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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Detachment and Insanity

I am writing this thing for work on Dealing With Angry People.

I lived with crazy angry people pretty much my whole life so this is a topic I feel very qualified to cover. When it comes to this subject I know my stuff.

Detachment is the way to go with it in my opinion.
Just to sort of cosmically unplug without seeming to be unplugged.
The interesting thing I have noticed from my extensive life experience of living with insane people is that they never know they are insane. They always think its everyone else.
The capacity for self delusion is remarkable.
Plus, its astounding how much an insane person can accomplish and still be stark raving certifiable.

Never ever tell a crazy angry person they are crazy. Its like pouring gas on a fire. It just makes them worse.

In my research on this I discovered this article that I thought was very insightful.

Threaten to make things difficult if you don't do what they want.


Constantly threaten to end the relationship if you don't give in.


Regularly ignore or discount your feelings and wants.


Tell you or imply that they will neglect, hurt themselves, or become depressed if you don't do what they want.


Shower you with approval when you give into them and take it away when you don't.


Use money as a weapon to get their own way.




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Emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten (either directly or indirectly) to punish us if we don't do what they want. At the heart of any kind of blackmail is one basic threat, which can be expressed in many different ways: If you don't behave the way I want you to, you will suffer. A criminal blackmailer might threaten to use knowledge about a person's past to ruin her reputation, or ask to be paid off in cash to hide a secret. Emotional blackmail hits closer to home. Emotional blackmailers know how much we value our relationship with them. They know our vulnerabilities. Often they know our deepest secret. And no matter how much they care about us, when they fear they won't go their way, they use this intimate knowledge to shape the threats that give them the payoff they want: our compliance. Knowing that we want love or approval, our blackmailers threaten to withhold it or take it away altogether, or make feel we must earn it. For example, if you pride yourself being generous and caring, the blackmailer might label you selfish or inconsiderate if you don't accede to his wishes. If you value money and security, the blackmailer might attach conditions to providing them or threaten to take them away. And if you believe the blackmailer, you could fall into a pattern of letting him control your decisions and behavior. We get locked into a dance with blackmail, a dance with myriad steps, shapes and partners.

Emotional blackmailers hate to lose. They take the old adage "It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game", and turn it on its head to read "It doesn't matter how you play the game as long as you do not lose." To an emotional blackmailer, keeping your trust doesn't count, respecting your feelings doesn't count, being fair doesn't count. The ground rules that allow for healthy give-and-take go out the window. In the midst of what we thought was a solid relationship it's as though someone yelled "Everyone for himself!" and the other person lumped to take advantage of us while our guard was down. Why is winning so important to blackmailers, we ask ourselves. Why are they doing this to us? Why do they need to get their way so badly that they'll punish us if they don't?


Below are some specific ways to answer the most common types of responses. It can't emphasize too strongly how important it is to practice saying these statements until they feel natural to you. How to respond to the other person's catastrophic predictions and threats. Punishers and self-punishers may try pressuring you to change your decision by bombarding you with visions of the extreme negative consequences of doing what you've decided to do. It's never easy to resist the fear that their bleak vision will come to pass, especially when the theme they're pounding home is "Bad things will happen - and it'll be your fault." But hold your ground.



When they say: Then you say:
If you don't take care of me, I'll wind up in the hospital/on the street/unable to work.
* You'll never see your kids again.
* You'll destroy this family.
* You're not my child anymore.
* I'm cutting you out of my will.
* I'll get sick.
* I can't make it without you.
* I'll make you suffer.
* You'll be sorry.
{answers are below}

* That's your choice.
* I hope you won't do that, but I've made my decision.
* I know you're very angry right now. When you've had a chance to think about this, maybe you'll change your mind.
* Why don't we talk about this again when you're less upset.
* Threats/suffering/tears aren't going to work anymore.
* I'm sorry you're upset.



Back to Callie, I liked this article. But I think that emotional detachment is critical to really coping with angry verbally abuseive people.


9 Comments:

Blogger DIAMONDKT said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:19 PM  
Blogger DIAMONDKT said...

Callie, great write-up! I can relate to much of what you said. I'm the type of person who likes to avoid an ugly confrontation. I don't mean in the sense that I'm some coward and I won't face a problem or deal with it, I will...it's just that if an unnecessary feud is always going on, then I'm not interested in being a participant. I would rather not talk to the person if we can't get along. There is no sense in arguing on a daily basis if you don't have to. That's especially true if nothing ever gets resolved and you feel that you are never being heard and understood, but rather your requests are ignored and you are blamed for things. It gets annoying and it's more than I can bare. It's drama and that I hate.

Nobody should be put into a position where they feel they are always needing to defend or explain themselves. It's just not right. If you have a problem with someone, take it up with them privately and if you can't resolve the matter, then ignore and leave them be. Like you said, it seems to be the only way to keep your sanity.

Did you write that yourself for work or is that something you found/borrowed? Either way, it said it perfectly! Nice job.

1:21 PM  
Blogger callieischatty said...

Part of it I wrote and part I got from a site on emotional abuse.
I agree with the authors take on it completely.
You just have to unplug from people who are crazy.
I wish I could hyper link to the site I would show you.
Elder tried to explain to me how to do that and I couldn't get it right.
I would like to be able to do it.
I agree with DK you have to just talk alone, but alot of these people want a big hoo hah and its exhausting.

4:10 PM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Good to see you back, CC!

The best way I have learned to deal with angry people is by not reacting. Kind of like stop, drop and roll, just listen, accept it for what it is, and let it go.

Wishing you a very sweet and prosperous New Year.

6:52 PM  
Blogger DIAMONDKT said...

Yes, exhausting is an understatement.

7:40 PM  
Blogger EXSENO said...

Callie I wrote a big comment here the other day but it didn't post. I still seem to be having problems on some sites with the comment section, I can view you but sometimes not comment. Anyway I can't even remember all of it except that it is a really great write up and post. I have people in my family that have problems too so I can really relate.
Sometimes I think it's more difficult on us, the one who has to deal with the person that has the problem , then it is for the person with the problem.
But as I bacame older I decided that if it wasn't a relative. If it was a person that I dated (not really an option for me) or someone who made friends with me, if they were always a problem then I had the option to walk away. Life is to short to be around someone who causes problems all of the time.
Anyway Callie just thought I'ed try again today to try to leave a comment and let you know that even tho I don't get to comment often I visit your site every day. For some reason this only happens with some site. You , Mojo, and a couple others. But I'll be fixing it soon. I think the only answer is going to be crash and start new after I save a few things that I still want.
Care about you very much and hope you are enjoying your new career.

10:02 AM  
Blogger callieischatty said...

thats so sweet of you to say! thanks

2:03 PM  
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5:52 AM  
Blogger Hoodia said...

Help me Dude, I think I'm lost..... I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him in a car lot yesterday, which is really strange because the last time I saw him was in the supermarket. No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender". He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a San Diego cosmetic surgery doctor ,to fit into those blue suede shoes of yours. But Elvis said in the Ghetto nobody can afford a San Diego plastic surgery doctor. Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger. Then I'm gonna go round and see Michael Jackson and we're gonna watch a waaaay cool make-over show featuring some Tijuana dentists on the TV in the back of my Hummer. And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . . "You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on " Strange day or what? :-)

9:20 AM  

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