Sanctuary for the Abused
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Are you looking at these words trying to figure out how to respond? If so, you just took the bait. Have a look at the words again "I'm wondering why you're reading this page." Notice anything odd?? -- It's not a question!! It's a statement!! Don't answer statements.
Another trick is 'attributed' statements. "We were wondering" "They said..." "She said...." They "attribute their statements to somebody else or a 'group.' This tactic, of course, places blame elsewhere, and is intimidating as it appears to involve others.
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..." "We should..."
Strategy #2. Make a fast exit when you hear the 'WE' word.
Examples: "Don't you care if...." "If you loved me..." "Everyone knows that..." "Every decent person..." Don't you think you (we) should..." "Why don't you..." "Wouldn't it be better if..." "Can't you take a joke?" "You could never do..." "I thought that's what you wanted" "Do we all agree..." "It's reasonable to expect..." "We've already...." "I needed to..." "You don't think I meant...do you?" "We were counting on you to..." "Aren't you going to..."
"Why do you always..." "Do you expect me to..." "I can't believe you would..." "I thought we were going to..." "Why should I have to..." "I've been told that..." "How could you..." "Why don't you..." "Did you hear me?" "Well, does that mean that I have to...." "I thought you..." "Don't you think you(we) should..." Are you telling me..." "I thought we agreed..." "Only an idiot would..." are examples of verbal attack moves. These are phrases used to put you on the defensive. So, like a good chess player, set up a strategic counter move. Just say "That's my decision", "I know you're unhappy, but that's the way it is" "I'll have to think about that" "You seem upset" "We don't always have to agree." "I prefer it that way" Learn the art and science of not taking the bait. Let some things slide. Don't respond to bad behaviour. It's their confrontational chip-on-the-shoulder that you're seeing now. These confrontational questions are pure bait and he's looking for a fight. Don't take the bait!!
This amounts to a 'Mexican standoff' of whose going to talk first. He wants to find out how long before you'll crack and what issues you'll bring up - That's His Payoff. Simply say "Let me know when you feel like talking". Say nothing else. Act like 'no big deal' and put a smile on your face. If you react now it will become his tactic in future.
"I was sure you'd want to" "You'll be pleased that ...." "Aren't you happy that...", "What do you think...?" "I know you'll like..." "You'll want to..." "I (we) thought you wanted to..." "I thought you'd like..." "Since I'm the one..." "Perhaps you'd like to..." "You must know that...." "Many people agree that..." "I'm sure it's occurred to you..." "You and I..." "I think you know..." "I've heard that..."
Aren't you just thrilled he's including you? He's controlling you for your own happiness, right? Take a step back Buster!! I'm not falling for that old line. Be prepared with your "I'll let you know", "I'll have to think about that", "No, I don't want to" "I disagree"
Pregnant Pause. Abusers are most effective at getting us to help solve their problems. They state their problems (usually very easy to solve) and wait. This waiting is very manipulative. We take up the verbal gap and fill it in with our offer to help.
Strategy: Watch for the pregnant pause in the conversation, it's bait. Watch them use the tempo of conversation. We're programmed to respond at a conversational pause and to offer suggestions or help.
Now he verbally 'acts out'. Let it die down like a nasty summer storm. Leave the room, or tell him to leave. Don't waste your time getting in this conversation. You may get a chuckle out of their obvious provoking and baiting phrases.
Asking a question of a pathological liar is inviting lies. Fearing loss of control, they'll ricochet around like mad to avoid answering, or asking questions. He'll likely say "Oh well that all depends..."Well, I'm not sure..." or change the subject completely.
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 right back in his court). We learn these tactics after we've taken the bait a few times.
Tactic deliberately creates a 'right now' "We need to.." "If we don't act now we'll lose out" "I know a guy..." urgency, immediate gratification, last-minute panic they need us for. Fast talking, gesticulating, panicky masters of presuppositions.
Using "we" and stating some 'snooze you lose' is their game. One of the oldest tricks in the book. The masters of "I smell gas and I can take care of this for us, but I'll need you need to give me $$$ so I can get this fixed for you."
The personality-disordered abuser is incredibly gifted at psychologically knowing his target. He will assess your most basic personality - often this is not even known to us and he will know you better than you know yourself, and use it to his advantage.
For example, if the abuser asks you "How's the weather today," you will answer in one of three ways. If you're a visual person, you will probably say "Looks like it's going to rain." If you're an aural person, you might say "I heard that's it going to be a scorcher." But if you're a kinesthetic person, then "It feels pretty cold" will probably be your answer. Now, the verbal abuser will assess your personality. Such as for the visual target "I see," "I get the picture," "show me," "focus on," "beautiful," "brilliant," "seeing is believing," or "keep your eyes peeled." With aurals, words include "I hear you," "fine tune," "sounds good," "tell me," "listen," "hear me out," or "keep your ears open." With kinesthetic individuals, use "I feel," "I sense that," "grasp," "vibrant," "my point is," "makes sense," "out of touch," "hold on," or "get a handle." His uncanny ability to do this creates the 'our soulmate' aspect to hook and manipulate their target.
