Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?

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11JB68

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Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« on: April 23, 2021, 06:13:05 PM »
I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. One that I like is Love and Abuse (Paul Colaianni)
He brought up what he admitted was a controversial opinion of his that a person CAN 'make' another person feel a certain way.
I don't love this opinion but maybe I'm just being stubborn. I have always gone with the popular idea that no, a person cannot MAKE someone feel a certain way. I feel like uPDh uses this type of language to blame me for how he is feeling. e.g. He acts out (controlling/mean etc to me), I get upset. He goes on a tangent, arguing, etc etc to the point that I get upset and I tell him this is how you act, here are examples etc (this is when I'm unable to MC any longer) and he ends up saying 'you make me feel like a loser, you make me feel like 'crap', etc.
So Paul Colaianni is framing it that the ABUSER can make the other person feel bad, and actually intentionally or subconsciously tries to make the other person feel bad.  Which makes me wonder then am I abusing uPDh and 'making' him feel bad about himself?? I think he already feels bad about himself which is what causes him to behave the way he does - YET not an excuse to be mean and demeaning to me and DS.
Thoughts??

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Happypants

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2021, 07:50:39 AM »
I’m absolutely flattened by brain fog this morning, so apologies, I hope this makes sense as i can’t help but reply as it’s a debate that’s floated around my head for a couple of years.

I believe there is a lot of “pop” psychology flying around based on genuine, peer reviewed research and the subsequent tried and tested methods used in therapy.  “Forgiveness” as mentioned in another thread - the social/cultural expectation to forgive otherwise you’re only torturing yourself - and if they know that they’re hurting you and continue their behaviour towards you?.  “Gratitude” - i understand the practice, science and concept, BUT, being brought up with family dynamics that leave you feeling unworthy, personally speaking i feel triggered when i hear the concept of gratitude where it’s being over-simplified and preached. 

For me, the message of “nobody can make you feel a certain way” rings alarm bells in the same way that “what people think of you is none of your business”.  We are a species that heavily rely on each other.  It’s a survival mechanism and it’s the reason humans seek approval and acceptance, otherwise subconsciously we believe we won’t survive.  We’re wired for connection and i don’t think we can help but absorb how we perceive others to feel about us. People know they have an influence over that, so i suppose what I’m saying is that it comes down to intent - are you saying something to hurt someone so that you feel powerful? Or are you saying it to communicate how you feel/to improve the situation/to help them open up/to defend yourself?  I personally believe we very much can “make” people feel a certain way but that they have a responsibility to decide whether it’s justified and whether the persons overall intentions and behaviour towards you influences whether you internalise it or not. Ultimately, I feel it takes the responsibility off the other person.

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2021, 11:32:04 AM »
The abuser sets out to do ill to the other person in an attempt to control them. If the other person can see this attempt and sidestep it in some way, good.
You are setting out your side of the story. You aren't trying to make updh feel bad. Maybe you're trying to get him to change. He could sidestep your attempt.
I don't think anyone is making anyone. It's like a dance, or a game of chess. Move, countermove. You both have CHOICES in which behaviors you choose, and your reasons for choosing them.
"Make" seems like you're on some kind of track, or held at point of weapon or something, where there isn't a choice.
He has a choice of how to act and what to think, as do you. He will likely always choose the PD-est choice in response to anything he faces, but you don't have to.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2021, 11:34:40 AM »
I think for the most part we can disengage emotionally that misbehavior little effects up.

This can however mean the end of a relationship that is supposed to be built on emotional intimacy.

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2021, 11:59:13 AM »
Good question. As someone who was bullied as a kid and then was told "sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you"....I always struggled with the idea that what people say can't make you feel some type of way, because I got pretty hurt as a kid and definitely didn't feel like I chose that!

I think at a fundamental level, if we don't have protection methods or certain strong thought patterns in place, yes, by default I think people can literally control you with their words and make you feel the way they want you to feel, conscious or not. The more forceful that becomes, the more like brainwashing it is. Cults exist and control people sometimes with words and no needed physical coercion (maybe the distant threat of it).

