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Author Topic: 2.09 | Stopping Circular Arguments  (Read 50335 times)
Shaktipat
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« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2013, 11:31:06 AM »

My therapist told me that defensiveness accomplishes nothing,  so I no longer defend myself. I have been just ending the conversation,  and go into another room,  and ignore him when he wants to continue. I don't know if this is the right thing to do,  but I feel like the circular arguments are his way of creating drama and proving he is right. I've decided I don't need to be right. He can be right and happy with that. If he would rather be right instead of compromise and get along,  then be right and have at it. I have decided not to participate in conflict.  And if I don't participate,  then there is no conflict.
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Hunter56

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« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2013, 07:38:21 PM »

I live in a part of the world where therapists are non-existant.  The nearest one is over 50 miles away.  I have relied on bpdfamily advice heavily to guide my judgement.  My corner of Earth is somewhat devoid of attys specializing in Fam Law.  The "one" in town asked me to fill out a "qualification statement" to see if she would take my case.  Even if I wanted to just walk away, it's not going to happen.  So, I need to practice the peace principles offered on this site. 

I can't emphasize the value of JADE enough.  I also practice NC as much as possible considering that my BPDw and I still share a house.  I have slowly been able to detach myself from her issues and deal strictly with mine.  This is not to say that she has stopped trying to instigate disruption, (e.g. she doesn't get along w/her addict daughter but invited her to live w/her---or fight w/her as they 'get it on' daily), but I just lock up my things and go for a walk when she tries the old stuff.  Sometimes, I repeat the old saw, "There but for the grace of God go I."

I have not had an argument for weeks.  I am anxious to leave this r/s, but in the meantime these strategies/techniques are helping me.  I am not the punching bag and that's a good thing!  I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I can feel the fresh air coming in from the other end.

Wishing everyone and myself great fortune on this quest,

H56
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Themis
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« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2013, 07:45:34 PM »

Ok there's all this information on what we DON'T do, but what about what we do?

So we are not doing any JADE things, what ARE we doing?

Oh and I kid you not, I have to walk away as he will be as silly to answer a "I didn't do that" statement with "you did"

and I think--are we little kids going did!-didn't!-did!

Ok so so far I have to just walk away or just stop talking. I'm not JADEing if I'm not doing that, but what exactly am I doing in an argument?

Confused.

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Ciorsdan

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« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2013, 06:18:16 PM »

This is a situation I often find myself in.  I used to try and defend myself... that was pointless.  I used to argue back... that only escalated the fights to atomic portions.  Now, I just sit there quietly... tell her I am sorry and I love her.  She gets mad that I have nothing else to say, but nothing I say ever helps. I realize this now.  I just need to keep my head down and pray for the storm to pass.

This is exactly the way conversations with my uBPDm go. Growing up with that and not having a way to get out of the house or leave the argument, just saying "Yes, ma'am" and "I'm sorry" was the best way to make the situation end. I tried to avoid interaction by staying in my room or reading, but my nonSF always made me stop because I wasn't being a part of the family.

When I became older, we went NC because I just couldn't deal with it anymore. After encouragement from my F, we had CC. Now,  my husband and I are staying with her and its worse than ever. There is a 'discussion' every week where she threatens to put is out or just lays into my husband and I for an offense we didn't realize we had committed. I find myself lapsing back onto the submisive state I grew up in.

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pari
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« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2013, 06:04:28 AM »

I get stuck in the exact same situation with my bf all the time. Often when we discuss something, he labels them as argument. I try to justify/explain to make him understand my point but that just makes situation worse. He blames me for going in circular arguments.

This post is great and so informative. It's such a relief that I am not the only one going crazy in this world. Smiling (click to insert in post) I am yet to try these tools with my bf. I worry about leaving the argument because he is the one who demands answers from me, validations and keeps bringing back the issues. He would have his own assumptions of my statements and label them as arguments. I am often too confusing for him. I try so hard to be strong but it's not easy to blamed for everything and have your brain function properly.  This forum has been very supportive. 
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ogopogodude
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« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2013, 11:54:02 AM »

This is a great thread. Talking in circles with my BPD wife is soo challenging. It was even  more challenging when I had no idea what BPD was years ago. By the way, ... . a few posts back someone put an emoticon of a cartoon person hitting their head against a wall... .   I just LOVE that icon. How do I get it?

