On this episode, Ameé speaks with Lara Currie, who is a self-proclaimed communication nerd and author of the book Difficult Happens: How Triggers, Boundaries & Emotions Impact You Every Day to talk about how manipulators break through our defenses in the first place in a way people never seem coming.
In this episode, you will hear:
On this episode, Ameé speaks with Lara Currie, who is a self-proclaimed communication nerd and author of the book Difficult Happens: How Triggers, Boundaries & Emotions Impact You Every Day to talk about how manipulators break through our defenses in the first place in a way people never seem coming.
In this episode, you will hear:
you're listening to one broken long, a podcast dedicated to raising awareness about mental health, parenting and self improvement. I'm the host. One broken Mom is not a family show. It is intended for adults only and may contain adult language. Sometimes the topics are serious, but you can count on the episodes to be entertained. Also, one broken mom is not offering any psychiatric for medical diagnosis. Were just here giving away useful and important information. So if you're ready to hear real talk by real people so that we can all get better together, then you're in the right place. Okay. Welcome back, everyone. I'm gonna start off today by saying right out of the gate that the timing of today's interview actually couldn't be more fitting. And for those of you that are watching on YouTube Yes, I know I'm wearing a black T shirt in that it doesn't work well in my studio with all of the black tiles that I have around me. But I feel like I'm it's necessary for me to channel my inner strength and confidence that one gets from Joan Jett. And so, since she is my idol, so I'm tapping into that activity, girl. And if you don't know what that references, I will post a copy or a link to her video for that song on my page for the notes, and it will explain everything. And so why am I trying to tap into that inner rock star in that queen? It's because my journey to recovering and healing from my childhood dysfunction started at an ending in an ending with the person who changed me in many ways throughout our relationship and through this change revealed to me all the parts of myself that were weak. And what is great is when you have epiphanies is that sometimes you get to pat yourself on the back, do the work to become a new person, or rather, the person you're always supposed to be and then trawl Allah, brought enough into the sunset and live happily ever after. But what's not great is that, in reality, leaving relationships where deep seated mental health conditions factor into it don't always go so smoothly. And so today my mettle is being tested, and so is the two years of therapy that I've been doing. But fortunately I have with me Laura Curry, who is a self proclaimed communication nerd and the author of the book Difficult Happens. How Triggers Boundaries. Any emotions impact you every day and she's gonna talk with me today about how manipulators breakthrough your defenses in the first place. Because as most people wonder, and as a few of my guests who have been in relational abuse situations, we don't sometimes see it coming or always see it coming, and that's when we're in the throes of it. We wonder and ask ourselves what the fuck just happened and how did I get here? And yes, that last question is complex. But hopefully Laura will teach us about some of the psychological manipulations a toxic person might use to worm their way in through into our lives. So welcome to the show, Laura.
Hello. What an awesome introduction. Thank you so much. I'm excited to be here.
Well, like I said, not gonna make a lie about this. I'm excited. You're here today to, but not for selfish reasons. I know it always feels selfish. Andi, it's hard for me to not get value out of being able to talk with amazing people like you. But genuinely. When I get emails from folks that actually listen to these shows, they hear a different perspective in a new insight. I mean, that's where my heart is full. And so I'm leaning into that today. When we get done with this conversation, this is going to really help some people out there that have wondered how it is that it happens because, you know, there's that guilt and shame that comes in of like, Wow, was I just not smart enough to avoid this like, could I have done something better? And you know, we can't do that. We can't beat ourselves up, but it is kind of Ah Wei were prone to do you know, it's a part of the inter script in the language that we have that we're healing out of our bodies. And so you know, having this conversation with somebody like you that's a communication specialist is going to hopefully take a little bit of that shame and that burn off of some people that found themselves trick, you know. So now you and I have some mutual overlap in many areas which is working with people. It, particularly in the professional world, so, outside of one broken mom, I do work with business owners and, you know, and women and stuff of introducing the concept of how emotions influences in many areas of our lives and why that's the case. Now I've earned my experience through boot camp eso what it feels like boot camp. And so where does your expertise in the field of communication actually come from?
So it's very multifaceted. S o. I was born and raised in Seattle. I'd call myself a free range child because both my parents were hippies and they really believes that they raised you to 12 and then they've done their job. The rest is, you know, that's there you go. We've done our best, you know. And in the city at that time it was becoming the Seattle it is now. But I was born and raised on Queen and there were no stop lights. You could park wherever you know. You go up there now and you have to have a past, their stoplight everywhere. Stop signs. Even you knew everyone around you. There was a cult on Queen Anne called the Love Family, which was later shut down and in my household American sign language was spoken as well as dysfunction was spoken. And I think the people out there who who were raised and dysfunction know right away with that means meaning there was that elephant in the room which we all became aware of as we grew and understood the unwritten rules. So I learned to communicate in many different ways verbally, visually, by euphemisms. And unfortunately, at that same time, I had lost 15 friends. By the time I was 15 to murder, suicide and drug overdoses was a very strange time in the city. The Green River Killer was at his prime, and my roommate was actually the last known victim of the Green River killer.
Oh, my gosh.
Yeah, And so it was basically I just lived my entire early childhood and fight flight, freeze or fawn. Those were the only things that I knew and it was completely normal. Don't get me wrong. There are moments of joy and happiness and all kinds of greatness in there, too. But that was the baseline that sent me off to college to get a degree in mass communication, broadcast journalism and history, where I went on to work in nonprofits. I worked in the public radio station and I was just so darn curious. And then it was right. Also, at the time of the demise of Common during journalism, Right, What we know is journalism. They were starting to sound bitey stuff and investigative journalism, which was my passion. My bread and butter was no longer paying the bills. And I'll never forget my boss sitting me down and running the numbers with me because he kind of pitied me. He's like, Here's this young woman just coming up, one to be a journalist And it turned out that I was making about $6.50 an hour for each piece that I produced. So I decided to jump into the nonprofit sector cause they got tons of money, right?
