Surefire Ways to Alienate Your Adult Children (and Other People)
Dr. Lynn Margolies
My latest article: “Surefire Ways to Alienate Your Adult Children and Other People” (see link below) discusses confusing patterns that occur with narcissistic and controlling parents and other people. Telltale characteristics include: inflexibility, self-centeredness, possessiveness, lack of self-awareness, lack of ability to take responsibility for their own feelings and behavior, tendency to misinterpret other peoples’ intentions, and pathological certainty that they are "right.” The article exposes what is really going on psychologically and how to get out from under the manipulation.
When the adult child with this type of parent deviates from what the parent wants, or develops competing priorities, it’s seen as an act of disloyalty and abandonment. In response, the parent retaliates with emotional abandonment (e.g. coldness, withholding affection, silent treatment) and/or manipulation to regain power and control. Since the parent is not self-aware and believes in his/her own benevolence, the parent blames the adult child when there’s a reaction to the manipulation, believing that the child is the instigator.
What keeps people hooked in destructive patterns with parents or others?
Destructive cycles are perpetuated by allowing oneself to be repeatedly used and taken over by another person’s feelings and perceptions, failing to maintain a secure boundary around one’s own [higher] mind. The fears listed below hold people back, perpetuating being trapped in a self-destructive pattern:
• Fear of hurting/destroying the other person• Feeling overpowered or intimidated• Fear of separating and lack of “permission” to do so • Self-doubt and self-blame - buying into the offending person’s perceptions and projections• Avoidance of grief, loss that comes with letting go
Helpful tips and guidelines are offered in the column on how to counter these fears and maintain a hold over your own mind and perceptions so that other people don’t take power over you.