Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don´t



Society and people need rules. The requirement for regulation looms large in everyone’s life. Pay your taxes, don’t park in that place, don’t drop litter, say please and thank you and so on. From laws to rules to codes of conduct, through to convention to procedures to etiquette we are bound up in rules wherever we go and whatever we do. People grumble and complain about them but ultimately they prefer the world to have these rules.

People like to know where they stand. You know what you can and cannot do. You may not agree with it, but you at least have some certainty. Those that found themselves in the horror of concentration camps complained that there was never any certainty to the day. You could be subjected to punishment for walking too slowly one day and too fast the next. It was random and awful, yet such a system is horrendously effective at undermining someone’s will and paradoxically causing them to try harder in order to avoid a sanction.
Our behaviour is much the same. There is no rhyme or logic to it. Last week I said I liked sugar in my tea and this week I do not. I deny that I said I liked sugar in my tea and moreover this triviality causes me to erupt in rage when you put sugar in my drink this week. You are confused and anxious by this random control that I exert over you. It is all intentional. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we cannot recall what we said or did the previous day, that we are somehow blind to our previous likes and dislikes as if affected by some form of amnesia. This disorientating tactic is deliberate. You may as well ascribe outcomes to the numbers two through to twelve and roll two dice.

That gives you just as good a chance of determining how I will behave. One week I sleep with the bedroom window open, the next it must be closed. Yesterday I want silence in the kitchen in the morning, today I want the radio on. Each day you are put on parade and then awaiting the inevitable criticism as I will find some fault in order to control you, demean you and provoke a reaction. I am like an insane regimental sergeant major who deems the buttons on your uniform to not shine enough despite the hours you spent polishing each one.

Like his parade ground bark, I will unleash my haphazard criticism of you with a barrage of abuse, raising my voice and making you wince with each syllable. We understand the effect of repeatedly being shouted at and it causes you to submit to our demands Invariably I will see what you are doing and pick the opposite as being what I want. I am a natural contrarian. All of this is done to maintain your heightened sense of anxiety, forcing you to second guess and thus become conditioned to our will. Periodically we will approve of what you have done and your sense of relief is so overwhelming you receive a natural high. This in turn causes you to want to repeat it and therefore each and every day you are walking on those eggshells as you try to please us and avoid our erratic and groundless rage.

There is no system you can depend on, no method of working out what is safe to do and what should be avoided, yet still you will try. As ever, you want to make matters right and keep the peace.

4 thoughts on “Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don´t

  1. dollysupreme says:

    Constantly had this…..Also directed towards my children. He said they were too untidy. Constant criticism…….So my son upped his game to try and avoid the constant aggro he got…….Then the narc said he was cleaning up on purpose to annoy him. And that he cleaned too much and there was something wrong with him……He started coming home from work annoyed if the house was immaculate…..scanning for something out of place……He then called me slovenly compared to his mother because she pulled out every large white appliance on a weekly basis to clean behind……That’s all he had left on the cleaning insults hahah….I was then told I couldn’t hoover while he watched TV, I couldn’t have the windows open to air the house while he was lounging. But when I didn’t do it, I was lazy and the house was a tip again….Wanna be hotel inspector with a big fat finger trying to find dust ……Looser …..Just ranting to myself here hahah

  2. Asp Emp says:

    Maybe it would be easier to just serve / leave a teaspoon and the bowl of sugar out or on a saucer, so you can help yourself if you decide you want sugar?

    I don’t know why but this article reminded me of the film ‘The Secretary’. THE red pen. And the worm. LOL. Brilliant!

  3. December Infinity says:

    And so it is. You can never satisfy the narcissist for long as the ‘rules’ of the games they play are always changing. There is no possible way to ever keep the peace for long. Narcissists make sure of that.

  4. lickemtomorrow says:

    What a fascinating image to go with the title.

    Impossible to keep you happy.

    Impossible to stay sane.

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