Oh, yeah. So lucrative in the nonprofit sector,
not so much. That was great. I learned a lot of great soft skills, you know, communicating with different types of people. And most nonprofits have individuals who are passionate about the nonprofit they work for, because they are. They are the demographic. So I worked with the Abuse Death Women's Advocacy Service, and I worked with my mom school. She was found in an interpreter training program called The American Sign Language Interpreter Training School of Seattle. That's a mouse mouthful. I remember the day I said, Mom, you you realized the acronym is ass less right
and it didn't change it. They just kind of rolled with It
s she's so deaf culture. She's like, No, it's yes,
I can't unlearn that now you know
that from there I went on to become a private investigator where me and my my bestie and business partner, who is an attorney, worked on lonely hearts cases in missing persons cases and that really, that said that. And then, of course, the extinction burst of my marriage, which had lasted 26 years, can't have me looking inward and looking at everything that I had been through and and through those experiences I started to see patterns and habits, and I started to understand how the traumatic events from my childhood and the path had impacted me and influenced me when I moved to the Tri Cities. I feel like this is the longest introduction ever, so you could pay off any move.
Got an hour keep going,
Theo. I slept on the couch and I told my mom, but I moved to the Tri Cities with my now husband, and I became a guardian in the courts for high conflict divorces. And that is where I saw the amalgam of all the dysfunction I had ever experienced in front of me playing out a day after day after day impacting these Children in these next generations, I just became compelled to help people understand why we act and react the way that we do so that we can stop the pattern of defensiveness that is crushing who we were all meant to be, you know?
Well, and I said, I'm gonna try not to make the show about me. But if you're talking about high conflict divorce and ending relationships, I mean it is It's, you know, it defies logic when you see them in action and you're working through them, that it just rational thoughts, behaviors, everything goes out the window. And, you know, in high conflict situations like that, the way the systems air set up, I'm gonna just, like, spit here for a minute because, you know, they are about, you know, reacting defensively to a counterpoint position and what you end up seeing and what I'm witnessing and living with right now is that that that structure, the way it's designed, is counter to when you're dealing with people that you know, have again a condition. Or or I have a thought process in a belief about themselves that the more you push back the Mornin sites, you know and pushes you away from resolution. And yet that's the way the legal system is actually structure. That is the way people are taught to behave in that system. That is the point counterpoint who makes the best defense who has the best argument. And yet that can keep people spiraling forever and endlessly, you know, with no with no clear resolution. And then when you talk about your experience with having Children involved in that Jesus, the draw, you know the trauma that gets inflicted on these kids because you've got, you know, perhaps a narcissistic parent who's just, you know, we'll fight till everybody ends. Not, you know, not to see anything that's got a rational conclusion, and everybody can go along, you know, with their lives and stuff. So you know, knowing that manipulators are not just those partners right there, not just our husbands or wives or girlfriends or boyfriends, but actually can crop up everywhere around us. And you've seen that in your experience as well, right?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And three quick things, obviously. Three quick things that you said about that. Um I'm sorry. Three quick things about what you just said. Number one in the court system. A lot of times, you're you're someone who has never been heard or seen, not for who you are, especially during a difficult divorce or when you've experienced some kind of trauma or dysfunction. And the court system is not about getting you seen. So when you're trying to say no, you don't understand He does this all the time Or he said this or this happened. The legal system is fax on Lee. All they care about us fax, and they will actually just a shoe. What you're saying if it's more emotion, So trying to explain that to people and they're like, How can you be talking about just fax when I'm talking about custody of my daughter? You know what I mean? So that's One thing in the second thing is that we have. We have echoes from not only our trauma, but from our parents. Trump, What I mean is, if your dad has massive money issues, right and he's walking around, money doesn't grow on trees. Will you better eat all of that because there are starving people in your area. That's his echo that is impacting you. So that also plays into it. And then when it comes to dysfunction, man, we can smell our own and we attract our own. And oftentimes we find ourselves with play doing the same dance with the same archetype over and over and over again.
Yeah, yeah. And again, that's why I have a whole podcast, right? And like I said, you know, when I talked about the question of like, How did we get here? You know, how did I get here? That's that you're raising the complexities of that. It that it's not just that somebody said the right words, and all of a sudden well, here we are in, you know, seven years into an abusive situation. It is all of those things, like I got here because I chose to take a left turn down a path that was gonna leave me here. It was an inevitability. But then also, how did it go to where it's at? And so you know, it's it is definitely a complex and, you know, scary place for people to try to navigate, which, like I said, you know, I meant that jokingly. But seriously, that's what the whole crux of everything that I do now is toe hopefully shine those lights on where people find themselves in those situations. Now, Um so let's let's talk about, you know, the manipulators. You know, we we bring them into our romantic lives. But then we also just run into him in business. And I know personally, I've attracted them to me romantically, and I've attracted to them to me in business, and then had to. It was easier for me to see to me treat them differently than my romantic partners. So do we. Do we respond differently to the people to all the manipulators, depending on which bucket we run into them in our lives?