I do think things like medium chill, thought challenging, and listening boundaries are the first steps to stop that control and keep another person's emotions out of your body and out of your energy field. It is different from physical control, it is psychological, so we discount it as not coercive but I really think it is - and the less it is exposed and talked about the more easy it is to dismiss on a wider scale. Personally, I feel like people and even companies are constantly urging and subtly manipulating people to feel a certain way without us realizing and it's supposed to be that way.

But there are ways to deflect it and to realize that you are the one in control at all times. Working that muscle of the mind to be able to overpower those who would want to over power you, if you will, and it only takes some exercise.

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square

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2021, 12:47:38 PM »
Agree with everyone that it’s way more complicated than person A’s words/actions cause or don’t cause person B’s feelings.

As social creatures we are attuned for SURVIVAL (literally) via acceptance. We are hard wired to care.

This can be hijacked by abuse to cause over- or under-sensitivity.

When H says something nasty to you, it’s natural to feel hurt. Likewise if you say something nasty to him.

When you say you are too busy to run and fetch something for him, you did not hurt him. His miswiring did. How much is under his control and how much he can’t help, I can’t say.

And it hurts YOU to not have reasonable boundaries.

It’s not on you to choke it all down for him, to both go super easy on him and also just ansorb all his blows.

With my H, I just wanted it fair. If I can’t say X to him then I don’twant to hear it from him. If he felt Y was fair to me then he should be able to take it too.

If yours can tell you how you did something wrong, fine, you should be able to critique his efforts as well.

No?

Well, then, he should keep it to himself.

If he thinks you should be gently walking on eggshells to bathe his ego in the gentle and soothing bath of your love, maybe you could actually do it if he did the same for you.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2021, 04:18:33 PM »
Quote
So Paul Colaianni is framing it that the ABUSER can make the other person feel bad, and actually intentionally or subconsciously tries to make the other person feel bad. 

Instead of framing it as "Person A made Person B feel bad" what if it was "Person A's behavior led to Person B feeling a particular way." I think we can all agree that this is exactly how interactions between people work. By taking out the blame (it's the behavior causing the feeling instead of the person), and the negative result (just a feeling vs. feeling bad), we can start from a more neutral position.

For me, it's the second part of Colaianni's statement that is the key: intentionally or subconsciously tries to make the other person feel bad.

"Blame" only becomes a factor when there is INTENT. And I think most abusive behavior has pretty clear intent - to make someone feel bad, or to gain compliance or control over them, etc.

You gave an example of a conflict with your husband that starts with him saying something mean, then you try to point out the behavior, and then he accuses you of making him feel bad. (Classic DARVO, by the way.) Is it possible that one of the reasons you end up feeling bad is because his initial abuse causes you to become defensive and say something "abusive" back?

If so, the first thing I'd say is that no one is perfect. We all slip now and then and say something hurtful to someone, perhaps even with some intent. Depending on the scenario, I'd say the best thing to do is to apologize and try your best to do better next time.

The second thing relates to the reason I put "abusive" in quotes. If someone is hitting you with a stick, and you respond by punching them in the nose, it seems a bit disingenuous for them to accuse you of abusive behavior. After all, you probably wouldn't have punched them in the nose if they hadn't hit you with a stick. I think the same thing applies to words. If someone verbally attacks you, it's a fairly natural response to become defensive and even to fight back.

Here's an example:

Let's say I did a load of laundry and forgot to put it in the dryer, and now my husband has no clean socks.

He comes to me scowling, and says: "You forgot to put the laundry in the dryer again, and now I have no clean socks. You're such a flake."

The namecalling alone makes it pretty clear that his intent is to make me feel bad (abuse). It certainly isn't solving the problem of no clean socks.

Here's how this might go:

HIM: You forgot to put the laundry in the dryer again, and now I have no clean socks. You're such a flake.
ME: So I'll rerun the wash cycle. You don't have to be a jerk about it.
HIM: Oh sure. I'm the bad guy. You make me feel like crap.

See what happened? He said something abusive. I got defensive and called him a jerk. My intent probably wasn't to make him feel bad, but was instead some sort of kneejerk reaction along the lines of, "Don't hurt me, or I'll hurt you back." However, even though the fact that "he started it" might mitigate some of the blame, the problem is I still end up feeling bad because I sank to his level and namecalled back.

