Monday, June 8, 2009

Origins of The Invalidator

How Does Invalidators Arise?

First off lets find out how we can hope to indentify one

To Indentify an invalidator ask few question:
Is the person hurting you?
Do you feel comfortable with what they are saying?
Is this communication distort?
Are they insincere?

In reality there are no such things an Invalidator or types of people that are Invalidators. It is stated that only 1% of people are consciencely and purposely invalidating others and another 20% of the people are unconscience of invalidating others. I'm sure the further 79% of the population are not exempted from some form of using validation some time in their lives and would be unconsciencely guilty of using some of the invalidation mechanism outlined. If you are truly pure, then stay that way! The invalidation personality can be very destructive and contagious!

People most are generally not born invalidators they learn to become one and evolve to be one. The underlining reasons they may become one is:
1. They did not get enough nurturing or attention.
2. They strongly want to get their way
3. Someone had been nasty to them in the past
4. They don't feel good about themselves
5. They have neural chemical imbalances

Underliningly... one who uses invalidation feels:
1. Inferior
2. Not in Control

Hence naturally to counteract these above negative feelings, they will want to strengthen their...
-Ego, due to lack of Self-esteem
-Arrogance, due to lack of self confidence
-Entitlement, due to Lack of self worth

All of the above can be a natural response without them knowing themselves.
The above points are accomplished by attaining superiority from belittling and controlling others. Again...understand that in essence people are not born as these snake-like (venomous and slippery) personalities. It is rather people use these invalidation techniques or bring out the this temporal invalidation personality. Such personality arises from the selfish ego entity. Ego is the source of arrogance and selfish desires. Since it is the most self lacking entity it requires constant fulfillment and as we can see the sources of it's fulfilment can be quite destructive (damaging to others and self). Most people in their lives are not exempted from such behavior at times, even the more 'cultivated' of all of us may not catch themselves doing so. It is a devil personality we need to be aware of.

~ Managing the Invalidators and Yourself ~

Since the underlining trigger of invalidation is ego and the feelings of inferiority. Sometimes a good thing to do is to truthfully acknowledge their good traits (not flatterly) and that she/he is OK. Sincerely put their virtues and strengths in perspective and encourage that. This is not flattery this is encouraging them to love themselves more and to show that they are just like or as good as anyone. We are all humans beings, we all have our good traits aswell. We are all wonderful and can do and be alot of things. C'mon...even the most selfish person has good traits right?...or at least potentially have (help them cultivate that).

If someone is mean to you just remember you are OK, in essence don't feel bad about yourself. We are dynamic creatures and can always improve and rectify ourselves with enough will. Don't allow yourself to be type casted into a pigeon hole then live out a negative stereotype or personality. He said "i'm stupid, i'm so am *sob* so i might as well stay so". If you truely did a mistake it's ok to feel bad for what you've done. This is a sense of shame and it is not a bad thing but refrain from allow it to mangle your own self-esteem. The person you are and what you did are seperate things, never too late to improve. Learn from your mistakes, move on and do not dwell in others peoples bad perception or your own self perception of negativity.

An Invalidator will try to get you to dwell on your wrongs and exploit it. If it is something you did wrong, better to be honest, direct and thank them early. "Sorry... you are correct i made a mistake, thank you for that". You made a mistake, who in this world is perfect? If they persist and continue to push you down, just simply stop their destructive ways by saying something like "As my true friend allow me time to consider and ponder my mistake and resolution". They could insinuate things like "but are you truely going to change?", "Well it takes time and effort, if we can all change so quickly neither you or me would have to be here, everyone would reach perfection in an instance". Let them know of there invalidating ways, don't let them play you any longer.

Of course, if you haven't done anything wrong then even better, no need to worry what others think. Their negative perception will be their own sufferings. Just say something like "though i do disagree but point taken, i respect your opinon and i shall consider it in due time". If they say "oh! your too stubborn" or insinuation negative things you could say "I feel uncomfortable that you react in this way, please give me space to consider". If they are your true friend they will back away and give you it.

~ Know Thy Trueself (Deeply Philosophical Aspect) ~

In essence your "true nature" does not inflate due to others people praise or deflate due to other peoples criticism. If this is happening it is happening to the ego entity. It is thus this entity that is controlled in such a manner. Think about it...if we deflate or inflate due to other people words we are actually allowing ourselves to be govern by them. The way we feel is moved by our feelings that are govern by others people words (impermanent words)...are we then not their prisoner?

In essence due to the ego we become the slave of others. The ego is always wanting positive reinforcement to depend on for comfort, and strenghtening itself against negative reinforcement for security, yet they both build one thing...illusive EGO.

To depending on EGO that is already inferior, insubstantial and illusive how can we be in control and feel comfortable or safe? In doing so of course there will be a continous cycle of no self worth, no self esteem or no self confidence.

Hear my summarising prose:

The "true nature" needs no comfort!
Why seek comfort in that which is impermanent?
Know that which does not change and dwell in its peace,
That is true comfort!

The "true nature" needs no security,
What is the point of securing a door painted to a indestructable wall?
Rub out the door painting and there is nothing to secure at all,
Your already safe!

"Know that which does not change" is to awaken to true self.
"Rub out the door painting" is to rid the ego.

If one awakens to true self and rid/reduce of ego,
How can an invalidator harm and disturb you in the first place?...
If one awakens to true self and rid/reduce of ego
How can we be invalidators ourselves?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Countering The Invalidator

If you feel constant jabs of discomfort when you are with someone, take a look at what he or she is doing. An invalidator will put you in a position where you wrong whether you do agree or not.

