By Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
Have you ever noticed how some people act as though significant or loving relationships come with the right to carrot that same love?
I think this is one of the reasons people don’t readily step back into these relationships once paused. It’s not about the love; it’s more about how the acknowledgment of that love has been played in the past.
Once the assumption of love is established, all bets are out and the race is on… This person’s partner knows that if they fail to deliver on a request/command/demand, that this love is in jeopardy. Sound familiar?
If You Don’t, I’ll Block You
This could be the title of a book. If you don’t do as I’m asking/requesting/demanding, then I’ll block you. It is as simple as that.
For example, take a look at the Denny and Melinda. Denny has insisted that Melinda fulfill a request which he has actually already promised to a third party, without Melinda’s knowledge.
Denny has promised this third-party Max that Melinda would fulfill his commitment of mailing some monies and now holds entitlement to block her if she doesn’t cooperate and comply with his imposed time schedule for doing so.
What’s Wrong with This Picture?
A) Denny has enlisted Melinda in a commitment without her knowledge or consent.
B) Denny believes he is entitled to hold her accountable to fulfill his wishes… without her knowing that she is on a deadline that is not even hers.
C) In fact this commitment he has made with Max is in complete conflict with other nonnegotiable commitments of Melinda.
D) Melinda must decide is she going to chase the carrot and do as Denny demands, or hold to her professional obligations and commitments to herself.
If you live in a controlling relationship, you know these dynamics like the back of your hand. Denny could be anyone: your spouse, your adult child, your sibling, your friend. And the commitment that you are unknowingly obligated into could be anything…(use your imagination).
Looks and Feels a Lot Like Dog Training
I’m going to block you (when used to inspire behavior) is very much like saying I’m tightening the rope around your neck. I will show you that your compliance is directly related to my love offering to you.
Last time someone did that with me, I let go of the rope because I know the damage of chasing love that is “carrotted,” i.e. conditional love. Words don’t teach this; experience does.
Once you know the difference between giving your love freely and giving to avert relationship manipulation, it becomes easier not to step into the dance of narcissistic domestic abuse. For more information on the dynamics of controlling relationships, visit http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/controlling_relationship.php. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people worldwide recognize, end and heal from narcissistic domestic abuse.
© Dr Jeanne King – Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention