Compassion, caring and love are wonderful attributes but when you’re faced with relentless, sneaky, manipulative, covert bullies, they can be traps.

Jane’s mother had been a toxic, abusive, bully all Jane’s life.  Now she wanted Jane to leave her life, move in with her and take care of her full time.  All her demands, reasons, excuses and justifications could be summed up in one phrase: “If you were compassionate, you’d do what I want.”

Alice’s 39 year-old son had always felt entitled to everything she had.  He’d been demanding, sarcastic and critical, and had harassed Alice until she gave him what he wanted.  Now he’d been fired from his latest job and had insisted on moving back in with her again so she could take care of him.  She should use her retirement funds to pay for his fun.  All his demands, reasons, excuses and justifications could be summed up in one phrase: “If you loved me, you’d do what I want.”

When specific behaviors are required to prove ‘compassion’ and ‘love,’ those words become traps.
At first, Jane and Alice were overwhelmed with guilt.  How could they say, “No,” and still think of themselves as caring, compassionate and loving people?  As part of a pattern of coercion and bullying, compassion and love require that you do what the bully wants.  You are required to use the nine strategies that do not stop bullies – accept, overlook, give in, minimize, martyr, forgive, forget, etc.

How about their compassion and love for you and the life you want to create?
Narcissistic bullies don’t value you; they’re the ones who matter most.  Their wants and needs, their desires and whims are more important than what you want.

You can have compassion and love for bullies’ spirits, while you deal with their personalities.
You can pray for people, especially from a distance, while you keep their personalities away from you.  Don’t let bullies take everything you have, mistreat you and your children, or destroy the wonderful future you’re trying to create.

There’s a potent line from “Fiddler on the Roof.”  The Rabbi is asked, “Is there a blessing for the Czar?”  He replies, “There’s a blessing for everyone.  May God bless and keep the Czar…far away from us.”

Being free from the old rules about what compassion and love require you to do, frees you to choose from a wide range of possible actions.
Both Jane and Alice chose to love the bullies from a distance and to protect the lives they loved from destruction by predators in the name of compassion and love.

Compassion is not about what to do, it’s about how to do it.
Both Jane and Alice were compassionate and loving while the set the boundaries they needed.

The best way to learn how to set boundaries compassionately and lovingly 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 deal with the specific situation you’re in.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.


AuthorBen Leichtling