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acfox13 t1_jax2edp wrote

There's also an option to "not play" and walk away, which is often the only viable strategy when dealing with someone strong in narcissistic tendencies/behaviors. (Depending on the power structure involved. If someone has power over another, it means they may not have the agency to walk away. Power-to, power-with, power-within also exist and can change how much agency the "players" have.)

With human interactions, I find choosing trustworthy, re-humanizing behaviors that build secure attachment, actually build secure attachment over time (shocker!). Whereas, untrustworthy, dehumanizing, behaviors are disconnecting and destroy secure attachment (aka devolve into normalized abuse, neglect, and dehumanization - for example, emotional neglect is normalized and widespread across the globe). I continue to interact with others that choose trustworthy re-humanizing behaviors and I stop interacting with people that choose untrustworthy, dehumanizing behaviors as the patterns emerge.

These are the trust metrics I use:

The Trust Triangle - authenticity, empathy, logic (what we say and how we say it)

The Anatomy of Trust - marble jar concept and BRAVING acronym

10 definitions of objectifying/dehumanizing behaviors - these erode trust

I take each trust metric and ask myself:

Am I allowing others to be authentic? Are they allowing me to be authentic? (aka no racism, sexism, homophobia, etc)

Am I being empathetic towards myself and others? Are they reciprocating empathy or are they being abusive, neglectful, and dehumanizing?

Are they using logic, science, data, etc, or are they lying, being coercive, manipulative, etc? (No verbal abuse, emotional abuse, no coercive control, etc)

Am I setting and respecting reasonable boundaries? Does the other person respect boundaries or do they need to be protected from bc they ignore boundaries?

Etc, down the line through all twenty trust metrics.

I had to escape an abusive family and culture of origin. My perspectives on trust are heavily biased by my experiences in the world, having endured child abuse. I needed guidelines for which behaviors actuality build trust bc I had terrible examples to compare to. And most people say they're trustworthy, and choose untrustworthy behaviors on the regular. Often it's unsafe to be authentic bc of the implication of "or else!" The toxic system feigns "niceness" as long as you conform. As soon as you do something they don't like (aka don't take the abuse like a good little prisoner) the implied threat of "or else!" kicks in, sometimes literally. The toxic person/group will then abuse, neglect, and dehumanize the target to coerce them back into the toxic rules of the system. In many cases, the safest option is to stay quiet, fly under the radar, and plot an exit strategy. Abusers aren't gonna change, and they most definitely don't play fair or act in good faith. The only thing we can do is separate ourselves from them. It's like war games. When it comes to abusers, the only way to win is not to play. If the people with positional power are the abusers, well leave that group, plot an escape, go undercover and underground. It's a waste of time, energy, and effort to engage an abuser.

Books on attachment theory - what helps us thrive as human mammals, and communication skills/strategies:

"Becoming Attached - first relationships and how they shape our capacity to love" by Robert Karen. This is a deep dive on attachment theory.

"Hold Me Tight" by Sue Johnson. Communication strategies based on adult attachment theory research.

"NonViolent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg. This is a compassionate communication framework based on: observations vs. evaluations, needs, feelings, and requests to have needs met. Revolutionary coming from a dysfunctional family and culture of origin.

"Emotional Agility" by Susan David and books by Stephen Porges and Deb Dana on polyvagal theory, regulation skills, and window of tolerance. Often abuse occurs when people are outside their window of tolerance and lash out.


Froggyloofa t1_jaxljsq wrote

Nonviolent communication is life-changing, when you can train yourself to frame things in that manner. It's made all my relationships, both personal and professional SO much better. Not easy, but absolutely worth the time to learn.


throwaway901617 t1_jay803r wrote

This post is fantastic and I'll come back to it periodically for a refresher.

