#narcissism, #narcissistic personality disorder, anxiety, anxiety disorder, emotional healing, emotional maniulation, emotional trauma, emotional wounds, emotophobia, Healing after abuse, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, mental illness

Emotophobia and Being Manipulated by Others

Emotophobia is the fear of unpleasant emotions, not to be confused with emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.

There is little online about emotophobia.

The few articles I found offered the suggestion to “stop treating negative emotions as if they are your enemies and can harm you.”

This is somewhat condescending and implies that emotions themselves cannot harm you.

The person offering this advice clearly has never been in a situation where showing negative emotions could harm them.

So, they think it is rather ridiculous that someone would associate their negative emotions with danger.

The problem with this thinking is that there are situations where someone’s emotions can cause them harm.

This advise shows a complete misunderstanding of emotophobia and its root causes.

People with emotophobia are not “treating” emotions as if they are the enemy.

For people that have emotophobia, emotions were the enemy and they were followed by consequences.

People that grew up in mentally abusive childhoods were not permitted to have emotions like other people are.

The expression of emotion, which represents being an individual, is often punished by abusive parents.

Even children who were not physically abused, could have had their right to individual ideas and feelings violated.

Narcissistic parents and other overbearing, maniplulative parents do not want their children to develop independent thoughts and ideas.

They do not want their children thinking in terms of their own needs at all. When their children expressed feelings, the parents retaliated.

Punishments from the silent treatment to aggressive verbal abuse of the child are used.

Physical consequences may also follow as a matter of course, when a child showed anything resembling disobedience, including not feeling what they were told to feel.

These mentally abusive parents, want the focus on themselves and their needs. They demand for the child to cater to their ever changing desires and demands.

In order to survive in this type of environment, the child must learn to constantly read the parent’s body language and tone of voice.

They must anticipate the desires and moods of the parent. If they fail to do so, it is met with negative consequences.

If the child expresses disagreement, or unhappiness with the parent, they will likely invoke the anger and wrath of the parent.

Even a facial expression of disagreement with the parent can bring out their anger.

For their own protection, these children and teenagers learn to disguise their feelings and push them down.

They do not want the parent to see their feelings because it will be used against them.

If you grew up in this type of environment, then feeling negative emotions was the enemy. It is not something we have suddenly developed an irrational fear of as adults.

This environment causes C-PTSD, which is Complex Post Traumatic Stess Disorder, in many people. This is carried over into adulthood.

So, the advice to “stop treating emotions as if they were the enemy” and to tell people that feeling emotions is safe, does not make sense to someone with C-PTSD from childhood mental abuse.

Adults can also develop emotophobia from ongoing abusive relationships with a partner. Women become afraid to disagree with their partner because they fear his anger.

Abusive people do not tolerate independence from their partner. When the partner asserts the fact that they are an individual person, it is met with extreme resistance or anger from the narcissist.

Again, the brain rewires the neural connections to avoid showing negative feelings. This is a necessary survival tactic at the time.

It is not easily undone. The brain considers it necessary in order to protect the safety of the person.

It takes years to develop this survival tactic and to detach from and avoid negative emotions. The brain becomes wired to discourage entering into situations that may cause negative emotions.

To undo what was a learned survival skill takes a lot of work in re-wiring the brain.

Telling someone “emotions are your friends” does not work, especially without any idea why the person feels such anxiety about emotions like anger and sadness.

 

 

The problem with emotophobia is that having it makes you easier for people to manipulate. People that want their way all the time, can use emotional manipulation to make you want to comply, rather than experiencing the pain of the emotophobia symptoms. 

Realizing that you allow people to have their way, in order to avoid upsetting them is the first step to healing. Then you can understand that people get upset sometimes and unless you are in danger from them in some way, you can endure the feelings you will go through when they react to you. 

You can begin to recognize when someone is trying to emotionally manipulate you. They will not take no for an answer. They use shame and guilt to get you to do things. Another sign is that their reactions to things will be far out of proportion to the “slight” they should be perceiving. 

You have just as much of a right to your boundaries as anyone else does. People should not get their way just because they play on your fear of upsetting them. 

