Posts tagged ‘Anger’

June 21, 2011

Three poisons for love: Manipulation, Intimidation, and Domination

by Rod Smith

When people have to use intimidation, manipulation or domination, the relationship is already spoiled or poisoned. It has become a power play of control. Redeeming such a relationship is possible with the implementation of a wise plan, strongly re-defined boundaries, enduring commitment, and the possibility of a time of separation in order that a modified perspective might be gained.

Willingness and desire to be together, equality between people and complete mutuality are the hallmarks of healthy relationships. Where any form of strong-arm tactics are used, the relationship has already taken a turn to become something harmful to both the parties.

Each of these relationship-poisons (manipulation, domination and intimidation) can be very subtle, coming in different shapes, sizes, and intensities.

Here are some of the evidences of manipulation, intimidation, and domination in a relationship:

1. The relationship has been kept on an unequal footing in order that one person might keep power over another. In a severely controlling relationship, both persons might have forgotten there are choices at all.

2. One person tries to get what he or she wants without declaring what is wanted. In attempting to get what the one person wants, both persons are in some way diminished.

3. One person does not see the other as totally free.

Confused boundaries4. One person tries to get what he or she wants through threats or withdrawal.

5. It is expected that every move, thought, and feeling will be reported at least from the less-dominant person to the other. If one person is unwilling to tell all, it is assumed there is something to hide.

6. One person is not free to make plans without consulting or getting permission from the other.

7. One person in the relationship continually evaluates and examines the commitment and love of the other.

8. The dominant person tells the other how they should feel and usually re-scripts any division or disagreement into the appearance of unity.

9. One person feels at liberty to speak for both people and then, is offended when the partner wants to express his or her own views.

10. Desire for self-expression or a distinct voice (by one) is considered betrayal or a lack of trust (by the other).

11. One person expects unilateral support for his or her opinions, choices and desires, declaring somewhat of an attitude which says: If you say you love me then you have to love everything about me, under all conditions, and all of the time.

12. Difference in opinion or having different interests is considered a lack of love, or a lack of respect and commitment.

Simple definitions and a metaphor which might be helpful in considering the three “cancers” of relationships:

Manipulation: playing chess with another person or with people. Maneuvering as if life were an attempt to checkmate others into loving us or doing what we want.Explosive

Domination: playing chess with another person or with people as in manipulation. The difference is the dominator has removed the opponent’s pieces without declaring so in the first place.

Intimidation: playing chess with another person or with people where winning and losing comes with either the threat of punishment or actual punishment.

Healthy Relationship: There is no element of either winning or losing; it is not a game. It is free of tactics, ploys, moves, and agendas.

August 15, 2010

Rage is never pretty…..

by Rod Smith

Call me....

Want wisely.....

Rage is never pretty – not in you, me, nor in the man in the moon. It has no upside. It produces nothing worth having. It reduces everyone in its environment to a victim. It scares children. There’s nothing redeeming about rage. It causes physiological distress, psychological pain, and accelerates physical exhaustion. It hurts relationships. Rage is always ugly, always destructive.

Rage is never helpful

I’ve witnessed rage erupt in clients during therapy where there’s a sudden burst of rage over a matter that might appear inconsequential to the observer. I’ve seen it while I am engaged in the give and take of life – a woman loses it with her child in public, a man yells uncontrollably in the traffic, a teenager storms off from a parent in the mall.

Regretfully, I’ve felt it in me. Forces collide, my world feels out of control, I resort to blaming others for whatever I perceive as having gone wrong. Something primal snaps. I’m momentarily blind, deaf to reason. Then, I breathe deeply. I hold onto myself. Reason returns. Logic prevails. I get my focus off others. I look at myself. I take responsibility for myself. Do I always catch it? Handle it well? Of course not.

How is a person to handle a moment of rage in a loved one? Keep a level head. Walk away. Try not to react. Don’t personalize it. It’s not about you. You may participate in the precipitating event, but you don’t cause the outburst. In the moment of his or her fury don’t try to reason, negotiate, or restrain.

This too shall pass.

January 7, 2009

He left because I didn’t cook or clean…

by Rod Smith

“Everything was going well with a man I love. We had a child and were so happy. We were planning to move to another city because of the economy so I packed and went to live with my parents because he said we were going to save. After I left I tried phoning him but he did not want to talk. Finally he said he did not love me anymore. After two months I found there was another person. It was my friend’s sister who I had invited to my son’s birthday party. She was already living in the home I had left. I saw her picture in his wallet were my picture was once. I am hurting and I don’t know what is going to happen next. He tells me he left because I did not cook or clean much. I don’t know if he will ever come back because physically she is better than me. Do you have any comment?”