Oh, absolutely, absolutely. So there's like, a three tier dynamic, and I call it the Power Pierre or pupil the three p's because I love alliteration, first of all, but if they have power over you, you're gonna respond in a certain way. So I talked about the fight flight freeze or or fawn like Yep. And often times when we were raised in dysfunction. If someone has power over us, we will start with freeze and just wait and see if you know the Iaw Sour Ron is still on us. And then we go into fawn meaning, you know, think of like the Stockholm syndrome. Where Okay, how can we please this person that has power over us to mitigate the damage that's gonna happen to my psyche or to mitigate the damage that's gonna happen to me? You know, I say this and it's all subconscious. It's not like we're sitting down with a little note pads and all right, what is the best situation here that I can, you know? How can I reacted? Responded that another that and we we look into our past. How have we reacted in the past that has kept us the most safe, either emotionally safe or physically safe, so that if someone has power over us when it comes to appear or someone who we see as our equal. We see where we can push where we can. You know what our dance is gonna be, Especially if you're still stuck in dysfunction like Okay, how am I gonna dance with this person? So that we can both be status quo? We can both be equal. Usually, manipulators and people who have gone through traumatic things or who are dysfunctional are extremely perceptive. We can pick up on emotions and cues that we don't even know we're picking up on. So that's how we deal with people who are on the same level of us and then people who we may view as pupils or who are below us. There are two reactions weather that we may want to protect them. And in doing so kind of parent, the child that we were and kind of work through some stuff subconsciously. Or we may want to take on that power position and get top dog first. So it really depends on how we how we personally are. I know when you were on the podcast, I had so much fun. That was Episode 79 80 of the difficult happens podcast. One of the things that we talked about was the conflict personality type. I'm a pleaser. I often, um, and besties with perfectionists. There are victims and avoiders as well. So it depends on what your conflict personality type is. I'm a pleaser, so I have to watch my fawning response. So as soon as I find myself going to that I have to say won't take a break. What's going on here? Why am I Why am I feeling a need to please in this situation or to give up something that I don't really want to give up in order to appease the situation? You know, I gotta take a little deeper look.
Yeah, and, you know, and you bring that because sometimes people don't recognize that, you know, you feel strong and powerful, say, in a business setting. And I use this for Azan example where it's like, Hey, this is my realm. You know, I feel like this is where I have a sense of control in some certainty in my life. And so why then, do I go into another situation and lose all of that? You know, And that's kind of the weird the weird zone that some of us is. We're, you know, emerging out of the healing process begin to see, like, Wow, I'm like jelly over here. But I'm, like, amazing over here. And then when people see you an amazing mode, they don't believe that jelly mode even exists, You know, for you when dealing with many manipulation or any other kind of conflict or stress or anything that you could be going on in a personal personal capacity. Fawn is interesting. I've never heard anybody bring up the force, you know, stress response, which is the finding part of it. And then, as you said, it was like, Yeah, that's a legitimate mode where your innate nature is, maybe to fight or run. And yet doing nothing is not working. And then you roll into the fourth, which is I'm going to try to maintain this connection as much as possible in whatever capacity that I have to do, even if it doesn't feel like it's what I really want to d'oh, which we did tell somebody like either fuck off for runaway. So where did you when did you arrive at that? At that fourth.
I'm sure if I learned that, um, I'm a huge fan of dialectical behavior therapy and it's tricking with Marshall Line hand from the London Institute of the University of Washington. Lucky enough to be in her program when she was just starting off. I know you're coming off your suicide prevention
yeah, Month. But I was with her when we were. I'm not sure how much I can ever develop because my daughter story is her story, right? But she she struggles with some issues, and we were in the DVT program, which really saved her life. Because what I love about DVT is this is not the life you want. It's the life you have. How can you live it the best? And so it's really taught me a lot. And I think that it was first there that I heard about that fawning and it really resonated so much. It's like, Oh, that's what's that kept me alive all these years, right? Right, Massive skills that being able to please other people. No wonder my conflict personality type was was pleasing, but I think it was in DPT and it might have been in CBD t one of the acronyms.
Yeah, right. Yeah. And actually, that's one of the guests. I'd liketo have to talk about DVT and stuff like that. So I'm she's
on my bucket list, or you couldn't.
Yeah, right. I know, right? Okay, so let's talk about when you and I explored the topic to get on here. You actually referred to it as micro boundary violations, which sounds frightening. You know, boundary violations are obvious, You know, the guys coming across the moat and trying to break through the walls of the castle. But micro boundary violations feels a little bit more insidious. And so tell me, tell us all with a micro boundary violation,
it's those little things. So if you have a manipulator in your life, think back. Think about the little things. Oh, are you gonna wear that shirt? No, No, that's cool. That's cool. Oh, are you gonna drive? I feel more comfortable if I was driving. It's the little tiny things that ship away that are unwritten. My Grammy's to call sideways talk. It's like if you got something to say, Say it. Don't come sideways talking at me, you know, it's those little tiny things. You don't want to stay late, but what's just one project? It's just one, you know, thing. I have a a friend of mine who it was always wth e the carrot that's always coming. It's like, No, if we can just get through this one thing, then it's gonna be so much better. Oh, no. If I could just get to this next promotion, it's gonna be so much better. You know, it's always one thing like you said, when someone comes and steals our purser punches us in the face, forget about it. Usually people raised in dysfunction or we got this right. But when someone you know, you can kind of understand, they do need me. They want me to stay late or, you know they need the help on this. And while this shirt really doesn't look the best on me and yeah, I do talk to lunch parties, it's those little tiny things that ship away and open the door for a narcissist or a manipulative person to rewrite your history to rewrite your narrative because they're starting to change the color of what you see there tinting your glasses to make them rose color, and they're the most dangerous boundary preaches of all.
