Susan’s angry daughter was looking forward to mediation. She’d prepared, and with her therapists approval, heaped every charge of hurt feelings and every vindictive, nasty hostile event on Susan. It wasn’t mediation, it was like being vomited on or like being whipped.
Susan’s daughter didn’t want any accommodation. She knew she was right. She was triumphant at the opportunity to beat Susan.
Bullies don’t want mediation and compromise, they don’t want to make reasonable plans for future interactions, they simply want to beat you up with their feelings.
Susan hadn’t understood her daughter simply wanted to make demands, prove that all her failures, bad feelings and dumb decisions were Susan’s fault. Susan paid a mental and emotional price for trying to be nice. Her daughter’s therapist thought it was wonderful for her daughter to vent her feelings. And Susan deserved everything she got
Bullies want you to take their feelings seriously.
Susan’s daughter wanted Susan to dare argue with all the accusations. But every time Susan tried, her daughter got louder and didn’t even listen. She attacked even more. She wanted Susan to accept the blame and do penance forever. It was all her fault; she should feel guilty forever.
Her daughter’s therapist assumed that if Susan’s daughter was angry, Susan must have done something bad to her.
Actually Susan hadn’t done anything bad. She’d tried to give her daughter everything, to save her from any hurt feelings and to justify her daughter’s feelings when she was growing up. Susan realized that was a mistake. She’d helped create a selfish, narcissistic monster.
But never again. Susan decided:
- She wouldn’t give her daughter anything. She wouldn’t beg or bribe her daughter any more. She wouldn’t try to make her daughter happy.
- She wouldn’t take her daughter’s feelings seriously. Instead she’d laugh when her daughter threw a hissy fit and tell her she needed a time out. She wouldn’t argue or explain about the specific charges. If her daughter always attacked and if Susan always defended, eventually Susan would lose and her daughter’s criticism, negativity, bullying and abuse would escalate and go on forever.
- She’d simply tell her daughter to get over herself, to stop being a child throwing temper tantrums, to grow up and become an adult taking charge of her feelings and behavior.
- She’d give up trying to explain herself and to educate her daughter about polite, civil conduct. Her daughter might wake up to the need but it would be only after she had great failure and suffering.
Susan didn’t expect to change her daughter; she just wanted to protect herself from the alien who’d taken over her daughter’s body and personality. As she started being happy and making a wonderful life for herself, she thought less and less about her daughter. And her happiness and non-participation in beatings began to draw her daughter back to her as a civilized adult. But that took a long time.
The same situation often occurs in couples mediation and mediation at work.
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.