Because I literally did this while in a heated argument with my wife. I just love this site, bpdfamily.com ... .   I just wish I could have found out what my wife had years ago and found this site so I could have had a chance at my relationship working out 
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ogopogodude
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« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2013, 11:55:38 AM »

oops, ... . it was the 1st thread by United For Now ... .  
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shenanigan247

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« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2013, 03:49:41 PM »

In my case my bf refuses to discuss anything. When I would try to get clarification & ask questions so I could understand & he acted as though I was attacking him. This was definetely not the case there wasn't even a hint of it in my tone, expression or my questions, I just wanted to know if I was understanding his point. He just walks away not saying a word to me for a month at a time... .   So I would do the same. I tried it all, now it's just silence.  I am moving soon (for the last time) & stay in the spare bedroom for now. I figure if he won't say a word to me why should I tried to talk to someone who clearly doesn't care.  Tired of trying to have relationship with someone who won't try even a little. He won't go back to T.

Thank goodness for this website!
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2013, 11:39:33 PM »

This workshop is helpful, and especially encouraging knowing so many people suffer from these useless arguments. 

Like many of you, I have also laid myself down.  I don't care about winning or losing.  I think it's ok that we don't see eye to eye on certain issues (like he thinks I don't care about him and I am ungrateful, which I know I am not).  I don't need the last word, he can have it.  It's sad that he twists it around.  When I want to steer us away from the argument, he said it's because I'm proud to say sorry.  That's all he's accepting for an answer.

He needs to completely break me down, for me to accept his view of myself, for me to apologise being scum.  In the past I thought that would help and that would show him my sincerity.  I was wrong, and now I won't admit to things he accuses me of, if I know they're false accusations (righteous ones according to him though).    He keeps bringing up the exact same issues over and over again, false realities that he has created for himself.  He wouldn't hear my side, and he wants me to admit that I was wrong.  That is something I can't do again.  In any case, it harms the relationship even more.

So I'm kind of stuck.  So what now?  Do I still walk away (perhaps not able to do that physically, but at least stop talking) and let him accuse me of whatever, or what else?  Seems like nothing I do will get him to stop, even for a while!
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Healing4Ever
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« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2013, 09:15:40 AM »

We've all been in them - those horrible arguments discussions. You know, the ones that make you want to

Cause we like to "be right" too.

**Cause we can't let it go either.**

Cause we need to prove our point.

Cause we are too afraid to walk away from the argument.

Cause we hope that we can change their minds.

**Cause we hope that we can get them to understand.**

Cause we are co-dependent and need to "fix" them and their flawed way of thinking.

**Cause we want to avoid the inevitable next step - their silent treatments/punishments **(added by me)

I've edited this list to accurately reflect why I stay in circular arguments, double starring the most important.

Wow - this sums up the past 7 years of my life.  I'm seeing that as desperate as I was to feel loved, I was equally desperate to save him from his distorted thinking.  And to help him see, for both him AND me, that I was not the person he kept painting me out to be. 

Around and around and around and around it would go. 

Thank-you so much for this thread!  I could not put my finger on what was going on, I just knew that we never resolved arguments, there was no obvious thing that we were arguing about, and somehow I would be accused of thinking/saying/doing things I hadn't done.  Either outright or in his head and find out through his punishing silent treatments. 

That would be another reason I kept going - to try to avoid his silent treatments, since he would explain them as being a result of my behavior.

H4E
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J12345678

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« Reply #40 on: June 04, 2013, 08:35:53 PM »

Someone please help me. My husband is BPD and so stubborn nothing seems to stop an argument. If we take a break we get madder. If I leave the house I'm being childish and I lose. If I explain myself I sound defensive. I  naturally am a little defensive. I hate the silent treatment. My husband is passive aggressive so I feel like not talking is him punishing me.

Should I write him a note or what?