Order through link on the right

Order through link on the right

This is not about cooking or cleaning. You’ve loved a deceitful, irresponsible man who has moved on to his next victim. As tough as it is, I’d suggest you to take your future into your own hands and do what you can for you and your children.

February 13, 2008

Bi-polar husband and his road-rage….

by Rod Smith

“My husband is bipolar and for almost all of our married life he has shown severe aggression whilst driving. The slightest irritation on the road would cause him to exhibit road rage. He would most often tailgate and show aggressive signs to other drivers. I have known him to get out of his vehicle to remonstrate with other motorists, without fear of his life or the safety of others, including my own or our young family. The slightest intake of breath on my part would make him angrier, and he would be even more reckless. I often felt as though a gun was being held to my head, except that the weapon was the motor vehicle. Other than not to travel with him for months on end, I felt trapped. I had thoughts of going to the Metro Police to report him, but feared repercussions. What steps I should have taken? Due to illness he no longer drives. Please Rod, what could I, or should I have done?”

This is a tough call. Bi-polar or not, no one has the right to endanger his family and others. Staying out of the car was a good thing to do! Readers, please, send your suggestions!

December 3, 2007

Toxic Binds: Is he dangerous?

by Rod Smith

Are you dating or married to a man who could physically harm or kill you, or harm or kill someone you love?

Dangerous relationships are easier to endure than to address, so it is not surprising that the murder of a wife, an ex-wife or lover usually takes everyone by surprise.

Secrecy, cover-up and denial are the hallmarks of toxic binds.

Some women could use a set of criteria to evaluate whether they are involved with a man capable of committing a violent crime against them. Accurate or not, the list could help a woman escape a potentially abusive relationship, or at least eradicate the virus in the relationship before it destroys her.

Men capable of killing a “loved” one often leave a trail of early indicators, like rose petals around an open grave, before they commit a horrible crime. Perhaps someone’s life will be saved because this list, incomplete as it might be, will assist someone toward getting appropriate help:

  1. He tells you how to dress and insists you obey his wishes in this regard. If you resist he becomes irrationally hurt or angry. You are beyond choosing what you wear because your dress is his domain.
  2. When you resist (voice your opinion, appear combative) his “loving” control he goes from calm to very angry to irrational and crazy faster than a speeding bullet. In the “early days” you’d think, “Woah! Where did THAT come from,” but now you’ve become conditioned to see it as just him.
  3. He checks up on you for “your own good.” He wants to know where you are, what you are doing and whom you are with. Time unaccounted becomes an accusation. You find yourself explaining or hiding everything, to avoid the laborious conflicts that inevitably ensue.
  4. Any move toward independence on your part is rewritten as betrayal.
  5. He tells you when you are happy, and rewrites what you feel if you are unhappy.
  6. He tries to keep you from your family, suggesting they are not good for you.
  7. He tells you when you are hungry and what you like to eat.
  8. He says he knows you better than you know yourself.
  9. He is jealous of your friendships, even those that predate him and those that are over.
  10. Keeping peace is second nature to you. Ironically, the peace seldom lasts because he jumps on the smallest issues, magnifying them into major breaches of trust.
  11. His highs are very high and his lows very low.
  12. It seems as if your response to him is inordinately powerful in changing or determining his mood.
  13. He pouts easily. He manipulates truth so you are taken by surprise.
  14. He plays “hurt puppy” if you’re not happy, thereby making your emotions his business.
  15. He expects you to always be glad to see him and to drop whatever you are doing to focus on him.
  16. He demands his own way and has an inordinate perception of his own importance. He shows off his “power” by threatening to “talk to the manager,” when he is not given the service he thinks he deserves.
  17. He becomes irrationally angry at the smallest of inconveniences.
  18. He accuses you of “taking sides” if you suggest he is being unreasonable.
  19. He lives on the edge of “white hot” anger, becoming very angry with children, animals and anyone or anything that doesn’t obey him.
  20. He hides this anger from people outside the “inner circle” and his mood quickly changes if an “outsider” appears so that his anger is kept secret.
  21. He removes your car keys or your purse to restrict your movements and then denies doing so.
  22. In the early days of the relationship you felt like you were on a fast ride on an unpredictable roller coaster. Everything was too much, too soon, but you did not know how to say it. Any comment about wanting to “slow down” on your part was ignored. You felt invisible, as if you were just along for his ride.

For such men, winning is everything — losing control is not an option, even for those whom they proclaim to love the most.

