Tips for Dealing with Controlling People when You can't say drop dead.

by Band on the Run 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • LV101

    bafh --- RIGHT ON! the tough part in therapy is application (not an easy process). Experiencing anger, rage, sadness, depression, is more than having a gray day once in awhile.

  • bafh

    LV101: I find that talking about things that are actually happening or have happened and how to handle that helps in the application process. That way it's not just abstract conversation. It's also important that you find a really skilled therapist. Frankly, I think cognitive-behavioral therapy or something along those lines is one of the most effective.


  • bafh

    LV101: I find that talking about things that are actually happening or have happened and how to handle that helps in the application process. That way it's not just abstract conversation. It's also important that you find a really skilled therapist. Frankly, I think cognitive-behavioral therapy or something along those lines is one of the most effective.


  • mummatron
    You just have to stand your ground and protect your personal boundaries. - Flipper

    Very true Mr. Flipper. That's how I managed to end things with my ex-husband. Controlling people rely on getting you to change your mind. Standing your ground and sticking to your guns takes away their power.

    Be aware of the little things within any kind of relationship that gives the other person control. Things like never letting you choose which film to watch, dictating what you should wear/listen to etc. A controlling person will often attack these areas of your life first. We can see how the WTBT$ does this, but within a personal relationship the controlling person may be more subtle, perhaps seeming to jokingly mock your personal tastes and suggesting that theirs are better, especially in front of others where you will feel pressure to conform. If this has happened to you, then I suggest working on these areas first to regain control. Then hopefully the other person will either respect your other boundaries too, or you will feel more confident in standing your ground on bigger issues.

    ((Hugs)) I have been there. I lost many friends, personal possessions (clothing ripped from my body, items smashed up in rage etc) and had to rediscover who I am. If the use of violent force is involved in trying to control you then please make arrangements to GET THE HELL OUT!

  • LV101

    bafh --- i agree about the cognitive therapy. some therapists are better than others but some very skilled ones out there. i've seen some miracles! books are good for reference material or another perspective (but think they should be used in addition to the therapist). some therapists recommend them. i think one needs all of the above but i like to collect books to read someday. My psych friends from many moons ago bounce things off one another (so much for helping oneself, or introspection, or alittle bit of knowledge is a joke) but have to say the ones w/masters/doctorates and that actually work in the field are in a league of their own. it was so many yrs. ago that they're retired now. wish i had their knowledge.

    you are smart to invest in yourself. it can be hard work. i know reality has devastated me more than once when you don't want to discuss w/friends.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    The concepts are easy. Doing the work in the real world is very hard and awkward. I must deal with this person. Business lets you play a role. An office, phone, secretary, books reinforce the role. I will see about the books. Thanks for the recommendations. Maybe I have to suck up and realize it is not going to be easy but it is essential.

  • rebel8

    I have lots of techniques --

    • unwanted mail--mark "return to sender"
    • unwanted calls, emails, social media contacts--block them
    • I have reported dubs to the US Postmaster General for putting stuff in my mailbox without postage.
    • I have shredded unwanted mail and mailed it back (after asking politely 1000x for them to stop).
    • unwanted visits by friends/relatives--get thick curtains & don't answer the door
    • unwanted visits by other dubs--No Trespassing sign, enforced or answer the door and mess with their heads (play Gregorian chants, turn off all lights, light candles, invite them to join you for a game of Ouija - or - tell them you are possessed by a legion of demons, speak in a gutteral voice, roll eyes back in head)
    • any time you want to decrease or eliminate contact with dubs--start a rumor you're possessed
    • intrusive questions during conversations--"Oh, I couldn't imagine discussing that with you. Did you hear about (unrelated news story you memorized just for the situation when you needed a diversion)....?" Followed by a really long breathless, pauseless rambling on about the news story. By the time you exhale they will have forgotten.
    • bringing up religious stuff in front of non-jws--"Oh dear, I see you needed to count a religious mention today so you can submit it to your church elders in your monthly recruitment reports. How are you doing with all those statistics these days? Are you meeting your goals? Have you recruited any new members lately? Are you working with any young people? I remember when Sister Xxxx used to take me with her when she'd secretly study with her next door neighbor's 14 year old. We were so worried the parents would find out. That was tricky!" (Said pauseless so you can get it all out.)
    • bringing religious stuff up to you--Prepare by memorizing some stuff from Golden Age magazine. Interrupt whatever discussion by asking a question:

    Them: The end is so near, blah blah bl--

    You: Do you think it's really true the wts has always been Jehovah's channel of communication on Earth?

    Them: Of course---[drooling with excitement they can count you as an RV]

    You: (interrupting)--That the Society has always provided the truth to humans?

    Them: Of course--[practically orgasming]

    You: (interrupting) [insert your Golden Age goodie here.] ex--What ever happened with the cure for skin cancer the Society discovered in 1908?

    Once or twice and they won't bring up the subject again.

    If all else fails, wear a garment with big pockets and give them the finger while your hand is hidden. It relieves stress.

  • bafh

    "I was wondering what tips/advice others have gathered from dealing with controlling people(a la JWs) when one is enmeshed and can't terminate the relationship?"

    It seems to me that there are two separate things to be dealt with: 1) enmeshment 2) controlling behaviors

    So if you happen to be the person who is enmeshed, that is your issue, not that of the other person. If they display controling behaviors, that is their issue not yours, however you must figure out your boundaries and prepare your responses. This will be difficult if you are enmeshed. So, the enmeshment has to be dealt with first, and that is a personal to the one who is enmeshed.

    If this is a work situation, then you could change jobs. But you still need to deal with the issues at hand, otherwise they will re-surface elsewhere in your life.

    I only know this from personal experience. Find a good therapist and work on it together. I talk to mine every week. It's been several months, but I finally feel like some progress is getting made. At least I'm not contemplating killing myself all the time, which is a nice repreive.

    ~ bafh

  • LongHairGal

    BAND ON THE RUN: I get the sense you don't want to hurt somebody's feelings and are avoiding being direct. One thing I learned is that tact will NOT work on a nervy individual and they will bulldoze right over you. With some people you have to say: "Sorry, but I don't discuss that with anybody". Practice in front of a mirror. I don't know your circumstances, but people are more apt to overstep boundaries if you are a single woman and if you let people walk all over you in the past you will have to put your foot down. There is no way NOT to be confrontational when dealing with a super nervy person. If it is a loved one you can be 'nicer' about it but you DO have to be direct or else you have lost the battle and they will not respect you.

  • Hortensia

    Memorize a few non-answers:

    "I can't believe you said that."

    "You're probably right."

    "Why do you ask?"

    "Let's change the subject"

    Then, the secret is to not say another word. Whatever the other person says, you just say, "oh." Then look away, walk away, hand them the trash and ask them to take it out, anything but answering their questions or doing what they want.

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