Ilene wasn’t sure her husband and one of her adult daughters were bullies or narcissists. And she couldn’t understand why either would act the way they did when she loved them so much and had done so much for both of them.

Her husband was critical, negative, sarcastic and demanding. He said he was head of the household and she had to do what he said and give him what he wanted, even if he’d changed his mind just a second before. And sex was a brutal, horror show. He didn’t seem to agree that a true marriage meant taking care of each other including making her happy. But he wasn’t all bad; two years ago he had gotten her a vacuum cleaner for her birthday, and once he almost said he was wrong. If only she could be sure.

Ilene’s daughter was full of rage. She loudly blamed Ilene for her lousy marriage, said hateful things in public and insisted Ilene go to work so she could give her more money. Ilene felt so guilty. Often her daughter was overt but sometimes Ilene thought she was covert, sneaky and manipulative. What had she done so wrong that her daughter treated her like that? And maybe her daughter was right; maybe Ilene was too sensitive and not caring, loving and forgiving enough?

Don’t waste time trying to decide if someone is a bully or narcissist – and what kind of narcissist.

All the time Ilene spent trying to decide if they were actually bullies and narcissists, she’d endured their abusive treatment of her. She hated the way they acted; she’d never let anyone else treat her that way. But she didn’t think she could do anything unless she was sure they were bullying, narcissists.

Stop trying to psychoanalyze bullies, narcissists.

Ilene obsessed on figuring out what had happened to her husband when he was growing up that made him the way he was. She was certain his control and rage were her fault. She worried how she could avoid triggering his anger. If she only knew how to pump up his self-esteem better, he’d start loving her. She obsessed on her daughter also. If only she knew how to feed her daughter’s emotional needs, to make her happy, she was sure her daughter would relax and love her in return.

All the time Ilene wasted analyzing them, talking with friends to help analyze them, reading articles and watching videos about bullies and narcissists, she’d endured their treatment. However, she was certain that when she’d analyzed them deeply enough, a solution would appear in her mind. She’d know exactly what to do to win them over. They’d start treating her the way loving people should.

What Ilene needed to do was to stop trying to understand them and, instead, stop them.

Simply ask yourself, “Do I want to accept their behavior?”

Obsessing on their problems, trying to figure them out, getting a definitive diagnosis, deciding who was wrong, finding psychological excuses for them and wondering if she had the right to demand what she wanted, had kept her stuck for decades. Her husband and her daughter had horrible examples growing up but they’d also had wonderful examples. In the end, they’d always chosen how they wanted to act. They’d chosen to act like the horrible examples.

Ilene had gone around in endless circles of pain and anger, followed by self-doubt, guilt and low self-esteem, followed by more pain and anger. She hated the way she thought and felt. Her husband and daughter would never see a counselor; they thought they were right and fine.

In her heart of hearts, Ilene knew she was done with being their scapegoat and whipping girl. She hated them and herself for putting up with the abuse. She decided not to convince them she was normal and right. She decided not to rescue, save or rehabilitate them. Simply, she wouldn’t accept their treatment any longer.

And she didn’t.

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

Helen was distraught. Her adult daughter was negative, critical and demanding as usual. At a family Christmas party, she yelled that Helen had ruined her life and she’d never let Helen see her granddaughter. She loved her father, Helen’s ex, who was at the party with his new, young girlfriend. He always agreed with the daughter and gave her everything she wanted. He slyly encouraged the daughter to blame Helen, whenever she was upset at anything. The daughter hated Helen for divorcing her sweet, loving father.

Helen told me she hadn’t told her daughter about her father’s alcoholism, abuse, beating her and then going after their daughter. That’s when Helen had called the police, who removed her husband before he got to the child. That’s when Helen divorced him. He’d been gone from their lives until Helen’s daughter was 25.

Now, he preened as the center of attention, enjoying his daughter’s love while making sarcastic, demeaning comments to Helen whenever their daughter wasn’t present. He told Helen he’d make sure their daughter hated and discarded her. In public, he pretended to be Helen’s friend; a nice guy and an innocent victim of divorce, full of good advice.

Don’t collude with bullies, narcissists by keeping silent.

Helen had never told her daughter the truth about her father because she didn’t want to interfere with a relationship between a daughter and her father. Helen’s plan had worked.

Her daughter now had a wonderful relationship with a man who’d been her bullying, narcissistic father and hadn’t changed. Her daughter had repressed her memories of what he’d done. Instead, she hated Helen, who’d worked two jobs and paid for her education. Her daughter had been lured by her father’s gifts and swallowed his stories about how Helen had been unfair to him. Now her daughter thought he was wonderful and Helen was the bad person.

What can Helen do now?

Helen wished she’d told her daughter the truth all those years she was growing up. Her job had been to interfere in order to protect a young girl from lies and manipulation by her biological father. She was guilty of stepping aside and allowing her daughter to have a relationship with an abusive narcissist. And she hated having to be polite to him now, pretending that nothing horrible had happened.

But if she made a scene now, she was sure her daughter would hate her for driving a wedge between her and her father. And probably her daughter wouldn’t believe her.

Helen finally decided to speak up; to shine a light.

She decided to make a scene at her daughter’s birthday party, to which her ex had been invited. She began by apologizing to her daughter for never telling her the truth; for allowing her to be in harm’s way with a man who’d been so rotten to her and still wanted to manipulate his daughter. Helen’s ex denied everything. Helen’s daughter was angry at Helen for ruining her party. And she wouldn’t believe any of the cruel and hateful things Helen had said.

That’s when Helen produced the police report and evidence from his trial. She stayed to rebut every new lie her ex tried to tell. She said she’d never again be in the same place with him. Forcing herself to be polite while he pretended to be nice was too offensive to her Soul.

Helen’s daughter now faced a test.

She could cling to her father because he always agreed with her and had dangled the promise of a big inheritance if she adored him. Or she could swallow her pride and apologize for throwing Helen away when she thought Helen would be no use anymore. Her daughter chose wisely.

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

Many bullies and narcissists take control of people and situations by creating drama and chaos. Everyone has problems in life; stuff breaks; health goes south; hopes, dreams and expectations get shattered. But that doesn’t require fear and panic, drama and chaos.

Gina had noticed a pattern. Both her mother and one adult daughter loved drama and chaos. Every time life seemed to be going along smoothly, something would happen and they’d get hysterical. Everything was an emergency; it was the end of the world. By the time everyone in the family, especially Gina, had gotten involved, Gina realized she’d spent every minute doing what they wanted. Nothing had been solved but she’d spent a lot of money and it was her fault that things were even worse. All her plans had been ruined; she could never relax and enjoy herself.

What seemed like a simple problem had become a whirlpool or black hole, and everyone had been sucked in to make her mother or that daughter happy.

But how could Gina not help? Gina realized she was being sucked into the hysteria and required to help the way they wanted, which meant using all her time and energy to throw gasoline on the fire.

