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badchoice posted 8/27/2013 08:45 AM

Been doing a lot of digging and uncovering of unhealthy coping skills, and ways of being. Couldn't sleep last night, and as I was tossing and turning, thoughts of how I interacted with my APs at first started to flood in. Who the initial contacts were, how I acted, the manipulations I used to 'lure' them if that is the right way to say it, maybe groom them is a better way to put it.

In the past, hell, even a year ago I would have said that they were the aggressor, but the fact is that it was me, I really had my routine down.

It would start simply enough, me being nice, trying to get some sort of validation from them, either with humor, or doing things for them. Once they responded to this, my winning formula was humor, so if I could get them to laugh, or think I was clever and funny, then the ego hits became my drug. Once they gave me that, I realize that I would then turn the humor on them, making fun of them, being sarcastic, mean actually.

In the past, I thought this was normal, but I am no realizing that subconsciously I was trying to test them and their self confidence. I don't think I realized it, but this only works on the weak, anyone with a strong sense of self didn't and wouldn't put up with this, so the unhealthy only made it past this point.

Then once it got to that point, the A started with two of them. I look back, and I was a wayward waiting to happen for a long time. My foundation was weak from the beginning. With that foundation, and no help, it was going to happen, it just took someone as unhealthy and lacking self esteem for me to act. I think that is why I thought that I would get away with it.

Now the problem I have now is realizing who I am. I was always known as the nice guy, the funny guy, always ready with a clever phrase or a joke. Now when I am in a social environment, I hate to start because it triggers me so much.

My question to the group I guess is this. Have any of you had something that was so part of your personality that in retrospect you find very unhealthy, and how did you manage that?

UnexpectedSong posted 8/27/2013 22:48 PM

I hear you. I don't know the solution.

silverhopes posted 8/27/2013 23:01 PM

Have any of you had something that was so part of your personality that in retrospect you find very unhealthy, and how did you manage that?

Yes. Still working on a lot of things. First one is to identify it. Acceptance that it's a problem and that I really either bothered or hurt a lot of people with it. Then finding some role model for the better behavior. Usually with this kind of stuff, it involves boundaries. Heavy stuff that breaks down into hundreds of emotional boundaries.

Now the problem I have now is realizing who I am.

Who do you want to be? Your ideal safest self, how does that 'you' look?

It's good you're looking at it. Keep going.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 11:01 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)]

uncertainone posted 8/28/2013 00:08 AM

I think many of us do. I'd challenge you on labeling it and banishing it to "shadow land" (Carl Jung). While your use may have been unhealthy, reading people is a very valuable skill. For me, and a few others I've talked to from here, it was life saving when we were younger. Then it became entertaining and challenging before recognizing it was something I didn't like at all. It didn't co-exist well with my almost pathological respect of another's privacy. Wandering through others mind because you can see the buttons to push, strokes to make, interests to feign is a brutal violation.

It's not weakness, though. It's that some people are trusting and genuine. Sadly, when you're like that you assume everyone else is too so trusting is a default.

The cure is simple. Ask yourself if you want to be the person that rips that vision from them and leaves them scarred forever. I'd imagine your response would be "fuck no". If not that's not a part of your personality it's a pathology that needs focus, like yesterday!

I wouldn't pay much attention to how view you. They don't have the "inside" scoop so aren't reliable sources. I've been described as shy.

lostmylight55 posted 8/28/2013 08:30 AM

Badchoice, your personality sounds a lot like the way I was. I used humor and sarcasm to build up my ego while belittling people. It made me feel smarter than others, like I could get away with saying anything as long as I smiled. "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit" Oscar Wilde

One of the most appealing aspects of my A was that I felt I was smarter than everyone and getting away with something.

Growing up my mother praised my humor and "clever" sarcastic digs at other family members and anyone else as long as it wasn't directed at her. She would say something like "Oh, that's not nice to say" and laugh after. I realize how much my interactions with my mother shaped me and how I interacted with women in general and my mother is a very mentally unhealthy individual with zero empathy.

It's interesting how you mentioned about anyone with a strong sense of self wouldn't put up with this because one of my first interactions with my BW was her telling me off for being an arrogant asshole.

Looking back I can recognize how nasty and sarcastic I was and have done my best to eliminate the sarcasm and nastiness from myself because I don't want to be that way anymore. I could see that it was tied to all the negative parts of myself. I am always watching how I interact with others and pay attention to what I say now. Dropping the inappropriate negative humor and being more respectful when addressing people. I no longer want that type of validation and ego boost.

I am also leery about social situations/environments and prefer to avoid them when possible.

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