Also, what is validation? How do I do it?
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rj47
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« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2013, 08:46:25 PM »

This is a situation I often find myself in.  I used to try and defend myself... . that was pointless.  I used to argue back... . that only escalated the fights to atomic portions.  Now, I just sit there quietly... . tell her I am sorry and I love her.  She gets mad that I have nothing else to say, but nothing I say ever helps. I realize this now.  I just need to keep my head down and pray for the storm to pass.

I don't remember joining and posting this three years ago! Same story... . identical, though my internal prayers tend to drown out the venom. Maybe its disrespectful to no longer connect to what she's saying, but she really does not have to repeat the offense... . I got it the 147th time!

Now its much the same. Stare at the floor and meekly repeat every few minutes... .

"I love you and I am so sorry for all I have done"  ... . X 10 to 15.

Then after 30 or more minutes of enduring the theatre, say "I can neither can say or do anything more to change your mind"... . and leave.

rj
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"It's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain."
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« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2013, 09:01:30 PM »

Someone please help me. My husband is BPD and so stubborn nothing seems to stop an argument. If we take a break we get madder. If I leave the house I'm being childish and I lose. If I explain myself I sound defensive. I  naturally am a little defensive. I hate the silent treatment. My husband is passive aggressive so I feel like not talking is him punishing me.

Should I write him a note or what?

Also, what is validation? How do I do it?

I joined the board a few days ago... . I'd like to take credit, but it was a volunteer moderator that offered up... .

"the only way to win is not to play the game"

Simple but brilliant... . you can never win.

My BPDw often raises the stakes and uses physical violence when direct confrontation and argumentation fails. Sometimes she backs off (when she's exhausted) and uses similar passive-aggressive silence (and mumbling to herself out loud so I can hear). I'm the same... . its agony for me to be frozen out and endure the silence. However, breaking the ice is worse... . starts the cycle anew. And she wins. It's not a fun game, so I try not to play.

I'm new at this, but its worked several times in the last few weeks to defuse the the situation. Eventually she returns to stability as something else distracts her attention and we simply avoid the discussing the latest reasons for her outburst.

rj
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"It's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain."
rj47
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« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2013, 09:15:44 PM »

He keeps bringing up the exact same issues over and over again, false realities that he has created for himself.  He wouldn't hear my side, and he wants me to admit that I was wrong.  That is something I can't do again.  In any case, it harms the relationship even more.

I am new here... . but an improtant thing I am trying to claw back to after 25yrs of criticism is ... . reality. I have learned that BPDers tend to create entirely new narratives about the past for those of us on the receiving end. They repeat it over and over and over... . sometimes hundreds of times in my case. And, we begin to question even our own memories.

I once thought she was being dishonest, but I'm now convinced that my BPDw actually believes the narratives she's created to fit the conclusions her feelings were driving her to. Its maddening... . but I now accept that she truly believes these things. No amount of arguing the point is going to change it. So we have to find alternative coping mechanisms.

rj

rj
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"It's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain."
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WWW
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2013, 07:51:00 AM »

Rj,

I understand completely.  My pwBPD told me once that his dad and I must have over bought when we built our first home because we never had money to spend on him.  Like expensive shoes etc.  You know kid stuff they like.  But was never denied a single necessity,  private school, uniforms, any type ball he wanted he wanted to play.  (maybe he's thinking about all the times we let him starve to death)  Smiling (click to insert in post) Smiling (click to insert in post)      it's just unreal how their mind lets them fit in the memory to what they believe.  I call it selective memory.      This is some 35 yrs ago,   still reminding me how awful I was to him as a mother,  never neglects a time to remind me.

Now,   we self contracted out the house,  did all the trim work ourselves and with free help, and put in the bare necessities until later when we could afford better.  The house is a very nice house but no mansion by any means.  I didn't say this to him ,  but I wanted to say,   maybe we could have lived in a shack and bought you $100 tennis shoes.  This is a prime example of how their brain thinks.  

I too have  doubted my own mothering abilities at times.  Could I really have neglected him so badly.   But what about my other child who is everything you could possible want in a daughter.  Loving kind thoughtful and appreciative of everything we did as she grew up.  

I too believe that they say it over and over so many times they begin to believe it themselves.  Sort of brain washing their own selves (if that is possible) to remember it as they want to,  to self satisfy this need to feel so sorry for themselves.  I'm not sure what they get out of it.