During these near-continuous episodes, they’d become the center of attention. Everyone’s feelings, thoughts and energies were devoted to making them feel better. And afterward, Gina was exhausted.

But how could she say, “”No” and mean it. And not feel guilty about it.

Gina declared herself a drama/chaos-free zone.

She made that more palatable by saying her doctor required her to have no drama or chaos for six months. Of course, that didn’t stop her mother or that daughter. They’d never cared what Gina thought or wanted. They demanded she help them the way they wanted.

Gina used the scripts she’d prepared.

“That’s a real problem. Sorry, I can’t help this time. When you’ve solved it, we can get together for coffee. Doctor’s orders.” And she hung up.

She had to restrain herself from immediately calling back and suggesting solutions and then doing what they wanted. She had to restrain her fear and guilt that her mother would die of neglect. She didn’t. She had to live with her fear that something horrible would happen to that daughter or her daughter would be even nastier and keep the grandchildren from her. But her daughter needed her and wouldn’t kill the cow she thought might give milk later.

Gina had to resist their bullying and manipulation.

Her mother and her daughter attacked her. They called her names; they threatened her. Then they tried getting the rest of the family involved to force her into returning to her old behavior. Gina kept smiling and saying, “No,” sweetly. She never explained why she was so mean and selfish.

Gina had to resist her inner bully.

“You’re being cold and uncaring. Our main job is to be forgiving and available to help others. You won’t be loved by God. You’re guilty of a grave sin.” Gina also had scripts to argue with that voice. Then she focused her whole energy and attention on other activities she’d planned. After a while her guilt subsided.

Of course they kept trying but the doctor-required, drama/chaos-free zone kept getting extended.

After a long time, when Gina seemed to feel no guilt and was steady on her course, she noticed her mother and that daughter had found other people to fill their needs. She’d hoped they’d change their bullying and narcissism but the chose the easy path.

And Gina got the result she wanted: a drama/chaos-free life.

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

Fern and Francine had the same problem but with different people. They thought they had to think of other people first, and that love and caring meant rescuing those people.

Fern’s husband was a bullying narcissist. He was always demanding, angry, and right. He constantly mocked and criticized her, controlled all their money, demanded she do all the work around the house even though she made as much money as he did, and bought whatever he wanted but told her that her wanting a birthday present showed her greed and vanity. Then there was his drinking, the pornographic web sites and the nights he stayed out until morning. He hated when she tried to interfere with his life. But maybe once a year he said something nice to her and she forgave everything.

Francine’s adult son was entitled, demanding and blamed all his problems on her. He claimed she’d never given him everything he needed when he was growing up and never did enough now to help him out of situations he’d gotten himself into against her advice. When she wouldn’t put up with his bullying and abuse, he wouldn’t let her see her beloved grandchildren. He seemed to enjoy torturing her by making appointments to bring the children and simply never showing up. She deserved pain; the guilt was hers.

Fern and Francine’s primary rule was that if someone was hurting or needed anything, or if they could see any potential in someone, they had to do the loving, comforting and kind thing by giving that person what they wanted.

They knew how hard it had been for them to overcome having been raised by crazy, bullying, narcissistic parents, and they hoped that if they were nice enough, Fern’s husband and Francine’s son would someday understand their pain and start being nice to them.

Fern and Francine decided to stop meddling in people’s lives.

They realized rescuing, caretaking and enabling had been taught to them by people who’d used and abused them all their lives. Now they were sacrificing their own bodies by meddling in someone else’s personal growth and development. They were choosing to be martyrs in order to save people they loved. They thought the reward for martyrdom would be success and love. They weren’t happy and singing hymns while being led into the coliseum to face the lions.

They decided they didn’t need to go on those roller coaster rides any more.

The battering on the rides hurt too much. They didn’t need to be bled dry or beaten as a scapegoat for someone else’s inner torment or sadistic pleasure. The only thing they could really do was get out of the line of fire and pray for those people. And they could lead wonderful, joyous lives while doing that.

They could love at a distance. Close up hurt too much.

It was especially hard on Francine because she was resisting the urge to meddle in her own son’s life but they both got themselves out of the clutches of their tormentors.

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

Ella realized her husband had prevented her from being with people she wanted to be with. She’d finally found out he’d been overt and covert about driving her friends away. He’d ordered them not to come around or he’d lied, saying she’d said bad things about them or he wouldn’t allow her be with them. If she had fun talking with them, he’d retaliated. He’d told her bad things about them and pointed out when they’d treated her badly and she hadn’t even noticed. She was amazed how he could understand what was behind seemingly innocuous things they said or did. Funny, she never noticed at the time.

Bullies, narcissists actively keep people away from you.

The examples Ella found were the common and obvious. He was isolating her. He’d gotten away with it because he wouldn’t accept Ella’s proofs, he always had good excuses and Ella wanted to keep him happy. Why start fights? Why force him to be with people who he said insulted her or offended him? As she became isolated, she became dependent.

Bullies, narcissists repel people who want to be with you.

Then Ella realized that even new people she’d met, who seemed to like her, kept a distance or withdrew from her. Finally she saw she was facing a natural process. As long as she was with him, she’d never find people who’d want to spend time with her.

When she asked, the more straight-forward ones, who’d seemed to have a connection with her, told her the truth. Some didn’t want to expose themselves to the black cloud they sensed around her. Others said as soon as she told them about him, they recognized a rotten apple. He was bullying and abusive; he always made her leave in the middle of fun to attend to him. He controlled her, he’d try to control them. He was always right and had to be worshipped as the center of everyone’s world. They didn’t want to be around that.

One rotten apple will spoil a whole barrel.

They told Ella it was like she was carrying an infectious disease. She was ravaged and exhausted. Who wants to be exposed to that? Or they could see she was tormented; wrestling with what she intuited about him versus her guilt about judging someone too harshly and her need to rescue him. He was whipping her and sucking her energy. Who wants to be drawn into that movie? Or they could see being with her would be like being in one of those movies with the worst, extended-family Christmas ever. The negativity, nasty comments, hurt feelings, criticizing, arguing, yelling, backstabbing, one-upping would drive them crazy. Who wants to waste their time in that?

Ella was finally motivated. She felt she prepared a wonderful meal for wonderful friends but he was sitting in all the chairs around the table. And he felt justified. Who wants to be invited when all the chairs are taken? No matter how wonderful Ella was, and they said she was, there was no room for anyone else in his inn.

Ella realized she’d allowed this to happen to her before.

In the past, she’d struggled but finally gotten away. This time she realized he wanted many children. If she did that, she be trapped forever. Or at least, the degree of difficulty of getting away would be much greater. She’d have more responsibility and she’d have to fight with him over the kids for the next 20 years.

That thought gave her the courage, strength and determination to go against her upbringing and his arguments. Even though she felt attracted to his flame and she couldn’t prove to his satisfaction he was trying to enslave her, she followed her gut and got free.

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

Darla asked with a whine, “Am I a magnet for bullies and narcissists?”

The answer was, “Yes.”

