Bullying, toxic adult children want you defensive; they always attack.
These narcissists want you to take their charges seriously.  They don’t have to win every time as long as you’re always defending yourself.  Sooner or later they’ll win on something.  Or you’ll grow tired of defending yourself; you’ll give up and do what they want.  You’ll be glad to give them the little things they want.  Pretty soon you’ll even be glad to buy some peace and quiet by giving them the big things they want.  They want you as a useful slave, willing to take their beatings and admit your guilt.

Sam’s estranged wife had alienating his children from him.  Every bad feeling she or they had was his fault.  The selfish, entitled children hadn’t needed much encouragement.  She taught them to criticize him, accuse him of demanding too much of them and of not proving his love of them.  The only way to prove his love was to support them in whatever ways they wanted and to cater to their every whim.

Bullying, toxic adult children want you to worry about how they’ll attack you next.
They want all your fear, attention and energy focused on them.  They want you looking over your shoulder and walking on egg shells.  What’s their motive?  They want power and domination; they want whatever they want at the moment.  Sometimes they simply want to kick the dog.

Sam had already tried every factual, reasonable, logical approach he could think of.  These hadn’t worked because his bullying, toxic adult children thought his defending showed his weakness.  Those tactics only encouraged them to abuse Sam even more.

Some outrageous ways to get you off the defensive so you can take power and control back from bullies.

  1. Don’t take their charges seriously.  When they accuse you of being selfish, laugh and say, happily, “Yes, I am.  You taught me that’s the way to win.”  When they accuse you of not loving them, laugh and say, happily, “Oh no, you’re wrong.  I love you, I just don’t like you.  You’re simply selfish and spoiled, mean and vicious.”
  2. Mock them, frustrate them and get them angry.  When they say the economy is bad, their life is hard and you owe them, laugh and say, happily, “I’m so sorry you’ve turned out to be weak, cowardly and a loser.  I’d hoped you’d be stronger.  Deep down inside of you, I know you have the strength.  Find it and struggle and you'll succeed.”  When they explode, laugh and say, happily, “Still throwing temper tantrums or having hissy-fits at your age?  Do you need to go to your room and have a time out?”  Or laugh and pretend to be an Olympic judge and say, happily, “That’s only a 6.3.  I’ve seen you do a 9.7.  Try again.”  When they guilt trip you, laugh and say, happily, “You’re the ones getting punished for your guilt in manipulating me and treating me like a slave all those years.”  Of course, when you take back your power and control, they’ll be furious.  When they’re furious, you know you’re doing good.
  3. Ignore their charges and attack back, especially in public.  Bullying, toxic parents count on your being embarrassed and giving into them in public.  Don’t.  When they say you owe them, laugh and say, happily, “After all the torture you’ve inflicted on me, you owe me.”  Or laugh and say, happily, “You’ve been a horrible child.  Your job is to please me if you want anything from me, alive or dead.”  And mean it.
  4. Make an inner change so you’re simply not defensive when you’re with them.  For the last 80 years, popular culture and psychology have been wrong.  They taught parents to make their children happy, provide them whatever they wanted and make them the center of the world.  Nonsense.  That approach usually creates selfish, entitled narcissistic people.  The older culture was that children were supposed to please the adults, to serve the people who gave them life.  Both poles are wrong.  The inner change needed is that your primary task in life is not to make anyone else happy, not to accept judgment by anyone else’s standards.  You’re old enough to use your own experience and wisdom to make up your own mind.  Make a wonderful future for yourself.  Live with character, integrity and honor; live with passion and joy.  Do what your Soul, not your personality, is here to do.
  5. Don’t waste your life-blood arguing with jerks and narcissists, even your toxic, adult children.  Remember, bullying, toxic adult children want to keep you engaged so they’re the focus of your life.  You can’t save them.  That’s above your pay grade.  Don’t focus on what drains your blood and whips your flesh.  Kick them out of the nest.  Move away; mentally, emotionally or physically.  Find the true family of your heart, mind and spirit.  

Yes, it’s hard, if you accept you’re a bad person or if you fear you won’t go to heaven without their approval or when they have some leverage like your grandchildren.

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