Jeri was tired of being told to “stop being so sensitive, be more forgiving, just move on, get over it, make peace, start fresh.”
Jeri’s 32 year-old daughter had blown up the holidays, as she usually did. Excuse this time was Jeri’s fiancé hadn’t told her enough times how wonderful she was. She wasn’t going to put up with Jeri marrying a man who wouldn’t give her all the money she wanted (as a good step-father should) and who didn’t approve of her new boyfriend because he showed up drunk, as usual. She wasn’t coming to Jeri’s wedding.
Her daughter had been selfish, narcissistic, bullying and abusive all her life, even before Jeri had finally divorced her ex-husband for the same traits plus his gambling away her money.
Jeri’s parents and extended family had also said the same things whenever her younger sister had destroyed her favorite things, stolen her jewelry and put her down in public.
Families usually give in to the person who throws the biggest temper tantrums and won’t stop.
They think the mean, vicious, nasty person won’t change so they try to coerce the nice, polite person to accept bullying and abuse in the name of “peace” or “family.” They give in to their fear and cowardice. They won’t stand up for justice and good standards of behavior if that means conflict, confrontation and discord. They want peace at any price. So the most hysterical or crazy or determined person has the power and wields it ruthlessly.
That only encourages the sharks to take bigger bites out of their target’s flesh. Jeri’s extended family were spectators to the drama of watching the martyr/scapegoat thrown to the lion.
We can’t stop bullies and narcissists by being nice and polite or by explaining carefully and lovingly why they should change.
They’re getting their way; they can be lazy, mean, greedy and vicious, and they’ll get what they want so why should they change. The 20th Century showed clearly that when we give into bullies and narcissists, we make mountains out of molehills. Bystanders can watch alligators feed while hoping they’ll be the last ones eaten. Eventually the initial spectators will get eaten also.
Life is not a spectator sport.
We can’t stand by – which means tolerate and support and encourage – bullies or narcissists. We must stand up against evil, or we collude and enable its rise.
We can’t start fresh when we face the same old bullying, narcissistic personality.
Jeri realized that if she accepted or tolerated the same behavior, she’d be harming, not helping, her daughter. She’d never be providing her daughter with an important lesson and consequences. Her sister had been allowed to keep behaving the way she always had, with only gentle suggestions to try to help her. She’d never changed and Jeri could see the same path in front of her daughter. Jeri threw away her guilt.
We can start fresh with a “new person” only after a miracle has occurred.
Jeri’s daughter and sister need a change of heart. They need to become different personalities in order to be welcomed back into Jeri’s life.
Miracles are above our pay-grade.
The word “miracle” also describes the probability that it will occur. All Jeri could do was set standards and keep encouraging her daughter to have a miracle. And pray and light candles.
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.