Darla had been trained by her parents to be a good girl, a nice person whose job was to make people happy so they’d like her, treat her kindly and she’d get into heaven. Her husband had reinforced those beliefs. Darla had served him well for years. Two of her three adult children had chosen to follow his example. They saw who got his way and who got to serve. So they decided to win. Many of Darla’s friends and neighbors rapidly saw her acceptance of disdainful treatment and control, and her willingness to serve without reciprocal caring. So they chose to take advantage of her.

Bullies and Narcissists have mastered the skill of recognizing victims.

Victims are targets who won’t resist effectively. Like predators surveying a herd to find the weak ones, human bullies and narcissists also seek the ones who won’t resist. When they’re not sure, they probe the herd to find out who’s weak. They preyed on Darla because couldn’t or wouldn’t run away and she didn’t know how to resist. She became a bully-magnet

A better question for Darla was: “What do I do that makes bullies and narcissists think they can get away with bullying and abusing me?”

Darla’s original question came from her thinking there was something defective in her genetics or character or she’d actually behaved very badly. The better question assumes she hadn’t done anything particularly bad and can change her behavior to stop attracting bullies, narcissists. In fact, it assumes that when she learns what she needs to know, bullies and narcissists will run the other way or she’ll brush them off like lint, naturally, automatically and easily.

Finally Darla got so angry something inside her snapped.

Intellectually, Darla readily accepted her old victim-patterns but at the thought of actually resisting, she chose discomfort and fear. She didn’t want to make them angry; if they got angry, her life would be ruined. She saw the many excuses she’d used for not having consequences her oppressors would get angry at. The magic moment for Darla was when she got enraged at her husband for turning the children to his evil ways. That was too much.

Connecting that moment to all the other times he’d been critical, negative, abusive, bullying, selfish and uncaring made something so huge, Darla couldn’t ignore it any more. Her anger motivated her to stop him or die trying.

A miracle happened for Darla; her resistance spread into the rest of her life.

She’d become determined and disciplined. Her well-trained guilt and sense of politeness were no longer enough to hold her back. She became very firm, clear and outspoken. Her husband, those two children and the particular friends and neighbors who’d used and abused her were taken aback. They continued to probe for weakness, hesitation and self-doubt, but Darla didn’t have any. She was willing to fight for what was right.

When Darla was successful, she didn’t need to be driven by anger any more. She was no longer a magnet for bullies and narcissists; she repelled them naturally.

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

Clara eventually realized that her husband always took control of what they were talking about. Whenever she protested about his bullying or abuse, he changed the subject. She followed his arguments and never got back to what she wanted to talk about.

One tactic of sneaky bullies, narcissists is to focus your attention on the subject they want; they attack, you defend.

They that tactic use to gain power and control. Every time Clara said she didn’t like what he said or did to her, he didn’t answer about what he’d done. Instead, he attacked her. He said things like, “You don’t love me” or “It’s always your way or the highway” or “You’re rejecting me” or “You ruin everything” or “You’re trying to control me” or “You’re too sensitive and demanding” or “You did that three years ago to me” or “You’re trying to bully me.”

When Clara started defending herself, he made more charges.

It was endless. The more she defended herself, the more he attacked. If she was successful defending one charge, he changed the subject. She followed his attacks and never got back to her original objection. Clara felt like she was on trial, with a hostile prosecutor, judge and jury.

Don’t give bullies, narcissists control of the subject.

Don’t defend yourself, don’t debate, don’t argue. At first, Clara tried to keep him on the track she wanted by writing down her subject, listing his subjects afterward and repeatedly saying, “We’ll talk about what you want after we’ve talked about my subject.” But her husband was relentless in changing the subject. Then he got angry, threw a temper tantrum and stormed off.

When he’d calmed down, sometimes after a few days’ silent-treatment, he acted like nothing had happened. If she brought up her original complaint, he called her dirty words and said she was ruining their happiness by throwing up ancient history he’d forgiven her for.

She tried stopping defending herself and tried attacking him. That slowed him for a minute but then he ignored what she said and attacked her louder and faster.

Clara decided to believe what she believed and act the way she wanted.

She’d tried to drag him to couples counseling but that never worked. Finally she told him she’d decided he was an abusive, bullying narcissist. She didn’t need him to accept or agree that he was. He called her the same.

She said, “Why should I stay with someone who treats me like that?” He said she was at fault, she was the guilty person. The Elders at Church agreed with him. He suffered her only because he was the more spiritual person and could forgive her for her sins.

She made plans in secret to get away.

When she started separating from him, he acted all lovey-dovey. But she’d seen that many times before. She told him she was making distance and she’d see how long the love-bombing would last before she considered letting him court her once again.

He turned angry and abusive. And that was the end of that.

Clara was no longer on trial to decide if she was a good enough person.

For the first time in her life, she felt free; she was in charge of herself.

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

Betty was stuck. Both her husband and one teenage son were narcissistic, abusive bullies. They called her a bully when she told them to stop bullying her. She never wanted to be a bully in order to get her way.

Betty’s husband never listened to her opinion. He told her he ruled her and her opinion didn’t matter. He criticized her in public, controlled all the money and ordered her to do what he wanted whenever he wanted. A few times he even raped her when she was so angry she said, “No,” to his demands for sex.

That son demanded she serve his every desire. When she didn’t act fast enough, he yelled and cursed her in public, and threw tantrums in which he broke her most precious objects. She felt guilty and shamed when he told her she was a lousy mother and if he had problems, they were all her fault for being so cruel to him.

Betty questioned herself relentlessly: “Am I bullying if I tell bullies, narcissists to stop?”

She thought she couldn’t ask them to stop if that meant she was a bully. The more she thought about the question, the more self-doubt descended on her. Her confidence in her own judgment and her self-esteem plummeted.

Betty took a long time to accept that her survival depended on a better question.

The old question had trapped Betty because, using their logic, she couldn’t do what her Spirit was crying out to her to do; “Stop the bullying and abuse!” Finally she decided:

  • They were actively bullying and abusing her. She was not bullying them; she was merely protesting, and protecting and defending herself.

  • They wanted no consequences for their actions. They wanted to get away with tormenting her.

Betty decided she was not going to demand they do what she wanted. She was going to tell them the consequences if they didn’t stop and then she’d act.

That simplified everything for her. She asked herself, “What behavior will I allow on my body and in my personal space?” That question opened up Betty’s future. Now, she had a vote in her life. Now, she could see the possibility of being well-treated. Now her self-doubt was gone. Now, she felt free from oppression.

Of course, Betty began tentatively. She stopped telling them how much they hurt her. That was no consequence to stop them; they enjoyed her pain and misery. The more she stopped arguing and the more consequences she acted on, the stronger she became. Of course, they protested and tried other tricks to shake her determination.

Of course, the end result with her husband was that Betty divorced him. She wasn’t forcing him to stop his abusive behavior. He could continue bullying someone else.

