Darla asked with a whine, “Am I a magnet for bullies and narcissists?”
The answer was, “Yes.”
Darla had been trained by her parents to be a good girl, a nice person whose job was to make people happy so they’d like her, treat her kindly and she’d get into heaven. Her husband had reinforced those beliefs. Darla had served him well for years. Two of her three adult children had chosen to follow his example. They saw who got his way and who got to serve. So they decided to win. Many of Darla’s friends and neighbors rapidly saw her acceptance of disdainful treatment and control, and her willingness to serve without reciprocal caring. So they chose to take advantage of her.
Bullies and Narcissists have mastered the skill of recognizing victims.
Victims are targets who won’t resist effectively. Like predators surveying a herd to find the weak ones, human bullies and narcissists also seek the ones who won’t resist. When they’re not sure, they probe the herd to find out who’s weak. They preyed on Darla because couldn’t or wouldn’t run away and she didn’t know how to resist. She became a bully-magnet
A better question for Darla was: “What do I do that makes bullies and narcissists think they can get away with bullying and abusing me?”
Darla’s original question came from her thinking there was something defective in her genetics or character or she’d actually behaved very badly. The better question assumes she hadn’t done anything particularly bad and can change her behavior to stop attracting bullies, narcissists. In fact, it assumes that when she learns what she needs to know, bullies and narcissists will run the other way or she’ll brush them off like lint, naturally, automatically and easily.
Finally Darla got so angry something inside her snapped.
Intellectually, Darla readily accepted her old victim-patterns but at the thought of actually resisting, she chose discomfort and fear. She didn’t want to make them angry; if they got angry, her life would be ruined. She saw the many excuses she’d used for not having consequences her oppressors would get angry at. The magic moment for Darla was when she got enraged at her husband for turning the children to his evil ways. That was too much.
Connecting that moment to all the other times he’d been critical, negative, abusive, bullying, selfish and uncaring made something so huge, Darla couldn’t ignore it any more. Her anger motivated her to stop him or die trying.
A miracle happened for Darla; her resistance spread into the rest of her life.
She’d become determined and disciplined. Her well-trained guilt and sense of politeness were no longer enough to hold her back. She became very firm, clear and outspoken. Her husband, those two children and the particular friends and neighbors who’d used and abused her were taken aback. They continued to probe for weakness, hesitation and self-doubt, but Darla didn’t have any. She was willing to fight for what was right.
When Darla was successful, she didn’t need to be driven by anger any more. She was no longer a magnet for bullies and narcissists; she repelled them naturally.
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.