

What if they accuse you of doing bad things or being a bad person?
Keep paying attention to the 9,999.  Don’t argue, justify or debate.  Don’t prove yourself.  Don’t think about their charges or listen to their excuses.  Thank them for sharing.  Simply tell them, “9,999 to go.”  Get your opinions from people who have 10,000 wonderful DVDs surrounding their images.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling
3 CommentsPost a comment

Mary and Michelle finally worked up the courage to set boundaries with their abusers.

Telling relentless bullies does not set boundaries.
Mary told her toxic, bullying parents to stop calling her and yelling at her about how bad a child she was when she didn’t do exactly what they wanted, whenever they wanted.  She told them to stop driving six hours to her house unannounced, expecting to be taken in and treated to a fancy weekend whenever they wanted.  She told them to stop criticizing her relentlessly compared to her sister.  She told them to stop trying to make her feel guilty when she wasn’t their slave.

But they didn’t stop.  They told her she was a selfish, narcissistic child.

Michelle told her adult daughters to stop telling her and the rest of the extended family what a rotten mother she’d always been, what she hadn’t given them and how much she’d thwarted them.  She told them to stop posting their harangues and sarcastic abuse on social media.  She told them to stop demanding money in order for her to see her grandchildren.  She told them to stop showing up unannounced to drop their children off whenever they had dates or wanted to go away for a weekend with their latest boyfriends.

But they didn’t stop.  They told her she was a terrible mother who didn’t deserve to see her grandchildren.  It was her fault they had trouble and she should feel guilty.

Relentless bullies want to be your master.
Mary’s parents and Michelle’s adult children wanted them to be their slaves, robots or toys.  They wanted Mary and Michelle to serve their whims of the moment and to be available for beatings whenever they wanted.  Or they wanted to keep IVs in Mary and Michelle so they could drink their blood whenever they wanted.

To masters, slaves and robots don’t have feelings that matter.
That’s how Mary’s parents and Michelle’s adult children thought of Mary and Michelle.  And when they were finished with Mary and Michelle for the moment, they discarded them like uninteresting toys.  Mary and Michelle didn’t have opinions or desires worth considering.  

Masters don’t accept boundaries from slaves, robots or toys.  It was clear and simple to Mary and Michelle, although hard to swallow.

To bullies, only actions and power set boundaries.
Mary and Michelle changed their situations when they took power over their own actions, especially when Mary’s parents and Michelle’s children didn’t like it.  Mary and Michelle stopped reasoning, arguing and pleading for permission and acceptance.

Mary and Michelle didn’t wait to be empowered.
They simply used the power they always had, but thought they weren’t supposed to use.

Mary stopped being bullied by guilt; she closed the door in her parents’ faces and laughed when they got upset.  Her parents didn’t like it and they protested loudly.  But when Mary didn’t debate, argue or budge, they began to do what she wanted.

Michelle’s children thought they had control because of the grandchildren.  They threatened more when Michele laughed at their threats, refused to take the children when they showed up unannounced, and even told the whole family what narcissistic jerks her children were.  When she started enjoying her life publically, her children started respecting her boundaries.

Find people who respect your words as boundaries
Mary and Michelle decided they’d let people close to them if they respected them and their words enough to treat them as boundaries.  People who wouldn’t listen unless they fought with them weren’t worth having in their lives.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Post #478 – Kindle Book – “How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks,” 2nd edition
http://bulliesbegone.com/blog/2014/12/6/kindle-book-how-to-stop-bullies-in-their-tracks-2nd-edition

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling
2 CommentsPost a comment

We’ve been selected #6 in Top 20 Bullying Blogs by Anuj Agarwal, founder of Feedspot, and his panel.

You can see the whole list at http://blog.feedspot.com/bullying_blogs/.

We’re honored to be first on the list that’s not an organization – government, educational, collections of posts.

We focus on counseling, coaching and consulting to individuals and organizations to stop hostility, intimidation, abuse and bullying by toxic, narcissistic individuals and groups at home, in relationships and personal life, in schools and in the workplace.

Create bully-free relationships with spouses, partners, children, teens, friends, parents, bosses, co-workers and employees.

Overcome fear, hesitation, shame and guilt.  Get rid of old beliefs, attitudes, rules and roles.

Stop wishing for your problems to go away.  Instead, take effective action.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situationThe 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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Larry and Laura; opposite situations, similar blood-suckers, opposite responses, same life-sucking result.

Larry’s parents were toxic, bullying, abusive narcissists.  When he was young, they wanted him to be their willing slave and they tried to break his spirit.  Now that he was grown and independent, financially and physically, they still wanted to enslave him.  Their rule: his role should be to take care of them and give them everything they wanted in the way that was most convenient for them.

Laura’s daughters were also toxic, bullying, abusive narcissists.  When they were growing up, they demanded Laura give them everything they wanted immediately.  They were continually nasty, critical and demeaning.  Nothing Laura ever did was good enough.  Every time they were upset, Laura was blamed.  They were selfish and entitled, and none of their charges was true.

Now they had children, they blackmailed Laura.  They wouldn’t let Laura see the children.  She had to give them all the money they wanted, and be available instantly to help make their lives easy or they wouldn’t give her updates on her grandchildren.

