Agnes was distraught.  She thought one of her sons and his wife hated her and didn’t want to see her any more.  She was afraid they’d cut her off from her new grandchild.  She didn’t know why they would want to estrange from her.

Were her son and his wife toxic adult children; was his wife alienating her son from her?  How could Agnes tell?

  1. Agnes’ son and his wife were not harsh or cruel to her.  They’d actually explained, numerous times, kindly, almost pleadingly, that they simply liked privacy.  They were not bullying or abusive; no temper tantrums.  They said they didn’t want her coming over unannounced.  They’d call her at least month, maybe even more if she’d respect their privacy.  They begged her not to bring dinner.  She was a great cook but they liked cooking together by themselves.  Of course they’d spend the big holidays with her, in rotation with her daughter-in-law’s family.
  2. They told Agnes they loved her and simply had different personalities and styles; they liked distance.  She hadn’t done anything wrong and they were struggling with their guilt at not living their lives the way she wanted.  Her daughter-in-law even said she’d call her “Nonna.”  They felt guilty.  Nevertheless, they had to live the way they were comfortable.
  3. Agnes remembered that her son had always been that way.  He’d always seemed to want privacy and had distanced himself.  She’d insisted the family do everything together; that was simply what families did.  She’d spent a lot of his childhood dragging him back into the bosom of her family.
  4. They never asked for money or demanded her help on a whim.  They weren’t using distance or cruelty to blackmail Agnes or to make her life miserable.  They simply seemed to like more scheduling and planning ahead.
  5. They never used her grandchild as a hostage for demands.  They never hovered to oversee Agnes playing with child.  They even said they could see spending a day a month together or even leaving Agnes’ grandchild with her if Agnes gave them distance in other ways.
  6. They treated her daughter-in-law’s family the same way.

What was the problem?
Agnes’s other son and his wife were fine with Agnes’s being intimately involved in their lives.  One of them called at least once a day.  Unannounced, Agnes brought dinner to them at least once a week and spent all day Saturday with them.  That was exactly the way she imagined, all her life, being a mother and grandmother.  She was helper and caretaker.  Agnes focused all her vast energy on her family; she’d even vacation with them if they let her.

That was the problem.  The first son wasn’t smothered by Agnes’s attentions but the second was.  He and his wife wanted more privacy and time for their nuclear family.  They were not toxic adult children; her daughter-in-law wasn’t alienating her son from her.  They simply didn’t wanted to be smothered by Agnes’ ever-present love.

The only thing Agnes had done wrong was not to see her son as an individual different from herself; with a different personality and style.  And possessing free will.  Her son and his wife were not toxic or bullying.  They didn’t try to beat Agnes down with anger or manipulate her by guilt at not having been a good enough parent.

Reconciliation was relatively straightforward.
Agnes had a hard time accepting that they had different personalities and styles from her dream.  She had a hard time thinking of them as independent and capable adults.  This was not the life she’d planned so carefully.

But once Agnes finished weeping her guts out, once she realized it wasn’t about who was right or wrong, it was simply about personalities, Agnes started listening to their boundaries.  Once she relented and talked to them calmly, her son and daughter-in-law also relented a little and welcomed her more than they’d originally said.  But no vacations together.

Of course, the same applies to every gender combination.

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

Bullying, toxic adult children want you defensive; they always attack.
These narcissists want you to take their charges seriously.  They don’t have to win every time as long as you’re always defending yourself.  Sooner or later they’ll win on something.  Or you’ll grow tired of defending yourself; you’ll give up and do what they want.  You’ll be glad to give them the little things they want.  Pretty soon you’ll even be glad to buy some peace and quiet by giving them the big things they want.  They want you as a useful slave, willing to take their beatings and admit your guilt.

Sam’s estranged wife had alienating his children from him.  Every bad feeling she or they had was his fault.  The selfish, entitled children hadn’t needed much encouragement.  She taught them to criticize him, accuse him of demanding too much of them and of not proving his love of them.  The only way to prove his love was to support them in whatever ways they wanted and to cater to their every whim.

