Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere

  • 14 Replies
  • 2147 Views
*

Wilderhearts

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 309
Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« on: April 13, 2018, 08:24:28 PM »
I've made a lot of ground in the past year recognizing what makes me a PD magnet (over conscientiousness, fear of expressing anger, under reactivity to abuse, soft boundaries, and overall being the kind of overachiever that makes PDs look good by association - all behaviours and traits I developed to get acceptance and approval from PD foo).  I'm working on those things but haven't had a lot of opportunities to practice skills from the tool-box, and I'm scared.  I'm really hyper vigilant after experiencing an UOCPD roommate's "explosion of abuse" 10 months ago because it destroyed the safety of my home and was so reminiscent of my uBPDf's abuse.  I see PD traits in a number of people in my work (places of high achievement) and in volunteer and friend communities.  One of them tried to latch onto me and I had to him brush off - but I don't know what I'll do if we're volunteering together again for this annual event.  I'm afraid I'm going to be trapped with him, I'm still recovering from being retraumatized by uOCPD, and I'm not confident in my skill set.  I'm the kind of person who, when pushed too far, will articulate exactly what I see going on and call out all the PD's PD behaviour, and that's not helpful (or safe).  But it's been my defence mechanism for my whole life.

What was it like for other people when they started practicing tools from the tool-box?  Any specific tips?  What about learning that, even if you're a PD magnet, you can be safe from them?  Will we ever be safe from them?  Do other PD-magnets feel safe?  I'm looking for a little hope right now.

*

notrightinthehead

  • Host Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 3815
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 12:59:00 AM »
I found using medium chill and grey rock most helpful. You can search for them on Youtube as well. The result for me was the feeling I was better able to protect myself from manipulation and felt more in control.
Maybe you could be more specific and describe a particular situation in which you felt that you reacted to a PD in a way that was not good for you to get suggestions from others how they handled similar situations.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

*

bonnieG

  • Guest
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2018, 05:53:51 PM »


Most useful for me was to not mind their hysterics and chaos, but instead pay attention to HOW being around them made me feel.  I made it less about them, and more about me.  I was careful to stay well out of the drama and destruction that seems to follow some people around. 

It's too easy to get caught up in other people's dramas, especially if we grew up with drama and chaos as normal everyday reactions to life's happenings.  ( like I did, thanks Mom)

When everything is a crisis in someone's life?  I take it as a sign to NOT get myself involved.  To stay well out of things! To NOT offer advice or solutions.  It's hard, as I was invested in seeing myself as a reliable, helpful "friend" but it got easier over time.

You can be friendly, and approachable and still be the grey rock/ medium chill person.   For me it was important to NOT do certain things, as opposed to doing others.  To go against my natural inclination to be a fixer, right out the gate when someone expressed an issue or a problem with great emotion attached.  Formerly, I would invariably respond to the emotion, and jump right in. 

Now, I don't.  I still express sympathy or empathy, but I don't need to fix anything for anyone else.   I let them do their own work.

bonnieg

*

Wilderhearts

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 309
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 07:50:37 PM »
notrightinthehead, that's reassuring to hear that those techniques made you feel safe and more in control.  Those are the two that have kind of stuck with me - I see others bringing them up a lot.  My concern with this situation is that possible NPD will play the victim and guilt trip me because I brushed him off last year.   He has a very smooth way of communicating "feelings" that make him look like he's just being self-aware and vulnerable by opening up, while at the same time maintaining his charm and composure, but I saw it as a manipulation, because it was just so disingenuous and meaningless - it's an act to make him look sensitive so others will become more vulnerable around him.  That's my read on him, anyways.  I think he's smart.  I'm the opposite of grey-rock naturally, and this event is somewhere where I really enjoy connecting with other people.  He'll notice if I'm disengaged with him, and engaging and warm with others, and I'm afraid he'll call me on it, and play the victim, because that seems aligned with what he's done before.  Would it work in that situation to go "yup, you're right, guess I'm just being an asshole to you.  Can't help it, I'm just an asshole"?  In situations like this I would normally assert boundaries and call out the manipulation, ex. "you're playing the victim by making it look like I've wronged you by simply not doing something I didn't want to do and shouldn't have to - I'm not responsible for your feelings, I'm only responsible for my behaviour, and choosing to not hang out with someone I don't want to hang out with is perfectly reasonable." 

bonnieG that sounds like a really good strategy that I could make work for me - thank you so much.  That sounds like a really good practical example of how to practice healthy emotional boundaries in the moment, and focus on my own needs.   That is something I can do, and will really help me stay centred. 

What I've read about grey rock is to not worry about how it makes you look to others.  I'm still afraid it'll make me look  crazy - to have this personality shift as soon as someone else is around.  My only other option is to be grey rock the whole event...and I don't want that.  I want to connect with other people and be warm and engaging, and have fun.  bonnieG I know you said to still be yourself  and be friendly and approachable but...I think that's what makes me the shiny thing among the grey rocks and will defeat the purpose.  Does grey rock still work if I dress the way I want, am obviously having fun, bantering with others, dancing etc, but am just disengaging when he tries to engage me?  Is that just what grey rock is?  I think I'm just starting to learn what this all looks and feels like in practice, after a lifetime of either freezing and placating, or more recently JADEing.  thanks for helping me get there, guys.

