Alice loved and dreaded the holidays. At the same time her spirit soared at a season of loving and giving and peace on earth, she fell into gloom and despair at the hopeless task of trying to please all the bullies and narcissists in her extended family who came to her house.

Self-bullying ruins the holidays.

  • Having to please everyone and make everyone feel loved is impossible and self-bullying.

  • Having to have everything organized and planned for perfectly, right now is impossible and self-bullying.

  • Having to rescue everyone is impossible and self-bullying.

  • Having to avoid or rise above all negativity and criticism is impossible and self-bullying.

  • Recounting all your faults and failures is self-bullying.

  • Self-bullying guarantees exhaustion, burn-out and failure.

Alice knew from her life experience, she would be criticized and picked apart, and be the focus of the venom each member of her extended family brought with them to the holidays. No matter what she did, she’d criticized, bullied and abused. She’d be damned if she did something and damned if she didn’t. She could never explain or defend herself. There was no way she could win.

Self-bullying is a lousy motivation strategy.

Alice had been well-trained and accepted her role of being the people-pleaser. She carried the guilt of never being perfect. When she was young, her self-bullying motivated her to do better, do more, strive to be perfect. The self-bullying strategy had been a useful motivator even though it hurt.

But now, it defeated her. It set up impossible tasks and then sapped her determination, strength and courage. She was always worried and distracted, so focused on herself she could never give her best. She was the monkey on her own back.

Alice gave up all the impossible tasks.

She got off her own back. She did her usual wonderful holiday festival for everyone. She smiled and radiated good cheer. But now, when anyone complained, she didn’t suffer and try to apologize, defend or rise above. With a smile, she calmly, firmly and loudly shot back at them.

Publically she said things like:

  • “Poor baby. Stop throwing a temper tantrum when you don’t get what you want. Nothing is ever good enough for you. You enjoy complaining so much, I stopped caring what you think.”

  • “No one could love you as much as you want. I’ve stopped trying. Comparisons and jealousy are a great way for you to beat people into giving you more. It’s part of what drives people away from you.”

  • “Stop whining, complaining and acting like a “Professional Victim.” No one can make your life better until you do the hard work of making better decisions and struggling to succeed. We can’t rescue you from yourself. I’ve stopped meddling in your life.”

  • “You think you know best and you’re righteous about everything. Who cares? It’s really boring to listen to you hour after hour. Pretty soon people will stop inviting you because you’re simply not fun.”

  • “Actually, I like the amount of effort I put out and the results. I’m satisfied. If you’re not, you have a problem you’ll have to fix yourself. Good luck.”

Since words don’t set boundaries with bullies and narcissists, how was this time different for Alice?

Alice was different. She really didn’t care if they were happy or not, if they stormed off or if she had to throw them out. She was making a scene in public and she was unapologetic. They thought she’d really call 911 if they threw a fit. She radiated strength and determination. Bullies and narcissists are attuned to that level of determination and grit. Sometimes they think you’re bluffing and they call the bluff. This time most believed Alice’s commitment to herself.

Two miracles happened:

  • Most people stopped being critical, demanding and obnoxious. They were afraid of the attention focused on them by Alice. They didn’t want the spotlight shone on them that way.

  • Alice started enjoying herself. She said she felt a giant burden lifted from her shoulders. She actually enjoyed weeding through the extended family to see who she wanted to keep.

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