Larry felt angry.  Laura felt guilty and terrified.
Larry hated his parents and focused all his energy and rage on them.  He worried about their next demands and what excuses he could make that they’d accept.  He spend hours with friends venting about his life made miserable by them, even though they lived a thousand miles away.

Laura accepted that her daughter’s anger was her fault and she lived in fear of never seeing her beloved grandchildren.  She spent all her waking hours seeking help to figure out what to do to win her daughters’ love so they’d treat her fairly.  She spend nights turning everything over in her mind, trying to find a way to assuage her guilt and to make amends to them

Larry and Laura’s tormentors loved them as masters love servants or slaves.
Larry and Laura were stuck trying to get their tormentors to love them; they were stuck thinking that if their blood- and energy-suckers became loving, they’d treat them nicely.

But how do masters treat slaves?  Masters want slaves to do everything they want, and with a smile, because that’s what slaves are for.  Masters also want to beat slaves whenever they feel like it, like kicking the dog.  Masters love power and tormenting slaves.

If you live in fear and anger, you’ll miss the joy of today.
Larry and Laura’s consumed their thoughts and energy focusing on his toxic parents and her rotten daughters.  As long as Larry and Laura held themselves back, focusing on those masters, they were, indeed, slaves.  And their life’s energy would be bled dry, pint by pint.

Fear and anger are simply energy to motivate us to act.
But fear and anger are not good for supplying solutions.  That’s what our brains and skills are for.  We can use fear and anger to increase our strength, courage and determination to carry out the plans we make.

As Stephen Jenkinson says, “Fear is full of uninformed anticipation masquerading as heightened awareness.  Fear knows enough to mobilize, stir, run, and fight, but it knows next to nothing about the feared thing.  Fear is not knowledge.”

Larry and Laura faced their fear and anger; they changed their old, outdated beliefs, rules and roles.  They took charge of their energy and changed the directions of their lives.  They made the rest of their lives worth living.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Kelly and Kim had the same problem but in totally opposite forms.

Kelly’s parents were toxic, narcissistic bullies.  They’d criticized Kelly her whole life and taught her she should always do what they wanted.  If she didn’t, she was a sinner and they would punish her accordingly.

Kim’s adult children had the same idea.  She should be their servant.  Her time and money were theirs whenever they wanted.  When she wouldn’t give in to them at a moment’s notice, they’d explode, curse, spread angry lies throughout the extended family, attack her publically in social media, and deny her access to her grandchildren.

Kelly and Kim were used as scapegoats and whipping posts, as slaves.  Their oppressors wanted to be their masters.

Kelly and Kim were told repeatedly that their abusers were doing the best they could.
Whenever Kelly and Kim protested or refused, their families told them to overlook their standards and accept whatever treatment they got.  Kelly shouldn’t make her parents feel bad; Kim shouldn’t hurt her adult children’s feelings.  Bribery and acceptance were what was being demanded of them.  Kim and Kelly should feel guilty for their feelings and resistance; they should be more forgiving.

Any psychological reasons offered for why Kelly’s parents or Kim’s adult children acted the way they did were not really “reasons.”  They were excuses and justifications for the outrageous behavior so Kelly and Kim should not apply any consequences.

When do we insist on performance, not “the best they can?”
The short answer is, “Whenever it matters.”  Would we accept poor performance from a surgeon, dentist or pilot; from professional athletes on your home team; from your children’s teachers or school bus drivers; from people who repeatedly batter their spouses?  Of course not.  We expect them to meet certain standards and when they don’t, we remove them.

Why wouldn’t it matter when someone is bullying and abusing us?

When do we overlook abusive behavior?
There are situations in which we typically try to overlook abusive behavior.  For example, in taking care of a child with a disability or an elderly parent with dementia.  And we protect ourselves by being in charge of the relationship.  And we often sign up because we can see it’s for a finite time and then will end.  And we know what a huge toll that takes on our physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Can we really change relentless bullies with enough giving in and enough love?
I’ve never seen these approaches be successful.  Predators don’t wake up one day and suddenly see that our civilized ways are much better?  Miracles like that rarely happen.  That’s why they’re called miracles.

Instead, predators keep coming back for more easy food (money, time, feeling the pleasures of righteous anger and tormenting you).

The only method I’ve ever seen effective is setting high standards and demanding performance.
This approach won’t always succeed.  Those selfish, narcissists do have free will.  Indeed, history and biography do show many people choosing to be vicious and evil.

Then, the question is really about what situations we want to put our lives into for the next 30, 40, 50, 60 years?

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling
2 CommentsPost a comment

Different situations, same problem, same attempted solution, same lack of success.

Eddie’s parents were toxic, bullying and abusive.  When Eddie was growing up, his father had yelled, been sarcastic and never pleased with anything Eddie did.  Now his father was going after Eddie’s 7 and 9 year-old daughters.  Eddie’s mother seemed to be the opposite; talking softly and smiling.  But she was simply more sneaky and manipulative.  Everything had to be done her way and she’d nag relentlessly until Eddie gave in.  Now she went after Eddie’s daughters.  She’d even come to their house unannounced and tell Eddie’s wife and daughters what they should be doing, until they did exactly what she wanted.

Ellie’s adult daughters were toxic, abusive bullies.  Through social media, they told everyone what a rotten mother Ellie was, how she’d never do what they wanted and how Ellie always hurt their feelings.  They blamed their feelings on Ellie.  Ellie never did any of the things she was accused of but she could never please her daughters.  Even emergency babysitting and large gifts of money only bought a few hours of relief.

