(Date Posted:01/12/2009 12:54 PM)
How to Bullyproof Yourself
"He NEVER asked a question. Like yours, he would never ask about anything. Nor would he answer one. He would ricochet around like a bullet in a tin can-trying NOT to give an answer. Get a panicked look on his face.... Or just tell an out and out lie."
"A lot of people are afraid to tell the truth, to say no.
That's where toughness comes into play.
Toughness is not being a bully. It's having backbone.”
The Devil's Toolbox: Creating doubt, confusion, criticism, sarcasm, denying, ignoring consequences, blaming. Learn the tricks of 'sleight of mouth' your abusive word warrior uses.
Question or Comment?
If I were to say to you: "I'm wondering why you're reading this page" would you respond? If so, you just took the bait. Have another look: "I'm wondering why you're reading this page." It's not a question!! It's a statement!! Don't answer statements.
Here's another: Your abuser is in the kitchen and says: "I can't find the sugar." Did you jump up to get it for him? If so, then his manipulatiion worked. He didn't even have to ask. Other examples "Hey, I could use a hand over here."
If he can get you to respond to statements and jump to help him without actually asking you, you will become conditioned to meet his expectations without question. That's how abuse starts.
Your abuser sets the bait. He asks: "I've heard you're very good at getting stains out. What would you do about these stains? So if you take the bait and show off your laundry skills and actually clean up his mess, it worked beautifully. Notice how he brings other people into this setup by saying "I've heard you're... " comment - this is high grade manipulation. You feel special and admired and your talents are eagerly used by your abuser. Practice how you would respond to this manipulation.
They use the 'disguised question'. Watch for them. They have a "rING" to them (I'm wondering, hoping, thinking) or "Perhaps you'd ..." "I was worried that you might...""I wish you'd..." "I thought you might want to..." or "I thought you had..." "I need some cash..." "I need you to..." "I want to..." "We need to...." - Train your ears to spot this type of manipulation and train yourself to ignore it.
Strategy: Recognize this is manipulatiave.
Abusers hate asking questions because it means they may loose control.
Striking Matches in a Bomb Factory
You can count on your abuser to push, poke, prod and provoke to get your reaction. They'll find a way. They need to stir up the pot, create chaos, get you to pay attention to them. Maybe they're hoping you'll 'blow up' with some angry verbal exchange to make you look like the crazy one, so he can play 'victim'. Do you feel your buttons being pushed?
Strategy: Watch for his attempts. He has to make a mess and create chaos - it's the nature of the beast. Go for a walk and get away if this begins to happens. Don't take the bait.
The Opening Pitch - Their Secret Weapon
Sharks Disguised as Dolphins
The vivacious outgoing person with a raucous laughter that instantly charms the crowd. Primes his target with "What do you think of..." "You seem good at this, I'm wondering if you know..." "Maybe you could tell me..." "I wanted to ask you..." "Would you like..." "I can't decide, which one do you like?" "I'd like your opinion..." Appear friendly, interested, deferential, non-threatening, submissive, early in the game. They freely dispense their assistance, talents and labour, money, gifts, or other offerings. Beware!! One of the oldest tricks of the wolf in sheep's clothing. By observing your reactions and spotting your resistance, your likes and dislikes and weak spots in your boundaries, they move in to quickly to create a 'soulmate' connection.
Strategy: Be suspicious of flattery. Be watchful for this type of verbal trickery used by the prowling predator. Just knowing this behaviour, you can detect an abuser in the early stages. Develop a healthy suspicion of people's motives.
The Royal "WE"
WHOA, HOLD THE PHONE .... "WE"??? - that's the oldest trick in the book -- that ''WE' they throw out means YOU are being targeted. If all goes well, he takes the credit and, if not you'll be playing receiver in his blame game. Examples "If we could..." "We were hoping..." "I was hoping we could get the money for ...." "We should..."
Strategy - Make a fast exit when you hear the 'WE' word. Watch our for "us" and "our" as well.
F O G = Fear, Obligation and Guilt
Dr. Susan Forward does a fantastic job of describing FOG in her important book Emotional Blackmail. Highly recommended.
Examples: "Don't you care if..." "Why can't you be more like..." "Are you trying to hurt me?" "Don't you care about...?" "If you loved me..." " Don't you think you (we) should..." "Wouldn't it be better if..." "You don't expect me to..." "Wouldn't it be best for everyone if..." "Can't you take a joke?" "You could never do..." "Why don't you love me anymore?" "I thought that's what you wanted" "Do we all agree..." "It's reasonable to expect..." "We've already...." "I need you to..." "You don't think I meant...do you?" "We were counting on you to..." "Aren't you going to..." "Are you just going to sit there and let me do this all by myself, I could get hurt you know."
Strategy - Know your vulnerabilities to 'FOG'. Don't take their bait. Don't respond to baited questions. Expect them to howl - let them. Beware of the 'if' - then' type statements - it's bullying and abusive. Example" "If you loved me then you would..." You might say "I'm sorry you feel that way." can end this kind of thing. just ignore and change the subject or leave. Make no verbal response, just put up your hand like a stop sign and give them 'the look'.
The 'Silent Treatment'
is another form of abuse. He waits, fishing for whatever will cme up that might benefit him. Simply say "Let me know when you feel like talking". Say nothing else. Strategy - Know this is a typical childish 'bait and wait' of the mentally disordered.
Question = "What are you doing Friday night?" Answer = "Not much, I haven't made any plans yet"
(you just got zinged - that's what he was hoping you'd say)
Question = "What are you doing Friday night?" Answer = "What did you have in mind?"
(you successfully blocked by questioning the question and punted the ball back in his court). We learn these tactics after we've taken the bait a few times.
The power of your abuser is little more than the skillful use of cheap word tricks of the salesman con artist.
We have used the male gender - your abuser could be female.
© AUTHOR: femfree 2001
"Autaera" Artist Matthew Hecht
Webset by Ice Queen Gemstone Designs former MSN Group
(Message edited by femfreeOn04/18/2012 4:51 PM)
"Why does he treat me so bad? Then it hit me - why was I allowing it?"