If someone is mad or upset with you, but they don’t care enough to tell you why, the problem rests solely with THEM. Those types of people often kill the already tender souls of empathic people by attempting to manipulate them into compliance through silence. I call it, the “eggshell effect”.
Some people who were raised by a narcissistic or abusive or neglectful parent never knew how to exert boundaries respectfully, nor have a true sense of control growing up. Love for them exists in the confines of their safety and preservation. They can only feel safe when they have control (real or imagined) over the people that they love. This perceived need for control manifests itself in many ways, but the most common are:
1. Passive aggressive behavior
Angry or hurt individual will act out by making a hurtful comment and concealing it in a joke format.
Angry or hurt individual may say something hurtful and sarcastic to the other person or completely ignore the person to show that they are upset.
Angry or hurt person will deliberately show love/affection/and converse gleefully with everyone around the “injuring” person, but will give nothing more than a short or emotionless answer to the person they have perceived as wronging them and not doing what they wanted.
2. Silent Treatment/Distancing
This feeds in from number one. The person either won’t talk to you, won’t be around you, and makes a concerted effort to cold-shoulder you without ever giving a reason. They know that you know that something is wrong, but they refuse to explain what it is, because if you care (as empaths tend to overly care) then it becomes their way of hurting you back.
You might ask them “What’s wrong?” “Are you okay?” “Are you mad at me?” And they, without softening their angry features or guarded body language will say, “I’m fine,” and you will obviously know that they are not.
This is probably one of the most nefarious outgrowths of a person who does not know how to love, accept, and approach their loved ones when they have a problem, or if they feel their sense of peace being threatened. When this comes in to play, you wonder why the person won’t just refuse to be with you, or in relationship with you.
It is a technique used to, over time, erode your sense of self-confidence and independence because you doubt or second guess everything that you believe to be true. For instance, your significant other or a family member will show obvious signs that he or she does not value you. They may tell you that they want to sleep in a separate room from you, never help you or empathize with you when you are sick or incapacitated, say insulting things about you and ignore your sense of boundaries. When you decide to complain or bring it up with them, they will convince you that you are crazy or overreacting and reassure you that these slights never happened and that you are overly sensitive. The feelings you have are real and they don’t come from an imagined place, but suddenly, you begin to believe that you did imagine them. It gets so bad that your very recollection of events and the feelings attached to them, will begin to erode. Keep a journal, because it will keep you grounded in what you felt and help you detach your care for that toxic individual.
I was watching The daytime talk show “The Real” and they brought up the topic if having a certain level of fear in your relationship is healthy. Someone, I don’t remember who, remarked that they think having the fear that you might lose someone so that keeps you from doing anything to lose them is healthy. While I understand where she was coming from in her world view, I would have to politely disagree. The way God built us for relationship, was to receive and give unconditional love. The only healthy and respectful fear we should have is that of God, His Son and the state of our eternity. We are called to forgive one another just as much as He forgave us, even 7 times 70. If we do anything apart from God’s guidance and wisdom, we set ourselves up for failure in some respects. So if we enter into a relationship that presented numerous red flags and were blinded by lust, a marriage isn’t going to magically heal those things. A toxic person has the capacity to change, but they have to have the will to do so. Until then, trying to produce real love out of control and fear never works.
Fear and bondage, do not produce true love. Those things form a false sense of loyalty, but you can never control the people you love in order to to experience true love. True love requires freedom to flourish and feel safe and secure and “Perfect love, casts out fear.”1 John 4:18
The manipulative tactics described above are indicative of an insecure, controlling person on the narcissistic spectrum. They are a form of emotional abuse and not normal. If you truly care about a person and relate to them as an individual, not who they are in relation to you, you will be compelled to speak your hurts, and your dislikes to them and share your vulnerable and sensitive feelings. Since fear and love can’t live in the same house, when that frown comes down, let them be mad all by themselves. Your spirit will be better off for it!
Peace and Dopeness,