FATAL ATTRACTION…PLAY MISTY FOR ME
What are the core characteristics of the difficult person or “cold communicator” in your life? The affect is always the same: You feel like you’re going crazy, being driven up a wall and down again; spinning and rotating, wrapped around the axle of the difficult one; feeling anxious as you try to figure it all out; scratching your head and wondering why you deserve such brutal rejection. “I just want us to be close!” bellows the cold communicator as the dagger is plunged into your back again. I use various names to describe that difficult or cold communicator in your life: Negatalker…The Cagey Communicator…The Impressionator. At base, the difficult communicator plays a communication chess game with you where winning trumps a real relationship. The net result is that unnecessary loss, grief, strife, and unbridled conflict prevail to pummel peace and harmony.
CASE EXAMPLE: THE MARTYR COMMUNICATOR
Here’s how one of my communications clients, who is using the Talk to Me© system, described dealing with a difficult elder female family member:
If anybody dares not to buy into her delusion, she dumps them out of her life. She takes no hostages…and that happens to kids, friends, anyone who doesn’t buy into her story. She doesn’t listen to anybody’s advice, not even professionals. None of this had to happen. She turned down a good deal because she couldn’t have been a victim anymore. She sets it up so she loses, then acts like she had nothing to do with it…and that the other person has screwed her.
In the case above, this “martyr” plays “the victim violin,” throwing her emotions around like a bully to manipulate family members, using intimidation to force her way. Does emotional blackmail work to get others to back off? You bet it works…especially with tender-hearted Empathizer-type communicators.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COLD COMMUNICATOR
How to tell if you’re in a relationship with a difficult negatalking communicator?
- You will feel mentally hooked around the revolving axle of the difficult communicator….
- You will feel like you’re going crazy….
- You will experience being driven up the wall and down again….
- You won’t see results, since talk is big while changed actions are small….
- You will observe that difficult people are on a quest to be both victim and vindictive….
- You will feel intimidated to talk honestly and openly….
- You will worry that you might enrage the difficult person, if you speak up or tell the truth….
- You will avoid confrontational or disagreeable talking….
- You will go into a talk spiral and experience communication crashes….
- Your energy will disappear down the rabbit hole just like Alice….
- You will experience the difficult person as lazy…deceitful…cowardly.
Negatalkers will get you to own their peculiar brand of crazy. There’s never a new solution to any dilemma. You do more, get less of what you most want, and nothing changes significantly for very long. Like crazy, man.
THE NEGATIVE EMPATHIZER VS. INSTIGATOR COMMUNICATOR STYLE
Let’s not be lazy here, though. Difficult people are negative communicators, either Empathizer-type communicators or Instigator-type communicators. If you’re interested, you can find out your communicator type, with no strings attached, at www.drogrady.com. For now, here’s how to know with which of the two types of negative communicators you might be talking, and that includes yourself:
EMPATHIZER-: CORE TRAITS OF NEGATIVE EMPATHIZERS
- Yes, agree-able
- Doesn’t push back
- How you play the game
INSTIGATOR-: CORE TRAITS OF NEGATIVE INSTIGATORS
- No, disagree-able
- Winning is everything
KNOWING WHAT MAKES NEGATIVE I-TYPE OR E-TYPE COMMUNICATORS TICK
My studies suggest that negative Instigators (Instigator-) make up the majority of the hard-headed, annoying, difficult people in your life, those who don’t get it or who don’t benefit from corrective feedback. Thus, they don’t follow through on needed changes that would benefit themselves, their companies, or their families. Before you try to sit down at the Communicator Table to talk to your difficult person, keep these core traits of cagey negatalkers in mind so you won’t be a sucker for their shenanigans:
1. COLD AS ICE
Cold communicators are fearful of human suffering, grief and loss, states of vulnerability, and lack of control.
2. IGNORES THE WEAK SPOT
Weakness arouses vulnerable feelings in cold communicators which cause disgust and mean knee-jerk-you-jerk explosive reactions.