Okay. And so you have thoroughly scared us all. What are some of these psychological tactics? You know, I mean, you've given a few examples and stuff that, you know, I have What are some more of these? These ways of these violations can actually happen. I mean, well, we can talk about first in the bucket of the personal relationship, because I think that's the where the space we all feel the most vulnerable. You know, I'm probably the one where most of us need to start there because our personal relationships like you mentioned like I've mentioned before on the show as well our surrogates of the parental relationships that we had and all the amazing ways and all the terribly shitty ways you know, that parental relationship was So, you know, it seems obvious that if somebody puts down your shirt a little bit, that you'd be like either agree or I don't agree. But there's got to be a little bit, you know, Maur kind of finessing and nuancing that manipulators used the weather, some of those things that they might d'oh!
So I love that you use that example. What what triggers me will not trigger you. That's why instead of giving examples of what's been triggering to me because none of it might resonate with other people, I want to check some internal triggers. Do I feel less than when I'm around this person? Do I feel like I need to do something or be someone in order to impress them? Do I feel like I'm lucky to be around them? Do I feel like I'm losing myself? So I feel like I sometimes embarrass myself around this person. Do I leave feeling like just feeling bad about myself? Yeah, that's a trigger. Something is being triggered inside of you, and it's so subconscious. It's so deep that you're not even aware of it. That's how they get in. Manipulators are extremely intuitive. They know what you are defensive about. Basically, you're giving them the playbook and it's not your fault, especially if you have not done a lot of self help or a lot of personal development or you're not 70. You know, if you have experiences in life and it's these experiences that make you who you are, so the very first thing you need to do to see if you've been trigger. If you've been if someone is preaching your micro boundaries is check in. What does your body feel like at this moment? How are your shoulders? How is your jaw? What's your stomach doing? Are you slouching? What do you feel like? Well, you might have been triggered by someone preaching your boundaries and not even know it.
I and I've used my example. Minds here in my chest like my chest tightens really quickly. And when I when I've worked with other people too, you know, that was one of the most life changing things for me is what you just described there. Which is Note the body way. Don't you know we tend to overlook the body at all and not feel your body can score? Oh, yeah, exactly. And so I'm glad you brought that up again. That to go there first so that when that comment, whatever it is, whether it's your T shirt, the color of your hair, the you know the fact that you want to work late. If it's an instant body reaction, there's your trigger. And to check yourself there
And to give you an example, I used to. I'm a magnanimous person. I'm a very outgoing person. I used to be on TV.
I kind of six see that I don't understand you. That makes no sense to me.
And then I found myself the very first day that all three of my kids were in school full time. And I went to the belle of your art museum. So excited, I'm like, Okay, I'm not teaching, and I don't have the kids at home. I'm gonna go do something for me. And I was looking at a piece of artwork and someone came close to me and I held my breath and I realized that I'm going to gasp because I haven't breathed. I need to move away from this person and this artwork so I could breathe. Oh, my God. And it was that moment that I was like, Who are you? You know, the old Lara would have started a conversation with this person. The old Laura would have been different. And that was the very first trigger for me to realize something's not right. You're not who you are.
So how did Manipulators know that you have triggers. I mean, what have you seen and working in the field of communication? You know, how did they figure you out if you don't know what your triggers are
by inches? Oh, they're so good. You know, it's always slowly, it's they know when they've gone too far. And then they'll do a little what a lot of people called the honeymoon face. Let's say they go too far and you get a little bit pissed when you stand up for yourself. You know, right, Because you start to feel that that that army coming over the hill, then all of a sudden they do everything right. They compliment you, they make you feel good. They take you places, they there's gonna be a boss, too. They give you the best projects, they talk about you and meetings that you know, they fawn over you, and then they'll try again. They'll try something else. They'll try, maybe, or coming in sideways on this side. And oftentimes we tell them what our insecurities are by when and where and how we apologize. Oh, I'm so sorry I'm late. I should have set my alarm. All right, take note. You know, uh, we've been waiting for you, even if you're a minute late, right? You're telling them what your insecurities are Even if there's a little tiny things, you know. So watch what you apologize for and also watch the information that you give to someone you don't know. Oh, you know, I didn't even get dressed this morning. I'm so embarrassed. I was mowing the lawn and I was just going to stop in and drop this off. I actually said that yesterday. That's top of my They don't care what I look like. I'm dropping off goods to be donated. There's, you know, but But I told them that I was insecure about the way I looked. Right. So if she was a manipulative person, she would have said, Oh, no problem. I would, you know, whatever. I would have been more than happy to stop by when you were more presentable. Whatever. But you know, we tell them so Know thy self. Get to know yourself. Look at the hard things. Why are you insecure? That? Why do you feel bad about that? Is this a habit of apologizing? Let it off. Right,
Right, right. So since we're on the topic of then communication here, let's walk through. You know, do you have any phraseology that we should be listening for? And when we're having conversations with people that might tip us off, especially in the early days, because the best offense is a good defense, right? Or is it the other way around? Theo, The best defense is a good offense. Well, we don't be offensive eso when we run into somebody. And maybe that first trigger goes off in our like, my Spidey sense is just tingled a little bit with this person. How can we begin to turn the switch on and become more perceptive? And what kinds of things should we be looking for? What kinds of behavior should we be listening and observing or listening for?
