Billy’s narcissistic, toxic parents were always angry at him.  He was never perfect; he’d never done everything they’d wanted and one time he’d even walked out on them when they were in the middle of a tirade.  Billy had to admit he wasn’t perfect.  Maybe his parents were justified in being angry?  Maybe he had to give them everything they wanted at a moment’s notice all the time?

Beth’s abusive, greedy, demanding, adult children were angry at her.  She hadn’t created perfect environments for them when they were growing up; she hadn’t done what they’d wanted and one time she’d yelled at her son and she’d also taken her daughter’s phone away for two weeks.  Beth had to admit she hadn’t been perfect.  Maybe her children were justified in being angry?  Maybe she had to give them everything they wanted at a moment’s notice all the time?

Why did their accusers’ hate them?
Billy’s parents and Beth’s children said they hated them and they had to give them a lot to overcome that hate.  Both Beth and Billy knew they hadn’t do anything particularly bad.  And when they’d resisted, they’d been provoked beyond measure.  They kept asking themselves, “What have I done that was so hateful?”

In these cases, Billy’s parents and Beth’s children had chosen to hate.  Nothing particularly bad had been done to them but hating had made them feel righteous and powerful, and had gotten other people to give in to them.  Beth and Billy realized that haters always find reasons to hate.  But they hate because they’re haters, not because of their excuses and justifications.  No amount of satisfying today’s demand would satisfy those haters for long.

Haters want us to take their emotions seriously.
Haters hate most when other people don’t care about their hates.  Instead, they want us to spend our lives trying to make up for what they hate.  They want us to ask ourselves always, “What did I do wrong?”  And they want us to keep trying harder, forever, to please them.

We haven’t been perfect according to them.  So what?
Billy or Beth’s narcissistic, bullying judges and their learned-inner judges decided that if they ever did anything wrong, they were guilty of everything and had to pay the price of everything their accusers wanted, all the time.  Those judges demanded perfection or guilt and shame.

The big step for Beth and Billy was to stop examining themselves with the eyes of hostile judges and stop finding themselves guilty of infractions.  They simply accepted that they weren’t perfect, and their mistakes did not entitle their bullying abusers to take advantage of them.

Billy and Beth accused their accusers.
At first Beth and Billy said, “I wasn’t perfect but I don’t have to be; you weren’t perfect either.”  Then they said, “I’ve put down the guilt.  I’m bored with your attempts to make me feel guilty enough to give you money or to accept your beating.”  Then they said, “If you hate me, take that up with your therapist.  I’m done dealing with your hatred.  You can learn; you can do better.  Grow up and become the wonderful adults you could have been.”

They stopped trying to satisfy their haters.
They hung up or walked away from the haters.  They even laughed at the haters’ feelings.  They started demanding good behavior now.  “If you want anything from me, you’ll have to be nice and polite and grateful over time before I give you.”  Beth and Billy liked the consequences of taking control of the distance between them and their haters more than being jerked around by their bullies.

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