Author: Ann Schiebert
I have had many readers email me to ask more about Reality Distortion Systems. Some have asked me to identify some of them. So, here goes:
Everyone has to like me – I can be emotionally manipulated to do what you want, because I need you like me. I have trained those in my life to know that I get hurt easily so when they tell me they don’t like me, I immediately try to correct that………ed: and by doing that, you are training them to do it more!
What to work on – 1. Be aware of your tendency to allow others to manipulate you. When someone asks you to do something, tell them you need to consider it and you will get back to them in an hour, or some time limit of your choice. Weigh the pros and cons of doing the request. Do YOU really want to do it? 2. Work on saying, "NO." 3. Once you say, "no," you can’t change your mind, so if the real answer is, "maybe," (which is quite wishy washy) then don’t say, "no."
How to implement a new behavior – If you decide to turn down the request/demand, this will be new behavior for most of us who live in the, Everyone Has To Like Me RDS. So here’s a potential script:
"I know you asked me to ……..but I’m not able to do that at this time." PERIOD!!!! NO EXPLANATIONS! Then their response will probably be a good argument about just why you should change your mind……let’s make up an example: "Yeah but (these words are a red flag!!!) I really need for you to do this because no one else can." To which you reply, "I understand, but I can’t do your request now, and I have an appointment to get to so have to go. Talk to you later." Then end the communication!
Resist Badgering – If you need strength to resist texts, phone calls, voice mails from the person to whom you have just said, "no," then turn off these communication systems until you get some support to help you stay in your, "NO." This is a good reason to have a support group who is in recovery from codependency.
Beliefs of this RDS – 1. I feel guilty when I say, "no," and guilt controls me. (Only if you let it.) 2. If someone doesn’t like me I’ll worry and worry about it and try to resolve it over and over and over. (Time to practice focusing on other things because worry never helped or resolved anything. It’s a useless waste of energy.) 3. I am so uncomfortable when I can’t do something for someone, I just can’t stand it. (Yes you can.) 4. They don’t respect my, "no." They don’t even hear it. And that is because YOU have trained them that your, "no," is an invitation to negotiate and then you cave in. Time to do some retraining!
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