In The Jungle, The Mighty Jungle.

19 Oct

There is a common trap that difficult people set for us in the jungle, a trap that we need to slow down enough to recognize, and be courageous enough to deal with in a new way, or it will have us falling right into a hole too deep to dig ourselves out of.

Trap setters don’t do vulnerability. Instead, they do blame and whirling storms of shame. Their behaviours invite avoidance and reactivity and eventual hostility.

Trap setters hide behind overly intense demanding comments such as:

  • Are you annoyed with me for some reason?
  • What’s going on with you?
  • Why aren’t you contacting me?

Or they try to take advantage of your compassion, in the hope you won’t reject them by delivering guilt inducing manipulative statements such as:

  • Not hearing from you makes me cry every day.
  • I feel devastated that our friendship seems to have changed.
  • I can’t believe you would do this to me.

What the above statements do is provoke and point out faults in you while keeping them faultless.

What CAN you do?

Proceed with caution

  1. Proceed with caution.
  2. Stay calm in the face of unreasonableness, don’t react or respond in a hurry.
  3. Say as little as possible.
  4. They are a much safer topic of conversation than you are, so keep the focus on them.
  5. Avoid topics that you know will induce attack.
  6. Never get into a power struggle with them or expect them to see your point of view.
  7. Hold back from rejecting them, that is what they expect you to do, and if you do, they will become hostile.
  8. Long term, minimize the time you spend with them.

From a compassionate viewpoint, try to remember that they more than likely have a deep need for acceptance, and even a hint of disapproval from others causes them to become unhinged. They often have an inaccurate view of themselves, fear being disliked or devalued, and have difficulty taking responsibility for their own feelings.

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2 Responses to “In The Jungle, The Mighty Jungle.”

  1. tomandemma October 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    The minute I started reading this I pictured someone immediately. This is great advice thank you of how to deal with toxic people. I find pre-preparing statements/responses to these people is handy too otherwise I end up drained and feeling awful.

    • martinboroughartdepartment October 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

      Thanks. I am so glad it was helpful. It’s a sign that distance is needed when you find yourself making up a game plan to stay safe. I think its like dealing with a big roaring lion, just back away gently!!

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