When Dealing With
When a person, or group, or
social system begins to realize that he or she (or we)
have been struggling with a CHP, it may be helpful to
do the following:
1. Pay attention to your own feelings and
So many of the manipulative behaviors on the part of CHPs
are designed to keep a power imbalance in place, i.e. keep
others off balance, distressed, dependent or confused. The
CHP needs to be "One-Up."
The CHP in your life may at
times behave in a way that you feel comfortable in her
presence, but sooner or later, you will be back in
discomfort. Notice that.
2. Name your feelings.
When you are reviewing your experience, pay attention to
how you felt; so often we can find ourselves thinking about
what happened, trying to "figure it out" instead of feeling
Try on several different
feelings if you are unsure what you felt. If you come
up with "confused "or "guilty" as your feelings, try
going a bit deeper. "I wonder if what I was really
feeling was fear, ( or anger, or hurt or sad)."
3. Support your feelings.
Even if at first you are unsure about what happened or are
questioning or judging your response, accept and support
your feelings. "I judge I shouldn't feel what I feel, but
the truth is I do."
4. Ask the feelings what they
Listen to what your feelings are saying. If you are angry,
you likely need to set a boundary or limit. If you are sad,
it might help to get comfort and support for yourself from
a trusted party.
If you are scared, you may need
to get information about what might indeed be
dangerous, and find ways to create safety for
yourself, emotionally or physically or both.
Once you have learned to stay with yourself, i.e. stop
wondering about what the other person "really means" or
"why that happened," try thinking about and practicing the
following for any future dealings you may have with the CHP
in your life.
1. Everything this person does or says or claims to
feel is 100% about that
If he has been blaming you, it is about him. If she is
saying she is "truly sorry" it is about her.
2. Remember that you are a credible and responsible
If that is true for you, you do not need to prove yourself
to anyone, much less a CHP. Trust yourself.
When you conduct your life so
that your outward behavior is congruent with your
inner values, that is enough. Trust yourself.
3. Stay out of fights.
A CHP may attempt in many ways to keep you in distress. In
his mind, he is the victim of any disagreement or conflict,
no matter what really happened. If you find yourself
reacting to a provocation from a CHP, stop the action as
soon as you can. Remove yourself from the area if need be,
but time yourself out in some way to disengage.
4. Stop needing or wanting from this
This is difficult because, of course we want our
relationships, professional, personal, (or as citizens) to
be mutually supportive, trustworthy and
Reciprocity and respect for
needs are normal expectations in a healthy
relationship of any sort and in a healthy society.
However, if we become dependent for our personal sense
of self-worth or well-being on a CHP, we will need and
want from someone who is incapable of
what CHPs are about, not
People who are disconnected from their inner selves and are
dependent on drama and excitement outside of themselves for
a sense of aliveness, wreak havoc in the lives of
These people consider
themselves to be good people and are not interested in
the negative consequences that their behavior has for
While there may be a number of
reasons to explain anyone's hurtful pattern of
thinking and behavior there is no excuse. (The
exceptions here are some people who are brain-damaged,
or may have a severe form of
Those who work
with or live with CHPs survive and thrive only when
from responsibility for someone else's choices
- take very
very good care of
one of the
de La Fontaine.