**for information about coaching, hypnosis, and NLP for people with C-PTSD and emotophobia see my web site HERE or follow the gentlekindness facebook page HERE

#narcissism, #narcissistic personality disorder, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, dealing with a narcissist, Dealing with difficult personalities, dealing with manipulative people, domestic abuse, gas lighting, gaslighting, genltekindnesscoaching, gentle kindness coaching, healing from narcissistic abuse, mental abuse, mental health blog, mental illness, narcissism, narcissist, narcissist boss, narcissistic abuse, Narcissistic psychpath, psychopathic abuse

Toxic Abusive Narcissistic People

 

wolves

machiavellian

narcissistic verbal abuse

 

abusive relationships, dealing with annoying friends, empowerment, friendships, life, lifestyle, relationships, self-esteem, self-help, toxic personaloties

Choose Your Relationships with Wisdom ; Friendships and Partner Relationships

True friends will show you their love by being supportive and allowing you to follow your own path. They will listen to you without judgement when you talk to them. They will respect you as a person and not say things that lower your self esteem.

You can tell if you have a great friend by how you feel when you are with them. You should feel comfortable when you are with them and they should not do or say things to make you feel bad about yourself or to make you doubt yourself.

 Your self esteem should go up when you are with them and never down.

Rather than viewing your friendship by only  looking at things that your friend does, it is more important to think about how you feel. Even if someone does nice things for you but you still feel your self esteem lower when you are with them, then they may not be a good friend for you.

A friend is someone who you spend time with and while you are interacting with them, you feel good about yourself. In turn they should feel good about themselves when they are interacting with you.

There are certain combinations of people that are better together than others. No matter what, a good friend is someone who pulls you up mentally and emotionally. You can be yourself without fear of judgement. They want for you to be able to be yourself.

The same goes for intimate partner relationships.

No one can tell you that they are a good partner for you.  They cannot decide for you that they are good to you.  Only you know whether you feel good when you are interacting with someone. You always know yourself better than anyone else does. 

There are certain kinds of manipulative people that will tell you that they are good to you because they did this or that fav or for you. They will try to convince you that they are a good person for you and that you should appreciate them. 

Someone telling you that they are good to you does not mean that it is true.

Some people just decide what they think you want and need. Other people intentionally try to control and manipulate you. A real friend will ask you and pay attention to what you need, what you like and what how you feel.

If you are in a relationship and you are not sure if it is good for you, one way to evaluate the relationship is to pay attention to how you feel mentally and emotionally. Here are a few situations to think about.

In order for this to help you, it has to be done in a way that is honest with yourself. Think about it objectively like a science experiment and you are having to gather data. What are the actual emotional feelings and also feelings in the body.

  1. When the person tells you that they are on their way over to your house, do you feel anxious and upset? Do you feel relaxed or excited? Are you looking forward to this visit or are you secretly hoping they will not come?
  2. When you hear the text message sound on your phone, how do you feel i your body? Tune in to your body and think about the sensations that occur. Do you get butterflies in a good way? Do you get twisted knots in your stomach?
  3. What words are said in your head when you hear the text sound? Do you say “Oh no” or do you rush to the phone thinking “I hope I can talk to them”
  4. How do you feel when you hear their car pull up in the driveway? Does your body react in a way that feels uncomfortable? Do you get a rush of dopamine and feel good?
  5. How do you feel when your partner is in the house with you? How does this compare to how you feel when they are not there? Do you feel anxious or nervous when they are in the house? Do you feel safer and comfortable when they are in the house?
  6. How do you feel when you hear your partner coming closer to the room you are in? What is the first thought that goes through your head when you hear your partner? 
  7. When you have to make a decision about something that you will have to relay to your partner, how do you feel? Does the thought of having to tell them you made a decision make you worry about how they will react? Do you feel that they will respect your decision and you ability to make decisions? Do you have fear or anxiety about what they will say?
  8. How comfortable do you feel sleeping when they are in the house? Do you feel safe to be vulnerable and sleep?
  9. If you accomplish something like getting a promotion, how do you feel when you think about telling your partner? Are you looking forward to telling them? Are you nervous about telling them?
  10. How do you feel when you make a mistake about something they wanted you to do? If you cannot make them the dinner they requested because you forgot one ingredient at the store, are you afraid of how they will react?

