And if it hasn’t changed then on what Basis are you thinking is going to Change in the future What we’re about to talk about Can relate to anybody that You’re with who has consistently treated You poorly Who has ignored your needs Who has disregarded your happiness Who has Been gaslighting you for a long time Lying to you breaking promises Someone who consistently lets you down Disappoints you I want to talk about how We come to trap ourselves in these Situations And what it really requires For us to break free of them Because The nature of what Dr Romney and other Psychologists Called the trauma Bond Is that we can become Imprisoned By that Bond And it can be Extraordinarily difficult to break free From it And to finally release ourselves from a Relationship like that And we should say that a relationship Like that is Tremendously detrimental to our mental
Health our well-being our self-esteem Our quality of life It is a situation that is maddening It slowly erodes your confidence in Yourself especially if your needs are Ignored If you are Gaslit over things that you would like To happen and told that it’s crazy for You to want those things or your high Maintenance for wanting those things or That when someone tries to convince you That your version of reality is Completely false It can It it can have the effect of you not Knowing which way is up anymore you stop Trusting yourself And of course when you’re with someone Who constantly breaks their promises to You Uh constantly lies to you And then if you catch them in the LIE Makes it your fault somehow It makes us Unable to see what the truth is Anymore It divorces us from ourselves we start Becoming somebody else we live a life of Trying to manage this person we live a Life of trying to read between the lines Of what things this person is saying are True and which things are false so we Pay a price for staying with someone
Like this I want to start by just talking about How we find ourselves in these Situations And how one of the qualities that we Like most about ourselves in other Contexts can become our biggest enemy in The context of a relationship like this And that is our empathy We show a level of understanding about This person That allows them to get away with the Same thing over and over again Let’s talk about that for a moment when Does empathy go too far Well I was going to say if you’re with Someone who If you’re taking care of them and making Sure they’re okay And they’re taking care of themselves And making sure they’re okay Who’s taking care of you you know it’s Quite a common thing that you hear but In order to be there for other people Your own cup has to be full and your Priority in life should always be to Make sure that you’re okay now that Doesn’t mean that you have to put Yourself first in every single situation And in fact you shouldn’t it’s really Important to put other people first Sometimes and to put those you love Before you when they need you more than You need them in that moment
But ultimately your empathy towards Other people cannot come at the Detriment of actually making sure you’re Okay That’s when you’re you have to suspect Yourself I think as to whether or not Is it really empathy or are you just Caught in a toxic cycle where it’s Serving some kind of need for you well I Think that that’s exactly right and we What happens is because we’re so close To this person We’ve heard all of their stories And people who are really good at Mobilizing your empathy Get very good at telling stories that Make them sympathetic And By the way we all have things That we’ve been through in our lives That could have made us worse people or Better people right everyone has things But There are certain people who are really Good At Taking their past and constructing a Narrative that creates excuses for Really bad behavior in the present and If you’re somebody who is truly Empathetic And you’re prone to to feeling sad for People or seeing people as sympathetic Then it can be quite easy for someone
Who’s manipulative to use their past as A way to mobilize your empathy and it Could also happen in Reverse by the way If if they know that you pride yourself On being generous being kind being Empathetic and then you start calling Them out on their behavior and having More boundaries yeah they can then Attack you for that and say oh and You’re supposed to be you see yourself As this empathetic person well right now You’ve got absolutely no care for what I’ve been through And what I the ways that I’m struggling And you’re always playing this Empathetic character and yet right now You’re just abandoning me you know that Now they can weaponize it in the other Direction And get you feeling guilty that you Haven’t been empathetic enough And it’s so interesting right because You It has no it knows no limit In terms of if you want to extend a Sympathetic or a compassionate or kind Of understanding lens towards a person You can do that with a serial killer you Can say it’s not their fault they’re Born this way they went through these Different things in their childhood That’s why they ended up being Aggressive and killing people and or Even just they’re a psychopath they
Don’t feel empathy they’re not it’s not Their fault they’re not born with that You can actually have compassion towards Anyone for anything And the kind of What’s really interesting is The Duality Between this over compassion you might Extend towards somebody who treats you Badly but this total lack of compassion You extend towards yourself as you put Yourself repeatedly In Harm’s Way of that person and for Some reason your well-being and the way That you feel isn’t being prioritized by You in the same way that you’re Prioritizing being understanding towards Them yeah I think Jack cornfield Said something along the lines of your Your compassion for people is incomplete If it doesn’t extend to yourself yeah I Think that’s right I do think there’s a Big difference between giving love to Someone And having love for them And sacrificing yourself sacrificing Your needs and I think a lot of people Just conflate them together like if I Love this person I will sacrifice my Happiness to Just fulfill whatever their thing is or Help them because they’re whatever a Narcissist an addict a different Whatever but I do I think there’s a real Difference between loving them
And completely sacrificing yourself your Happiness your well-being and and I Think some people get addicted to that That role a bit the thing that scares me About empathy in the context of a Relationship like this is It can really if that empathy becomes a Proactive kind of forgiveness for that Person and a forgiveness that leads to You constantly letting them back into Your life not a distant forgiveness Where you say I forgive you but I can’t Have you near me There really is no limit to how far you Can fall In that relationship As you say Audrey if you excuse them on Every level that well it’s their past Well even if it’s not their past it’s Their genes it’s they can’t help it it’s Just the way they’re built you can Always find a justification and by the Way those things are true They’re actually true But The danger of saying that’s true Therefore I should forgive this person And be involved with them romantically That’s the that’s the non-sequitur and The danger of that is that if you Continue to use your empathy as a as an Excuse for forgiving someone and letting Them back in there is no limit to the Level of Destruction that someone can
