Wanda felt out of control as usual. If it wasn’t her parents, it was her husband. If not them, it was one of her adult daughters. There was always chaos; an emergency, a frantic need, a panic she needed to fix immediately, someone for whom she had to drop everything she’d planned and rescue.
Bullies, narcissists often use three tactics in varying sequences.
They beat you into submission. Verbally, emotionally and physically they want you to submit to them. If you don’t, it’s your fault and they can do whatever they want to make you pay. Whether it’s the loud-silent treatment, temper tantrums, guilt trips or relentless criticism and belittling, they know they’re right and you’re wrong. You must submit; you must serve them the way they want instantly. You’re not allowed to have wants and needs of your own; you don’t matter, they don’t care. They try to convince you they’re more relentless so you’ll give up.
They manipulate you. They lie, steal, cheat; they pretend they don’t remember agreeing or promising; they attack you in public when you’re too polite to resist; they tell stories and spread gossip and rumors behind your back to isolate you. They organize everyone else to tell you, “You should give in.” They’re better debaters so you have to give in.
They create chaos. They’re not bothered by craziness and chaos because they know what they want, they know what’s right and they move deliberately and swiftly in the direction they want. While you’re trying to make sense out of what’s going on and figuring out what people’s motives are and what would be the perfect or best response, they take command to get what they want before you can act.
Bullies, narcissists want you feeling frustrated, powerless, helpless.
They want you to freeze. They’re happy when you feel hopeless and don’t know what to do. They win; you lose.
Wanda’s recognition of the patterns made her determined to detach from the game.
She had to make a great internal shift. She was no longer the daughter, wife or mommy whose sole responsibility in life was to make them happy instantly and constantly. She put aside all the “what ifs” that had sucked her in and simply didn’t answer her phone for hours when calls were from them. When they attacked her, she said she had been busy. She didn’t give further explanations.
Sometimes she said, “That’s a big problem but you’ll figure out how to solve it. Love you. Gotta go.” When they said they’d be inconvenienced or miss a big event, she was sympathetic but she didn’t volunteer to rescue them. “Oh, that must be so hard. I’m so sorry for you. But I have faith in you, you’ll figure it out. She didn’t make suggestions to solve their emergencies.
When they make demands or laid down the rules for the holidays, she smiled sweetly and said, “No. We’re doing it this way instead. You’ll just have to like it or not come.”
Of course, they attacked her even more. After all, they’d been used to beating her down eventually. But Wanda was a new Wanda. She kept repeating the same old responses. Since her children were grown, Wanda decided to find a job. Not only would she have her own money, but she’d have a good excuse not to rescue 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.