Appearance of choice/control

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chocolateraspberry

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Appearance of choice/control
« on: April 02, 2016, 01:07:19 AM »
I read an article today about disciplining kids, and the psychologist in it advised one technique that gives an appearance of choice, such as "daughter, do you want to put on red top or green top? We are going out."

The shrink said human beings tend to favor having choices bersus being told ehat to do, even if the choices arent real choices. It is the illusion of having a choice we seek.

It got me to thinking about PDs. This shrink applied his methods to kids and teens. Arguably most PDs remain stuck at some level of childhood.

Im curious if giving the illusion of choice has ever been a successful strategy employed by anyone here. For example:
-do you want to divorce and never talk again or do you want to divorce and try to see if there's a chance for a future together after it is done?

-do you want to see the children in 3 weeks or in 4 weeks?

My hunch is, even though the article was about kids and PDs have the maturity of children, my examples above would probably fail to accomplish much. But I'm curious if anyone has seen success with the strategy of giving a choice (even if it's illusory)  vs. laying down a rigid premise.

In my relationship my PD responds very badly to calmly stated, firm assertions of needs, intent, etc by me. He sees it as far too controlling and pushes back, even if it's in his best objective interests to agree. However, he seems to respond "better" when I play damsel in distress or "playing dumb" with a question.  :stars:

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Onwards

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Re: Appearance of choice/control
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 08:12:42 AM »
Personally I have found that my exn/BPDh pushes against all and every boundary (even, as you said, when it's in his best interest to agree with me). I keep giving him choices because I'm always trying to be fair and reasonable - even after everything he's done, it's still very hard for me to remember that I'm not dealing with a reasonable person. So if I give him a choice, he will usually manipulate to the hilt, often just for the sake of it.  :stars:

This is one reason I'm so thankful for our court order as EVEN THOUGH, it is set in legal stone, he has still tried to change every last aspect of it and it's been great for me to just be able to say "NO'.

Just my experience though others may feel differently.
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RunningFree

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Re: Appearance of choice/control
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2016, 10:26:24 AM »
I've tried this approach with my uNPDw.  It didn't really go well - a couple of challenges.  Firstly, she didn't react well at all.  Things like "why are you forcing me to chose those?  You're always trying to control me.  I'm putting on a blue top and not going out."  And secondly, I came to realize that she was right - that was an attempt to control her and the situation and was somewhat manipulative.  As I read about codependency, I learned that codependents often try to predict how his/her partner will react and then try to control the situation up to a decision point.  I realized that I used to do that.  From there forward, I tried to take  totally different approach to a situation where we needed to make a joint decision.  I'd say something like "I've been thinking about X, these are the most important factors in my mind, I think we should do Y - what do you think?"  It wasn't actually any more successful.  To her I was presenting decisions as done deals without consulting her, I was just going to do what I wanted anyway and trying to trick her with logic.
But, I knew in my heart that I was trying to be open, honest and cooperative.  And that our failure to work together and compromise wasn't on me.
When going through Hell, keep going.

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chocolateraspberry

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Re: Appearance of choice/control
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2016, 11:22:53 AM »
To her I was presenting decisions as done deals without consulting her, I was just going to do what I wanted anyway and trying to trick her with logic.
But, I knew in my heart that I was trying to be open, honest and cooperative.  And that our failure to work together and compromise wasn't on me.

Bingo!

Something that helped wake me up several years ago is when a therapist noted the binds my uPDH puts me in. That I am damned if I do, and damned if I don't, unless, of course, I just let him call all the shots, including the shots of not doing a darn thing to contribute to the functioning of our lives together.

Thank god for the people who help show us reality.