Maggie finally stopped psychoanalyzing her parents and her adult children. She accepted the accuracy of the idea she’d avoided for decades: they enjoyed crisis, drama and chaos. They dropped bombs and swooped into to reap the spoils. They enjoyed her pain. That’s how they knew they were in control, had power and could feed on her emotional energy whenever they wanted.
Many bullies and narcissists enjoy melodrama and uproar.
They often talk behind people’s backs, work in the dark, pit people against each other, throw hissy-fits. “Passive-aggressive” is too mild and wishy-washy to describe the emotional damage they cause. They’re like hyenas or vultures feeding off the bloodshed, violence and war they create. Pain and panic are like nutrition to their starved spirits.
They want everyone walking on egg-shells.
They want the whole family looking over their shoulders wondering when the next attack will come, afraid of not being perfect, thinking it’s their fault, accepting the blame, feeling guilty. Often, they remain in the shadows while they stir up suspicion, distrust and fights.
Maggie started creating a bully-free environment by not taking their feelings and demands seriously.
She said openly that her parents’ needs did not require immediate responses from her and did not require her to do things the way they wanted. She waited at least three days before responding to their calls. She told them they could call emergency responders or have food and medicine delivered instead of demanding that she rush across town whenever they wanted.
She told her adult children that she was not on-call whenever they wanted her to make it possible for them to have fun. She told them the purpose of her life was not to make theirs comfortable, easy and effortless. She started sharing every text and email in which they said nasty things or told lies about each other.
Of course, there were consequences.
She had to face the rest of the family trying to make her feel guilty because she wasn’t loving, kind and caring enough. She had to face her parents threatening to die alone and in poverty because she was an unloving and ungrateful daughter who wouldn’t serve them the way they wanted. She had to face her children threatening to withhold the grandchildren because she was an unfit grandmother.
They were shocked when she said her life and wants were as important as theirs.
That was the big bomb she threw into the old family dynamic. She was no longer a slave or servant. Loving, kindly and caring did not mean she had to do whatever they wanted immediately. She would find people who would love her tender, and appreciate and reciprocate her love and gifts. She would not live in a melodramatic soap-opera. She was not going to waste her time and energy on their temper-tantrums and hissy-fits.
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.