October 15, 2007

Do you think like a victim?

by Rod Smith

I’d suggest that if two or three of the following ring true you might want to get some professional help (or coaching, or peer supervision or whatever is available to you):

1. You think someone has more power over your life than you do.
2. You think your future is not primarily in your hands.
3. You think other people’s needs are always more important than your needs.
4. You feel surrounded by eggshells and therefore monitor everything you say.
5. You live as if someone close to you is carrying a big stick and looking for opportunities to punish you.
6. You generally think you deserve punishment.
7. Everyday you have a sense, a conviction even, that you are going to lose a little more, that another shoe is about to drop, or more unwelcome news is coming.
8. You feel guilty on the rare occasion you are moderately happy.
9. You lie to friends and say you are busy or unavailable when the truth is you are afraid to make plans that might upset your partner or family.
10. You find it difficult to receive favors especially favors you cannot repay.
11. You are suspicious when people enjoy each other and wonder what is really going on.
12. When people are kind to you, you wonder what they really want.

October 1, 2007

His venting is out of control. What should I do?

by Rod Smith

“My husband’s venting has gotten out of control and I’m considering a divorce. Talking about it yet it ends up in a fight. When I first met him, there were times I had to put down the phone and take a walk. It drained me. I married him, only to find out this venting was a regular thing and I became a target. It’s not what he says but the delivery, the energy behind the words. It’s gotten so bad that I can’t sleep, or concentrate, and I have a hard time being around him. Do I divorce or separate from him?” (Edited)

Get your attention off you husband’s behavior and onto your own. Like many people, you observe the finer details of a partner’s behavior while ignoring your complicity that helped fuel the very behavior you now reject. Why would you marry a man when his pre-marriage behavior was already draining you? Things would be different if you’d made a radical stand the very first time he was inappropriate.

Divorce? Separation? I have no idea. I do know nothing will change – actually they will deteriorate – until you do something radical. You are a target but you have legs! Use them. When he sees you will no longer tolerate his hurtful outrage he might do what it takes to grow up.

March 15, 2006

Three poisons for love: Manipulation, Intimidation, and Domination

by Rod Smith

TUYL

Stay OUT of control...

When people have to use intimidation, manipulation or domination, the relationship is already spoiled or poisoned. It has become a power play of control. Redeeming such a relationship is possible with the implementation of a wise plan, strongly re-defined boundaries, enduring commitment, and the possibility of a time of separation in order that perspective might be gained.

Willingness and desire to be together, equality between people and complete mutuality are the hallmarks of healthy relationships. Where any form of strong-arm tactics are used, the relationship has already taken a turn to become something harmful to both the parties.

Each of these relationship-poisons (manipulation, domination and intimidation) can be very subtle, coming in different shapes, sizes, and intensities.

Here are some of the evidences of manipulation, intimidation, and domination in a relationship:

1. The relationship has been kept on an unequal footing in order that one person might keep power over another. In a severely controlling relationship, both persons might have forgotten there are choices at all.

2. One person tries to get what he or she wants without declaring what is wanted. In attempting to get what the one person wants, both persons are in some way diminished.

3. One person does not see the other as totally free.

Confused boundaries4. One person tries to get what he or she wants through threats or withdrawal.

5. It is expected that every move, thought, and feeling will be reported at least from the less-dominant person to the other. If one person is unwilling to tell all, it is assumed there is something to hide.

6. One person is not free to make plans without consulting or getting permission from the other.

7. One person in the relationship continually evaluates and examines the commitment and love of the other.

8. The dominant person tells the other how they should feel and usually re-scripts any division or disagreement into the appearance of unity.

9. One person feels at liberty to speak for both people and then, is offended when the partner wants to express his or her own views.

10. Desire for self-expression or a distinct voice (by one) is considered betrayal or a lack of trust (by the other).

11. One person expects unilateral support for his or her opinions, choices and desires, declaring somewhat of an attitude which says: If you say you love me then you have to love everything about me, under all conditions, and all of the time.

12. Difference in opinion or having different interests is considered a lack of love, or a lack of respect and commitment.

Simple definitions and a metaphor which might be helpful in considering the three “cancers” of relationships:

Manipulation: playing chess with another person or with people. Maneuvering as if life were an attempt to checkmate others into loving us or doing what we want.Explosive

Domination: playing chess with another person or with people as in manipulation. The difference is the dominator has removed the opponent’s pieces without declaring so in the first place.

Intimidation: playing chess with another person or with people where winning and losing comes with either the threat of punishment or actual punishment.

Healthy Relationships: There is no element of either winning or losing; they are not a game of chess at all and are free of tactics and agenda.