Sunday, May 3, 2009

Withstanding Manipulation.

Some of us, as co-dependents, are more than usually susceptible to the emotional manipulations of others - I know I am. I can give some thought to a matter, decide upon a course of action with which I feel comfortable, then inform the other what my decision is, with a short explanation, and do all this with a serenity and ease.

However, just let the other person start playing drama queen (or king, let's be fair, no sexism on this blog) and make sweeping statements about how they were "devastated" or "crushed" and I will feel the creeping guilties start to permeate my thinking.

That's when detachment is such a useful Al-Anon tool - I can step back from all the theatrics and melodrama, remind myself that before all the emotions were given free rein, I was quite relaxed about my choice.

My first sponsor used to say, dryly: "Devastated" is what happens after an earthquake;  the way you feel when someone says something you don't like - that's "upset." It's a good reminder for me - when the language is dramatic, I'm usually watching a performance. I don't have to buy into it. I can maintain my serenity, even in the face of a home-movie version of "Gone With The Wind."

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you are writing here. I've backed down when faced with a dramatic reaction. I also have to remind myself to "screw guilt". That helps.