Oh, they're so many. The manipulators are as varied as a you know, Pantone color sheet, but and you know who you're You know what your flavor de jour iss, right? So I'll just use my flavor. Does your When someone comes to me and there they need help. They're talking about whatever it is, man, I can't make my car payment this month. You know my kids reading top ramen for a week and all. I just feel so get in there. They're sharing with you something that doesn't belong to you. And maybe you just aren't friends like that, right? When someone comes in, they're complaining about their situation or what they need and, you know, they got a check coming and it's gonna be coming. But, man, if they could just get through this week, right? If you're a pleaser or, you know what if your triggered to respond or trigger to help them, and I don't even mean financially, right? Because first of all, these manipulators, they they want your emotional support because once you have emotional by in, that's when they can get into your pocket. So if you like oh, well, I'll watch the kids this week. If you need a break, I can come over and help you clean. I can give you a ride of the doctor. What? Whatever it is, that's gonna be a trigger for you. First of all, you're not friends like that. You're not her mom. She's over sharing with you and you're not responsible. So one of the things that I have found helps to combat. This is two fold. Ah, lot of manipulators don't know. They're manipulative. These air other dysfunctional people who have learned dysfunctional communication patterns, sometimes just snapping them out of it. You can both have a better relationship by understanding. Oh, we've had dysfunctional patterns. Let's both be better than that. Let's both work towards a better communication pattern. So the first thing you can do is ask questions. I freaking love curiosity, probably why I find this. This'll work journalism and being a p I and all that stuff. So fascinating. Ask questions. That's really hard. What you gonna do about that? Well, that's a real struggle. You know what? What in your life led to this point? Well, how do you feel? Are you taking care of yourself? Whatever the questions are that make them think a little more introspectively. And another thing, if you got your Spidey senses and you don't, you know you don't want to do any care taking of any kind because that may be your dysfunction. You may be co dependent. You don't want to fall into that. Just repeat what they say. You know, man, I don't have any gas money. I'm gonna gas money. Yeah, the cancer. Your top ramen again in a week. Top Rahman? Yeah. You know, just repeat back. You're acknowledging what they said. You know, you're not shutting them down, but you're also not buying anything. You're not playing,
right, Right? And that's actually, you know, the example that you use is a You know, we talked about many disorders on the show before, and what I now know is that when that's the lead in that I am possibly dealing with somebody who has severe money disorders and financial investment issues and knowing that myself, you know, when you talk about getting to know yourself is a great defense against this kind of stuff. You know, one of the things that I discovered through my own healing process was my financial enabling, you know? And then when it was like, Oh, my gosh. So now I know not only my recognizing a disorder in somebody else earlier like, Oh, yeah. No, I This is a person that I need to stay away because they're going to financially drained me And also then knowing Oh, in the past, I used to, you know, want to be helpful because of that innate sense of, you know, I need to establish connection to maintain connection because of co dependent tendencies and and things like that. So, you know, So you said some manipulators don't know that they're being manipulative, But what about the sociopathic ones that do know they're being manipulative? You know, how do they kind of, like ride through life a little differently in terms of how they engage and try to violate, You know, our boundaries.
So so see apathy and narcissistic soc apathy, which is like, the most dangerous kind. These are people that you need to red flag paint some big mark on and get the hell away. Frank. There is right. There is no point in practicing your new communication skills or your self protection or saying, Hey, let's check test my boundaries around this guy hard, No hard. No, you just gotta break free and you've got to get the hell away from them. And that might cost you. But in the long run, the gift of freeing your life from this toxic individual that it will pay you back tenfold tenfold. I mean, I I myself have walked away from things that other people would say. How could you? How could you walk away from that? How could you? You know, Why don't you just stay? Why don't you just suck it up? Why didn't you just poison him with effort? And I have friends who it's like they've been maligned for leaving a very toxic situation. And yet they end myself. Have never been happier in my life. Was the road bumpy? Did I have moments on the floor? You know, you're naked bathroom moments. Yeah. Yeah, I earned those moments. They made me who I am now. And, man, I got I got decades left of joyous living. So when it comes to the nurses and a sociopath by
well, and you know what I think, too, that's important is lying matters, you know? And I think that's one thing that, you know, I wish that I had placed a greater sense of urgency. And I, you know, admit this, that I accommodated a lot of untruthfulness in my relationship. I overlooked it. I tried to manage it, and I freely admit that I got the life I deserved. And I know I don't say that is a victim e a thing. But you know when you are confronted with a fact, which is that this person, like, half the time you can't trust any of the shit that's coming out of his mouth. But okay, maybe I can change him. You know, lying is as a huge red flag, huge red flag. You know, I know sometimes we we probably communicate out of discomfort when we're meeting somebody, and we might not be as truthful in the beginnings and stuff, but I feel like once somebody has consistently shown you their colors, which is that they have zero issues with shading the truth regularly, that that's a that's a toxic, manipulative person. And when we talk about, you know, being a sociopath, that means you're breaking the rules of society and light lying about things or trying to steal our thieves, breaking the rules of society. And that's where the sociopath label gets to be planted as a sticker on someone. Forehead.
You are so right. You are so right. And just because you you know, maybe you're pleased. Or maybe you're a perfectionist. Maybe you're an avoider, a victim, and well, they didn't really mean that what they meant was because they're struggling. Don't make excuses for other people. Stop it. Right. And don't make excuses for yourself If you find yourself lying to your mom about your boyfriend or well, I didn't invite him because or he can't make it because you're lying. So why are you lying to? That's such an important point. I'm so glad you brought that up.
