I have to give fair warning. This post is probably my most serious and deep (even for me!)
Sue and I had a long and meaningful talk yesterday about our shared mission. She refers to her mission as “setting you free to become all you were meant to be.” I have referred to mine as the “Land of Happy, Healthy and Free.” We both believe that the best way to experience true freedom is to allow sufferring and challenges to do its work to eradicate false systems and beliefs in our lives until they are replaced with authenticity.
As much as we wish that workplaces and homes would be havens for safety and creativity, that is not always the case. We are often faced with dealing with a tormenting boss or individual. In fact, industrial psychologist Paul Babiak, Ph.D. and psychopathy expert Dr. Robert Hare wrote a book on this topic called Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (2006), which MSNBC describes as being about “unmasking corporate psychos.” A “snake in a suit” is defined as:
Psychopaths have a great sense of superiority and entitlement, and think nothing of helping themselves to property that belongs to others. Their grandiose sense of self-importance leads them to believe that other people exist just to take care of them. Because they see most people as weak, inferior, and easy to deceive, psychopathic con artists will often tell you that their victims deserved what they got. Sometimes their sense of superiority is so great that they will say that they are conferring a gift by letting their victims support them.
My focus for today (Process Visual Friday) is not to discuss the tormenter but more on what happens to the victim. When someone consistently interacts with and is the target of use for the psychopath, the following things likely happen:
1. When some is targeted for use and manipulation, the real self is forced to flee. In essence, the true self has to go into hiding into order to be safe.
2. When that takes place, that person is no longer able to be present…with anyone including themself.
3. Because the real self is hidden, others can only relate to the shell and thus eliminating the meeting of a normal human need for meaniningful connection with others.
4. As a result, life and work becomes an ongoing experience of withdrawal.
Now, here’s the good news! This cycle is breakable and survivors of this type of experience greater strength and enhanced self-esteem…if they allow the experience to transform them. Of course, getting out or getting away from this type of tormenter is the first step. But after that, there is greater freedom than ever dreamed possible. The beauty from ashes in this tale is knowing when the worst has been done. Mario Murillo (www.mariomurillo.com) said that when his wife left him standing in an empty house, having taken the furniture and every last penny: “I said to the devil, ‘Don’t you know what you’ve done? You haven’t knocked me out. You’ve simply made me a man with nothing left to lose.’”
What can frighten you once you’ve been in that position?
© Betsy Jordyn 2010. All rights reserved.