Eddie and Ellie kept trying to make their tormentors understand their side.
They kept trying to explain and offer evidence about what had really happened.

Eddie kept telling his parents how much his feelings had been hurt and how much his daughters’ were being hurt now.  Also, Eddie explained that he was now an independent adult and wanted to live his life his way; which was working pretty well.  He thought that if only his parents could understand the harm they were doing, they’d stop.

Ellie wanted her daughters to understand the pain they were causing her, how bad they made her look and how they were turning people against her.  She was sure that if her daughters understood, they’d come to their senses and stop torturing her.

Eddie’s parents and Ellie’s daughters didn’t care.
They didn’t want to change so they wouldn’t “understand” what their targets wanted them to.  Why should they understand and stop; they were winning by beating Eddie and Ellie into submission.  They thought they were justified, they did get their way, they could inflict pain whenever they wanted to and they even got obedience and money.  They were happy campers.

Eddie and Ellie were using one of the seven methods that never change bullies’ behavior.
Debating, reasoning, presenting evidence and begging for understanding doesn’t change hungry predators or relentless bullies.  Waiting until predators or relentless bullies accept your boundaries doesn’t stop them.  Bullies, like hyenas and sharks, take those tactics as signs of weakness.  They’re encouraged to be more relentless and to take bigger bites out of your flesh.

Their bullies pushed Eddie and Ellie to the boundaries of their comfort zones.  Then the bullies won because they pushed further, and Eddie and Ellie wouldn’t go further.
Eddie and Ellie thought being polite, calm and reasonable were the best virtues.  They felt shame and guilt if they ever blew up or acted in ways their oppressors called “nasty” or “vindictive.”  Also, they thought they couldn’t set boundaries unless their abusers accepted the boundaries.  They wanted their bullies’ agreement and permission.

As long as Eddie and Ellie settled for understanding and agreement, they couldn’t find consequences that would stop their bullies.  Eddie and Ellie needed to expand their comfort zones, get over their fears and find consequences the predators didn’t like.

Relentless predators understand only power; not reason, kindness and civility.
They must be stopped first, before trying to teach them other values.  You can’t change them if you begin by trying to get them to understand they’re hurting people or to accept your boundaries.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

How can I give up hope that my beloved narcissists, bullies and tormentors will eventually change?  That’s the wrong question.  Never give up hope.

A better question is: “What should I do while I’m hoping they’ll finally change?”

For example: read the previous post about Jeri (alienated and estranged by her ex and her children) and James (controlled and bullied by his toxic, narcissistic parents).

Some therapists recommend you give in, accept all the fault and plead with narcissistic bullies in order to show you still hope.
Many people accept this advice.  How can you give up on them?  Of course, people who accept this path suffer daily.  Their hopes are raised then dashed at each new example of uncaring, anger, hatred, cruelty and abuse.

This path isn’t about maintaining hope.  It’s maintaining the illusion that wishful thinking will be answered, that a miracle will occur, and magically they’ll be transformed – instantly and easily one night.

I’ve never seen this path work.

I recommend you live magnificently and with joy while you maintain hope.
Of course that’s hard when your dreams have been destroyed and you wonder what you did wrong or what you might have done differently.  But there it is.  And there are methods to help.

While you’re hoping and wishing and praying and lighting candles, you’re not letting them suck your blood or whip you like you were their slave.  You’re telling them what amends they must make in order to be accepted back into a tribe of people who behave like humans.  You’re setting standards.  You’re being a model to everyone else.

So don’t be miserable while you’re hoping.

What can stimulate toxic bullies to change?
Ancient wisdom and my observations lead to the same conclusion.  They have to lose everything and suffer enough before they begin to change.  Unfortunately, hurting you is not suffering to them; they enjoy it.  Then they have to apologize in public and make public amends.  If circumstances don’t make them suffer, they won’t change.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Jeri and James had the same problem even though their situations were different.  They didn’t know how to make sure their bullying abusers would change.  What if they wouldn’t ever change?

After years of criticism, demeaning comments, yelling and abuse, Jeri had finally divorced her toxic, narcissistic husband.  He immediately started to alienate their teenage children from her.  She was the scapegoat for all their problems.  The kids saw who had won.  He won; she’d always backed down and suffered his abuse.  Since she accepted the blame and guilt, he took most of the money.  The kids didn’t need her so they bonded with him and were estranged from her.  They didn’t want to see her and she wasn’t allowed to see their children.  Her ex gloated.

James had grown up with toxic, narcissistic parents.  His father was always right and in charge.  When James wouldn’t obey, his father yelled and beat him.  James’ mother always gave into his father; she never protected James.  Instead, she turned on James even more relentlessly, but her control was through manipulation and relentless verbal and emotional terror.  Somehow James had become successful.  Now they tried to take control of his family.  They attacked his wife and children, and wanted him to attend only to them.  It was his duty.

Being nice and rational, and arguing never changed their tormenters' behavior.
Jeri and James will never succeed in changing them through reason.  Their tormentors enjoy torturing them.  They don’t want to change.  Since there are no consequences that matter to the torturers, all the talk is merely begging.  Some therapists recommend you should always give in, take the blame, forgive and beg; some people keep trying those approaches.  Imagine begging hungry hyenas not to eat you.  Reasoning and begging are not languages hungry hyenas understand.

