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 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:
- 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 counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.