Well, it goes, we're talking about micro boundary violations, right? So you you have that little bit of, ah, violation which can occur when you catch a manipulator in a lie, and then they come back with a you know, a suitable It's okay, you know, kind of response where they haven't excuse that you allow yourself, you know, to to accept. You
know, it's that triangle. Is that dance with my ex? It was, um it was this consistent triangle. And I remember when I started to predict it, and I used to call it out of There it is. There's number three because it would always start with rage or anger. How dare you I work on, you know, all this kind of stuff. It would start with this anger And then when that didn't work You're so right. I need help you. Can you help me? Let's go get you know that other nights that commiserate You're right. We're in this together. And then it would go to the What? What are you talking about? I don't know what you mean. What do you You know, this innocence? This I don't know. It was this triangle that turned into a circle that just rolled down the hill, getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And that is the same triangle of loss, the dysfunction triangle. But that dance that you do with someone but I you know, if they get caught, they get angry and blame you, or they're like, Oh, you're so right Or they're like, What are you talking about? I don't know what you mean. So watch out for that triangle in the patterns in the relationships that you all have,
right? And I will tell you, I have to tell you like every time I hear about that that they go from, you know, the problem to remorse to you know this disbelief. I never got the middle part in my relationship. It never went from rage to Oh, my gosh. I'm so sorry. Yes, let's do this. Please don't leave me. It went from rage to gas lighting raged against lighting, and I So I always sit there and go. You know, there are some people out there that never actually feel badly about it. And that was one of the biggest struggles for me emotionally was, You know, it makes sense air quotes around. It makes sense when you have to go that that dance back and forth between He loves me. He hates me. He loves me. He hates me, you know, For I was I found myself in a situation where it felt like he just always hated me. And I stayed, you know, which is which is devastating, you know, to sit there and go. So I'm always like, Well, I could see why somebody if he apologized, We would be in this, like, forever. But, uh,
So let me ask you a question. How long did you stay? Once you started to wake up toe when you left?
Another two years.
Okay. I just I want your listeners out there to understand. So I was in a relationship for 26 years. I remember when my oldest waas eight and it was the make or break point and he said to me, Kind of like you, you disgust me. That's why I don't like you either. So what are we gonna do about that? And once I said that, he realized, Oh, shit, she might leave me. So he worked extra extra heart fast forward until I'm taking that daughter to college. That's when I finally left. So I want everyone out there right now to understand. Yeah, we's woke. We're over here going here. Check us out. Look at all these things we've learned. Oh, we're so wise. It took us a long time to get there, and it will take you as long as it will take you. And you are exactly where you need to be. So hold yourself in grace. Because for some people, it's over the course of an evening that they're like What? Hell, no. And they're out. And for other people, I was 19 when I met my husband. He was 34. It was It was a grooming that took years that I could not wake up from other people. They may be like, Oh, this is the second frickin narcissist that I pulled towards myself. Oh, I'm gonna get faster at this. I don't just want your listeners to know. You know what? Wherever your acts exactly where you need to be in a week at your sister.
Thank you for saying that, too, you know, because I have no problems with admitting that if my if my kid's dad and I've mentioned this before, if my kid's dad had not said, I no longer want to be the custodial parent, you have to step into that role and bring the kids into your home. And if that hadn't been the catalyst to break that relationship, I would still be in the relationship. I absolutely know it, but I I didn't know how to get out of it, but I I looked at My kid's going Well, I don't think he wants them, you know, my partner. So if I and I do want my kids, though, I'm willing to say yes to them. And I know that this is gonna end the relationship, and even then, I still didn't want the relationship to end. But it ended because that was an inevitability of it. But if that little thing hadn't happened, there's no doubt it's still be in this. I wouldn't be where I am today on. And I would still be fighting my way, wondering what the hell's going on and miserable and sick and, you know
which is. So this is This is critical for your listeners. I think it is, in hindsight that things become clear. It's, you know, it's an old adage. Hindsight is 2020. But it's true. Take a look at anything. So if you want to start to figure out Okay, I hear you, I'm trying to get better. I want to do this. Take a small wind, take a conversation. A situation that you overcame and look back to move forward. What was the situation? What triggered you? What was the outcome? What would have been the best possible outcome? What would have been the worst outcome? How did you not make it a worst outcome? Okay, take that lesson. Apply it to the next look back journal. You know, give yourself kudos for where you are now and what you've learned so far. You're listening to this podcast, so obviously you're on your journey to self awareness, right?
Yep, absolutely. You bring up a word grooming because I want to go back to that on because I don't want to dismiss what you just said, because what you just said is invaluable. And again, thank you for that. For people listening to that. You know, don't beat yourself up when you're struggling to get out of these situations because it is hard. And one of the reasons is because of the grooming. You know, we were groomed typically as Children, unintentionally again. That's that's the craziness about this, right? Is some people do this subconsciously that they're manipulating everyone around them because they don't know any different. And then there are the people out there that are intentionally grooming and manipulating because they do know the outcome, that they want those air, the scary, You know, any efforts, you know that we want to avoid out there. But when we talk about again, you know these boundary violations that that is a grooming process of identifying right of where your limits actually are, or identifying the absence of boundaries. You know that we may not have. So let's talk about what a boundary is right, because if we're grooming somebody, you know, if you have boundaries in place, that makes it harder, right to be groomed. So what is the boundary look like? If somebody's been boundary Lis, you know, how do they start one? What's a good one to begin with?