3. ISOLATES, DISTRACTS, AND DEFLECTS GOOD TALK
What the cold communicator can’t control is stuck into a mental compartment — shunned, shamed, and blamed into virtual non-existence.
4. IN A STATE OF DISGRACE
Dead ears are the norm with the cold communicator, and corrective feedback isn’t heard unless it’s written on a two-by-four plank and delivered to the top of the head, repeated a dozen times.
5. BOLD-FACED LIES
“That didn’t (or won’t) happen!” rhetoric is abused as you notice that actions don’t match up with words.
6. PRIDE-FILLED AND GREEDY
“I’m not going to apologize because I didn’t do anything wrong!” and “How would you feel if you were in my shoes?!” are wrecks resulting from travel on a one-way talk street.
7. MASTERFUL MANIPULATOR
Negative labels plastered on you suggest you’re doing too much of X or not enough of Y, and therefore you should change your ways if you know what’s good for you. Either way, your not measuring up to their performance standards becomes the focus.
8. NEEDS THERAPY BUT…
Seeking outside help is shunned. However, co-workers, family, and friends of the cold communicator often read tons of books and articles or seek out therapy to deal with these crazymaking communication dynamics.
9. IT’S ALWAYS YOUR FAULT
That you’re all wrong helps get the difficult person through the day. Of course, you know doing the right thing is often so wrong for productive relationships, replete with positive emotions.
10. STRATEGIC REWARDS AND PUNISHERS
Strip it all down and the cagey communicator is calculating. He or she steals energy and hands out strategic rewards (love, money, approval, sex, time, etc.) for complying with the marching orders.
In sum, talking positively first with yourself by using the Typecasting function in the Talk to Me© system, will strengthen your will and free you from vice of the negatalker, empowering you to live your life as you want.
DIFFICULT COMMUNICATORS STEAL (OR STEEL) THE WILL…AND SICKEN (OR HEAL) THE SOUL?
Do difficult communicators steal the will and sicken the soul? Not if you’re in the driver’s seat of your life! You are steeling your will, healing your soul, and contributing your talents to a world in desperate need of them! Just goes to show though — when you restrain your mouth, your ears open up. Is the difficult person in your life really interested in bettering communication? Probably, if the stakes are high enough. It’s a Miracle On Talk Street! Moreover, as a genuine problem-solver, you walk the talk while you watch out for those difficult people who talk and sit — while you walk and carry them! When dealing with a martyr or other difficult person, I heartily suggest you adopt the strengths of both the positive Instigator or positive Empathizer communicator. Everything just might change in the blink of an eye, as the light bulb comes on in the darkness.
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS PSYCHOLOGIST DENNIS E. O’GRADY, PSY.D.
Dennis O’Grady is the original researcher and developer of the Talk to Me© communication system, which streamlines communication to be productive and useful…inside your head and inside your relationships. The Talk to Me© approach to good communication will help boost your mood, keep your energy up, and free you from the tar baby of negative relationships or emotions.
HOPE IS HERE: WHAT ONE INSTIGATOR COMMUNICATOR HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE EASE OF LEARNING AND USING THE TALK TO ME SYSTEM
I have been reading for a while now and have already started to obtain useful information and comparisons from the TTM system. One that caught me right out of the gate:
The Talk to Me© system is designed to improve your energy and motivation, and give you the stamina to achieve your goals, by talking sensibly to yourself instead of wallowing in the mud of self-imposed self-pity. You are the perfect talk road warrior! Get that junk in your trunk out of your head. Use the spiritual tools which are neatly tucked away in your glove box. Use your communicator map to get to where you need and want to go. Otherwise, you are going to be an energy drag to be around.
I now can reflect and see all the mistakes I have made in my communications. I have new options to clarify communication with my opposite communicator type…instead of getting a reaction such as when water is poured into oil.