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?