At first, her son chose his father’s side, but after living with him for a while, he also felt used and abused. He was shocked when he saw Betty not being bothered by their anger toward her and by having a wonderful time without them. Eventually, he was able to treat her as she demanded in order for him to have a relationship with her. But she never let him live with her again.

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

Alice loved and dreaded the holidays. At the same time her spirit soared at a season of loving and giving and peace on earth, she fell into gloom and despair at the hopeless task of trying to please all the bullies and narcissists in her extended family who came to her house.

Self-bullying ruins the holidays.

  • Having to please everyone and make everyone feel loved is impossible and self-bullying.

  • Having to have everything organized and planned for perfectly, right now is impossible and self-bullying.

  • Having to rescue everyone is impossible and self-bullying.

  • Having to avoid or rise above all negativity and criticism is impossible and self-bullying.

  • Recounting all your faults and failures is self-bullying.

  • Self-bullying guarantees exhaustion, burn-out and failure.

Alice knew from her life experience, she would be criticized and picked apart, and be the focus of the venom each member of her extended family brought with them to the holidays. No matter what she did, she’d criticized, bullied and abused. She’d be damned if she did something and damned if she didn’t. She could never explain or defend herself. There was no way she could win.

Self-bullying is a lousy motivation strategy.

Alice had been well-trained and accepted her role of being the people-pleaser. She carried the guilt of never being perfect. When she was young, her self-bullying motivated her to do better, do more, strive to be perfect. The self-bullying strategy had been a useful motivator even though it hurt.

But now, it defeated her. It set up impossible tasks and then sapped her determination, strength and courage. She was always worried and distracted, so focused on herself she could never give her best. She was the monkey on her own back.

Alice gave up all the impossible tasks.

She got off her own back. She did her usual wonderful holiday festival for everyone. She smiled and radiated good cheer. But now, when anyone complained, she didn’t suffer and try to apologize, defend or rise above. With a smile, she calmly, firmly and loudly shot back at them.

Publically she said things like:

  • “Poor baby. Stop throwing a temper tantrum when you don’t get what you want. Nothing is ever good enough for you. You enjoy complaining so much, I stopped caring what you think.”

  • “No one could love you as much as you want. I’ve stopped trying. Comparisons and jealousy are a great way for you to beat people into giving you more. It’s part of what drives people away from you.”

  • “Stop whining, complaining and acting like a “Professional Victim.” No one can make your life better until you do the hard work of making better decisions and struggling to succeed. We can’t rescue you from yourself. I’ve stopped meddling in your life.”

  • “You think you know best and you’re righteous about everything. Who cares? It’s really boring to listen to you hour after hour. Pretty soon people will stop inviting you because you’re simply not fun.”

  • “Actually, I like the amount of effort I put out and the results. I’m satisfied. If you’re not, you have a problem you’ll have to fix yourself. Good luck.”

Since words don’t set boundaries with bullies and narcissists, how was this time different for Alice?

Alice was different. She really didn’t care if they were happy or not, if they stormed off or if she had to throw them out. She was making a scene in public and she was unapologetic. They thought she’d really call 911 if they threw a fit. She radiated strength and determination. Bullies and narcissists are attuned to that level of determination and grit. Sometimes they think you’re bluffing and they call the bluff. This time most believed Alice’s commitment to herself.

Two miracles happened:

  • Most people stopped being critical, demanding and obnoxious. They were afraid of the attention focused on them by Alice. They didn’t want the spotlight shone on them that way.

  • Alice started enjoying herself. She said she felt a giant burden lifted from her shoulders. She actually enjoyed weeding through the extended family to see who she wanted to keep.

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

Zina had read enough internet articles to have names for what would happen during the holidays, as it had for as long as she could remember. The bullies and narcissists in her extended family would act out – they’d be critical, mean and nasty, and pretend they were only joking; they’d be gas-lighting; they’d use power overtly; they’d organize flying monkeys.

Her parents would demand that everything be done the way they wanted; even if she did they’d call her disrespectful; the loser child; the one they wished they’d never had; the one they’d cut out of their will. Then they’d relent because they were good, long-suffering people.

Some of the aunts and uncles would get drunk and make inappropriate, sexist comments about the good looking teenage granddaughters. They’d pile on racist and religious comments in all directions. They’d support each other.

Her husband and son would argue and step outside to fight, her daughter-in-law would claim that they should inherit everything, one of her daughters would claim Zina favored the other and, therefore, Zina would never see her grandchildren again. It was chaos and torture labeled as “family.”

Bullies, narcissists forced Zina to face moments of truth during the holidays.

Often, we gather together out of duty and responsibility with people we love but barely like. And they act the way they always have. And we feel like we’re going to explode.

Zina was so frustrated. Over the years all her dreams had been shattered. Not only did she not want to cook for these people, she didn’t even want to spend the holidays with them. She wanted peace and calm, she wanted generous people who cared. She had none of these.

Every year she’d promise herself she’d speak up and then do something. Her values demanded she act. She’d told her children when they were growing up that they should not tolerate bullies and narcissists. But she always held herself back. She’d always run from her moments of truth.

If Zina spoke up she’d be breaking the family.

She’d held herself back because she thought it wouldn’t do any good and if she spoke up she’d be offending many people. Who was she to offend them? If she did, who would take care of her when she was old? If she did she’d be alone.

But this was not the family she wanted. This family dragged her Spirit into the mud and stepped on it.

Everyone had told Zina to rise above it.

If she ever looked hurt or upset, they said she was too sensitive; not understanding and compassionate enough; not loving, caring and giving enough, especially during the holidays. She was arrogant and selfish. She should feel guilty and become a better person. Who was she to put her opinions above the rest of the family?

This year, Zina decided her values and standards were the most important things to her.

She would not let her Spirit be eroded. Her values were more important than the names of the particular relationships, than the pretend family. She would start caring for her Spirit more than their feelings. She knew she was a good person and gave a lot.

She’d hesitated because she was sure they wouldn’t change. Now she decided, while she hoped they would change, that wasn’t most important to her. Most important was stopping people from polluting her life; most important was creating the space she felt truly at home in.

She planned what to say to who about what. She wrote her responses on 3 x 56 cards so she could deliver them calmly and with caring. If bullies and narcissists got insulted and left, that was their problem. She would not apologize.

Being brave and strong in her moments of truth made Zina powerful.

She felt like a coward every time she forced herself to keep silent. All her talking about being Spiritual, about living an honorable life came to a head in these moments. They were moments that showed the truth about what she believed. Would she act or would she be just a passive spectator of her own life?

Zina decided she didn’t need their permission or approval to speak and act.

She didn’t need to be empowered by them. Her Spirit mattered to her. She spoke clear and firm.

She was surprised when many people in the family spoke up in support of her. Many people looked at her with respect and admiration. She saw that the bullies and narcissists were actually small in number. But no one else was willing to risk themselves by speaking.

She became a leader in the family. She started a process of weeding out the toxic, emotional polluters from her family. Only a few resisted and they were soon isolated by all the rest. Holidays became a respite and a treat.