Can uh Impose on your life It you’re you’re letting them into the House where they can wreak havoc and you Have to at a certain point say I cannot Trust you I cannot trust you with my heart I cannot trust you with my time I cannot Trust you with my energy I cannot trust You with my future And therefore I can’t let you in the House Because if I let you in my house so to Speak you will predictably wreak havoc So I can have a distant compassion for You But I cannot have a a kind of proactive Close degree empathy Where I constantly let you back in Because you will destroy my life And I think part of what people struggle With is this This hope that this person will change That yes they’ve been terrible yes they Are still wreaking havoc in my life yes They are still making me unhappy but if This one thing could change Then we could actually be so happy I Also think it’s a duality between the Good and the bad times Because I think if you’ve ever been with Someone Who is either a narcissist or
Narcissistically inclined or you know Selfish or toxic or whatever you want to Call it They’re not like that all the time at All but even in that I think there is Embedded in that idea as a kind of hope The Hope For the Good Times to be more The hope that the bad times will start To be less of course I suppose what I Mean is that um people who are like that Are very good at being really really Charming so the good times feel Better both because Of the bad times being so bad that in Contrast they feel better but also Because they are so good at making life Even better than a healthy person can Because they’re not playing a role so People get addicted to the highs For sure because of that and that’s That’s then in turn very difficult Because you’re almost turning your back On when you think about it rationally You end up feeling that you’re turning Your back on the happiest moments of Your life it’s just that they happen to Come in conjunction with the most Terrible moments of your life I mean When someone makes your life so Miserable the good times don’t even have To be that good to feel like they’re Incredible If you’re in the middle of the desert Starving
And someone puts like a Wendy’s Cheeseburger in front of you oh that’s That’s ruining our chances of Sponsorship for Wendy’s oh I I thought Jameson was going to say you know now You’re talking because I feel like That’s the kind of Jameson meal this is Hurtful you love Taco Bell but I think Matt’s point is it could be Del Taco in The desert it could be something it Could be something uh atrocious out There and it still feels like it’s Better than let’s at least criticize a Lesser brand like White Castle or Something something smaller oh there Goes White Castle No wait I think there is something Really important in what you’re saying Man which is actually like you can have Um just a normal day finally after just A week-long fight with this person has Been making her life miserable and you Have one nice day where it’s like oh Yeah we went and we had uh we had dinner Together and no one fought and Um the waiter wasn’t rude and suddenly Ah I’m in love again you’re grateful for Civility grateful for civility what a Nice way to put it yeah what keeps People there whether it’s a hope for the Next good time Or whether it’s a hope for things to Just fundamentally change That hope
Is the most misguided thing We have What I want you to think In terms of is empiricism Empiricism is basing What I do or what I believe on what my Actual experience of this person is Have they ever truly changed in this Area You may have experienced spikes of Change after you had an argument or After you threatened to leave but if Ultimately it just always returned to The same Baseline then you know that Those changes weren’t real they were Just a tactic more of a manipulation Empirically you have to ask yourself Has this person ever changed or has this Been a repeatable pattern throughout my Relationship with this person and if I’m Still talking about it now with my Friends with a therapist if I’m still Rooming about ruminating about it Constantly then it’s still happening and The answer is no it has not changed And if it hasn’t changed then on what Basis are you thinking is going to Change in the future And the truth is if you really relate to This episode right now You’ve probably been through every kind Of emotion with this person there is You’ve cried You’ve been angry
You’ve been depressed You’ve been guilty You’ve been frantic You’ve despaired You’ve been through everything you can Go through with this person you’ve Begged for change What Emotion Have you kept up your sleeve That you’re going to bring out next year That’s suddenly going to change this Person I have to know If you’re telling yourself that they’re Going to change what’s the reaction that That all this time you’ve been storing To suddenly get a different result Because the chances are you’ve already Cycled through all of them many times You have to assume that this person is Never going to change Because the stakes are way too high What are the stakes You don’t get your time back again So staking your life And your happiness on the idea that this Person who has never changed will one Day change is just about the worst bet That you can make And I just it makes me really emotional Just hearing you talk about it because I Just think of the amount of people who Are currently stuck And I think the word really is just
Stuck in the quick sound Of that kind of relationship and how How much it just destroys people Because it destroys their confidence it Destroys their self-worth it destroys it Warps reality as you said in a way where They just feel Like they don’t even know which way is Up anymore And you end up having no Kind of bearing on what a proper Relationship should feel like and a Proper connection and being treated with Respect and having your needs met you Forget you lose sight of what that even Feels like just look how much empathy Audrey has see how dangerous it is well It’s interesting you say that Jay Because do you remember there was that Book I think it was Paul Bloom who wrote That book against empathy or the case I Was just about to reference that yeah Which is about the reference problem he Literally wrote a book called against Empathy Because it is he’s trying to call out The fact that it is actually a baser Emotion The same way like anger is just a baser Emotional reaction he argues for Irrational compassion which is very Similar to what you’re saying with this Distant compassion which is You realize you understand
Intellectually what happened in that Person’s past to explain it But you don’t take that extra step of Like well just because it explains it Doesn’t excuse it and doesn’t mean that I have to emotionally invest in this Situation or their of their past you can Take a step back and understand without Needing to go that extra emotional Journey just intellectually understand It rationally have compassion for their Situation you don’t have to make it your Situation yeah as you were saying that I Was thinking just because it explains it It doesn’t mean you have to choose it oh Yeah or justify it Let me know what you think about this in The comments don’t forget to like Subscribe and hit the notification Bell So you don’t miss the next video I also Want to tell you that from the 11th to The 13th of November I’m running my Virtual Retreat if you’re listening to This video and you’re realizing this is The deepest stuff that I need I hope you Come and join us the link is Mhvirtualretreat.com come check it out And spend three days of immersive Coaching with me and my team I’ll see You over there
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