The above list are some of the questions that can help you to get a more objective perspective about the relationship. You can think of some of your own to add, if you like.

No one should ever be afraid of their partner, friend or family member. You should not always have anxiety and nervousness around them. If you are afraid to be near someone then it should be a red flag. This includes being afraid of feeling embarrassed or criticized or being made to feel bad in any way.

You should not feel like spending time with them is taxing, draining or lowers your self esteem. You should be able to maintain feelings of self worth when you are around them. 

The relationships should have balance.

You should not spend more time thinking about how to please someone than you spend thinking about yourself. They should not always be focused on what they need and neglect your needs. 

Discussing any problems in the relationship should allowed and not make you feel afraid of any punishment, including emotional punishment.

 What I mean by that is that you should not feel that you cannot express your feelings about the relationship to them. If there is a problem you should be able to speak about it without the fear of angering them or the fear of them leaving or threatening to leave you.

Friendships and partner relationships should be positive and have the effect of building up your identity. You should not be losing your identity or feel like it is being taken over by someone.

You should not feel overshadowed or dominated by a friend, a partner or a family member. 

Each person should have a separate identity and an equally important role in the relationship that is valued and appreciated. You need to spend time with people who allow you to be the best You that you can be.

codependence, emetophobia, emotional maniulation, life, manipulative spouses, narcissistic abuse, people pleaser syndrome, toxic people, trouble saying no

Saying “NO” to Manipulative People and to Emotional Manipulation

Saying “no” to people comes very easily to some and is nearly impossible for others.

I have found that many people with  C-PTSD have trouble saying no.  If you were brought up in a mentally or otherwise abusive childhood, saying “NO,” may be associated with severe consequences to you.

If you lived with a parent that had narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, then they probably used confusion tactics on you, to the point where there was “no” way to say no to them.

Gaslighting can confuse our ability to trust ourselves and our perceptions. It may be difficult to tell what situations that “NO,” would be perfectly okay, and what situations where saying no, would really cause a problem.

If you grew up in an environment where your feelings and thoughts were not considered relevant, then you probably feel that your feeling of wanting to say no, just does not count. Even though the same person may say “No” to you all the time, you do not feel that you have the same right to say no, that they do.

If you were even in an abusive situation where disobeying meant punishment , then you probably have a fear of retaliation from others.  There is an anxiety response triggered by saying no and  refusing to comply with another person’s request.

The act of saying no, can trigger a very uncomfortable physiological response. In order to avoid feeling  severely uncomfortable, we just say “yes” when we really want to say “no.”

Triggers are very real and the tendency is to want to avoid feeling the bodily sensations  associated with them. Ignoring triggers and going against our conditioned responses, is a very difficult thing to do.

It is perfectly normal and acceptable for you to say “No” to people when they are asking you to do something that you do not want to do or something which crosses your boundaries.

You are allowed to set personal boundaries for yourself. You can also set boundaries for certain people that you do not want crossed.

You can set boundaries in regards to your emotions, your time, your energy, your work and your social interactions. You can set boundaries in regards to dating, doing work for people and doing favors for people.

You can set boundaries about your personal space and your personal items. 

 Any situation where someone is trying to get you to do something by using your emotions against you, is a situation where your boundaries need to come into play.  

Sometimes people do not accept your simple NO or your reasons for saying NO. They try to convince you be making you feel guilty or by shaming you. 

They are trying to use your good and caring personality against you. They want you to feel bad and they do this by intentionally pushing whatever buttons they know you have. If they know that you want to feel like you are cooperative they will call you uncooperative.

If they know that you have helped them many times in the past, they will lie and tell you that they do not remember the last time you did them any favors.

Don’t fall for these manipulative behaviors. If someone feels the need to make you feel guilty in order to do them a favor, then they really do not deserve the favor.