Zina did break the fake family and become part of a family she wanted to be with. And her Spirit soared.

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

Wanda felt out of control as usual. If it wasn’t her parents, it was her husband. If not them, it was one of her adult daughters. There was always chaos; an emergency, a frantic need, a panic she needed to fix immediately, someone for whom she had to drop everything she’d planned and rescue.

Bullies, narcissists often use three tactics in varying sequences.

  1. They beat you into submission. Verbally, emotionally and physically they want you to submit to them. If you don’t, it’s your fault and they can do whatever they want to make you pay. Whether it’s the loud-silent treatment, temper tantrums, guilt trips or relentless criticism and belittling, they know they’re right and you’re wrong. You must submit; you must serve them the way they want instantly. You’re not allowed to have wants and needs of your own; you don’t matter, they don’t care. They try to convince you they’re more relentless so you’ll give up.

  2. They manipulate you. They lie, steal, cheat; they pretend they don’t remember agreeing or promising; they attack you in public when you’re too polite to resist; they tell stories and spread gossip and rumors behind your back to isolate you. They organize everyone else to tell you, “You should give in.” They’re better debaters so you have to give in.

  3. They create chaos. They’re not bothered by craziness and chaos because they know what they want, they know what’s right and they move deliberately and swiftly in the direction they want. While you’re trying to make sense out of what’s going on and figuring out what people’s motives are and what would be the perfect or best response, they take command to get what they want before you can act.

Bullies, narcissists want you feeling frustrated, powerless, helpless.

They want you to freeze. They’re happy when you feel hopeless and don’t know what to do. They win; you lose.

Wanda’s recognition of the patterns made her determined to detach from the game.

She had to make a great internal shift. She was no longer the daughter, wife or mommy whose sole responsibility in life was to make them happy instantly and constantly. She put aside all the “what ifs” that had sucked her in and simply didn’t answer her phone for hours when calls were from them. When they attacked her, she said she had been busy. She didn’t give further explanations.

Sometimes she said, “That’s a big problem but you’ll figure out how to solve it. Love you. Gotta go.” When they said they’d be inconvenienced or miss a big event, she was sympathetic but she didn’t volunteer to rescue them. “Oh, that must be so hard. I’m so sorry for you. But I have faith in you, you’ll figure it out. She didn’t make suggestions to solve their emergencies.

When they make demands or laid down the rules for the holidays, she smiled sweetly and said, “No. We’re doing it this way instead. You’ll just have to like it or not come.”

Of course, they attacked her even more. After all, they’d been used to beating her down eventually. But Wanda was a new Wanda. She kept repeating the same old responses. Since her children were grown, Wanda decided to find a job. Not only would she have her own money, but she’d have a good excuse not to rescue them.

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

Vera felt gut-punched. She realized that most of the people in her life, the people she loved the most, enjoyed tormenting and torturing her. And she’d let them.

Growing up, whenever she felt good, her parents had criticized, threatened and bullied her until she felt miserable. They still tormented her by making plans for her to do things for them and then changing their plans at the last minute to suit their convenience. They smiled when she got frustrated and angry.

Vera’s husband was always negative about her best efforts. He suddenly wasn’t hungry when she’d made a big effort to cook his favorite food. He belittled or threw away any clothes or mementoes she loved the most. He never let her do what would give her pleasure. Sometimes his verbal tirades and abuse became physical. He relished telling her she was worthless and a bad wife. She never served him the way he wanted and she’d never find anyone else who’d put up with such a loser.

One of her daughters perpetuated the pattern. For years, she used Vera to watch her young son when she needed someone. Vera and her grandson were soul-mates. When the boy asked to see Vera, Vera’s daughter said, “No” and, for months, severed all Vera’s contact with her grandson. Whenever Vera didn’t serve her daughter exactly as she wanted, she’d take the child away. Her daughter said she was in control now and Vera would have to do everything she wanted on her schedule or else.

Bullies, narcissists feed on your emotions – your frustration, hurt, pain, impotent anger and misery. They thrive on chaos and fighting.

Even worse than not caring about how you feel and what you want, they enjoy making you miserable. They trash every big occasion you hope for. Whenever you want to discuss or change something, they refuse to engage. They love ripping your happiness into shreds. They’re like vultures picking at your flesh or leeches sucking your feelings and energy.

Their idea of a good relationship is them as master, you as suffering slave.

You don’t get to vote. You don’t get to have an opinion. Whenever you have a hope or desire, they tantalize you with the possibility and then jerk it away at the last minute. When you get so frustrated you explode, you’re the guilty person who needs punished. Whenever you’re crushed, you deserve it.

You cannot change them; they’re having too much fun torturing you.

For forty years, Vera tried everything she could think of. She tried being perfect; praising and pleasing them. They enjoyed that but never stopped tormenting her and demanding more. She tried setting boundaries and threatening. They ignored or mocked her. She found experts and therapists who told them they should change. They found they own sources of support or said, “Who cares.” Sometimes they made promises but then enjoyed ignoring or denying what they said.

Vera finally quit being their source of amusement and nourishment; she left.

She began to love and nurture herself. She didn’t ask for their understanding, acceptance or permission. That action violated all her old rules, values and beliefs. She started tormenting herself by self-bullying. She felt terribly alone and miserable. But she got over her guilt and for the first time in her life, she felt totally free and filled with joy.

Of course, they ganged up to bad-mouth her and spread gossip. She thought, “Who cares!” Within a year, she’d attracted new and much nicer people into the space she’d created.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. http://www.bulliesbegone.com/hire_ben.htmlto 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

Traci’s Spirit was crushed by her husband. He was in complete control. To him, marriage meant she was his “squaw” or slave; she was his property. He never asked her opinion; she never got to vote. Her job was to wait on him; to stand in the corner until he told her to do something and then she had to jump.

Whenever she asked for anything, he either said “no” outright, or said “I’ll see” and then never would talk about it again, or said “yes” but at the last minute changed his mind and told her she couldn’t do it and she should stop nagging him. She finally realized he enjoyed tormenting her by making sure she knew that her wants, needs and feelings were never to be expressed or fulfilled. The very fact that she wanted something showed she was uppity, aggressive and didn’t know her place. He was the head of their marriage and he decided everything.

Their therapist told her she wanted too much from a man; she should settle for what he was.

The therapist said her husband was a decent person: he didn’t beat her too much and he didn’t rape her too often. Her therapist said it’s normal for men to be in charge, to be demanding of their wives, to want their wives to give in and let them control everything, and not to do anything they didn’t want with the children.

Traci should submit and be a loving, docile wife. Men were often selfish, bullying, abusive and narcissistic. A good wife should dance around her husband, manipulate him to get what she wanted to get what she wanted and she should never hurt his feelings. If Traci want more, she was expecting too much.

Her husband gleefully said, “See!”

Don’t settle for what offends/crushes your Spirit.