I think my favorite one and the one that I took a long time too create brick by brick was the boundary of myself. Meaning what my thoughts are and what my beliefs are outside of what other people's thoughts and beliefs were, you know, because I used to love to be the debate, you know, to play debate because I could see both sides. I could talk up both sides. I could defend both sides. But when I started t to take a line, you know, like this is what I believe and it's different than other people, and I could defend it in a respectful way. I started to build those internal boundaries, and when I stopped bullshitting and lying to myself and it was just a little tiny, things like, you know, could be spending money. Um, because looking back, I realized that I used to spend money as punishment because I don't even know why he think money was definitely one of his things. So if I find myself at Nordstrom's again shopping for things that I don't really even need, you know, it's like, all right, that's a boundary breach of myself. This is not who I am. So what am I doing? I've reached my own boundary, and that can sometimes be the scariest that can sometimes be the hardest to look at. Now, instead of shopping, put in alcohol, put in drugs, put in smoking, put in sex. We all step over our own boundaries at some point in our life. Do you know you shouldn't be drinking as much? And you are? Do you know you shouldn't be sleeping with this guy and you are? Do you know you shouldn't be X Y Z, Whatever it is, put your drug of choice in there. If you are overstepping your own boundaries, you know what? Forgive yourself. Hold yourself in grace and do one thing today to build, to put a brick down to build that boundary back up again. So I would start with self. I would start with your own boundaries your own internal boundaries
because that's really you know, that's our defense mechanism against these micro boundary violations, right? You know that the pillars, Yeah, that you have to have in place in order to be able to, you know, because part of this is I feel like there's a two way street here. One is you're getting to know who you are as a person. You're getting to know where your weakness is. Your strength, your opportunities are all that that's going through a therapeutic process or really deep, really deeply reflective self help process. But for some of us with rial, you know, is that they're gonna say, if your if your circle of people has consistently been very toxic therapy is probably what you need to kind of like add into your bucket of change that it'll be very difficult to do this just on a self help. You know, just recent books and go. And I'm not saying that it's not possible for some people, but I think the more toxic your history, the more toxic the relationships that you have, the more I I'm the advocate for. Go get somebody trained to help you Maybe it's DVT. Maybe it's cognitive behavioral therapy. Somatic experiencing. You know, there's so many good modalities out there to be able to start to search and understand your inner your inner trauma. They're
absolutely. It's almost like the difference of growing your own food and having your own food and harvesting your own food or going to a restaurant. You can do it and you will lose crops, you know. And you will, you know, go hungry some nights or you go to a restaurant, get exactly what you need. That's what therapists are for me.
Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I believe everybody listening right now kind of gets that you know as well and sometimes a show like ours, yours and mine are like a first step, you know, to saying Okay, that's why I always advocated. Like, if you're listening here and you're still feeling like, well, then you know it highly recommend that you find somebody that can kind of help to do that. So you're sitting there doing your know thy self at the same time and learning how to build a boundary. And then at the same time, you're also you have to still be on guard and defensive because you're defenseless for this period of time, you know, in there. And is there anything that if you're in that vulnerable, defenseless state between, you know, searching out what your boundaries need to be in building your boundaries and also making sure you still protect yourself from people that seek to violate it? You know, I don't believe that crawling into a cave and coming out of your later is really the answer. We all have to We have to live with both. Do you have any recommendations for that? That kind of uncomfortableness of that in between period for somebody?
Absolutely. And I call this the schoolyard parking lot. So when you're teaching your kids how to drive, you take him to the school parking lot, right? And you put up the cones and you get them to learn how to go back up the next Y z. Well, you conduce this safely practice holding firm boundaries with people who don't matter at all and do it in a safe way. Okay, let's say you go to Safeway. Let's say someone says, Hey, sweetie, can you move over? Did you just call me, sweetie. I find that offensive. Please don't call me that. My name's Laura. I'd be happy to move over. That's a safe way to practice those boundaries, Right? Sorry. That was a total death interaction with you. Like I will sign this over here. I
feel like I should turn to the left. Everybody watching
him way. It's all that the codex of communication, right? That's that's when I have certain thoughts. It's like, OK, this is an American sign language thought. So. I think that in the SL and this must be how people who go to their languages do. That's
the beauty of neuroscience right there. And you're all pathways when they just get written in. And they've just become that subconscious, right? Yeah.
Really wrote, Yeah, but you can also do that in, um, you know, in any way with the teller, with someone you don't know, it's safe, it's safe. And here's what I want you to know. The first couple times it comes out. You heard the way I said it was smooth. It was Hey, don't talk to me like that. No, you know, it's gonna come out like this. Don't know, don't Don't you clock me like that? Don't like it, you know, to come out and sound stupid, right? It's the practice. Say it out loud. First starting your mirror that don't overlook this step because you may understand it cognitively. Guess that makes little sense. Practice it sometimes. No. Nope. Nah, uh, does not come easy. We gotta practice those things,
right? Exactly. Yeah, because you're what? You're triggered. You're not thinking cognitively. You're thinking emotionally. And in that instant, just totally wash us for a moment until we're able to pull backward. Practice definitely makes a lot of sense. So speaking of practice, you actually worked professionally with helping people understand communication difficulties that they have in teams and companies and things like that. So talk a little bit about that facet of your life and how you take this experience and help other other folks with with understanding how to communicate better with one another.