Only power has a chance to stop predators.
Jeri and James must take power over their lives.  As much as their hearts might be broken by the way their children and parents are, that’s the reality.  They must protect themselves from predators who want to rule their lives and eat them.  Or from masters who wanted them as slaves.

Jeri has to let go of her shattered dream.  Niceness won’t work with predators.  She has to find a way to live with joy the rest of her days and nights.  Of course it’s hard.  But there are many other people who would return her kindness with kindness of their own.  They could become a family of her heart mind and spirit.

James also has to let go of his hope that his parents will become the parents he’d wished he had.  He has to protect his wife and children from predators.  He has to stand up and be a model to them of how to resist relentlessly.  Now that he’s adult, he can.

What if their oppressors never change?
If they never change?  So what?  Jeri and James will each have long lives, lived well, grandly and fully.  Their childhood fantasies won’t have come true, but their adult dreams can come true.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Tom’s mother was crazy.  She’d suddenly turn from sweet to maniacal; she’d scream and throw things at him; she’d criticize and berate him; she’d beat him relentlessly.  He was afraid she’d kill him.  His only defense was to agree with everything she said and to hide when she went berserk.

Tom became a people-pleaser.
Surprise: Tom married a woman who created the same emotional environment.  She was selfish and narcissistic, bullying and abusive.  He couldn’t predict when she would blow up but then it would last for days.  She was angry and relentless.  She’d never let go of anything he did that wasn’t good enough or of any mistake he made or when he ever said anything back to her in frustration or anger.  Eventually he’d say whatever pleased her and then he’d try to get away.

His son became a people-pleaser also, except to Tom.
Since Tom always acquiesced and was nice, he was the one who was picked on.  After Tom finally divorced his wife and his son became 25 and started living on his own, Tom hoped his son would develop kindness, compassion and civility.  But he saw his son do everything his mother wanted, and be rude, neglectful and demanding to Tom.

His son’s behavior was the straw that changed Tom.  He knew he had to start standing up to all of them – his mother, his ex-wife and his son – or his future would be one of pain and victimization.

They wanted Tom to believe their anger was more powerful than God’s Grace.  But it’s not.
When Tom felt himself full of God’s Grace, filled with light and strength, he realized he had nothing to fear from any of them.  His self-doubt, self-questioning, guilt and low self-esteem vanished.  He didn’t even think about self-confidence.  He didn’t have to be perfect in order to ask for and even demand better behavior in his personal space.  He simply knew he was an adult and they couldn’t hurt him.  They could yell and scream, but he could leave.  He could have a wonderful life without them.

His son could fight him and ignore him and get angry, but Tom decided the most important thing was setting standards of polite, civil behavior in his personal space.  That was more important that the name of any relationship.

Tom had to set an example for his son before it was too late.
He realized his son would never learn until Tom showed him what they both needed to do.  He had to show his son that he could stand up to his mother’s wrath and not be destroyed.  Their anger wasn’t a big deal.  And if his son got angry at Tom when Tom stood up to him, that wasn’t so scary either.  By example, he’d keep trying to teach his son courage, inner strength and determination.

Obviously, men can do the same things that Tom’s mother and ex-wife did to him.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situationThe 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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Clara’s husband always found reasons to be needy or angry.  No matter what she did, it was never good enough for him.  And he was jealous whenever she was happy.  He condemned her if she did something and condemned her if she didn’t.

He alternated between being an angry, vindictive little brat and a hurt little boy.
He said her job was to make him feel needed whenever he wanted, or be his whipping post when he wanted.  When he blamed things on her, she was supposed to feel guilty and beg his forgiveness.  His bad feelings and behavior, his bullying and abuse, were her fault.  He was selfish and narcissistic; the center of the world.

At 55, he was still fighting a war against his rotten upbringing.
Of course he thought he was fine and Clara needed therapy to become a better wife.  If Clara stayed, he’d continue fighting that old war but it would be waged on her body.

He wanted Clare to either submit or to fight back so he could batter her into submission.
He gained meaningless victories over her but he lost all the joy he could have had in life.  And he wanted to suck or beat the joy out of her life also.

The only way Clare could win her own life was not to play his war games.

The same patterns are found in women who are narcissistic, adult brats and princesses.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situationThe 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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling
6 CommentsPost a comment

William had worked hard and become very successful.  However, his three adult-sons were lazy, selfish and narcissistic.  They expected him to provide everything.  Even worse, they were demanding, rude, abusive and criticized everything William did.

They expected William to bail them out of business problems, and buy them cars and houses, while they neglected him.  They never called or send birthday or holiday presents.  Even worse, they bullied William by saying if he didn’t give them everything they wanted, they’d keep his grandchildren from him.  Their wives were even worse to William.

They told William he had a father’s duty to take care of his children no matter how they abused him or failed on their own.
Finally, William had enough.  He gathered them at what they thought was a big gift giving and he told them he was done.  He was not taking their rotten behavior anymore.  No more bailing them out, no more big gifts and no more abuse.  They were all adults with families and they could provide for themselves.  He knew they were smart and capable of getting what they wanted on their own.

He had decided to be with people who would love him nicely, not pick his pockets.
He told them he was testing them.  Would they be nice enough to him to be worth giving or leaving anything to?  

