Jessica described her family life as being born into a pack of wolves.  It was a den of hatred, anger, insecurity, bullying and abuse.

There was a streak of nasty, vicious craziness in the family.  Her mother had been in and out of facilities for treatment as bi-polar and narcissistic.  Her siblings and extended family attacked each other frequently and then retaliated as strongly as they could.  

In her school and neighborhood, many kids and adults did the same.  When Jessica was nice, things got worse.  They thought she was weak and attacked her more.  But she was smart and eventually would devise extremely clever ways to strike back.

As she got older, the guys she stayed with used the same methods – mental and emotional cruelty leading to physical violence.  Her women friends and acquaintances were the same.

So, after deepening relationships with people who eventually turned on her, leading her to retaliate strongly, Jessica got to be very “spiky” in interactions in every area of life.  She was just daring someone to try something, or looking forward to them trying anything so she could get the back.

As Jessica searched for better ways of relating to people, she kept asking, “Does retaliation make me a bad person?”
Jessica thought so, which further increased her self-doubt and guilt, and lowered her self-esteem.  She thought she must be a really bad person; she must have some version of the same darkness that infected her mother and so many others in her family.

Jessica’s retaliation was the only technique she could think of to protect herself.
Throughout her history, Jessica was clear; she didn’t start things, she kept asking her attackers to be nice and she endured the torment and pain as long as she could.  Then something inside her snapped; they’d been asked long enough and now she’d make them pay the price.

Jessica eventually asked a better question, “How can I have a bully-free life and attract people who make relationships that feel good?”
Instead of more psychoanalysis and self-examination, this question made Jessica focus on the people around her.

Jessica moved through a five-step sequence that turned her life around:

  1. Since she knew she’d be able to protect herself by retaliating if she ever got into a painful relationship, she could relax and stop being spiky.
  2. Instead of self-examination to judge whether she was nice enough, she’d examine everyone she met.  She’d test to see if they acted nicely and kindly in their relationships or if they were bullying, control freaks.
  3. Instead of enduring punishment until she snapped; instead of overlooking the evidence of their behavior and making excuses for them, she’d act immediately.  She’d challenge their behavior and if they didn’t change, she’d dump them.
  4. Instead of ignoring her Early Warning Feelings and Intuition, like she had all her life, she’d act immediately on them even if she couldn’t prove anything in a court of law or to the perpetrator’s satisfaction.
  5. She’d raise her standards, “Beating her only once a year wasn’t good enough behavior to allow them to continue.”

As she put her new method into operation, she faced fear and loneliness because she was having to remove so many people from her personal space and life.

Jessica found that the more space she created in her life by removing the predators, the more attractive she became to people who treated her with kindness, civility and respect.  And since she was immediately removing the predators, she no longer had to retaliate after months or years of torment.

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