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rj47
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« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2013, 10:51:40 AM »

The unfairness of the streaming accusations is maddening at times as there seems to be no room in their minds for alternative possibilities. Attempting to moderate a cogent discussion (even in a controlled setting) about the past only inflames her to more emotional chaos as she rants that I'm going to h*ll for being an ugly liar and denier. If I did or said something remotely related to a single memory, say 25-years ago... . in her mind; I said and do it "always". So I shut up and let her rage on and off for days until she's exhausted herself. I can take the unfairness of it all between the two of us, but its the third party involvement that she engages in. Many borderlines are incredibly convincing to others as they create new narratives for old memories. That piece of the disorder I can understand and even live with. However, I can no longer tolerate the complete fictions created for others about me and herself. I have begun to speak to others, as in; "please let me know about anything that she says that might be disturbing or off". Its been a relief for some of them and me, and I'm careful not to use it as an opportunity to disparage her. I'm also prepping for a different future that provides for her, me and our children if she does not get into therapy with me again (or alone). The last counseling effort ended in disaster as she fought with the therapist. At my age, I cannot endure the condition for much longer.

I'm sorry for your son, but at 35 I assume he's on his own and you have to deal with the ugliness only on occasion. I would be more concerned for his spouse (if he has one). Its a good bet his own family is on the receiving end as well. Be blessed that your daughter helps you to remain anchored to the truth of who you were and are currently as a mother.
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"It's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain."
oolia

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« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2013, 09:17:38 PM »

Thanks for this excellent discussion, and the stuff about J.A.D.E was pure gold.  Crazy-making and circular "discussions" and monologues (by him) were my life for years.  I spent untold hours explaining/justifying/defending to no avail, of course.  Finally, I figured out that I had to disengage myself when the talk got too crazy.  So, I would physically leave... . I used my last shred of self-respect to do it.  Of course, his crazy-bad behavior escalated when I did this.  Now I realize it probably triggered abandonment fears, but I didn't know about BPD then.  And, honestly, by then I wouldn't have cared about that much, since I was fed up... . he was a grown man, after all, and if he couldn't manage my healthy response to his crazy, too bad.

This discussion is illuminating to me especially in helping me to see my part in the craziness of these interactions, and that is what I most want to understand now.
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Scarlet Phoenix
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« Reply #47 on: August 21, 2013, 04:47:20 PM »

Someone please help me. My husband is BPD and so stubborn nothing seems to stop an argument. If we take a break we get madder. If I leave the house I'm being childish and I lose. If I explain myself I sound defensive. I  naturally am a little defensive. I hate the silent treatment. My husband is passive aggressive so I feel like not talking is him punishing me.

Should I write him a note or what?

Also, what is validation? How do I do it?

Hi 12345678 

I see you're new here, so welcome! Have you had a chance to look around the boards yet? I suggest you post this on Staying: Improving a Relationship with a Borderline Partner. A lot more members are reading there so you have a better chance of getting replies.
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« Reply #48 on: December 18, 2014, 03:46:51 PM »

ignore it... if you know its bait... dont bite... do something else...

Yeah, but after a while she starts crying because according to her, not engaging means i don't care about her anymore...  
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mikejones75093

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« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2015, 05:25:54 PM »

This is a situation I often find myself in.  I used to try and defend myself... that was pointless.  I used to argue back... that only escalated the fights to atomic portions.  Now, I just sit there quietly... tell her I am sorry and I love her.  She gets mad that I have nothing else to say, but nothing I say ever helps. I realize this now.  I just need to keep my head down and pray for the storm to pass.

ifsogirl got a point, this is really a boundary question after running a circle once or twice.

Now telling her you love her while she is angry is damaging as she is angry and expressions of love will obviously not be in sync with her emotions. This means your words will be perceived as invalidating and will make matters worse in the short as well as in the long run. Invalidation contributes to her emotional confusion - the very problem her DBT is supposed to fix.

https://bpdfamily.com/content/communication-skills-dont-be-invalidating

so I see what not to say, any examples of what to say?
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Panda39
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« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2015, 07:21:47 PM »

Hi mikejones75093,

You might want to check out information on validation. As I understand validation, it isn't that you validate something you disagree with (the thing you are arguing about).  It is about validating the feelings the pwBPD is experiencing in a genuine way so they feel heard. 