At first they rebelled.  They cursed and threatened him.  They said he was blackmailing them.  He smiled and agreed.  They were old enough to accept, “Pay for performance.”  They could choose how to behave toward him and he could choose what to do with his time, energy, love and money.

I’m not saying what happened next because William was excited with what he’d said and did.  He didn’t feel guilty.  He felt free of leaches who were sucking his blood.  He felt full of energy and strength.  That was most important to him.

Obviously, the same pattern applies to toxic parents and other relatives who want to drain your blood and pick your pockets.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

June had been raised to be her parents’ servant.  They beat into her that her role was the Right Way.  They chose even a husband for her and told her she couldn’t protest.  It was her duty to honor her parents and to make the marriage work.  Or else!

June had been her husband’s slave for thirty years.
Her husband had only worked sporadically when he wanted to; had only helped with the children and the chores around the house when he wanted to; and had demanded she wait on him and his friends when he wanted her to.

During that time, June had raised the kids and worked to have enough money for groceries.  The children were now grown and gone.

The way he treated her made no sense to her.  It wasn’t nice and it wasn’t fair.

June’s Spirit rebelled.
Finally, June really heard him say, for the thousandth time, her job in life was to honor him and to serve him.  This time her Spirit rebelled.  No matter what he said, no matter what her parents said, no matter what her community said; they were wrong.  She wasn’t going to stand for that any more.

In an instant, she quenched that fire.  How could she disagree with everything she’d been told?  How could she be right and all of them be wrong?  How could she try to get away when she’d be all alone?  She should feel shame and guilt for feeling those thoughts and for feeling so angry.  She wasn’t understanding and forgiving.

Something in June snapped; never again!
But the damage to June’s old patterns had been done.  Her Spirit was stronger than their opinions.  She simply didn’t care about those questions and ideas.  She had to follow the demand that rose up from inside her.

To keep herself on track, June replayed an image she’d made of her life’s journey.  She saw herself as her parents’ slave.  They’d made her do everything; they’d beat her physically and verbally whenever she resisted or whenever they were upset for any reason, not only when she did anything wrong; and they told her she had to like it.  It was her role in life.

June saw herself as her husband’s slave.  He did what he wanted and her task was to make his life as easy as possible.  She was supposed to do all the work; she was supposed to endure his verbal beatings, whenever he felt like it even though there seemed to be no reason; and she was supposed to like it.  Whenever he wanted to kick the dog, she was the dog.

All their behavior now made sense.  It fit a pattern.  That’s what Masters did to slaves.  June could never understand why a person would chose to treat other people that way, it wasn’t right.  But she could see the power they all loved being Masters.  They felt good being waited on; they felt good being powerful and in control; and, sometimes, they felt good torturing something helpless.

The demands of June’s Spirit were more powerful than her previous brainwashing.
Many people run from their Spirit’s demand.  They choose the path they’d been trained for.  But not June.  Her inner force was stronger than her fear, and her low self-confidence and low self-esteem.

Replaying that image of her slavery gave June power.  She motivated herself and gave herself strength, courage and determination.  She’d never again be anyone’s slave.  She’d never put up with bullying and abuse.  Her life was hers and she’d never give anyone control.  She gave her life to her Spirit’s demand.

It was hard for June to break away from a life-time’s training and to find people who supported her determination to make a new life for herself.  But June persisted.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Polly knew she didn’t have much time to save her grandchildren from the craziness of her angry, narcissistic, sociopathic daughter.

Her daughter made her life hell, and tormented and brutalized the grandchildren.  She then insisted they hate Polly for not doing everything their mother wanted to.  All their troubles were Polly’s fault.  Polly knew that her daughter wanted to alienate the children from her.  Polly also knew the only reason she’d ever see her daughter or her grandchildren would be when her daughter needed money or child care.

Polly had given up on having a meaningful, close relationship with her daughter but she wanted to save her grandchildren from her daughter’s toxic behavior.
She didn’t care if she ever saw her daughter again; she’d grieved horribly at that loss once she’d allowed herself to see what her daughter had become.  She couldn’t understand what had caused it but she knew she had to let go or her daughter would suck all her money and blood, and then abuse her for having no more.

But she wanted to help her grandchildren grow up loving and kind, despite what their mother said about her, and despite the hurt and pain they felt being around their mother.  They already knew never to displease their mother.  Her daughter’s husband also lived in fear of her temper.

What could Polly do to save her grandchildren?  Polly finally realized:

  1. Kindness, compassion and consideration for others would not help the children resist their mother’s craziness and anger.  Those qualities, admirable as they are, would be used by their self-centered mother to make them her slaves.
  2. The kids need to be fierce.  They need a fire in their hearts, a fighting spirit to endure their terror and to resist their mother’s bullying, abuse and lies.  They need courage, strength and fierce determination not to be beaten into submission.
  3. They need to keep their Fire and Will secret from their mother until they could get away.  If they fought openly, their mother would destroy them before they were old enough to defend themselves.  Kids from every physical and cultural war zone in the world need that fierceness in order to escape and to make their own lives.  They need to be invulnerable – undefeated by the pain until they could escape the prison they were born into.
  4. They need to develop a skill so they can become physically and financially independent.  They already knew what happened when they were helpless before their mother.

