When you mix Sodium (Na) and water (H2O) together you will get an explosive chemical reaction. The same thing happens when you mix different personality types together with a dash of conflict.
Most people that are recovering from abusive relationships have a lot of triggers. As they travel along their path to recovery there are still parts of them that are tender to the touch. When an emotional manipulator lies or makes an attempt at a character assassination, one can feel like they are being victimized all over again.
This causes an emotional response and you may feel the need to act out, call someone out and make a big deal of the given situation, because you feel that you’ve been silent for so long.
There is a very big difference between a difference of opinion type reaction vs an emotionally reactive response that has hit one of your triggers. In the triggered response your behavior is over-the-top, heated, emotional and not how you normally behave.
These emotional outbursts are just what a manipulator is after. It gives them a great deal of satisfaction to know they can still get you all worked up and your over-the-top behavior gives them the opportunity to show others just how crazy you really are.
It may give you a temporary feeling of empowerment. You may feel like you’re sticking up for yourself. You may even feel justified and be totally in the right, but regardless of the circumstances, anytime you allow someone to make you lose your cool, they win. When you get to that space of yelling, screaming, making a scene or acting crazed, you are not acting in a healthy manner that is beneficial to you. instead you’ve allowed someone to knock you out of your peace of mind and off your path.
I’ve had clients give me tons of examples of, “Well he did this…” or “I’m not going to sit there a be passive. I’m going to do something about it…..” And they try to justify their behavior. Like I said you could be totally in the right – it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you respond and how it makes you feel.
As you get further along the path of health and wellness you realize that none of this petty stuff matters and that nothing is more important than your inner peace.
You don’t need to convince people that you are right. That’s worth repeating YOU DON’T HAVE TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE RIGHT. You can be right and have no one agree with you. You don’t need to win people over to your side. It’s enough that you know and that you believe it and you go on your merry way. If people have been told lies about you and think poorly of you, you can set the record straight if the opportunity arises, but don’t go looking for it. Let them think whatever they want – if they believe petty gossip about you or they’re on Team Narcissist – they’re not your people, so, who cares what they think.
I had a client that was fighting with their neighbor over some weeds. It got so heated that she called the Police and this wasn’t the first time. The Police don’t want to be called over a disagreement about weeds – they’re going to think you’re nuts and when you really need them they might be less inclined to rush on over.
When you change your behavior and you stop feeding the other person your emotions, they stop trying to push your buttons. When there’s no pay off they stop expending their energy. When you give them no reaction, they move on to whomever is going to give them what they’re seeking.
Remove yourself from those who know your triggers and purposely activate them. Don’t jump to the bait. When you learn how to control your emotions and your behavior, you become a very powerful person. Instead of giving off the explosive reaction, add something else to the mix – add your new mantra of “I Don’t Care.” Just like when you add another element like Chlorine to Sodium it becomes NaCl – table salt. That mixed with water gives no reaction at all.
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