Jerri knew she had to be wary during the holidays.  Her family set many traps into which she’d fallen over the years.  But this year would be different.

Her family was full of righteous, critical, bullying abusers.  Sometimes they were overt in attacking her for her many faults, including being unloving, uncaring, selfish and narcissistic when she didn’t want to do what they wanted.  Or they exploded and yelled and screamed.  And it was her fault because she upset them.  Sometimes they were sneaky and manipulative in getting her to do what they wanted even when she didn’t want to do it.

Trap #1 – They put her in a helpless position in order to force her to do what they wanted even though she don’t want to do.
Last year, Jerri’s brother insisted on driving her the full day to their folks’ home and to visit friends and relatives she didn’t want to see.  They were negative about her life and criticized her clothes, hair and activities.  But she was stuck since it was is car and he insisted.  He had good reasons to rebut every excuse she made.  This year she’s driving by herself whether he thinks it’s reasonable or not.

Trap #2 – They talked behind Jerri’s back and labeled her with emotional blackmailing words.
She didn’t want to be labeled as unloving, uncaring, selfish and narcissistic, so she’d give in to prove that she was a good person.  But no amount of proof seemed to stop them next time they wanted something.  Every time she gave in, they demanded more proofs.  This year, Jerri admitted to herself that she doesn’t care what those relatives think.  She visits out of duty and is glad to spend the rest of the year far away.

Trap #3 – Jerri put herself in a trap because she thought she had to find excuses they would accept in order for her to do what she wanted.
Jerri had been trained to be sweet and accommodating, not to force her will on other people.  She couldn’t say “No” simply because she wanted to.  She felt she had to find excuses that they would accept.  She felt that she couldn’t do what she wanted unless they approved or gave permission.  This year, she’ll say “Yes” or “No” without reasons – just because that’s what she wants.

There are many other traps and even more tactics you can use to maintain your boundaries.

The best way to learn how to create a bully-free life 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 bully-free life your spirit has always hungered for.

Read my new Kindle book, “How to Stop Sneaky Bullies.”  Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.

AuthorBen Leichtling