In my previous blog entry I discussed the signs of the Invalidator from the book "nasty people". An Invalidator has many methods up their sleeves in regards to invalidating others. The following are the most commonly used outlined in the book.
~ Uncertainty Principle ~
Making you unsure of your own motives/intentions and especially unsure about yourself. Remember the whole idea is to strip you of any confidence or self esteem you have.
They may appear loving for months on end then change suddenly. They begin to cut you down, insinuate things and get annoyed at you or at something else. But no it's not their fault that this happened, somehow they will make it relate to you. You notice the change and ask "whats wrong, whats the matter?" but they will get angry for your accusation and fire it back. They'll respond "Something wrong? can't believe you think there is anything wrong! nothings wrong on my end, your acting strange is something the matter? You don't seem so good you feeling OK?" appearing super concern towards you. In the end you may feel bad for thinking like that and become uncertain about your own feelings. Unfortunately this is what they want, they will exploit this and make the problem yours, all the while being your best buddy about it and assuring you that they are truly helping you. Slowly you can become reliant on them for certainty.
Just simply be certain of yourself and seek to understanding why THEY have changed or why they acting or thinking the way they are, if it is due to their own insecurity issues confront them enough, find out. Without taking it personal ask them something like "oh really, when did you think *such and such* about me?". Softly level with them and get them to quantify their accusations.
~ Self Projection ~
Underlining the above example is their irresponsibility for there own feelings they are feeling. Therefore an Invalidator can simply take their own feelings and put responsibility for them unto another, as if these feelings originated with that other person.
Eg..a person that doesn't like you may say "I don't think you like me". Such a question would make you question yourself and your own feelings about them "Do i actually hate her?". What this does is put attention on ourselves and we only notice the feelings we have rather than noticing the others feelings.
Simply ask them "why do u say that? I feel there is something on your mind". Or you can mirror them and say "It's rather, would you say you like me?" or just ask back directly "do you like me?" without answering the question. If they get defensive well, you can portray that as the same reason you ask them back.
For those who are already more sure of themselves and are humbly sincere enough, they will use this opportunity to learn to improve self and seek rapport with the other whether Invalidator or not. The question they may ask themselves instead becomes "what have i done to make her feel this way about me?". This questions implies that the problem is not that we are an inadequate person but rather maybe in our failure to understand the other person Using this as an opportunity to be positive rather then seeing it as a loss to grudge about it. Remember grudging, hating, resenting and despising can take big mental toll on oneself. To sacrifice ones own peace of mind for another's sake is not the way either and in essence your only harming yourself.
If you already sure your own feelings are not what they trying to implying, the issue may be the way you portray yourself (theres always improvement for that). This is to humble oneself and improve your demeanor to your advantage. "The meaning of your communication lies in the response you get"-NLP. Communication is not restricted to words, it incorporate tone, gesture, facial expression or sentence structure etc. So have a look at your way of communication to them too.
~ Generalisation ~
The exaggeration of the truth. They take 'some truth' and make it falsely all truth. They may use your mistakes to their advantage by attacking your self-esteem! Generalisation and exaggeration is used a lot in society and most people do it. Comedian thrives on this technique to be funny. Again try not to take it too personal stay level headed and calm.
You may work as a casual but went they found out you didn't work that day they say "Man you just don't work!".
"Getting home from work you may be greeted with "you are inconsiderate/ irresponsible/ stupid". This implies you forgot to bring home the milk. She attacks your self-esteem instead of the problem. The problem is that their is no milk not that you are inconsiderate, irresponsible, or a stupid person. "If we logically reason it out even if you are stupid, what could you possibly do about it? How can you solve the problem of being stupid. Supposedly if you went back to the store to get the milk, your IQ would increase by leaps and bounds?"~ Nasty People
Understand the notion that "A person is different to their behavior"~NLP. You may have made a mistake and forgot the milk but that doesn't make you a particular type of person? When you were a kid you used to suck your thumb, are you a 'thumb sucker'? of course not.
Simply let them know that you feel rather uncomfortable about their words as they generalising these things about you. Remember there is no need to call them names or to attack them or get worked up. If you let your anger run wild your the one at loss and you've taken their bait. That is not the say you should always let it slip either, let them know your feelings but have some patience and exercise courtesy about it.
Above are some ways an Invalidator can strike! Please bare in mind that even though we may have met an Invalidator, understand that most people who do so are not conscience of their invalidating ways. Do not take it too personal and try to understand in the end whether Invalidator or not, people are just people. If we can stand firm with our own self-esteem without harboring resentment to another, exercise patience and tolerance these are respectable traits, you'll be better off and you'll be the better person. Think about it... sometimes we are not conscience of our own mistakes and so even we would like to be forgiven when we did not completely realise them.
In my next few entries I will continue to list more invalidation examples but will also suggest and relay ways of confronting it without being negative about it. Stay tuned!
TO BE CONTINUED!!!....