Traci’s Spirit was fighting for her life. Traci was saying, “No:” She was not a slave, a “squaw” or even a servant. That’s not the kind of marriage she wanted. She was a person with her own desires, rights and dignity.

She realized she’d never tell her daughters to settle for the role their father wanted for her.

She’d be appalled if they wanted to marry men like their father. She got so angry, she challenged the therapist right there in the session. She told the therapist she pitied her if that was what she accepted from her husband. If that’s what the therapist thought, she had no business being a therapist. And she rushed out, crying at her own audacity.

Traci’s outrage finally carried her into action.

She told her husband and their therapist that if 75% of men are the way that therapist said, her degree of difficulty would be higher, but she’d weed through the 25% to find the one she wanted. She told her husband she would not accept that treatment. She had a duty to their daughters to show them they must demand and expect better.

On her own, she saw a divorce lawyer to see what she had to do to make her husband responsible for the children’s support and education, and her support until she could support herself. He was a successful financial advisor and could afford that. She hired a forensic investigator to track down all their money before he could hide it

The next time he tried to force sex on her, she resisted until he hit her. She called the police and made sure he got a record. She didn’t feel the least bit guilty and she was too angry to be scared into submission.

Her daughters were astonished and impressed.

They’d never thought that women could stand up to men. They’d thought they were second-class citizens. Now, they had a model of a first-class mother who was willing to suffer in order not to be crushed.

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

Sage was shook and then enraged when she realized her husband and her oldest, adult daughter used the same tactics her family had used on her all during her growing up. They were negative, critical, bullying and abusive. Their wants, feelings and standards mattered and were the focus of everything. Sage’s wishes, standards and values were wrong and didn’t matter. She was supposed to accept that horrible treatment.

Bullies, narcissists want you to pretend what they do is alright.

Growing up, Sage was told it was her fault if she was hurt and offended, she was guilty if people did bad things to her and she must keep the family secrets about her parents’ drinking, fighting and abuse of the children. She must keep the secrets about her uncle who molested the girls.

She was told that none of that was so bad. It was just the way those people were. They’d had bad childhoods themselves or they were just having a bad time in life and Sage had to accept what they did to her. They would never change. Those reasons had become excuses and justifications.

The only person she could change was herself. Sage realized that was exactly what her husband and her oldest daughter gave her as reasons to accept their behavior, pretend it was good enough and not to protest; especially never make a scene in public.

Bullies, narcissists want you too scared to challenge them publicly.

Growing up Sage was afraid of the verbal, emotional and physical punishment that would descend on her if she protested. Her husband threatened to get the children on his side, abandon her and leave her broke if she didn’t accept his rule. Her daughter deprived her of her beloved grandchildren if she protested. Until that moment, Sage was convinced they’d treat her worse if she protested. They were too determined and nasty; she was too sweet and loving to win.

Sage decided to use her rage effectively, as energy and motivation to get free.

When Sage looked forward to another 30-50 years of being beaten or coerced into submission she decided she was not going to submit. Her Spirit rose up in her and she decided to learn how to fight to take her own life back. Her rage gave her the strength, courage and determination she needed. She used that energy to change her beliefs, rules and roles, as well as to plan her actions.

Don’t be an accomplice, don’t collude in the family lies.

As her first tactic, Sage chose to be open and honest in public. She casually spoke up at holidays with her family of origin, stating the truths that had been kept secret. She never argued, debated or proved what she said. She just said it and smiled. People choked on their turkey. Some were offended and chastised her. They tried to make her feel guilty. Others applauded and agreed.

When she was out with her husband and friends, she casually mentioned, how he treated her. And also told about her daughter’s abuse, lies and threats. Some people took the side of the bullies and narcissists. They said if her daughter and husband were upset, it must be Sage’s fault. Sage cut them out of her life. Others were shocked and appalled, and stood up for Sage. Those she kept.

Sage prepared for a wonderful and glorious future.

Sage’s husband and daughter minimized their behavior, claiming Sage was too sensitive. And they increased their threats. Sage kept smiling and started tracking all their valuables and money in preparation for the divorce he’d promised her. She saw a divorce lawyer on her own. She started figuring out how she could go back to work to support herself.

Sage told her oldest daughter she was not her slave and her daughter had to behave if she wanted anything from Sage. Her daughter was furious. Of course Sage was heart-broken and terrified. But she used her anger to keep herself on track and to keep smiling.

And she did find her present becoming more wonderful. When she found she was not drained of energy and fun, she realized that was because she’d stopped allowing her husband and oldest daughter to drain her. At first, she forced herself to fill her life with new friends, activities she’d always wanted to do and with her other adult children. She felt alone and was lonely only a bit of the time.

Sage had many hard moments in the beginning but with time, better and better people came into her life and appreciated her. And the pain of being without her husband or daughter was certainly less than the pain of being beaten and tormented by them. Sage’s life became her own.

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

Ruthie panicked every time she thought of being straight, strong and powerful with people who were using and abusing her.  Her mind went blank and she froze.

She knew that was a legacy from her narcissistic, bullying father.  She’d learned early that to stand up to his wrath and vengeance meant death – mentally, emotionally and physically.  She decided the only way to survive was to be sweet, beg him to consider her once in a while and accept any punishment with a smile.  She even had to accept when he’d pimped her out to promote his business and told her to suck it up.

Long after he was dead, she perpetuated her terror and helplessness with her husband and her children.  Of course they preyed upon her like alligators, ripping her to shreds almost all the time but being considerate once a year to keep her hopeful of winning their love and kindness…if only she remained powerless.

Ruthie finally realized bullies and narcissists understand only power.
Of course they hate our power and try to convince us they’ll be more hateful and relentless than we’ll be, and they’ll never change so why fight.  They have many good excuses to justify their criticism, negativity, demands and anger when we disobey.  Also, they try to convince us that if we resist, we should feel guilty; it’s our fault if they’re upset.

Ruthie realized that she was the one who needed to change.
Her change was to give up the goal of finally winning their love and respect, of making them peaceful, and to have a new goal; to use her power to decide what behavior to allow in her personal space.

As much as she loved them, she didn’t like them at all.  She decided she was not going to live the rest of her life in terror, accepting punishment as her due.  She’d rather be alone than be a cowardly slave all her life.  She had to use her power, whether they liked it or not.

She allowed herself to feel her rage at them and used it to fuel her determination.
She started small, then escalated, eventually even in public.  She told her husband she was going out with her friends whether he liked it or not.  When he trashed the house during her absence, she spend his birthday present money to hire cleaners.  When he grabbed her hard, she called the police.

She started refusing her adult children’s demands to watch their kids at the last minute when she had other plans.  When they were mean and demeaning at an extended-family gathering she got up before the meal and told everyone what they were doing.  She called them selfish, arrogant and narcissistic in front of everyone.  And spontaneously, she started singing Elvis Presley’s “Love me Tender.”  It was shocking and hysterical for the ones in her extended family who’d hated the way the others had treated Ruthie.