Bullying, toxic adult children want you to worry about how they’ll attack you next.
They want all your fear, attention and energy focused on them.  They want you looking over your shoulder and walking on egg shells.  What’s their motive?  They want power and domination; they want whatever they want at the moment.  Sometimes they simply want to kick the dog.

Sam had already tried every factual, reasonable, logical approach he could think of.  These hadn’t worked because his bullying, toxic adult children thought his defending showed his weakness.  Those tactics only encouraged them to abuse Sam even more.

Some outrageous ways to get you off the defensive so you can take power and control back from bullies.

  1. Don’t take their charges seriously.  When they accuse you of being selfish, laugh and say, happily, “Yes, I am.  You taught me that’s the way to win.”  When they accuse you of not loving them, laugh and say, happily, “Oh no, you’re wrong.  I love you, I just don’t like you.  You’re simply selfish and spoiled, mean and vicious.”
  2. Mock them, frustrate them and get them angry.  When they say the economy is bad, their life is hard and you owe them, laugh and say, happily, “I’m so sorry you’ve turned out to be weak, cowardly and a loser.  I’d hoped you’d be stronger.  Deep down inside of you, I know you have the strength.  Find it and struggle and you'll succeed.”  When they explode, laugh and say, happily, “Still throwing temper tantrums or having hissy-fits at your age?  Do you need to go to your room and have a time out?”  Or laugh and pretend to be an Olympic judge and say, happily, “That’s only a 6.3.  I’ve seen you do a 9.7.  Try again.”  When they guilt trip you, laugh and say, happily, “You’re the ones getting punished for your guilt in manipulating me and treating me like a slave all those years.”  Of course, when you take back your power and control, they’ll be furious.  When they’re furious, you know you’re doing good.
  3. Ignore their charges and attack back, especially in public.  Bullying, toxic parents count on your being embarrassed and giving into them in public.  Don’t.  When they say you owe them, laugh and say, happily, “After all the torture you’ve inflicted on me, you owe me.”  Or laugh and say, happily, “You’ve been a horrible child.  Your job is to please me if you want anything from me, alive or dead.”  And mean it.
  4. Make an inner change so you’re simply not defensive when you’re with them.  For the last 80 years, popular culture and psychology have been wrong.  They taught parents to make their children happy, provide them whatever they wanted and make them the center of the world.  Nonsense.  That approach usually creates selfish, entitled narcissistic people.  The older culture was that children were supposed to please the adults, to serve the people who gave them life.  Both poles are wrong.  The inner change needed is that your primary task in life is not to make anyone else happy, not to accept judgment by anyone else’s standards.  You’re old enough to use your own experience and wisdom to make up your own mind.  Make a wonderful future for yourself.  Live with character, integrity and honor; live with passion and joy.  Do what your Soul, not your personality, is here to do.
  5. Don’t waste your life-blood arguing with jerks and narcissists, even your toxic, adult children.  Remember, bullying, toxic adult children want to keep you engaged so they’re the focus of your life.  You can’t save them.  That’s above your pay grade.  Don’t focus on what drains your blood and whips your flesh.  Kick them out of the nest.  Move away; mentally, emotionally or physically.  Find the true family of your heart, mind and spirit.  

Yes, it’s hard, if you accept you’re a bad person or if you fear you won’t go to heaven without their approval or when they have some leverage like your grandchildren.

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
6 CommentsPost a comment

Bullying, toxic parents want you defensive; they always attack.
These narcissists want you to take their charges seriously.  They don’t have to win every time as long as you’re always defending yourself.  Sooner or later they’ll win on something.  Or you’ll grow tired of defending yourself; you’ll give up and do what they want.  You’ll be glad to give them the little things they want.  Pretty soon you’ll even be glad to buy some peace and quiet by giving them the big things they want.  They want you as a useful slave, willing to take their beatings and admit your guilt.

Shauna’s parents had manipulated and abused her when she was growing up.  When she was a young adult, they took all her money.  They told her she’d fail and she wouldn’t get into heaven unless she did what they said.  Now they wanted her to give them full-time care in their house and to spend her savings to make their lives comfortable.  She owed it to them.

Bullying, toxic parents want you to worry about how they’ll attack you next.
They want all your fear, attention and energy focused on them.  They want you looking over your shoulder and walking on egg shells.  What’s their motive?  They want power and domination; they want whatever they want at the moment.  Sometimes they simply want to kick the dog.

Shauna had already tried every factual, reasonable, logical approach she could think of.  These hadn’t worked because her bullying, toxic parents thought her defending showed her weakness.  Those tactics only encouraged them to abuse Shauna even more.

Some outrageous ways to get you off the defensive so you can take power and control back from bullies.

  1. Don’t take their charges seriously.  When they accuse you of being selfish, laugh and say, happily, “Yes, I am.  You taught me that’s the way to win.”  When they accuse you of not loving them, laugh and say, happily, “Oh no, you’re wrong.  I love you, I just don’t like you.  You’re simply selfish, mean and vicious.”  When they accuse you of not honoring your mother or father, laugh and say, happily, “Yes, I wish I had ones worth honoring.”  Or, “I honor the way I want, not the way you want to use me as a slave.”
  2. Mock them, frustrate them and get them angry.  When they say their life is hard and you owe them, laugh and say, happily, “I’m so sorry you’ve made bad decisions about health and money but that’s your problem.”  When they explode, laugh and say, happily, “Still throwing temper tantrums or having hissy-fits at your age?”  When they guilt trip you, laugh and say, happily, “You’re the ones getting punished for your guilt in manipulating me and treating me like a slave all those years.”  Of course, when you take back your power and control, they’ll be furious.  When they’re furious, you know you’re doing good.
  3. Ignore their charges and attack back, especially in public.  Bullying, toxic parents count on your being embarrassed and giving into them in public.  Don’t.  When they say you owe them, laugh and say, happily, “After all the torture you’ve inflicted on me, you owe me.”  Or laugh and say, happily, “You’ve been horrible, bullying, toxic parents.  Your job is to please me if you want anything from me.”  And mean it.
  4. Make an inner change so you’re simply not defensive when you’re with them.  The inner change needed is that your primary task in life is not to make anyone else happy, not to accept judgment by anyone else’s standards.  You’re old enough to use your own experience and wisdom to make up your own mind.  Make a wonderful future for yourself.  Live with character, integrity and honor; live with passion and joy.  Do what your Soul, not your personality, is here to do.
  5. Don’t waste your life-blood arguing with jerks, even your parents.  Remember, bullying, toxic parents want to keep you engaged so they’re the focus of your life.  Don’t focus on what drains your blood and whips your flesh.  Move away; mentally, emotionally or physically.  Find the true family of your heart, mind and spirit.  

Of course it’s hard, if you accept you’re a bad person or if you fear you won’t go to heaven without their approval.

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

Ruth and Ralph felt like they were at another choice point; who was in charge of their lives?

Narcissists want to control your life.
When she was growing up, Ruth’s father was in charge of his family.  He was the Patriarch: He had to be obeyed.  Her mother gave in and never protected Ruth.  Sometimes, she encouraged him to abuse the children.  Ruth learned how to make life easier for herself.  She’d guess what he would want and do it.  She remembers when she decided never have an opinion of her own.  When she was 18, her parents forced her into a disastrous marriage to a man who’d also rule over her.  Even now, at 45 and with her children independent, her father and her husband insisted on ruling her life.  They wanted her to be a good servant, a willing slave.

When his daughters were in their 20s, Ralph finally broke free and divorced his bullying, controlling, abusive narcissistic wife.  He’d never resisted her before because he saw that resistance would lead to immediate divorce.  He thought the girls would be harmed by divorce when they were young.  Now his daughters took over the role of selfish controllers.  Whenever he didn’t do what they wanted they threw hissy-fits.  He was a bad dad; he should feel guilty; they knew exactly how he should show his love of them; they knew what was best for him; they wouldn’t let him see his grandchildren if he didn’t jump every time they wanted.

