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    avacad0
    Participant

    Hi everyone! I have a family member with a very difficult personality. She is extremely powerful and shrewd. Everyone is afraid to speak up around her. She goes around speaking on everyone and hurting people but always denies having done anything wrong. I have been very hurt by her over the years. I finally gathered my courage and told her what has been bothering me. She totally denied everything and made me feel completely nuts for the way I feel. She then went around the family trying to gain support and turned it into an entire family dispute. I have gotten feedback from others in the family actually thanking me for finally voicing what they have been feeling. But I am left drowning in emotions and doubting whether I should’ve left sleeping dogs lye. I know deep down that this had to be done. She was really out of hand and was causing alot of problems in the family, it’s such a painful and lonely feeling for me. Because i have a very strong sense of right or wrong and i cannot just keep quiet when someone is hurting people and getting away with it for years. I feel it’s time for her to own up to all the injustice of it.

    Can anyone relate to this? I feel so alone.

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    anonymous
    Participant

    Boy can I relate to this! You are not alone. There are sooo many complicated people with real personality disorders, and they all have a way of making “you” feel guilty , and not normal.

    Its especially hard for those of us that cant take when people are so unfair.I have been struggling with this since I was 8 years old , although at the time I did not fully comprehend, it’s as if I had declared war then to fight for justice, and am still fighting! As much as I now understand that it is not very helpful, I keep on falling back still trying to save those that are more vulnerable.

    When dealing with such relationship one must get professional help,and guidance, or else it can take over your life completely.How I wish there would be some kind of magic to make everyone emotionally healthy, it’s so hard to see people that look normal yet are so challenging to  just be around.

     

     

     

    Yes of course we can relate! Who doesn’t know someone like this?  If you say I-  I would tell you to be concerned because then perhaps you are that someone. Kidding… but you know what I mean. This is so challenging argh. With these people you can never know when to speak up or speak down and because you are more emotional healthy you expect the other person to see things like you do and admit, change, apologize and all things along that spectrum that will never happen. Like @anonymous said if you find it taking over your life addressing it with a professional is a good idea. Until then, if you can psychologically separate from “their stuff” and “let sleeping dogs…” that may be a best route. Maybe have a mantra you tell yourself when you see them hurting other adults  like “it’s everyone’s job to protect themselves and my mixing in will only make things worse” and of course protect yourself from being in harms way as often as possible. Hope this space helps you feel less alone!

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you for the validation! I actually don’t think that not speaking up is an option in my particular case I have been doing just that for years and it has not worked for me. I was eating myself up alive. It was extremely unhealthy for me emotionally. The ironic part is that these people are so manipulative that even after you speak the “truth” you feel like you’re the one that is not being truthful. I keep telling myself that the way I know that I’m not the problem is that I have alot of friends who like me and enjoy being in my company. But boy did I learn a lesson in life. You cannot change these people’s mindsets. Their way of thinking is so distorted. I wonder how professionals deal with such difficult people? I had no way of getting through to this person. I don’t understand how these people ever admit  to their issues when they are confronted with it in their face.

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    anonymous
    Participant

    Their way of thinking is so distorted. I wonder how professionals deal with such difficult people? I had no way of getting through to this person. I don’t understand how these people ever admit to their issues when they are confronted with it in their face.

    “They” usually don’t go for help, because they have hard time facing reality, the healthy people that need to deal them a lot should go for help.

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    Dr. Joanne Royer
    Participant

    That’s a difficult challenge!  Since we can’t control others, how they think about us, feel about us or what they do, the only real control we have is with ourselves and how we choose to show up in our lives with others.    If you could feel any feeling about this family member, how would you rather feel? What would be a thought you could choose to have about her to connect to that feeling? Just having a shift in your thinking and feeling you will be amazed how much less negative emotional energy you will contend with  within yourself. What’s so hard is personalities such as hers, she thinks everything is just fine. And she’s entitled really to think what she wants. That’s the hard part about relationships, it all comes back around to us, the person on the other side of the relationship. Hope that makes some sense.

    I like that twist on it. It sounds strange but it is so true. Like @drjoanne shared everyone is entitled to think their own thoughts. I can imagine that the resistance to identifying a feeling I want to feel towards such an individual and then finding a thought that would precipitate that feeling is because then i think I’m condoning their behavior. But in reality its simply a way to reduce negativity and pain in my life regardless of the way they choose to lead their life. Did I get that right?

