Trap 2: Annoying

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This continues a new series of posts excerpted from Monkeytraps in Everyday Life: A Guide for Control Addicts (in press).  It’s about psychological monkeytraps: what they are, how they work, and how recovering control addicts can learn to notice when they’ve trapped themselves by trying to control what cannot or should not be controlled. Read the introduction to the series here.

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Trap 2: Annoying

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Step 1: I experience discomfort

People find me annoying.

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Step 2: I misread the discomfort.

“I must become more likeable.”

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Step 3: I try to control the discomfort.

I employ codependent behavior — flattering, advice-giving, approval-seeking, rescuing, clinging, conflict avoidance, and unremitting “niceness.”

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Step 4: My attempt fails.

People find my codependent behavior annoying.

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Step 5: I misread the failure.

“I must try harder to win them over.”

Step 6: I experience discomfort.

People find me annoying.

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Footnote:

Codependents and control

It’s as if codependents are turned inside out. Instead of self-esteem, they have other esteem, based upon what others think and feel. Instead of meeting their own needs, they meet the needs of others, and instead of responding to their own thoughts and feelings, they react to those of others. It’s a haywire system, because they have to control others to feel okay, but that just makes matters worse and leads to conflict and pain. It also makes emotional intimacy difficult.

~ Darlene Lancer, author of Codependency for Dummies

 

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Next:

Trap 3: Addiction

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Monkeytraps: Why Everybody Tries to Control Everything and How We Can Stop
is available here.

Monkeytraps: Why Everybody Tries to Control Everything and How We Can Stop by [Steve Hauptman]


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