Who do you want to decide on your present and future?
Ruth’s parents and husband, Ralph’s daughters, egged on by his ex-wife, wanted to be the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of their lives for their own benefit, not for Ruth’s and Ralph’s.

In moments of clarity and anger, both Ruth and Ralph felt totally alive and free and powerful and wonderfully peaceful.  Their submission and guilt vanished.  They no longer felt like helpless little children.  They felt like competent adults.  They would take charge of their lives.  They would dedicate themselves to making their futures wonderful for themselves and for those who wanted them to enjoy life.

Their narcissistic controllers had said they only wanted what was best, but both Ruth and Ralph knew better.  It was best for the Masters.  They were narcissists who wanted servants and slaves.

Feeling free of the old beliefs, rules and roles was crucial and was only a first step.  Ruth and Ralph had to back that up with actions made against huge resistance.  But the feeling of freedom and power stayed with them, and inspired and guided them to become the Matriarch and Patriarch of their own 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.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Polly and Pete felt like they were in fights to the death.  They could never win but they’d refused to back down.

Pete’s parents always tried to control everything he did.  He had to serve them and follow their orders.  They’d told him what school to go to, what subjects to take, what job to get and who to marry.  Now, when he was grown, independent and successful, they still tried to order him.  When he didn’t do what they wanted his father yelled, cursed him and gave him the loud silent treatment.  His mother begged, pleaded, used his guilt and got the whole family to berate him.  They’d even show up at his home without invitation and start again.  They were relentless.

Polly’s eldest daughter had always tried to get her way.  The older she got, the worse the fights got.  She argued, cursed, told Polly she was an unfit mother and made up incidents that weren’t true.  Any time Polly declared her boundaries, her daughter had to trample them.  She always found evil reasons why Polly did what she did.  She’d never admit she started the fights or she’d been wrong and she never backed down.  She was relentless.

To us, the triggers seem minor.  To them it’s a fight to the death.
Narcissists won’t give in about anything unless they offer a fake truce as a prelude to getting what they want and then attacking us again.  Their bullying, abusive attacks are relentless.  They’ve been training us to think resistance is futile.  They’re not satisfied until we kneel before them.

As long as we engage, they win.
They want our time and energy focused on them, 24/7.  They create and thrive in chaos.  Then they can take charge and beat us into submission.

How can we not defend ourselves when they’re nasty and they lie?
As long as we defend ourselves, we’ll lose because we’re wasting our lives engaged in mortal combat with them.  We wouldn’t argue with drunks so why defend ourselves against attacks from jerks? To them, even worse than losing is not fighting.

Pete and Polly withdrew from the fights. They discovered the only way to have boundaries with narcissists was through power and action.  
Pete had his own life.  He hung up on his parents when they began to throw fits.  He hung up on the relatives when they called to coerce him.  He told his parents if they ever came unannounced, he’d call 911 and have them taken away.  They were shocked when he did.  Pete got over his guilt.

Polly started laughing at her daughter.  She told her to stop throwing hissy-fits.  Sarcastically, she asked her if she needed a time out.  Polly stayed calm and never argued back.  She told the other children they had to choose; good behavior from their sister or fake “family” as slaves to her.  She became more stubborn than her daughter.  She was lucky, her daughter didn’t have children to hold as hostages in order to get Polly to give in.

Both Pete and Polly decided they’d never convince narcissists by arguing.
But they could insist that good behavior counted more than wasting their lives on somebody else’s battles to the death.  They even stopped wasting time worrying about what their narcissists might do next or what the rest of the family thought about them.  They’d deal with each episode when it came up.  They decided they’d make wonderful lives with people who were their real families; the families of their hearts and spirits.

The same situations can occur with spouses, partners, siblings and friends who fight to the death.

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

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
2 CommentsPost a comment

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
5 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

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AuthorBen Leichtling
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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.

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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.

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AuthorBen Leichtling