being with a P-A
PREVIOUS: P-A #1
(in general & about men)
Unintentionally hurtful type. They believe they’re trying not to hurt others, not wanting anyone to feel bad. So they aim to be ‘perfect’, to not say or do anything obvious that might make the other person dislike them & ‘go away’. However, their anger is a barrier, felt at a nonverbal level, but others will have no way of knowing what’s wrong. Because P-As don’t have access to ALL their emotions, their quietly defiant interactions prevent true intimacy, keeping people at arm’s length. Bottom line – they abandon a part of themselves, as well as people closest to them.
Self-protective type. This is the strategy used by P-As when they feel the need to protect themselves at all cost, & believe they have no other options – even tho this may not be true – as a way to protect their self-concept, their job or personal interests. Usually based in repeated childhood experiences, they think they don’t deserve to speak their mind, afraid to be honest & open. So a P-A, who wants to believe they’re acting in your best interest, can say hurtful things because they’re actually trying to protecting their self-image as well as prevent punishment (being fired, losing a friend, having someone be angry at them,,,,,). If confronted directly they’ll defend themselves or blame the other person, instead of seeing their part.
Malicious type. Since this series of posts are about surface-nice-people, it may seem incongruous to include the P-As who aren’t so ‘nice’. But here it’s not their actions we’re considering – only their motivation. This type consciously wants to hurt anyone & everyone – without getting caught – planing out attacks or impulsively reacting to whoever annoys them in the moment (like spitting in the drink they offer you). And some in this category are subtler than others, keeping their ‘nice’ mask on.
One way they can play the game is to get others riled up & defensive, who then act out the P-A’s denied rage for them. Such a parent might say to their teenage child: “You should really try to treat your mother better after all the sacrifices I’ve made for you. You’re so selfish”. This is an emotionally abusive effort to control the child’s behavior, but often only succeeds in generating guilt & resentment. Then this kind of parent can accuse the teen of being ‘difficult’! Every time the P-A gets away with it (friends, family, work….), their tactics are reinforced while still seeming to be innocent.
SILENCE (is not always golden!) . Many writes assert that the Silent Treatment is the P-A’s favorite weapon. It’s a deliberate choice to not speak to someone for a protracted length of time. It will be repeated any time the angry-nice person wants to punish another for any number of hurts, real or imagined, by shutting down emotionally & withdrawing, without admitting how angry the P-A really is.
It’s a way of manipulating others into doing what the P-A wants by treating the ‘offender’ as if they’re invisible, in the hope that they’ll get the message “Do what I want/ be how I want – or I cut you off”. This is not about withdrawing love, since love is unconditional, but rather removing approval, & for approval-dependent people (many ACoAs), it’s a powerful form of control.
This silence is a sanitized version of murder. While the purpose is not to erase someone physically/ permanently, it is psychologically & emotionally deadly, causing far-reaching injury.
🔪 🔫 Physical murder means: “I do not like you. Therefore, I am going to make sure you do not exist – by killing you.”
💘☁︎ Silent treatment means: “I do not like you. Therefore, I am going to treat you as though you do not exist – by not speaking to you.”
The tactic produces a great deal of fear in the adults who are vulnerable to it – because of a desperate need to please – and especially for children when repeatedly ignored by a parent. (See: Qs to ask oneself, in upcoming post)
NEXT: P-As #3