How can Polly help grow that seed of their Souls?  A good gardener germinates seeds and then showers them water sunlight, water and manure.
In the short time Polly had with the kids, she could help those seeds grow and bear fruit.  In secret, Polly:

  1. Told the children about the seed they had within them.  Told them they needed to develop fierce courage, strength and determination.  Encouraged their fierceness as well as their compassion.
  2. Told them to keep secret their determination.  Told them she’d love them always and if their mother separated them, not to believe their mother’s reasons but, when they were old enough, to come find her on their own.
  3. Sent birthday and holiday presents in big boxes and kept records of every gift.  She let her daughter be the one to deny the kids.
  4. Told them stories about what some of their ancestors had survived, which was much worse that what their mother dished out.  Pointed out the great survivors and heroes and heroines in the movies, books and television programs they watched.
  5. Reminded them of how peace, safety and warmth felt when they were with her as opposed to the shame, guilt and terror they felt with other people.  Told them to go where it feels good and to judge “how” people love, not by what they said, but by how good they feel when they’re with them.
  6. Set high expectations for behavior when they were with her, especially handling their emotions.  All the while she created a safe space for them to talk about anything they wanted.
  7. Told them she was going to be a model for them by living a wonderful life, full of joy.  Told them suffering, whining and complaining were victim-talk.  They too could make such wonderful lives and she would help them when they got free of prison.  Told them they could succeed, no matter what had happened in their early years.

Polly can’t guarantee whether the seeds would grow and bear fruit.
We never know which kids are rocky ground and which are fertile soil.  All we can do is supply what we can.  Usually one child, or maybe two children, are invulnerable to their mother’s craziness.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Harry’s 36 year-old daughter insisted that he accept her rage and tantrums when she didn’t get what she wanted or when he tried to pin her down to whether she was coming for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  He was interfering with her freedom and life, and he was making her suffer.

She insisted he love her unconditionally and prove it by accepting how she was and giving in to her.
Harry should feel guilt and remorse.  He should forgive her if she acted out because she always had good reasons for her tantrums.  It was always his fault.  He should prove his love do what she wanted, whenever she wanted.

Harry was stumped.  He didn’t have an answer that would satisfy her.  He could never do enough to prove his unconditional love.

Accepting her narcissism, rage and uncontrolled outbursts is not unconditional love toward an adult.
Harry finally had his answer.  Unconditionally, he loved the potential he’d always seen in her to be a wonderful person.  Unconditionally, he loved her spirit that could be so loving, kind and compassionate.  Unconditionally, he loved the fire within her that could have made her a competent, successful and independent adult.  Unconditionally he loved the best he saw in her.

And he despised her personality, ego and sense of entitlement.  He despised the horrible choices she’d made.  He despised her selfish, narcissistic, entitled behavior with which she beat him and so many others.  He despised the least of her and he was disgusted when she gave in to that side of her.  One of the first jobs of any adult is to master herself, to be in charge of her emotions and behavior.  She needed to grow up.

She hated his answer but he was satisfied with it.
He didn’t have to satisfy her whims or prove his love any more.  When he first told her how he thought about her behavior, she was furious.  She bullied and abused him louder; she cursed him and called him a failure as a father.  She told him she’d never forgive him and never talk to him again.

Harry told her he had so much love, compassion and respect for her, he was kicking his little bird out of the nest.
Instead of trying to prove himself to her, Harry laughed and asked if she needed a “time out.”  He calmly and firmly told her he loved her so much he was no longer paying for her apartment, her car and her insurance.  She had a job and she had to learn to be a productive and independent adult.  Her choice was to crash or to fly.  It was the best gift he could give her and it was given out of respect, kindness and compassion.

Of course, Harry could see what she’d do next.  She’d give him the loud silent treatment and when that didn’t work she’d plead poverty and when that didn’t work she’d try to get him by being helpless – she was in danger or she’d threaten to commit suicide and it’d be his fault.

Harry was mentally and emotionally prepared.
While she was giving him the loud, silent treatment, he went and had a wonderful time.  He even started dating again.  He knew she’d find out and he didn’t want her to see him suffering and praying and lighting candles.

When she pleaded poverty, he said he knew she had the courage, strength and determination to struggle and to make a wonderful life.  He recounted all the times she’d been strong enough to beat him into submission.  He recounted all the obstacles she’d overcome when she was in school.  When she attacked him verbally, he laughed and encouraged her to be a better parent to herself.  She was at a loss when he laughed and didn’t defend herself.

He told her she’d have to start proving her love.  She’d have to prove she was worth having around.

In this situation, Harry had some leverage.  His daughter wanted things from him.  In other situations, the demanding, narcissistic adult child has the leverage, so different tactics have to be used.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

One of Helen’s adult daughters was forcing her to choose between her daughter and her second husband.

That’s not the real choice.

Helen had three girls with Ed before she finally summoned the courage to divorce him when the girls were in their early 20s.  He was angry, demanding, selfish, manipulative, bullying and abusive.  However, she thought she had to stay because the girls needed a father and she always wanted to give them everything they wanted.

Ten years later she met Sam.  Helen never thought she’d ever meet someone who would love and care for her the way Sam did.  Also, he was wonderful toward her daughters and their young children.  He had a big heart which he opened to them even though he wasn’t their biological father.  After three years they decided to marry.

