A quick clue to see if this is going on in your relationship is to notice how many times you find yourself saying (or thinking): “But that’s not what I said at all!” And yet no matter how much you protest, the other insists that they’ve got it right and you are trying to negate them by saying otherwise. Wow, talk about a no-win situation!
Crazymaking is to the advantage of a manipulative person who wants the upper hand in the relationship — as a matter of fact, it’s really one of their favorite “tools” to keep you confused, off balance and uncertain of yourself so that they feel superior. You will literally feel you’re going crazy if you hang out with this person long-term. If it’s a marriage, believe me, I know how rough it can be to recognize what’s happening. It’s part of the codependent trap. You try so hard to please, to figure out what they meant by saying something out of context or accusing you of having said something in a sarcastic tone or — this is a favorite tactic to throw you off — saying you are in a “mood” and they can’t even talk to you when you get like this. As if you’re a difficult person to be with — and yet as you scratch your head and feel the confusion build, you know that they have manufactured trouble when you didn’t say or do anything. Some partners thrive on stirring up agitation so that they don’t have to learn how to truly be intimate in a relationship. Their egos are wounded very easily and they take affront at even a mild criticism.
What can you do? Learn more about codependency, verbal/emotional abuse. Later this week I’ll talk about an important tool every codependent person needs to know — how to set boundaries.
your happiness guru,