Here's another way I might handle it:

HIM: You forgot to put the laundry in the dryer again, and now I have no clean socks. You're such a flake.
ME: I will rerun the wash cycle, but calling me a flake isn't necessary and hurts my feelings. Please don't call me names.

Knowing PDs, there's a fairly good chance he'll still respond the same way, "Oh sure. I'm the bad guy. You make me feel like crap." But in this case, I haven't done anything "abusive" back. I've merely expressed my feelings and stated a boundary. I avoided namecalling and stuck to the facts. My intent is to be heard, not to make him feel bad. Any hurt feelings on his part are coming from his own insecurity, thus absolving me of blame.

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Dandelion

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2021, 09:07:15 AM »
“My intent is to be heard”

^ Interesting.  I like that way of looking at it.  We want to be heard.  Different from being abused/insulted (or exchanging insults).

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Boat Babe

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2021, 08:21:43 AM »
Interesting thoughts here people.

Being abused feels bad. Abuser WANT their victims to feel bad. They spend a lot of energy on hurting their victim. They project their suffering onto others in the mistaken belief it will relieve their own.   I have felt bad around my violent father, my waify, histrionic, emotionally immature uBPD mother and two abusive  uPDbds.  This is my experience and my opinion.

However, my internal "self" is subject to change and healing ONCE I AM AWAY FROM THE ABUSE..  Healing is definitely possible. Not reacting in a painful (to me,) way around my mother (the only one of these toxic people I am in contact with)  is possible. She occasionally catches me off guard but it doesn't go so deep or last very long.

Imo, the only way to not be hurt is to lower contact as much as YOU are comfortable with and to completely free yourself of fear obligation and guilt.

In my case, a lifetimes work, but also a worthy and very productive thing to do.

Live to you all
It gets better. It has to.

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blacksheep7

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2021, 11:52:11 AM »

I agree.  The abuser makes sure to make us feel bad about ourselves, projection!  Mistakes are not permitted.

 Having had a violent pdf  also and an enabling M (today a sly covert narc) I am more confident about myself: my worth/self-esteem and  my values.  No one will break me down anymore with their opinion and bad gossip about me.  A lifetime of work also ;)
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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Hazy111

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2021, 09:42:50 AM »
See Projective Identification and Projection.


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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2021, 12:37:51 AM »
 :yeahthat:

It does seem very victim-blamey to say, “Nobody can make you feel anything!” If a person’s childhood was calculated to make them dependent on their parent, fear people’s displeasure, doubt their abilities, internalize all the bad shit the parent lobs their way... well no wonder they are suffering! They were a defenseless child! Now, I do believe we have a choice and even a responsibility to do what we can to heal that damage as adults. However, that is not the same thing as putting all the responsibility on us. And it is also NOT the same thing as saying that we can see it for what it is and so it should no longer hurt us and expect regular contact. This is off the original question, but related to the idea.

If you are pointing out observations of your DH’s bad behavior, he very well may feel like crap. So what? If you are telling the truth, he can choose how to behave in response to those facts about himself and how he feels about them. Maybe changing his behavior would also change his feelings and your feedback.

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tragedy or hope

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2021, 11:51:17 AM »
sounds as if hubby feels bad about himself and will go to any length, even engaging with you to make sure he is correct. he could be self abusing by waiting for your confirmation.. I don't do that dance anymore. It is an outlet for him not me. I will not conclude his theory that he is bad by agreeing. I usually tell him I am sorry he feels that way about himself. It must be painful. He will have to work that out in his own mind. I will not choose to insult him. I will not go there with him.

It take a load off of me.
"When people show you who they are, believe them."
~Maya Angelou

Believe it the first time, or you will spend the rest of your life in disbelief of what they can/will do; to you. T/H

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled from them.  T/H

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BlackBox

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Re: Can someone 'make' another person feel a certain way?
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2021, 08:30:21 PM »
I can't post the direct link here - but -

there's a YouTube video by a channel called 'Theramin Trees', which covers this subject really well - it's certainly the most useful thing I've ever come across on the subject.

The video is called 'Weaponising Self-Affirmation'.

The whole 30 minutes is interesting, but it's approximately the 4 minutes after 9minutes 51seconds which is relevant to this topic.