*

bonnieG

  • Guest
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2018, 12:24:57 AM »
Wilderhearts

If I hear you right you are worried that not responding as you have in the past will make you even more conspicuous and suspicious looking?   I get it.   But if you do what you have done in the past with this person, you may well get the results you are working to avoid. 

One strategy I've used - even if it's sort of an act - is suddenly to spot someone, ANY one, or even NO ONE, across the room after pleasantries and just make a hasty exit.. " Oh look there's  X!!   I must go see how the < insert event here: wedding,  hot air balloon ride, recent vacay > WENT!!! See you soon!"   And BAM, you are gone.  Exit stage left, and don't look back. 

It's similar to when you MUST get off the phone.  "Oh there's someone at the door, FedEx/Amazon brought a parcel, the cat just puked, the dog wants out,  my dinner is BURNING!!"  Any number of minor emergencies can be called upon to exit a conversation.  Don't promise to call anyone back. Just make a point to exit the conversation.  DO it at first as if your life depends on it.  Your sanity and happiness matter and there's no Universal Law that says we must suffer on the phone, or face to face if we are cornered by a PD person.

Just make yourself the first priority.  Other people certainly do!!  lol   Enjoy the event but don't let that one person corner you or guilt you.  You are there to flit about like the happy butterfly that you are.  So feel free!
And let us know how it goes.
bonnieg

*

Klorange

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 59
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 11:46:12 PM »
Good question, and I can relate to the feeling of worry about how behavior will be perceived. Good replies here too. Just to add my experience, I have found medium chill / grey rock very effective. What I do is consider it “bus stop conversation”. You can be fun, happy, opinionated... as long as you stick to topics you would feel okay talking about with a random stranger youeet at the bus stop. If conversation becomes too personal about you or them, you redirect or walk away (“Oh look, there’s my bus!”). Viewing it this way makes it so easy to not get into tricky territory. I use it with my pwPD at family functions and the overall feeling is much more natural and less stressful for me, all without compromising my boundaries.

Good luck to you are you navigate this stressful person!

*

clara

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 949
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 12:49:08 PM »
I don't know if this is helpful or not, Wilder, but before I knew about PDs and that I was dealing with them in my life, one of my techniques to get some distance from them was to make myself the definition of boring.  I wouldn't exactly close down around them, brush them off or anything like that, just rather present a blank wall and listen but not respond much, or not respond in ways that would continue the encounter (acting kind of stupid worked about 90% of the time!).   Just show enough interest that they won't catch on to what you're doing, but not enough to feed their supply.  Sometimes you have to deal with them until they make the decision to detach, but if they're a true PD they'll detach eventually when they can't figure out how to manipulate you.  It's not exactly gray rock because you're actively engaging, just not in a way that they expect or want.  Be aware that some PDs actually want you to respond to them negatively because they enjoy confrontations (it makes them feel powerful and important as well as encouraging them to believe they can control any situation). 

*

NotFooled

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 382
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2018, 02:36:25 PM »
Initially I avoided pd people in my social circle.  Then I slowly disconnected on social media without any explanation.  At one point I was hoovered into a funeral situation which left me feeling incredibly anxiety ridden for months after running into a UBPD emotionally abusive ex friend.   I know longer interact with any of them and some work in my same building.  If I happen to see them I just keep walking and don't make myself open to social interaction. If someone says hello I may say hello back but that's it.

 There are still a couple of mentally ill/ emotionally unstable people in  DH's social circle.  I do not interact with them and have quietly unfriended them on social media.  I no longer invite them over to my house or dinner nor do I go to their house.  If my husbands sends them a card or present I ask him to leave my name off of it.   

It may sound harsh but I no longer feel social pressure to interact with people I'm not comfortable with.  I'm a much happier person these days.

 If there is someone in your social circle that your not comfortable with I would quietly unfriend on social media and just distance yourself. If you run into them in a social setting just by polite then remove yourself from their presence.

*

Wilderhearts

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 309
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 08:50:32 PM »
Thanks so much for the input, everyone.  I've been rehearsing grey rock answers - that was a great description Clara, and good reminder about negative narcissistic supply as well.

From reading some HD tudour, I learned that one of the reasons empaths are such targets for NS is because we're "truth seekers."  We crave honesty and honest connection -  and because we don't rely on deflection and evasion as much as most nons do (in a normal healthy way, I mean), PDs can extract the truth about us from ourselves.  That's why I really have to work on not being honest about what I'm thinking/feeling and giving non-answers ("oh is that so?  How interesting.  I'm not really thinking about anything atm...just enjoying the event.  Aren't the lights pretty?").

I've had to think a lot about what this looks like - still friendly but distant; attentive but disengaged; responsive but dull.  A lot of you are saying to focus on yourself and your needs, so that's what I intend to do.  Who knows, maybe he won't even show up!