Once an invalidator has you introverted and thinking, your beginning to come into his control.
Among an Invalidator be mindful:
- Do not introvert only, notice their feelings/thoughts and motive.
- Do not take it personally, seek to understand why they may say or think things.
- Step back and take a look, look at the big picture and be objective.
- Do not defend youself, instead confront their thoughts and feelings.

If it is truely an invalidator, in the end it is not about you it's about them, to be sure we need to really "know thyself". Ensure that the spot light is not on you but is on them. Below are some techniques to help you deal with an invalidators attacks.

~ Confrontingly Show Knowing ~

Look at them in such a way that you know what they are doing.Make them quietly aware that you know all their mind games.One could use certain face expressions, shaking of head, a knowing smile etc.

Eg...I am a vegetarian. I knew my auntie knew that i was vegetarian but she said to me.
"Are you hungry? there is some chicken over there go eat some "I gave her a long confused expression without saying a word (confronting look) till she was forced to say something.
she said "OH, so you don't eat ANY meat?"I asked "but um..isn't that you know i'm vegetarian already?"She replied "oh so you don't even eat meat sometimes?". I said "that's correct".

Was reading a beneficial non-fiction book and my friend came a long and said."OH! so your reading THAT stuff again" (in a slight demeaning tone of disapproval).
I replied "my friend, you say it like i shouldn't?" (rhetorically asked)

He embarassingly smile and went on his way.

I failed to recall a key past conversation with a friend once. She said "You never listen!" (maybe consciencely or unconsciencely trying to make me feel bad).
I replied "Well you know, it's not about listening or not but about being able to always retain what i hear, i'm no tape recorder you know". (calmly and jokingly).

What she should be saying, "It makes me frustrated when you forget these types of things i tell you". Even though it may be a complaint you may not be able to help at least it is not a generalisation or a judgement that attacks your self-esteem. In essence they shouldn't expect so much anyway, it only lead them more negativity.

~ Play a game ~

You could play the game yourself
HER "You never listen!"
ME "i'm sorry, what? please repeat"
HER "you don't listen"
ME "sorry couldn't catch that"
ME "sorry just can't hear ya"
HER [make a frustrated look]
ME [smiles]
"now that was an example of not listening"
"If i continue like this forever then what you say about me would actually be true, unfortunately that is not the case".

This little game is to make it obvious that the bad feelings are their own and that pushing their feelings on to you just won't work, they need to be responsible for them. They may feel bad about something so they may try to make you feel bad about it, it could be unconscience but it is a natural reaction of the ego...blaming others.

Playing this game also allows them to see that what they originally said is a generalisation and judgement that is inaccurate. If you truely "never listen" then it would be played out like this game always.

Warning: This is probably a bad example to handle the situation and it only flares the other up even more and they WILL get angry! so i don't recommend it.

~ Question Motives/Feelings ~

"hold on...i told you about 'this' so of course i cannot do 'that', how come you still say these things or bring it up?"

"How come you think/feel that way?"

"Tell me about it, whats on your mind?"

"Are you trying to imply/say is 'say what you think' ?, only just trying to understand your feelings that is all brother/friend"

"I can't help but i feel your implying "say what you think', please tell me your thoughts"

Lay it all out in the open, shake them out of their facedes and hidden meanings. Use your questions, reasons and feelings to uncover them. Remember true invalidator are slipperly and love to hide!

~ Repeat Please ~

"Could you repeat that, please?"

This is a simply and effective way of putting them on the spot. If they brave enough to repeat that then maybe their self-esteem is not so low after all. Give them much respect for being brave. Maybe go "Very good! i commend you for being honest and straightforwardness". But chances are what they said they wouldn't repeat or at least repeat it in that intially intended offensive way. They'd be too chicken. Chicken more so in a sense that they know they're wrong and afraid you'll find them out rather being afraid of hurting your feelings.

~ Express Your Feelings ~

"I feel embarrassed, angry, being put on the spot" "i don't like the way you said that"
Pretty straight forward no one can argue with the way you feel. It's quite a powerful way to seek rapport and empathy or understanding.

~ Privately Confront ~

Take them aside privately and discuss with them, uses the above techniques if needed. This should be straight forward. Since it is private they will be less likely to hide in facades, others or jokes.

~ Mirror the Projection ~

Push it back at them, ask them the same question back.

eg.He may asks you "Why didn't you help her out?"You reply "yeah! so why didn't you help her out?"

She says "How come you didn't go? (tone of disappointment) You should have went with them, they must be been disppointed in you."(try make you feel bad)

You reply "Sorry couldn't, how come you didn't? since you didn't go too, sad that we in the same boat."

She rebuts "yeah but i was busy that day."

You rebut "same deal hun, can't be help can it?"

~ Conclusion ~

From the patterns above we see that the focus in handling invalidation techniques is focusing on them, their selves, feelings and motives. If we merely defend ourselves the focus is still on us and an invalidator can thrive on that. Good friends will tend to back away at this point and repect you but an invalidator probably will not, remember they need to feel superior to you so they'd want to win. Put your energy into shifting the perceptive and expose them out of their hiding, put your gleaming light of "awareness" on them.

There was a time i noticed a friend being overly critical at many instances in a conversation, trying to attack my shortcomings and self-esteem at every angle. I tolerated it and patiently let it continue enough times to have some ground to work with. Finally i directly pointed it out "I feel abit uncomfortable, you've been very critical of me at many instances in these past conversations, what is bothering you?".

After a time of defending themselves they realised their mistake and we discussed each others feelings, i was able to learn of my own mistakes in handling them and we both were able to take a step back and humble ourselves. This is example of shifting the perpective and without even the need to defend myself.

If it is untrue they will realise it on their own accord. Of course...whether they admit it or not that is a different story!

To Be Continued....NEXT PHASE "Origins of The Invalidator"