Mona was drained and exhausted – she wanted to run away and go where no one could find her.
She’d been raised by narcissistic, bullying, guilt-tripping parents to give them their every desire. To show empathy, caring and compassion she had to make them happy, no matter the cost to her. Her toxic, abusive adult children used the same tactics to bleed her dry. She had to give them everything they wanted immediately or they’d attack her privately and in public as a bad parent. Whatever she gave was never enough, they always wanted more.
Mona realized her pattern when a needy friend asked her to buy her an expensive car.
Some of Mona’s old rules were:
- A good and caring person is empathetic and compassionate, especially for people who are not getting what they want and feel like victims.
- Empathy and compassion meant that when people are unhappy, she must give them what they want to make them happy the way they want.
- Empathy and compassion meant that she must understand how hard it is for people so she’s required to overlook when they’re selfish and mean, when they blame and attack her, when they never apologize or change their behavior.
- Empathy and compassion meant that her wishes, pain and feelings don’t count, other people’s are much more important. Empathy and compassion mean that their suffering is so great they don’t have to listen to her voice or respect her stated boundaries but she must always jump to respond to theirs.
How do you know their relationship, friendship and “love” are merely because you’re the bank?
- They’re greedy. They always want money, food, baby sitting, emotional comfort, acceptance that whatever they do is good enough. They expect-demand you give them what they want and they question your motives and character when you don’t give it.
- They never accept your hints, feelings or boundaries. They listen to you only as a prelude to asking you to give them something.
- You avoid them because you know they’ll suck your blood and eat your flesh.
- They get angry when you don’t do what they want; you’re cruel, mean, heartless. They lie, manipulate and get other people to attack you. You walk on egg shells.
- If you don’t submit to their anger, they get sweetly manipulative and then guilt-trip or blackmail you (like, by withholding the grandchildren). If you still don’t give in, they drop you and blame you.
How can you have empathy and compassion, and not make them happy?
- Know the difference between their Spirit and their personality-ego. Love the Spirit – have empathy and compassion for its struggle to take over their lives. Protect yourself from their personality-ego. Don’t feed their personality-ego by giving it what it wants.
- Have empathy from a distance – pray, light candles, demand good behavior and don’t be a rescuer-meddler. Fixing them is above your pay grade
- Be a guiding light as a child, parent, friend. The most empathetic and compassionate, the kindest and most caring acts are to give them what’s best for them whether they like it or not – the opportunity to suffer, to become independent and strong, and to develop character.
- Give them the opportunity to develop a reciprocal, caring, loving relationship independent of money.
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.