One of the Helen’s daughters, Mary, was furious.  It was a slap to her father Ed, it was wrong and she was going to stop it.  She cajoled, she threatened, she used emotional blackmail and intimidation.  She tried everything she could to get her sisters not to go.  Even though Helen pleaded and begged, Mary wouldn’t budge.

Helen went ahead with the marriage, saying that Sam was so wonderful, eventually Mary would be won over.

But Mary never changed.  For eight years she wouldn’t allow Sam near her or her children.  She organized big Thanksgivings and Christmas celebrations, big birthday parties for her children and her sisters’.  Helen was invited but Sam was never allowed to come.  And Mary would never go to Helen’s events if Sam was there.

All that time, Sam was still wonderful to Helen and the other two daughters and their children.  He kept asking Helen to stand up to Mary but Helen kept waffling.  Maybe she did feel a little guilty for remarrying.  Maybe Mary was right that Helen was driving a wedge into her family.

Helen kept attending Mary’s functions in hopes that Mary would eventually relent.  She kept begging Mary and reasoning with her.  She kept minimizing the damage she was allowing to her marriage.  

Helen’s other daughters said they couldn’t do anything because they didn’t want to destroy the family.  They said Mary was always this way.  Even when she was a little child, if Mary didn’t get what she wanted she became furious.  She yelled and screamed.  She threatened and manipulated.  She sulked and wouldn’t talk for months until everyone gave in.  She was relentless.  They thought that was just how she was.  So Helen and the rest had eventually given in to her.

We need a Code of Conduct, Standards of Behavior that are greater than individual personality and ego.
We pledge our allegiance to a Code of Behavior first, just like the law is above the King, Queen or President.  We recognize dictators and tyrants because they want their whims and personalities are above the law.

Supporting and enabling trashy behavior is not helping Mary.
Helen had to stop wanting to be forgiven and loved by Mary for the wrong reasons.  Mary’s love was not kind, considerate and compassionate; it was selfish, bullying and abusive.  Helen had to challenge Mary to love her for the right reasons and to love in the right ways.  Helen needed to take a risk and break the glass ceiling that she’d accepted.  She needed courage and inner strength to take the risk of standing up for the Standards she held so dearly.

The choice was about which standards of behavior Helen would allow in her personal space and the family she wanted.
Helen though Mary was behaving horribly, like some sort of trash.  Or, Mary was dumping toxic waste into Helen’s family.  She’d always done that and Helen had not stood up to protect the rest of her family from pollution by one daughter.

Helen finally saw clearly.  This was the same choice she had to make when she divorced Ed.  Mary was the one driving the wedge.  Mary was the poison serpent in the family.  Mary had the heart and Soul of a raisin.

Looking at it that way, the choice was clear for Helen.  She couldn’t allow the bullying, temper tantrums of a five year-old take control of her family, especially when the five year-old was in a mid-forty year-old body and should have learned better.

There never is “the family.”  There is only, “What specific behaviors would Helen allow in the family she wanted.”  It was a horrible choice to have protect the rest against one daughter, but it was the choice Mary was forcing on Helen.

Helen was the mother and she had to set a good example for all the younger people.

Helen chose the standards she wanted to live with the rest of her life.
She chose the happiness and joy she felt with Sam; she chose the way she and Sam treated each other.  At first, her other daughters didn’t back her because they thought she’d never have the courage and endurance to resist Mary.  But after they saw Helen’s determination, they also insisted they didn’t want manipulation, bullying and hissy-fits around their families.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Elaine had not recognized Brian as a sneaky narcissist until it was too late, she thought.

Elaine had given her life to Brian.
She and Brian met when they were both in their fifties.  Her two children were grown and independent.  He’d never married.  His courtship of her charming and intense.  He swept her off her feet.  He claimed he had a thriving business but needed to move out of his apartment and into her house so they could really be together and he could devote extra money to the next growth steps in his business.

Within a year, Elaine had put his name on her house, given him half her business, put her savings into his business, him beneficiary of her will, and watched him run up huge debts on her credit cards.  She’d also quit seeing the friends she’d had for decades.  The way he explained it, made it all seem natural.

Even worse, her life started revolving exclusively around his schedule and his desires.  Brian insisted she keep working because they needed the money.  Also, he insisted she keep the house spotless and have food ready for him when he came home in the evening.  When she wasn’t perfect enough for him, he was critical, bullying and abusive.  But he always has good reasons.  He demanded she give in to him like his mother always had.

Elaine felt trapped.
She woke up one morning in a cold sweat.  She hated the way he’d treated her but she could never win an argument.  If she tried to leave, she’d be almost broke.  And Brain had been clear about what he’d done to business partners and previous women who’d disappointed and abandoned him.  He’d broken them.

Elaine felt hopeless and helpless.  She couldn’t see a bright future.  She’d been a fool.  It was all her fault.  Waves of shame and guilt washed over her.  She became anxious and depressed.

Elaine is not trapped.
Elaine was stuck but not trapped.  It would be a difficult task to get free, but she was not doomed to spend the rest of her life as Brian’s slave.

She felt her anger and her spirit rise in her.  She’d fight him to the death.  Even if it took the rest of her life, the fight would be better than giving up and becoming his slave.  She began to see and feel some hope.  And the more she fought, the more she found allies and the stronger she felt.  During her fight for freedom, she discovered many things she could use as leverage against Brian.

