Dottie was furious. Her husband’s parents and his sister criticized and demeaned her to him and also in public. They were relentlessly bullying and abusive. They were clear; he should divorce her and do what they wanted.
She hadn’t done anything particularly wrong.
Then Dottie realized that it wasn’t that she’d done anything wrong. Those bullies and narcissists were simply moving down the line from one brother’s wife to the next, and she was the third. After her, they’d find someone else on whom to focus their anger and hatred. They moved from one scapegoat to the next.
Even more, she’d seen that type of behavior in every relationship situation.
She’d seen toxic and demanding parents organize the family to guilt-trip and try to force one particular child to do what they wanted; she’d seen toxic adult children gang up and blame everything on one parent or one sibling; she’d seen disgruntled spouses alienate children from the other spouse; She’d seen therapists side with the bullies because they were the most difficult people in the room, and turn on the reasonable person who might give in and make all the changes; she’d seen co-workers mock and demean someone who tried to be kind and understanding.
She’d seen haters move from target to target, always having someone to scapegoat.
That was typical behavior for many bullies and narcissists; always blame and attack someone else. She saw they felt good and powerful and righteous attacking the scapegoat of the moment. They wanted the scapegoats to feel fear and to submit, to be obedient; that gave them power and control.
It was mean-girl/mean-boy junior high school all over again.
She’d be condemned no matter what she did.
Nothing she could ever do would be good enough for her husband’s family. They wanted her to think she’d done something wrong and if only she acted perfectly and pleased them, she’d have no trouble. They want her to keep trying to please them forever. But they’d never let her succeed, so she’d always be trying harder and they’d always be manipulating and cutting her down.
Dottie and her husband decided to break the game. The two hard parts were:
- Getting past their guilt at maintaining their standards and disagreeing with people they were told they should love, honor and respect. And make happy.
- Getting past the need to argue and justify themselves or to prove their innocence to people who’d already decided they were guilty.
They decided they simply wouldn’t care what jerks and haters thought. They wouldn’t give jerks and haters any power over them. They decided not to be around those predators – not to answer calls or texts, and, instead, to have family holidays with his brothers and their wives but not with people who wanted to stab them.
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.