People should accept No, especially if you have perfectly good reasons for saying no, even if the reason is that you just do not feel comfortable doing it or do not want to do it.

Here is a list of ways to say NO…

No.

No, thank you.

No, I really cannot do that.

No, I do not want to do that.

No, I am not interested in that.

No, I cannot find time in my schedule to do that.

 No, I am just too overloaded right now, to do that.

No, I am not interested in doing that.  

No, you go ahead without me.

No, please ask someone else.

No, I do not have to think about it.  I would rather tell you NO right now.

I said no. Please respect my answer

If you have a history with this person that tells you that they will counter any reasons you give them for saying No, then you can try something like this..

“In the past my giving reasons for my No, seems to have just been an opening for someone to tell me the reasons are not good enough or to dispute my reasons in some way. So this time I am going to say simply No without going over my reasons with you. “

If they refuse to accept your “no”, then you still do not have to do what they want just to make them stop complaining. Just because they are going to upset that you told them “no”,  does not mean that you are responsible for their feelings. As long as you were not intentionally trying to hurt their feelings, then you did not cause for them to feel bad.

If someone  is an adult then they are responsible for their own feelings. Much of the time, manipulative people are acting when they get dramatic with you. They can be very dramatic about how disappointed they are in you or about how selfish they think you are.

These are more reasons not to tell them  “yes”  every time they demand something from you. The more times they are able to manipulate you, the more they will resort to the same tactics over and over again. 

**Please note that this article is not talking about partner relationships where the person will physically abuse you or will otherwise punish you for saying no. Those relationships are volatile and should be escaped as soon as possible but I never recommend to ignite retaliation in a severely abusive person.

It is designed more for situations where you are in no immediate danger  or impending danger.

This article is also not a recommendation to tell your boss no to doing work, thus risking your job. If your boss is abusive it is a different topic and must be handled with a different strategy that is not discussed in this post.

codependence, life, mental health, people pleaser syndrome, toxic people

People Pleasers, Codependent People and Self Care

Many people that some from abusive backgrounds have forgotten or never learned how to love and care for themselves. What comes naturally to most people does not come naturally to everyone.

If you have a codependent personality, suffer from People Pleaser Syndrome, or just seem to keep ending up putting the needs of others over yours, even to the point of it causing you harm, then you probably never learned how to care for yourself well.

It probably puzzles you how other people seem to have it all together and you always feel behind. You feel like you are always the one who cannot do what other people can do.

One of the reasons for this could be that other people are spending a reasonable amount of time taking care of the things they need to take care of in order to be okay. They make sure that other people do not guilt them into doing things for them, when there are important things they need to do for themselves.

It is not a matter of not helping other people. It is a matter of not putting yourself and your needs last. You have bills to pay just like everyone else. You have a right to eat well, rest and exercise just like everyone else.

When people try to cut into your time that you need to take care of yourself, then you have to practice telling them no. People may be shocked at first, because they are not used to you setting normal boundaries. But think about what they would do of you demanded that they neglect something that they really need to do, in order to take care of something for you that you could take care of yourself.

Many times we agree to do favors for people who could take care of it themselves but they are just making time for themselves to do something extra. In the mean time, you are neglecting something that is much more important that if it were them, they would never even consider allowing you to interfere with by asking for a favor.

Other times they could easily get someone else, who has more time and more ability to do it, but that other person is also busy taking of themselves and they are keeping the free time to do something they want to do.

There should be a fair balance between people. You should not be guilt tripped into doing something that someone else could find another way to get done, at the cost of your basic needs being neglected.

You have to prioritize

1. Sleep

2. Work

3. Exercise and health

4. Nutrition

5. Your money situation

6. Your personal space and time

7. Personal hygiene

8. dr appts

9. Your comfort about situations

10. Your plans

11. Your schedule

12. Your mental health

13. Your physical health

14. the relationships you value

15. the time you need to clean the house or any other chores

16. time to get your errands done

17. your family situation and responsibilities

18. your personal emergencies or urgent situations

19. taking care of your car repairs and maintenance

20. Relax time for you

21. Anything that you feel frustrated about if it does not get done

22. Anything that you feel frustrated about if you do not have enough time to do it properly

People who have People Pleaser Syndrome are easily manipulated into neglecting these very basic needs because they do not really know if it is okay to prioritize themselves. In the mean time everyone else makes sure that they take care of these basics and then they use the extra time to do some extra things  which puts them ahead of you at something.

You are the one who does not get the promotion at work even though you worked harder than everyone else. That is because while you were helping other people with their job, they were using the time to get ahead of you. People will take what they can get a lot of the time.

Everyone is not like you. They will not try to balance out the favor . They will not all cover for you just because you covered for them.

Learn who is taking advantage of you on a regular basis and cut them off. Tell them that you has a certain amount of favors allotted for each person in your life and that they have already used up their lifetime of favors.

Take care of the people who care about you. Look at the actions of people and not just their words. Notice when people are only nice to you when they want something. Notice when people expect you to do something rather than asking you with no expectation.

See what different people do when you say no. The ones who try to guilt trip or shame you are manipulative people. Anyone else would accept and respect your no.

domestic abuse, domestic violence, emotional abuse, mental abuse, mental health, mental health blog, mental illness, narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic abuse

Do Not Set Yourself on Fire to Keep Your Partner Warm and Comfortable

save yourself memeYou do not have to tolerate unfair treatment and unreasonable demands from your partner. If you are not being listened to and your needs are not being heard then you will begin to lose your feeling of worthiness.

Your thoughts and feelings matter. You should have a partner that listens and cares about your needs. Your needs are as important in a relationship as the other person’s are.

The longer you stay in a relationship where someone else’s needs are always the priority the more you will become invisible. The more invisible you feel , the lower your self esteem will get. The lower your self esteem gets, the more you will become dependent on the toxic partner.

The more dependent you feel on them, the harder it will be to leave them. The more they realize that they have been successful in their efforts to make you become dependent, the more manipulative and abusive they will be to you.

no contact ribbon

If you have gotten out of the abusive relationship then keep the No Contact rule. The only reason for having to have contact is by court orders due to mutual children with the abuser.

If you must have minimal contact due to court order, keep the contact through email where you can keep documentation of everything they say and also what you say. That way they cannot make up lies about you.

Taking a phone call from a past narcissistic abuser will open you up to further abuse. They will try to hoover you back in with promises and lies. You are only being used and manipulated.

My ex contacted me 4 months after discarding me in a cruel way. He sent two dozen red roses. He put a note in the flowers about my being a wonderful person and that he misses me.

He wanted me to do something for him. It was the only reason he would contact me

Part of me wanted to believe that he missed me. I cried when I was arranging the beautiful roses in the vase. I wished he did really love me. I remembered his false promises of us working together and buying a house together. He even showed me pictures of properties he was considering in various states. Hours of looking at beautiful houses only to keep me doing work for him. I cried as I wished the flowers were from someone who meant them in an honest way.

He emailed me about how I was doing and said he hoped that I was okay. He said he missed me.

I emailed him back …breaking the No Contact rule…which was bad. I did tell him that I would not talk to him on the phone though.

I did however implement the Grey Rock Technique with him. If you do not know what this is, I will give a brief description.

When you are faced with interaction from a past abuser, who seems interested in seeing you again, you do not fight back. You act neutral and non emotional. You can say something vague to them, like you hope their life is good and that you are busy right now with your own. Act disinterested and unemotional, rather than angry at them or hurt by them.

Even negative “supply”  like your feeling angry at them, counts as “narcissistic supply”  to them and they feed off of that. They will like to see that they were able to make such an impact on you as to hurt you.

So, I did not say anything emotional in the email, but I told him that I had been very ill , which I had , and I was still very ill. I let him know that I was too sick to do things.

If he cared about me then he would have responded to that email about my being in the hospital and being sick. But he never responded. He could care less if I died in the hospital due to my immune system crashing over the stress of the abuse. It might even make him feel victorious. But I did  not suggest that I had been sick since he left me.

I merely let him know that I was not well enough to any work for him. I assumed that he needed some work done for his company. That is what he always used me for in the past. Marketing, web design, making phone calls, etc

But when I told him I was ill, he never contacted me again. I was Broken Narcissistic Supply. I was no good to him because I could not work.

You see the lack of empathy that any normal person would have here? Any ex that contacted you and they found out you had been ill, would at least respond with  “I am sorry to hear that you have been sick”

If they approached you in the first place, sent you flowers, and told you great you are, why would they not respond to you telling them you had been in the hospital?

Because they do not care. They were only lying to get something out of you. If you appear to be disinterested in them, then you are not good narcissistic supply. If you appear to be sick then you are also not good narcissistic supply.

They reduced you to an object, a property they are entitled to, a tool to be used. There is no emotion like kindness or compassion.

All interacting with will do is get you ending up being used again, or being hurt again when you see how there is absolutely no compassion for you at all. You will only be retraumatized by their lack of humanity. You will get hit in the face with all the lies they told you in the past and the false promises of a future with them.

Do what I say, not what I do…..

I made a mistake to respond to him. It only hurt me. But at least I did not let him manipulate me into working for him. If I had taken a phone call from him, he would have had a better chance to get my sympathy by crying and telling me how the business is crashing and I am the only one who can save it.

These were only games before. I have heard the You are the Only one who can save me before. Then I was replaced by others who he said were better than me at this and that. He suddenly criticized and demeaned my work that was previously amazing.

Lest we forget….narcissists  are all about the games,,,they will beat you if you play.

Why?

Because it is their  game and they have played it a lot longer than you have. They know they rules and they make up new rules as they go along.

They will always win because they have no feelings like the ones you have of compassion, guilt, remorse. They can do things and not carry remorse for them. How can you compete with that.

Just do not play. Trust me.

domestic abuse, mental abuse, narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic abuse, toxic personalities

When Toxic People From Your Past Suddenly Show Up

Toxic people sometimes exit our lives in their own, and then suddenly reappear years later and act as if no time has passed.

They pretend that none of the cruel things they did to you ever happened or that your perception of them is exaggerated. They suddenly, out of the blue want to rekindle the old relationship.

Or you  may have been the one that left and now they are suddenly talking to you as if nothing happened. It is like you are long lost friends who accidentally drifted apart.

As a kindhearted and somewhat curious person, your first reaction will probably be to feel confused and then you will allow them whatever contact they are asking you for. It might be a lunch date or a phone call. They may be asking for your new address or wanting to confirm your old one.

They will ask you how you have been doing, as if they have great concern for you and have been worried about you all this time. There is no apology from them for anything.

More likely they will make you feel as thought you were over sensitive about the past situations with them or that your memory is in question. They will deny, avoid, redirect, and minimize any conversation you bring up about the past.

If this is a toxic personality that is skilled in gaslighting tactics, then they will create a false past reality that is not the way you remember it to be,

They were very supportive of you an always believed in you. They will attempt to draw you into this fantasy reality in order for you to trust them,

If your memories do not match what they are telling happened then they are gaslighting you. This is an intentional manipulation of reality, in order to confuse you, make you question your own memories and perception, and also create a false ideal of them in your mind. 

If they begin to do a lot of talking about themselves and how many great things they have been doing, then they may be trying to get you to see them in a false light, that makes them look like a more compassionate person than they are.

They may want themselves to appear more together, more mentally balanced or more successful and desirable than they really are.

If the relationship did not mean enough to them, to keep up on it for a long time, then why are they suddenly interested in you now? If this is a red flag going off in your head, then listen to it.

If there is any cognitive dissonance occurring in your brain, then something is wrong with this situation. They are playing a game with your memories and your thoughts. Cognitive dissonance happens when you have two realities that are co-existing in your mind and they do not match together. In fact the two realities are mutually exclusive.

Here is an example.

You remember this person talking about your family as if they hated them. They called your sister a stupid slut who lived off of others like a parasite.

 They called your other a greedy manipulator. And they said that you were always defending your family and putting their needs first.