When they said they’d keep the grandchildren from her, she cried but, through the tears, said it was their decision and she was so sorry they’d be teaching their children what to do to them when they grew up.

Ruthie didn’t end up alone.
Freedom for her came when she accepted she couldn’t change them no matter how she tried.  That goal would keep her enslaved for life.  Ruthie thought she had no power but we found some for her, even though it was the power to leave.  Her task was to use her energy and power to make her life wonderful, surrounded by people who were kind to her and who made her laugh, while she did the same for them.  

The end of the escalating, as they attacked her more outrageously, was when she filed for divorce and also blocked one of her children.  It was the most difficult thing she’d ever done.  But she was not destroyed and the world didn’t end, only one cherished dream.   And her other son and his family enjoyed her company.  And many old and new friends came in to fill the space that had been wasted on alligators.

The only cure for fear is courage and action.

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

Paula hesitated when her therapist told her that if she removed her bullying, narcissistic, adult daughter and her even more vicious husband from her life, she’d spend the rest of her days feeling guilty and living miserably.

For years, Paula’s daughter had used and abused her.  She demanded money for a car, furniture and vacations.  She demanded instant child care any time, day or night no matter what else Paula had planned.  The worst: she demanded that Paula accept her blaming, demeaning, critical tantrums any time her daughter wanted to dish them out; in person, over the phone, on Facebook and at family holidays.  If Paula didn’t instantly accept all the blame for her daughter’s problems or bad feelings, Paula was denied seeing the grandchildren she loved.

Paula’s therapist told her to accept everything.
Her therapist said, if a mother distanced herself from her child, no matter what the cause, the parent would be the one at fault; she had not loved her child unconditionally.  Even worse: her therapist predicted that Paula’s guilt would haunt her forever; she’d never be happy again.

I think that’s all wrong.  We wouldn’t encourage a woman to let her husband batter her because she’ll miss him.  Much harder with a child but still the same principle.

Something in Paula rebelled.
Paula had fought all her life to make something of herself and to be a loving mother.  She’d given her daughter everything she could and she’d never done anything her daughter accused her of.  She’d always encouraged and provided for her daughter.  She loved her daughter; she simply despised her daughter’s personality.

Now, she refused to be bullied and abused, even by her own flesh and blood.  She saw her sporadic visits with her grandchildren, under fear of setting her daughter or her husband off, were not really helping the children.  She refused to show her grandchildren that bullies won.

Sometimes, the only way to avoid being killed and eaten is to get away.
Nothing Paula ever tried had changed her daughter’s behavior.  In fact, the more she accepted, compromised and negotiated, the more demanding her daughter had become and the more viciously she’d treated Paula.  Paula saw her daughter as some combination of a rattlesnake and a vulture; she was poisoning and eating Paula.

After Paula made distance from her daughter, she was pained, sorrowed and grieved, but she didn’t feel guilty.
More importantly, she began to feel alive again.  She felt like a crushing weight had been lifted off her whole body.

She prayed for her daughter, she lit a candle on her daughter’s birthday and the holidays were hard.  She felt the loss keenly.  She created a ritual to help her grieve and to let go of her daughter and her dreams of her daughter, as if the daughter she’d hoped for had died.  She weeded through her family and friends, keeping the ones who cared about her and understood the heart-breaking choice.

And she made new friends and even became a godparent to children who returned her love with love of their own.  She was surprised when she started spontaneously laughing, singing and dancing again.

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

Opal finally gave up trying to teach her husband and one of her adult daughters the meaning of polite, caring, loving behavior.  They never got it.  She’d loved them unconditionally, given them everything and tried every method she’d read about.  She tried dragging them to every therapist she could find who promised to change the attitudes and behavior of bullies and narcissists.

But her husband and daughter resisted every attempt; they never changed.  They were convinced they were right and demanded whatever they wanted.  They changed their demands at a moment’s notice and told her she was forgetful, stupid and lying.  If she didn’t jump immediately she was a failure as a wife and mother.  She should feel guilty forever.  They even seemed to enjoy tormenting and abusing her.  They were uncaring and unloving.  She was their servant and wasn’t allowed to have any wants or needs of her own.  She simply didn’t matter as a person.

“Have I done enough?  Have I done everything?” are the wrong questions; they’re guaranteed to keep us slaves forever.
Opal had wanted to stop waiting on them but had been unable to resist her own discomfort at doing that.  She gave in to her childhood training.  She bullied herself with self-doubt.  Maybe she hadn’t done enough or been good enough?  If only she’d kept trying, maybe they’d finally change?  She couldn’t stop hoping.  To give up on them would be a sin.

Although “Have I done enough?  Have I done everything?” seem like questions, actually, they are not.  Questions are questions because there can be at least two answers.  But there’s only one answer to those questions.  We can never know we’ve done enough; we can never have done everything possible.  The answers to those questions lie in the unknown future and maybe something new and different might work in the future.  Or maybe, for some reason, the old methods might work in the future.  We can never know.

Why do we call changing the hearts of bullies or narcissists, “a miracle?”
We are very accurate when we say that to change the hearts of bullies and narcissists requires a miracle.  Think about what a miracle means:

  1. The probability of a miracle happening is really low.  Make your own guess.  One in a billion?  One in a trillion?
  2. Making miracles is not in our control.  Making miracles is above our paygrade.  No matter what we do, we do not make miracles.

A better question is, “Do I want to keep going on that roller coaster ride?
We get to answer that question.  We decide.  Opal was clear.  Something inside her had snapped and she was done trying to educate and convert her husband and that daughter.

The pain of their roller coaster ride was too great.  She wanted to go on different rides for the rest of her life.  She wanted rides that might bring her joy; rides which she could share with people whose behavior showed they loved and appreciated her.

Who am I to decide what’s good enough for me?
As soon as Opal decided to leave them, her heart leaped with joy.  She felt that a huge weight had been lifted off her back and the forever knot-in-her-stomach relaxed.  However, she rapidly began running the old guilt-tapes she’d carried since childhood.  She was scared by the thought of throwing the old tapes away and being on her own.  It would be arrogant and disloyal; she’d be alone and unloved.

But she was an adult now and could decide her own rules for life.  Especially when that meant throwing out rules from her past that had always made her life miserable.  Those were the old rules that kept her accepting negativity, criticism, sarcasm and many other demeaning behaviors.  Those were the rules that kept her chained to her abusers.

Once she dedicated herself to try different rules, what to do was clear.  How to do it wasn’t going to be easy.  So what?

Do we have to give up hope?
Not at all.  But we do have to give up being responsible for making them happy.  They’d have to figure out how to do that by themselves.  Opal still had hope they’d change someday.  She wished them happier lives.  But if they hated her all their lives, too bad for them.  They’d have to answer for their hate as well as their hate-filled behavior.

What can we do while we’re waiting for a miracle to occur?