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    DDD
    Participant

    I highly recommend listening to some of Dr. David Lieberman’s lectures. He has several about living with difficult people all free on TorahAnytime.com.

    His general approach is that if you’re living with someone 10-20 years and you couldn’t change them… Call it a day. It’s not your job to change this person. A person can only change if they want to change… You can’t force someone else to change.

    What I’d recommend you do is figure out a way to live your life that it can be most productive albeit with this difficult person. In fact, he says that often time when someone has a difficult person leave their life another one comes… and that’s because for whatever reason you are destined to have such challenges and it’s necessary for you to learn to live with this to accomplish whatever mission you were sent here for. Exactly how to go about it is very personal, and has too many factors to discuss here without more information. Try to find someone you trust to discuss this with and focus on making the most of your life not changing this person.

    Try to stay positive and of course be grateful you are you 🙂

    Best of luck!

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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    True – we cannot change others. Interesting that he says give it 10-20 years. i must have misunderstood because that’s a lot of time to spend trying to change someone when we’re really not in control of their change. I guess he was telling people to stop trying.. interesting that you said sometimes one difficult person leaves and another comes. Normally, i would say take a look in the mirror. Are you/ am I attracting a difficult person into my life? Do I need that drama or distraction of trying to change someone else instead of focusing on the ways I can change and grow? But I appreciate your perspective that perhaps its not always a pattern we are in control of especially when its a blood relative and its God’s way of helping us to become the best we can despite the challenging relationships we encounter. I like the idea of trying to identify a positive feeling and then attaching a thought to it. Its a spin on finding the good in everyone – there’s always something there.

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    DDD
    Participant

    I’m sorry I was literally quoting his words with the 10-20 years but it wasn’t in the right context. He was saying that often times he sees patients who have been dealing with a difficult family member for 10-20 or even more years and their frustrations are growing year by year till they finally seek help. He responds that after so many years you gotta accept you’re not gonna change them. Ideally, we shouldn’t get there in the first place! It’s a shame that their frustrations were mounting for so long and with it no doubt causing extra stress at home.

    I love your comment about looking in the mirror. It is so true. Often times our frustration of others is really a way of distracting ourselves of where we fall short. It’s so true yet difficult to navigate!

    Thank you for your insight!

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    Dr. Joanne Royer
    Participant

    @alwaysworried I wanted to throw in another suggestion. As you know its not always easy to just ‘think something positive or feeling something different” as I mentioned above. For example, you may want to feel love or acceptance for this person. The only way to change your old way of thinking is if you BELIEVE your new thought. But that new thought may be the ultimate goal. Even having the thought “I’m working toward feeling acceptance toward her”….that in and of itself shifts the emotional energy, less negativity as you work toward learning to accept her as she is, loving her as she is. Hope that makes some sense. Keep us updated.

     

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    anonymous
    Participant

    Hi, i have been reading this thread over and over, trying to understand how do you attach a positive thought/feeling to someone ,when what you really wish is to forget about them ? Especially if you need to really believe in the new thought as @drjoanne wrote.

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you everyone for your support and input. I would love to be accepting of this family member. The only thing is that i am a person who due to my difficult childhood  have learnt to be too accepting of people’s dysfunction. I tend to downplay things. By the time i am fed up it’s usually years of built up stress and abuse. So I think my inner work probably is just facing people’s injustice and dysfunction and really stopping the self blame. Just admitting to myself how badly i have been treated and how much I have tolerated to reach this point of frustration.

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    anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for your support and input. I would love to be accepting of this family member. The only thing is that i am a person who due to my difficult childhood have learnt to be too accepting of people’s dysfunction. I tend to downplay things. By the time i am fed up it’s usually years of built up stress and abuse. So I think my inner work probably is just facing people’s injustice and dysfunction and really stopping the self blame. Just admitting to myself how badly i have been treated and how much I have tolerated to reach this point of frustration.

    Thanks, this makes sense to me  ! I guess this is what i’m working on right now, when I read some of the other posts and tried it I somehow felt very stuck. Guess its different if the person was/is abusive.

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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    yes. thanks for the clarification about 10-20 years, makes perfect sense. In terms of the questions of how to accept when want to forget, I’m not sure myself. I have been trying @drjoanne approach by saying I want to be more accepting of this person (it is true i do because anger and hatred hurts me greatly) even though they are dysfunctional and abusive on some level. I also tell myself that working towards acceptance (not approval) and its my way of growing. So far its going ok, its preventing me from lashing out and helping me tolerate the negative feelings more. Its still a new shift so lets wait and see..

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