Systematically your abuser has conditioned you to accepting his 'action' commands. He hammers you with rapidfire questions, options, statements, observations. They fly like bullets and you're in the trenches. He wants a response and your compliance and he wants it NOW. To confuse you is his objective. He wants you to agree with him, provide his wants, appease him, become his ally, take up his cause. It begins with small easy normal requests and we develop a conditioned acceptance reflex. Soon you're in the middle of Conversational Chaos. Example: "Hey Babe! Is the coffee ready? Can you gimme $20 I didn't get to the bank, and by the way sugarlips, I'll need the oil changed in the car while you're getting my shirts drycleaned. mmmm you look sexy, did you get my pants pressed? By the way, your dog just messed on the floor, you'll need to clean that up, I don't want you to slip in that ha ha ha!!" Your head's spinning with trying to respond and we end up agreeing to it all. Attempts to disagree or challenge bring out the anger, so things get done at his command. This not-so-subtle insidious manipulation is meant to confuse, obscure, gain control and compliance. Failure to comply and his wrath is imminent. When we do notice and recognized this abusive manipulation and 'start to stop it', you can expect some retaliation. This tactic is a favourite technique with abusers.
Workplace Bully These bullies make a beeline for the vulnerable or the strong. You could be next on his 'hit' list!! The majority of bullies will retract when a group of people blow the whistle on them.
Stage Setting With an audience, the abuser is always in top form. They love to trap us in a social setting where questioning them is inappropriate, or alone in a car and use the 'captive audience'. Abusers are notorious for involving others in their schemes. These 'others' don't know they're being used in the manipulation. It gives the perfect appearance of support they need. Tip:It works for us too!
Gaslighting: "You're just imagining things.", "I/you didn't say that." "You're confused." Strategy: Trust your own perceptions and gut instinct. He's hiding something and deliberately misleading you.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When challenged, the verbal abuser will "advance to the rear" and try another approach. You may hear..."That's not what I meant" or "You misunderstood" or "I thought that's what you wanted". This will be followed by their endless excuses, blaming, rage or manipulating. Any apology will have you rolling your eyes.
Hooray! You said No. But does it stop? Manipulators are very good at finding new ways to skin a cat. He has anticipated your answer and is ready with more tactics.
They appear to be a 'good 'ol boy." Freely dispensing their assistance, talents and labour, money, gifts, souvenirs, samples, freebies, edible treats, free tickets or other miscellaneous offerings. Beware!! One of the oldest tricks of the wolf in sheep's clothing. By appearing to be helpful and kind, generous and considerate, the way you accept their offerings is how they sniff around to detect your resistance, your likes and dislikes. It's how they detect your attraction to forbidden fruit, gather data on your needs and wants, judge your finances, your morals and where you relax those morals and involve you in their misdeeds.
"What do you think of..." "I'm wondering if you know..." "Maybe you could tell me..." "I wanted to ask you..." "You might know..." "Would you like..." "I'd like your opinion..." Be watchful for this type of verbal baiting used by the prowling predator. They appear friendly, deferential, non-threatening. They seem to appreciate our willingly-offered help, and we are drawn in by them. He has planned this all along. An abuser will assess and grade any responses. If he finds you targetable, expect to be idealized and cultivated like never before.
Isn't it amazing how abusers are able to con and hoodwink? They can pour out the tales of woe, claim to be the victim, and others rush in offering our money, labour, talents, to help without even being asked! Or, the NP will paint vague pictures of vast booty of future wealth and flocks of people can't wait to dish out their hard-earned money throwing all normal investing caution and common sense to the wind.
If I were to tell you that we need a plant and, if you plant a seed for us and water it we will have that plant. So, you select a seed. You plant and water it, but still the plant doesn't grow. What is the logical conclusion?
1. You didn't select/water/plant it correctly.
2. You failed to follow instructions. You didn't meet our needs.
3. The failure is yours. The blame is placed on you.
The truth, however is that your abuser has done nothing but prepare a scenario for him to get the praise of success. He has heard you talk about how you love to garden. You're good at it. All blame, cost, work and responsibility is yours. Look at the bolded words above. This is how the NP places the initial request (need), responsibility and blame for events that happen. Things like "we will never be able to/ should never be together" or "this relationship was doomed from the start" are common phrases. He has programmed you to take the responsibility for success or failure. The success praise all go to him. The responsibility for success was put solely on you. The probability of success was 50/50 but the blame 100% yours.
"I wish I knew how to..." "If only..." "I want..." We feel sorry for him as he shows his inept manner and puzzled words. So we offer our help willingly. But, he's been setting this up deliberately.