Julie grew up feeling like she was living someone else’s life. She never got to determine how she felt and what she wanted to do. She always aware that she should please her parents.
She had to do what her parents wanted in order to make them happy. They yelled or hit her when she wouldn’t. Or sometimes, they got mean or manipulative, using her shame and guilt to coerce her. Even when they gave presents, she knew she had to go overboard in appreciating them, and later there would be strings. They never gave anything without taking something in return or requiring some service of her.
Her parents were demanding and toxic.
When she grew up, she had managed to break away and make her own family, but she was constantly being drawn back into tasks to make her parents happy or to help them when they wanted. They always had good reasons why she should do what she wanted the way they wanted her to.
When they got older, their requests got more numerous and demanding. Julie finally realized that they didn’t have physical problems, they only wanted a servant. And they never reciprocated. Her feelings and needs simply didn’t matter to them.
When she learned to think of them as narcissistic control-freaks, her world changed.
She could see all the sneaky bullying and manipulation; all the criticism and negativity when she wouldn’t satisfy them immediately. Actually, they were never satisfied. As soon as she did something for them, they’d be back with criticism about how little she did or how poorly, and with new requests for more service.
According to them, Julie’s most important task in life was to make them happy. That was more important than her marriage or her own children.
Notice, there’s no psychoanalysis of her parents. Reasons and excuses don’t matter. When Julie focused on their behavior, the whole picture became clear. And she was able to take control of her own life and started honoring her own boundaries and needs.
I find the same patterns of selfish manipulation in all types of relationships: with spouses, dates, adult children and friends. And, of course, in the workplace.
The best way to learn how to stop being used, manipulated and bullied is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- 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 coaching by phone or Skype.