One thing I do notice though is nearly half of the original 7 objectifying behaviors are fundamental to how we operate as a society. If I hire a plumber I'm focused on the sociological role rather than them as a person and its likely that I'll to some extent treat them as an instrument (I hired you to do a specific job), as fungible (I can hire another if you aren't working out), and to some extent as if they have no autonomy or agency, and even not much concern for their feelings.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely think of them as people and won't consciously treat them these ways. But the plumber or electrician is in another room while I'm working on something and I'm not interested in his personal life I'm interested in my needs which is why I hired him. I'll still treat him with respect but at the end of the day they are hired to do a job, not to tell their life story or decide halfway through the job they don't want to finish and instead want to wander around or something.

This is in line with the gemeinschaft vs gesellschaft evolution of society though so I think to some extent this role based treatment is necessary for society to function. So objectification seems to be context dependent I suppose.

The trick is to always remember they are human and not actually treat them like objects or servants, but rather as very skilled professionals who are providing us with valued services. And some people forget that unfortunately.


acfox13 t1_jayd5m5 wrote

You're talking about having healthy Boundaries, which is the "B" in the BRAVING acronym in "The Anatomy of Trust" video.

I have a professional relationship with my therapist, which has professional boundaries that we are both agreeing to engage around. It's a real relationship, the boundaries of which are more strictly defined as a way to manage both of our expectations, so we can coordinate together with fewer "trust wobbles", as Francis Frei puts it. There's also an agreed upon decorum for healthy conflict between us. All of which fall under boundaries.

eta: the authoritarian follower personality is more likely to think of respect in a twisted way:

>Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”

> and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”

> and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.

Those are the folks we need to separate ourselves from as they are often abusers, enablers, and bullies.


WhittlingDan t1_jaxvudx wrote

From what you shared personally and hour sources I want to say two things, I am sorry for what you went through growing up and the problems it caused as your life continued as an adult, and the other is I want to commend you for the work you have and are putting into being a better person. I have experienced a lot of trauma and it is so hard to climb out from the mess. I grew up in a small town and kinda managed to live in a bubble until almost 30, even as an alcoholic. Both parents suddenly died 18 months apart with no warning. Mental health tanked, drugs were added and final homelessness where I saw the worst of the worst and honestly some of the best of the best. But the bad burns itself into your mind and eventually that "scaring" hides the good things and all that a left is fear, mistrust, and a sense of helplessness. If you can implement these things into your life where the real challenge is and where I struggle and fail. I really wish I could be as naive as I once was, ignorance isn't necessarily bliss but it allows for much more contentment with however things are currently going.

Thanks for sharing all this, I got a lot from it and its clear you shared it because you did as well. Ill be watching/reading your links over the weekend.


acfox13 t1_jaxxdn3 wrote

Feel free to browse through my comment history. I've been working on my healing in earnest for the past four years (since the fog of denial finally shattered). I've collected a bunch of resources and got lucky with a very knowledgeable and experienced trauma therapist. I'm actually seeing progress from implementing healing strategies and modalities based on neuroplasticity, polyvagal theory, and attachment theory.


Silly_Objective_5186 t1_jaxc7r3 wrote

wow, thank you. appreciate the effort in your comment (i saved it to keep as a good pointer to those references).


[deleted] t1_jaxy1cr wrote

Acfox13 this post of yours is an incredible gift. Thank you. I'm so sorry to learn of what you endured.


80percentrule t1_jayoblv wrote

Have absolutely no idea what any of this means and believe I am doing fine.

Is there a TLDR? What's the synopsis


acfox13 t1_jayolf9 wrote

Learning how to learn pays dividends over your lifetime.

Four Stages of Competence


80percentrule t1_jayovm1 wrote

Decent I'll have a look. I tend to move in the realms of practical over theoretical after spending a lifetime of theoretical and getting mediocre results (till I switched).

Edit: yes I know about the 4 levels just via business and audiobooks.


80percentrule t1_jb1rie7 wrote

Yes the above still remains gobbledygook but if you trace through to the game theory 'game' someone else posted, then look at Nicky Case's page (who programmed the game) her YouTube video "How to Explain Things Real Good" is excellent.

Glad the above is working for you! I'll stick to practical advice but will keep an open mind some of the above may be applicable in future