Of course it was hard.  So what?

Some people wake up only after they have children and are financially dependent on a sneaky narcissist.  That only increases the degree of difficulty.  Many people decide to wait until the children are grown.  But remember, sneaky narcissists will try to make you more helpless every day.  And the more you tolerate access to the children, the more they’ll be able to turn them against you.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Overt narcissists are pretty easy to recognize and label, even the first time we meet them.  They’re pushy, loud and over the top.

But sneaky narcissists try to lull us to sleep so we’ll drop our defenses and let them take over our lives.

However, we can learn the early warning signs, even the first time we meet them.  Sneaky narcissists exhibit typical patterns when we meet them.
Notice, we can recognize their behavior and we can also honor our feelings even though we may not have evidence that would stand up in court.  Some early warning signs of sneaky narcissists are:

  1. They appear quiet and pleasant but they always become the center of attention and conversation.  Their experiences, their feelings, their observations are the ones that count most.  If the spotlight shifts from them, they maneuver it back rapidly.
  2. They’re demanding and talk down to people who have to serve them.  They’re subtly negative about everyone who doesn’t worship them.  They’re experts at planting seeds of doubt or sharing confidences that play with your emotions.  Recognize sneaky narcissists by how often you’re your feelings about people change after they’ve been whispering in your ear.  They often had to retaliate against former friends or partners who were dumb, wrong and deserved it.
  3. They criticize, bully and abuse you with a smile until you distrust your own opinion.  They often change or deny what happened until you start questioning yourself.  You start to think you’re dumb and crazy.  Your self-esteem and self-confidence plummet.  You feel dependent.  See the movie, “Gaslight.”
  4. Their opinions and rules are right; they know best about everything, including you.  They might not yell, but they’re clear: they see accurately, they know the truth, their reasoning is right.  Their rule is that if they find one exception to your statement, it’s all false and you have to give in to them.  They want to convince you there will be a disaster if you don’t do what they want.
  5. They find perfectly logical reasons why they should control every decision, especially when it concerns money, jobs, friends and family.  They often start by pleasing you and then slowly making adjustments to your life, one seemingly small thing after another.
  6. They debate cleverly so you’ll let them win.  Their feelings are much more important than yours and come first.  They often use their hurt feelings so you’ll give them what they want.  Always, they take over more and more of your thoughts, actions and space.  They take over your life.  If you don’t give them what they absolutely must have (everything they want), they’ll be devastated.
  7. They’re relentless.  They may back off for a while but they’ll always return to reinforce their points and to find examples that disagree with yours.  Everything is a matter of life and death to them, although the most sneaky ones go slowly at first to take control of your life step-by-step.  You feel yourself not wanting to bring up things or to disagree because it’ll be too much trouble over something that’s not so important to you.

Many begin by flattering you in order to gain control.
They can’t live without you.  They’re charming and sweep you off your feet.  They want to move in right away and do everything together.  Or they want you to sell your place, quit your job and move in with them.  Then you’re helpless, arranging everything around their desires and schedules.

Notice how that undying love is slowly replaced by distain and control once they have you.  Recognize what they do when you deny them something, especially unconditional submission, adoration or money.

Always trust your inner radar.  Even if you don’t have external evidence, move on before it’s too late.

We might be fooled by the cleverest of narcissists or sociopaths until we marry them, but once we realize what’s going on, we can and must get out before we lose ourselves in their control.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

People who grew up as victims to their parents’ narcissism often have a void, an emptiness right in their center, an excruciatingly painful emptiness they are driven to fill.

For example, Linda had been trained by her father to feel empty.  She was not allowed an opinion of her own.  Her sense of Self was discarded and a void created in the center of her chest.  He trained her to be filled (temporarily) only by his throwing her an emotional bone of love once in a while.  

When Linda grew up, she was driven to fill that emptiness at any cost, even further dismissal of her own Self; her thoughts, her feelings, her opinions; her standards, her values, her desires.  She bounced from man to man, always looking for someone to give her a little love, at any price, in order to fill that void.

Linda was an addict.
She saw versions of herself in movies and television; heroin addicts doing anything for a fix, even the slightest amount, to take the pain of that emptiness away.  She was addicted to narcissists.

Recovery.
Finally, in despair, Linda went cold-turkey.  She had to endure intense loneliness, longing and pain while she started to fill her emptiness with her own Spirit, her own Soul, her Higher Self.  She also filled that void with God and the Great Mother.  She felt the love pouring in and filling her like warm milk and light: Bliss, Joy, Home.

She remembered a few moments early in life when she’d felt filled and she did exercises to keep filling herself.  As she felt filled, she stopped seeing the world in terms of whether she was loved or not.  She no longer needed external suppliers of temporary fixes of love; the narcissists, bullies and abusers she’d previously sought.  She was able to see clearly what people’s personalities were and would likely continue to be.  She saw who she could be with and who she could not; who had their own interests at heart and would seek to hook her again.

Then a miracle happened: She stopped feeling thrilled and attracted to the bad men and women who promised a little relief but really sought to hook her.  She began looking at the world for wonderful things to be seen, to be experienced, to be done.  She began feeling attracted to people who would be real friends and lovers.  Walking around with her chest filled, she felt attractive and she was.

Within 6 months she fell madly in love with a real partner to share her new self.

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:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling