Shame, a sense of defeat, mounds of doubt, conflicting thoughts about blame, mistrust – all these emotions are par for the course for survivors of toxic relationships.
For sadists, making someone else grovel is not only the major way they secure a position of dominance in their relationships but also an activity they truly enjoy.
By nature aggression that is covertly expressed is hard to detect, especially when you don’t know what to look for.
When it comes to understanding and dealing effectively with disturbed characters, it’s hard for helping professionals who still embrace traditional models of viewing human behavior to get things right. And those who’ve been in relationships with disturbed characters and sought help through counseling often ended up feeling frustrated, misunderstood, and not validated. Even worse, sometimes, the “monster” they dragged into therapy is so good at impression-management that the therapist appeared swayed. Seeing the disturbed character’s behaviors and tactics for what they really are is a prerequisite for facilitating real change.
After years of being manipulated, abused, and controlled, survivors of dysfunctional relationships can experience a variety of emotions that make it difficult to move on, even after mustering the courage to leave. Self-questioning, doubt and blame can pose real obstacles on the road to recovery. Life after a manipulator can be a welcome joy indeed, but it’s not always so easy to get there.
If you’re dealing with someone in your life who fits the description I offer of the disturbed character, despite the fact that you might feel tempted to believe otherwise, they’re probably quite aware of the behavior that’s driving you nuts.
Emotional dependency is perhaps the most insidious type of dependency, and to the degree we possess it, it can put us at a significant disadvantage when it comes to establishing or maintaining relationships.
By far, the most frequent question I get about manipulators and other problem characters is: “Can they ever really change?”
What do you do when the covert-aggressor in your life is your co-worker, or even worse, your boss? Dealing with manipulative, back-stabbing behavior in the workplace can be quite a challenge.
Whether you happen to struggle with anxiety or you’re in a relationship with a difficult person, it’s important to recognize the vicious cycles that fuel your difficulties and commit to breaking them at their earliest, weakest point.