Harry’s 36 year-old daughter insisted that he accept her rage and tantrums when she didn’t get what she wanted or when he tried to pin her down to whether she was coming for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  He was interfering with her freedom and life, and he was making her suffer.

She insisted he love her unconditionally and prove it by accepting how she was and giving in to her.
Harry should feel guilt and remorse.  He should forgive her if she acted out because she always had good reasons for her tantrums.  It was always his fault.  He should prove his love do what she wanted, whenever she wanted.

Harry was stumped.  He didn’t have an answer that would satisfy her.  He could never do enough to prove his unconditional love.

Accepting her narcissism, rage and uncontrolled outbursts is not unconditional love toward an adult.
Harry finally had his answer.  Unconditionally, he loved the potential he’d always seen in her to be a wonderful person.  Unconditionally, he loved her spirit that could be so loving, kind and compassionate.  Unconditionally, he loved the fire within her that could have made her a competent, successful and independent adult.  Unconditionally he loved the best he saw in her.

And he despised her personality, ego and sense of entitlement.  He despised the horrible choices she’d made.  He despised her selfish, narcissistic, entitled behavior with which she beat him and so many others.  He despised the least of her and he was disgusted when she gave in to that side of her.  One of the first jobs of any adult is to master herself, to be in charge of her emotions and behavior.  She needed to grow up.

She hated his answer but he was satisfied with it.
He didn’t have to satisfy her whims or prove his love any more.  When he first told her how he thought about her behavior, she was furious.  She bullied and abused him louder; she cursed him and called him a failure as a father.  She told him she’d never forgive him and never talk to him again.

Harry told her he had so much love, compassion and respect for her, he was kicking his little bird out of the nest.
Instead of trying to prove himself to her, Harry laughed and asked if she needed a “time out.”  He calmly and firmly told her he loved her so much he was no longer paying for her apartment, her car and her insurance.  She had a job and she had to learn to be a productive and independent adult.  Her choice was to crash or to fly.  It was the best gift he could give her and it was given out of respect, kindness and compassion.

Of course, Harry could see what she’d do next.  She’d give him the loud silent treatment and when that didn’t work she’d plead poverty and when that didn’t work she’d try to get him by being helpless – she was in danger or she’d threaten to commit suicide and it’d be his fault.

Harry was mentally and emotionally prepared.
While she was giving him the loud, silent treatment, he went and had a wonderful time.  He even started dating again.  He knew she’d find out and he didn’t want her to see him suffering and praying and lighting candles.

When she pleaded poverty, he said he knew she had the courage, strength and determination to struggle and to make a wonderful life.  He recounted all the times she’d been strong enough to beat him into submission.  He recounted all the obstacles she’d overcome when she was in school.  When she attacked him verbally, he laughed and encouraged her to be a better parent to herself.  She was at a loss when he laughed and didn’t defend herself.

He told her she’d have to start proving her love.  She’d have to prove she was worth having around.

In this situation, Harry had some leverage.  His daughter wanted things from him.  In other situations, the demanding, narcissistic adult child has the leverage, so different tactics have to be used.

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.

AuthorBen Leichtling