The Control Mechanism of Dragging Others DownFriday, May 16, 2014
A Down-Dragger is a person who constantly tells you that you better not do this or that because you will fail, something bad will happen, you will harm yourself, it's not in your best interest, it's too much of a risk, you will regret it afterwards, your accomplishments don't matter, you are not ready, you are not strong enough, you're not good enough, and so on, and so on, and so on.... By the way, I'm not talking about constructive feedback and genuine care for another person. I'm talking about fear mongering, lack of curiosity, manipulation, acting out your own unpleasant, unprocessed feelings, and narcissistically trying to meet your own needs by attempting to control another person.
The psychological mechanism of "dragging others down" is often used by toxic parents, abusers, and manipulators. A Down-Dragger doesn't really care about your well-being. They may appear as caring and concerned, but they are actually conveying their control over you. They often are very narcissistic and insecure; sometimes they may even honestly believe in their delusion that they care and want to help. Some of them are really good at manipulating others to get what they need; they can be stunningly charming, charismatic, and likeable. Some of them use passive aggression (manipulation, guilt-tripping, shaming, saying what others want to hear, etc.), others don't even mind using direct force or threats (physical or sexual abuse, intimidation, etc.).
Your reach for greatness, for personal freedom, and for independence triggers in them (1) feelings of smallness, dependency, or inferiority, or (2) anxiety or even anger that their control over you is in jeopardy. Or both. However, they don't see it like that; they perceive it as if you are threatening them or hurting them. After all, they need you to take care of their emotional or even physical and financial needs, and they feel entitled to it. So, in their blurry eyes, you are the one who is acting unjustly and selfishly by genuinely taking care of your needs. Meanwhile, it's vice versa: they are the one who is acting in a narcissistic, insecure, immature, threatening, and hurtful manner.
If you have been raised by controlling parents, you may be prone to getting involved in relationships where people drag you down and control you in numerous different ways, or you may have developed a tendency to treat others this way. Or both.
As always, the first step is awareness. It took me quite a while to become fully aware of these dynamics in my relationships and to understand how it came about. Then I was able to slowly change it.
The topic of control in relationships will continue in the future articles, so stay tuned!
Have an uplifting day,
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