Now, in this present conversation, they ask how your lovely sister is doing. They talk about how they always used to like her and knew that she could do something good with her life.

The ask about your mother.  They say how they know she always worked hard for all the things she has  and never asked a soul for help.

They tell you that you were always independent minded and did things for yourself. Maybe you could have done more to be supportive of your family, but you can’t help but to have the personality that you have.

Thus they have altered your perception of the past and how they see your sister and your mother.

They always cared about them and thought well of them. You however have changed from the clingy daughter, who did too much for the family to a selfish daughter who let her mother struggle and did not offer to help.

This is Gaslighting.

You remember one thing and the person is telling you a completely different version of reality and hoping that you have low enough self confidence that you will believe that your own perceptions are wrong. They are so smooth and certain about what they “remember” that they do not seem to be lying.

Hoovering

If this is kind of toxic person that is trying to hoover their way back into your life, then do not let them. They want something from you and then they will leave you injured for letting them in. The “hoovering” tactic refers to the vacuum cleaner that sucks up things in its path. If you are “old Supply” of their and not they are drawing you back in then it is called hoovering.

Maybe you have run into this person at a family event. Maybe you were hospitalized and this person has suddenly appeared to be there for you, even though they have not given 2 cents about you for 2 years. 

What does your rational brain tell you?

If this person has turned their back on you in your times of need in the past, then why do they suddenly care now?  If is does not make any sense to you, then it is not right.

Another characteristic of toxic people is that they are self centered and cannot help but to center the attention around themselves. They may be able to play the game of pretending to care about you for a short time, but they will go back into talking about themselves and how everything affects them.

Personal Story

I had not heard from my sister in 5 years. I was recently (about 2 months ago) put into the hospital. I notified my step mother, so that she could tell my father. I got an email from my sister.

She was sooo concerned.  At this point during the hospital stay I was very ill and I was very week. I told her that, but she decided to ignore my state and just chat cheerfully away over the email.

She talked about how she understood my suffering and that it was so bad to have to be the hospital. Then she went into her story about being in the hospital and how it was so much worse than my “little situation”.

This is interesting because she did not ask much about my situation and had no frame of reference to decide that hers was  worse.

Their is always more than yours.If you are sick, they were once sicker. If you almost died. they came closer to dying than you and their pain lasted longer. 

I had gastro specialists called in for my case in the hospital. Her version of her own story, had to top mine. Her version was that she ended up with such a bad infection that the Center for Disease Control was called in.

 They had to isolate the entire section of the building. Now, I have some recollection of this incident and I hardly remember the CDC coming on the scene.

And all of this was while I was lying sick in a hospital bed. Your rational mind tell you that this person is not being considerate, they are being rude, and they do not seem to care what you are feeling. 

But your compassionate and trusting  side might want you to believe that this person must be telling you the truth. They must actually be worried and concerned for you, not just trying to top your situation because the family is worried about you and it is taking attention away from them.

So, once you feel these 2 contrasting realities beginning to collide, take a rational look at what is happening. Do not assume that the other person is always telling the truth , especially when they are clearly changing the facts.

Don’t assume the toxic person has changed.

Look at their behavior. Not what they are saying about themselves and how great they are. But their behavior. What are they attempting to do with what they are saying?  Are they listening to your feelings and thoughts ir just telling you what to  feel?

Are they letting you talk and being considerate about whether or not you want to talk to them right then or at all? Are they listening to you or are they dominating the conversation? Is the conversation based in reality or is reality suddenly magically in their favor and against you?

Be careful allowing toxic people from the past, back into your life.

If they were self centered. selfish, malicious, cruel, energy sucking, or even dangerous in the past, they probably still are. If they tell you they have changed, they are probably lying. If they tell you that things were not as bad as you remember them to be and that your perception is wrong, then they are lying.

You have other people that actually care about you. Do not let anyone guilt you into having to interact with them, give them your new phone number or whatever.

Do not allow people to tell you that their perception of the past is the actual version and yours is the version of an overly sensitive, confused person.

Blessings,

Annie