Not all control addicts look alike. Some employ narcissistic tactics — directing or demanding or complaining or nagging or criticizing or bullying or coercing. Their theme song is Me First. And some rely on codependent tactics — agreeing or pleasing or pretending or appeasing or apologizing or avoiding. Their theme song is Whatever You Say or Please Don’t Be Mad.
When these two types get together the result is a Split-Level relationship, which often resembles that of bully and victim. It’s easy to miss the underlying fact that, despite the different tactics, what you’re seeing is two scared people desperate to control each other.
From Bert’s Therapy, Session 11:
My parents didn’t like me much.
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