Elle’s grown children treated her just like their father, her ex-husband, had.  They demanded whatever they wanted, put her down at every opportunity, yelled and blamed her when she didn’t give them everything immediately and then threatened to withhold her grandchildren.  They were narcissistic, abusive bullies.

Elle was always kind and gentle with them.  She tried to defend herself with examples, reason and logic.  Her parents had taught her that gentle words always turned away wrath.  She always apologized and begged for forgiveness, even though she knew she hadn’t done anything wrong.  But that never seemed to help.

She thought, if she was kind enough, they would treat her the way she wanted.
Clearly, she wasn’t gentle, kind and understanding enough.  She was to blame; she was guilty; she must be a bad mother.

Bullies, narcissists aren’t turned back by gentle words
If kind words are effective with someone, that person isn’t really a bully or narcissist.  Relentless bullies and narcissists aren’t stopped by gentle words.  Actually, that’s my test to see if someone is really a bully or narcissist.

This applies to all relationships: toxic parents, controlling siblings, righteous friends, selfish, entitled adult children and domineering co-workers.  They all use the same approaches and varied the tactics slightly depending on the situation.

Elle remembered her parents had always told her to understand and forgive bullies.  She’d tried but the bullies never stopped.  She’d used the same approach to her parents’ demands and anger but they never stopped manipulating her or taking advantage of her.  She could see now they wanted her to be kind and gentle while they allowed themselves to be selfish, demanding and angry.  Even now, they were toxic in her life.

Be a scientist; believe your experience, not their explanations.
Your experience with them is the real evidence, the data.  Elle realized that her parents, her ex-husband and her children’s behavior had always been consistent: bullying and narcissistic.  Their reasons, excuses and justifications had varied but always had the same theme: they were entitled; she should give in and submit to their will; she should be sweet and obedient, and maybe someday she would win their kindness in return.  But she never could.

Commit to your standards, not theirs.
Their standards for her behavior always gave them the advantage.  She always had to defend herself and eventually become submissive and docile.  They always got their way.

But now Elle committed to follow her own standards of how she would allow people to treat her, no matter the name of the relationship.  She decided that the kindness, most respectful thing she could do for their Souls would be to tell them to stop being demanding, arrogant and bullying, to stop throwing temper-tantrums and hissy fits.  She would honor them with the truth.  The way they were acting is bad for them and for the whole town.  They would have to be gentle and kind in order to get into her space.  

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