When people show you who they are, believe them.
Happy New Year! By now you all have set your resolutions. And some have already given up on theirs. But I'd bet that for many of you, your resolution is to be "drama-free" or to at least remain drama free. With each passing year, we should be careful to grow as individuals. Part of growing is identifying reckless patterns that siphon precious energy and stifle our progress.
What follows is a list of profiles of the usual suspects. Here are the folks that are in your family, on your job, in your church and in your neighborhood who make your life difficult. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Neither does it take the place of professional therapeutic support. And so here's the DISCLAIMER: If you or someone you know is deeply involved in a toxic/dangerous relationship that you're struggling to get a handle on, please seek professional therapeutic support. So now, with that being said, here's the list of reckless relators.
The Tyrant - Determined to have things his way. “My way or the highway!” And when he doesn’t get his way, he explodes. He is dangerous because he is violent and abusive. He doesn’t know the damage that he causes and he doesn’t care. He turns over the board game and kicks the ball across the street before storming off.
The Damsel in Distress - She is CONSTANTLY in crisis mode. Car trouble, utilities getting cut off, boy trouble, etc. There’s always a trouble. She constantly needs a savior or a hero. She’s looking for a sugar-daddy, not a solution. She seems to be magnetized to crises, so If you save her, expect another phone call in about 6 months.
The Crybaby - For the crybaby, whining and crying is the solution. Instead of working towards a reasonable solution, the crybaby determines to pout and hold up progress. No reasoning or planning will help the crybaby. They are actually afraid to try, and too proud to fail. So he would rather blame something or someone else, and whine.
The Narcissist - Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Everything is about me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Every conversation. Every meeting. Every date. Every holiday. Every get-together. It’s always all bout me. The narcissist is determined to bring everything back around to her. Her benefit. Her idea. Her thoughts. Her desires.
The Addict - The addict is the T-Rex of all narcissists because he resorts to extremely destructive behaviors in an effort to satisfy unreasonable wants. You can’t always get what you want. The addict doesn’t believe that. He determines to live in an incessant state of euphoria at the expense of everyone around them. “The entire family is suffering while the addict is on cloud nine.” It's interesting to note that the Addict seems to exhibit a devilish cocktail of all the other reckless relators, and thus they are master manipulators.
If you recognize any of these individuals because you've dealt with them, or you're dealing with them right now, it's important that you arm yourself with the tools and strategies to protect yourself, your family and help them get on the path to healing. But let's take a step further. Maybe you recognize these reckless relator traits in yourself. Awareness is the first step towards healing. If you recognize it, and you're not happy with those traits then this is a sign that you're ready to get on the path toward healing and growth.
NOTE: Be mindful that although gender pronouns are being used here, NONE of these profiles are gender specific. Pronouns are utilized simply for the sake of illustration. I'm sure you've come in contact with some male addicts as well as female addicts. There's no such thing as a gender exclusive dysfunction.
In the next post, we'll talk about some tips and strategies to get on the path of healing. For now, let's be practice being aware of reckless patterns of relating and let's keep growing forward!