  1. Opal could now distinguish her husband and that daughter’s spirits, their Souls, the potential she saw in them, her hopes for them from their selfish, lazy, entitled personalities.  They chose to let their mean, nasty, vicious personalities were.  They’d sold their Souls to the worst of their personalities.
  2. From a safe distance, Opal could light candles and pray for them.  She could wish them well.  And she knew she had to protect herself from their greed, power and control.  Her continued slavery would be bad for them.
  3. If Opal had leverage or power over them, she might have been able to change their behavior, even if she couldn’t change their hearts.  But she didn’t.
  4. She could create a wonderful life with people who cared for her in ways that made her feel good.  She could replace guilt and self-flagellation with appreciation that she’d finally started becoming the person she’d always wanted to be.

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.

Nora finally gave up trying to rescue and educate one of her adult daughters.  That daughter thought she should be the center of the whole family’s attention and love.  Her brother and sister, and her parents should give her what she wanted.

Her daughter's anger had no bounds; her needs were ever changing and endless.
She was entitled to special treatment and if she didn’t get what she wanted, she felt free to be as vindictive, bullying and abusive as she wanted.  She tried to set her siblings against each other and against her parents whenever she could.

Five ways many bullies, narcissists and “professional victims” think:

  1. Their feelings are accurate, real, The Truth.  Their feelings matter the most and should be most important to everyone else.  No one is as sensitive; no one else’s feelings are important.
  2. They are justified in what they feel; other people should understand them, which means agree with them and make them feel better.  They should get what they want immediately.  Everyone should be a slave or servant to their needs.
  3. Their feelings cannot be changed by them; their feelings can be changed only when other people beg for forgiveness and give them what they want.
  4. The target of the moment should give in to make peace.  Spectators and bystanders should be made to side with them and gang up to make their oppressor give in.
  5. If they’re nasty or manipulative enough, their target will give in eventually.

“Professional Victims” gain control and turf by claiming they’re being victimized.
Other people walk around on egg shells trying to please them, make them feel good.

Five approaches that do not change the behavior of bullies, narcissists and “professional victims:”

  1. Letting them vent and waiting for them to become reasonable so you can educate them.
  2. Using evidence, facts, reason, logic to defend yourself.
  3. Thinking that if you give in this time, they’ll be satisfied and they won’t demand any more.
  4. Appealing to good values, conscience, caring and understanding for other people.
  5. The Golden Rule, niceness, kindness, unconditional acceptance.

Three conditions that might make them change their behavior:

  1. A change of heart, a miracle.
  2. Their need of you makes them come to negotiate after they fail.
  3. Your leverage and power.

Two unusual approaches might change their behavior:

  1. Challenge them with a smile, in public, so other people join your side.
  2. Embarrass them in public for attacking you (their demeaning, sarcastic, hurtful humor).

Nora gave up trying to satisfy that daughter.
She decided to protect the other children and herself and her husband.  She was not going to let that daughter sink the whole family.

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

Maggie finally stopped psychoanalyzing her parents and her adult children.  She accepted the accuracy of the idea she’d avoided for decades: they enjoyed crisis, drama and chaos.  They dropped bombs and swooped into to reap the spoils.  They enjoyed her pain.  That’s how they knew they were in control, had power and could feed on her emotional energy whenever they wanted.

Many bullies and narcissists enjoy melodrama and uproar.
They often talk behind people’s backs, work in the dark, pit people against each other, throw hissy-fits.  “Passive-aggressive” is too mild and wishy-washy to describe the emotional damage they cause.  They’re like hyenas or vultures feeding off the bloodshed, violence and war they create.  Pain and panic are like nutrition to their starved spirits.

They want everyone walking on egg-shells.
They want the whole family looking over their shoulders wondering when the next attack will come, afraid of not being perfect, thinking it’s their fault, accepting the blame, feeling guilty.  Often, they remain in the shadows while they stir up suspicion, distrust and fights.

Maggie started creating a bully-free environment by not taking their feelings and demands seriously.
She said openly that her parents’ needs did not require immediate responses from her and did not require her to do things the way they wanted.  She waited at least three days before responding to their calls.  She told them they could call emergency responders or have food and medicine delivered instead of demanding that she rush across town whenever they wanted.

She told her adult children that she was not on-call whenever they wanted her to make it possible for them to have fun.  She told them the purpose of her life was not to make theirs comfortable, easy and effortless.  She started sharing every text and email in which they said nasty things or told lies about each other.

Of course, there were consequences.
She had to face the rest of the family trying to make her feel guilty because she wasn’t loving, kind and caring enough.  She had to face her parents threatening to die alone and in poverty because she was an unloving and ungrateful daughter who wouldn’t serve them the way they wanted.  She had to face her children threatening to withhold the grandchildren because she was an unfit grandmother.

They were shocked when she said her life and wants were as important as theirs.
That was the big bomb she threw into the old family dynamic.  She was no longer a slave or servant.  Loving, kindly and caring did not mean she had to do whatever they wanted immediately.  She would find people who would love her tender, and appreciate and reciprocate her love and gifts.  She would not live in a melodramatic soap-opera.  She was not going to waste her time and energy on their temper-tantrums and hissy-fits.

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

Lilly was shocked when she realized her husband and two of her three adult children were making her life miserable by doing the same thing.  The pain and anguish, the bullying and abuse had finally broken through her resistance to seeing people she loved as narcissists who enjoyed tormenting and torturing her.

She was damned if she did what they wanted and damned if she didn’t.
No matter what she did, it was never right and it was never enough.  Their demands changed in a moment, usually escalating.  Everything was her fault.  She was never good enough as a wife and mother.

The problem was not that they didn’t understand how hurt she felt.
No matter how she explained and tried to teach them about kindness, love, caring and good character, they ignored her.  She had no voice because they didn’t listen.  The shock was seeing that they enjoyed her frightened, bewildered look; her frustration and tears; her walking on eggshells.

The problem was that her flesh and blood, and the husband she’d accepted in a sacred ceremony enjoyed torturing her; enjoyed her pain; enjoyed the power and control over her.

Suddenly she stopped thinking it was her fault; stopped feeling guilty.
She used to think, “I must not be communicating clearly enough, they must not understand how hurt and angry I am, I must not be able to set boundaries, I must not be good enough, I must have been a bad mom.”  And “If I give in, they’ll leave me alone.  If I resist, they’ll attack me worse.”

Now she realized nothing she did actually made anything better or worse.  Whenever they wanted, they’d always find logical reasons for torturing her and blaming her.

They were choosing to torture her and she must choose to ignore how they thought and felt.
She chose to stop caring about their opinions.  She was a decent person and she did know what was right and wrong.  She could trust her gut.  She felt her own power over herself.  And she began to do what she wanted.

They complained and heaped blame on her.
With a laugh, she accepted all their labels of “bad mom, bad wife, selfish, uncaring.”  She did have real consequences they didn’t like every time they threw temper tantrums or tried to jerk her around with their reasons for being angry.  And she stopped trying to make their lives easy and convenient by enabling, caretaking and being their servant.

She was amazed how free she felt.  And how they changed in reaction to her filling her life with joy.

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