Thanks again.
WH

*

newlife33

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 358
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2018, 02:29:58 PM »
I found that one of the most surprising things was once I started healing it attracted *more* PD people.  When we begin to heal at first we are vulnerable and also a bit attractive, which is a potent mix to attract PD's.  Conflict management skills and building boundaries was a huge part for me to get away from all those PD people.  Also coming to terms with the fact that their are just people who aren't going to like me or get along with me, and that's ok.  Not everyone has to love me and vice versa.

Whatever you decide to do, I think you are brave, courageous and strong for your healing.

*

ManifestNY

  • Guest
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 05:51:21 PM »
OMG @newlife33 thank you for saying that! It's happening to me too.  I am a wounded healer who has been healed so the light stronger, and thus attracts more broken souls.  As your learning new skills to catch up, I have found that I am more vulnerable these days too, but have finally turned a corner I think.  Hearing this from someone else has brought relief.  Looking forward to continuing the discussion :)

*

newlife33

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 358
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2018, 01:22:42 PM »
OMG @newlife33 thank you for saying that! It's happening to me too.  I am a wounded healer who has been healed so the light stronger, and thus attracts more broken souls.  As your learning new skills to catch up, I have found that I am more vulnerable these days too, but have finally turned a corner I think.  Hearing this from someone else has brought relief.  Looking forward to continuing the discussion :)

Glad to help and glad to relate!  It's not easy.

I actually have to find a new place to live because I have a narcissistic roommate.  I didn't realize he was a narc, I just moved in because I was fresh out of rehab and just wanted to find a place that had a dog and I could use that dog for some love and comfort while healing.  Things were fine when I was in that mind state.

As soon as  I started healing, the roommate got jealous, started to be passive aggressive and a few other clear red flag narc traits.  It's just amazing to see the change in reaction of people who see someone healing, I was shocked.  Can't wait to get out and meet better people!


*

Orthocone

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 272
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2018, 01:54:10 PM »
I can relate.  I'm pretty careful who I let in my life these days.  But I'm so sick to death and tired of having to explain/enforce boundaries to people my age, older, way older, who quite frankly should know better by now! 

*

Wilderhearts

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 309
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2018, 05:40:15 PM »
So, update to this.  I saw his name on the volunteer list.  It looked like I could avoid him for the most part given our responsibilities, but not completely.  I started thinking up a lot of evasive, non-answers to his prying questions that would make me look boring and actually give him nothing, but would still be friendly enough and not be an outright rejection:
"How's work?" --> (I actually have a job I love) "Oh you know, it's honestly so much admin work."
"Are you doing X extreme sport we both do much" --> "Honestly no.  I just don't know where the time goes."
"Well let me know if you want to do X sport" --> "All my weekends are already booked."
"Well maybe I could join you" --> "I'm going with experienced people who mentor me cause I'm not experienced enough myself...so I don't feel comfortable bringing others along." (this is true: even if he's as experienced as me, he'd be a burden on my mentors who are helping me move forwards and it's not considered acceptable to bring a friend for your mentor to mentor.  And theres no way for me to verify his experience level or safety standards without him coming, so it's a lose-lose for him)
"What are you doing the rest of the event/grab a drink/enjoy some of the event together" --> "not sure what I'm doing, I have to go check in with some friends (disappear)"
"What of the event are you looking forwards to?" (in case he's trying to rope me into spending time with him)  --> "I think there was something but I can't remember."
"You know WH, it's starting to look like you're giving me the brush off, and I'm feeling a little hurt" (he's pretty smooth and uses "vulnerability" as a guise for guilting people) --> "Well, I just want to take it easy and do what I feel like doing.  I think maybe you're taking it a little too personally but that's your choice/ if that's the way you feel then that's the way you feel"
*generally be flaky and superficial*

Annnnnd....then he withdrew. :applause:

Do others have lines they keep in their back pockets to deflect getting baited/ sucked into JADE?  Also, feedback on my "lines" is welcome.  Would a simple "ok" or "maybe I am" be a better response to accusations that I'm not being fair to him?   This is a new approach for me and I am generally not comfortable with being disingenuous (which is part of the problem).

*

NotFooled

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 382
Re: Seeing, and fearing, PDs Everywhere
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2018, 12:13:47 PM »
Annnnnd....then he withdrew. :applause:

Do others have lines they keep in their back pockets to deflect getting baited/ sucked into JADE?  Also, feedback on my "lines" is welcome.  Would a simple "ok" or "maybe I am" be a better response to accusations that I'm not being fair to him?   This is a new approach for me and I am generally not comfortable with being disingenuous (which is part of the problem).

I think if you get them to leave you alone, without causing unnecessary drama or causing you a great deal of anxiety  it's a win.
I have lines I've rehearsed in my head for a just in case run ins with ex PD friends.  Unfortunately 2 work in my building, but so far I have had  no issues, Others have contact with relatives and DH so I'm always worried about the hoover attempt or some drama I don't want to deal with.  I just keep my distance now and have rehearsed some lines in my head just in case.