Below are a couple of links regarding "Validation"

https://bpdfamily.com/content/communication-skills-validation

https://bpdfamily.com/content/communication-skills-dont-be-invalidating;all

Also you want to try avoiding J.A.D.Eing  (Justify, Apologize, Defend, Explain) because they can be invalidating and keep that pesky argument going in circles.  Just something to keep in mind.

Take Care,

Panda39
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« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2016, 11:23:18 AM »

I was copying this to read daily... .or a hundred times a day... .and I was writing notes for the JADE acronym. I could not remember the "E" and decided it meant "explode". Oops!
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« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2016, 01:06:07 PM »

I no longer worry about right or wrong. I no longer worry about entitlement. I gave up on self-righteousness a while back.

I hate to argue. I hate it with a passion a pointless arguement.

So, I just walk away now. Even have a boundary in place to deal with this one.

"I will not allow my self to be dragged into pointless conversations/arguments that go round and round and never get any where."

I think I used to worry about being falsely accused of something. I really do not like being told I've done something when I haven't.

I wish I could just walk away. He won't leave me alone. I tried to set a boundary 2 years ago wherein he is not allowed to keep me from leaving the house if I'm frustrated and need a break (he would physically block my exit). He said he understood that when we get into circular arguments I get very emotionally upset and that I need to go for a quick walk to calm down, and he agreed that this was a good coping mechanism for me. He agreed to it but lately has slipped back into old habits. We were having a circular argument last week and I told him I needed to go for a walk and that we'd continue the argument after my walk, when I'd had a chance to cool off. He tried to keep me from leaving the house. He swears he only does it because he's afraid I'll leave and never come back. But that's a ridiculous excuse. Why would I leave and never come back with nothing but the clothes on my back? Plus, our history has proven to him (and he's admitted it) that I always come back within 20 minutes after having had a chance to calm down. Now he's insisting he is keeping me from leaving the house during arguments because he knows I am emotionally upset and he's afraid I'll hurt myself (though I've never given him reason to think I'd hurt myself). I feel trapped, and that only adds to the problems between us.
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« Reply #53 on: June 26, 2016, 05:50:47 PM »

When my girlfriend is upset (not with me), she stays quiet. Before she asked me to help her think about things that will distract her, so that's what I do. However she doesn't say anything back, it feels like talking to a wall. I get fustrated because it feels like what she asked me to do isn't working. I eventually say that I'll step out but if she needs me, she can come to me. She then gets upset with me and it adds to her already upset emotion. We start to argue because I get confused with what she expects or needs. And she goes on about blaming me for never trying enough to make her feel better or be there enough to support her.

How should I respond? Validate that she's upset in the first place and leave her alone in a room to cool down? Or stick around and pretend I'm not affected by the negativity?

What I also don't like is that sometimes she tells me I should do this or shouldn't do that to support her, but I don't see that from her when we reverse situations... .
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« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2017, 04:13:10 AM »

I'm worried that my friend views it as him winning and me being in the wrong. Its like he then just thinks he is allowed to shout and argue with me because "it's my fault". I hope this makes sense and someone can help.
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« Reply #55 on: January 16, 2017, 04:18:52 PM »

I don't think I make empathy statements well and they're taken badly.  Until now I would make a comment that "I'm sorry you feel that way" and my gf would only become enraged that I was placating her that way.  Can someone recommend a better way to make a statement of empathy?
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impromptus

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Posts: 16


« Reply #56 on: June 25, 2017, 12:35:02 AM »

I'm worried that my friend views it as him winning and me being in the wrong. Its like he then just thinks he is allowed to shout and argue with me because "it's my fault". I hope this makes sense and someone can help.
This is exactly how I feel. It seems to be condoning the behavior, in the sense that I can tell her "you don't make sense to me at the moment, I hear you are blaming me and I am going to end the conversation here". She says something like "You see, you treat me like a borderline, this is exactly what I am talking about", and so on.

But maybe it's just that they find another thread to pull, unraveling our self-esteem and triggering our defense mechanisms... .
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