Absolutely. You know, a lot of people don't understand that their frontline staff is the most critical to the work that they dio. I work with people in high stress, high stakes fields like the law realestate, nurses, doctors of Internet churches, people who their clientele comes to them already triggered. And if you're frontline staff or your staff in general doesn't understand how to recognize a triggered reaction, what the different conflict personality types are, what the different communication styles are. I mean, you know, visual verbal kinesthetic, the different types, the ways that we communicate and different word cues. People will tell you what they're triggered about. Just like you know, you will tell a narcissist what you are insecure about. So once these people, when it's the people you know on your staff or in who are having some communication struggles, understand some core concepts, not only will they communicate better, but they will create raving fans of their clientele because they'll feel hurt. We all just want to be hurt, right? So I I love doing trainings with different people in high stress, high stakes fields. It can really change their business and change their life in the way that they interact with people.
No, absolutely, I can imagine. Like it's in my own experience, you know, starting off just a za business coach with a lot of with mostly solo preneurs. Not larger organizations like you're used to working with the just. You know, I call him to kitchen table businesses, you know, men and women that are starting a company. And they're the only employee, you know. And they're sitting there trying to figure out how to navigate the business world and often times, you know, when you coach people consistently and you're not seeing results the way they want and also the way you would expect you you find yourself in going down the pathway of understanding what is really what's really happening inside of you. Like, what are we really dealing with? Are we dealing with insecurity? Are we dealing with every dealing with many disorders? You know, why is your bottom line flattening out? And you're not making money? Well, let's talk about your expenses and why you feel motivated to buy things like that. And, you know, um and so you taking it at a bigger you know what the bigger piece and looking at, um, you know, the larger companies that are implementing it, and I know it's been for the people that I've worked with in spoken with about this on this topic of understanding how our behaviors and our emotions do trigger us, you know, in ways that we don't think about has really shaped a lot of people and really began to get them looking at different experiences, you know, in a whole nother set of different colored glasses. I guess so to speak. So you have a website? The link will be in the podcast notes, which is difficult happens dot coms. You have a Facebook page and you have a podcast show the topics that you cover because they are awesome.
Thank you. Thank you. I talk about all things difficult. You know how to say how to say no one mean it. What to say when you don't know what to say, what you do when you disappoint. Someone had a whole Siris on manipulative behavior and how to combat it. Good. Follow up
to this one. Here, everyone.
I'll give you the girl. It's difficult. Happens dot com slash manipulate. Okay, manipulate money.
I'll get it to
Perfect. Perfect. But you know, we need to be able to verbally defend ourselves. But we also need to know why. The word choice. It's almost like we all do speak a different language and we need a Codex a Rosetta stone for how we speak so that we can teach other people how to speak to us, right?
Oh, absolutely. And I have no issues with any of you listeners of, you know. The link to that episode will be in the show because, you know, I I believe Lauren Air here on the same path, which is we have a history we have, you know, an insane amount of curiosity and our world around us. We have both learned so many different things in our experiences, and then it just makes sense to people like us share it, get it out there, help other people with it and stuff like that. And so following up this episode with jumping over to Laura's podcast, difficult happens. And again, it's on all the podcast platforms that when broken Mom is and then go to that episode so that you can get more of the tactical follow up to what our discussion is. I think that would be invaluable for everybody. So, um yeah, so I know that when we start to notice, are triggering it. You know that these violations air happening to us. I know. Personally, I deal with chronic illness related to triggers and stresses that come from boundary violations and the manipulation that goes with it. And so it could be just exhausting. So, do you have any advice on How do you care for yourself as you're trying to navigate through this? Because some manipulators we can get away from and some of them we can't get away from him, that they're part of our lives in some capacity or you know another. So what would you just say to somebody that is experiencing, You know, these micro boundary violations and need Thio take care of themselves?
I would say no matter what, schedule it, get out, have some time alone with yourself and, you know, self care. It's kind of popular right now. There's so many different ways to self care. It's a massage, just official. It's a whatever it is for you. I know you and I were talking once, and I'm like, You know what? If I could just watch some Judge Judy with cigar and a whisky, I'm fine. That's the way that I am like, Hey, life is good. I'm on the back patio. Everything is wonderful. Whatever self care means for you. Make sure that you implement some form of self care.
I agree with you and mine is and you know, it sounds like it's a negative thing. But, man, I just Sometimes I just sit on the couch and veg out on Criminal Minds or vampire diaries or supernatural, which I know you and I both share that love on, do you know? And it fills my tank up and I just do it until I feel like I'm whole again and then ready, tow charge on. And no, it doesn't sound like a healthy way of doing it, but it works for me, and I know I know thyself, right? So exactly awesome. Well, Laura, it's been great talking to you again because, like she mentioned at the beginning, here I am a guest on her at this one of her episodes as well and difficult happens on DSO. This has been another incredible conversation. I really like chatting with you, and I appreciate you taking the time to be able to do this and to share your expertise and an information about this because there is just a small facet of the complexities where we find ourselves, especially if we are driven at a subconscious level until we know to be guided into situations with certain types of people in certain toxic situations to start to recognize them, navigate our way out of them, I call it sometimes, you know, dipping your in the Whitewater, you know, and learning how to shifted a little bit to be able to pull ourselves out to safety. And so every time I get an opportunity to speak with some of these knowledgeable in this experience, did you? I'm just I'm so stoked about it. So thank you so much. Thank you for listening to one broken mom. You confined podcast notes on my website and unequal cockney dot com, and they're all provide all links. All of the resource is that we mentioned on the episode. Also, if you have any questions, comments for ideas for other episodes, feel free to send me an email, and if you're interested in sponsoring the show, I'd love to have you be a part of the team. Finally, if you like what you hear, please share the podcast and leave a review so that others can find it. We're all here to get better together. I am the host meets Cockney. And as always, I am super grateful to have you as a listener until next time. Have a great day. Hurry.