Author Topic: Spinesuckers?  (Read 4836 times)

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JeseC

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Spinesuckers?
« on: March 02, 2013, 07:21:49 PM »
Something I've been noticing...there seem to be certain people in life that can suck the spines out of us.  Commonly family members (my mother has this effect on me), but not necessary.  How many of you have stories of people who do that to you?  How do some people just manage to have this effect?

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 07:30:00 PM »
My parents were spine suckers, till a friend helped me to acquire the gumption to stand up to them. :)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Adelaide

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 07:45:37 PM »
My father. He was pretty verbally abusive when I was a kid and for some reason I've hardly ever found the courage to stand up to him. That's gradually changed since I've been in law school. I mean, his yelling and blustering shouldn't scare me anymore (and even when I was a kid that's all he did, I was never hit or anything) but for some reason even to my senior year of college I couldn't really talk back to him. He had a habit of dangling the fact that I was a financial dependent over my head, but now I can always take out student loans and never see him again. When I go home I've been slowly taking away things, like my birth certificate and passport, so that if the time comes I could give my parents the cut direct.

*inviteseller

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 08:01:10 PM »
I love my sister, but she is a force to be reckoned with and as much as I try my spine just disappears around her.

JeseC

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 01:51:54 AM »
I wonder what the common characteristics of spine-suckers are?  I've noticed a common theme on the blog of people who  pull the idea that YOU are being rude if you stand up to them.  This is a common one from my mother - she absolutely despises either silence or bean dip, and will insist that the person employing them is being rude.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 02:00:56 AM »
People who know your weaknesses and exploit them. My family can be like that on me, as they're used to giving in. DH has helped me develop polite spine.

Need to Change

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 03:21:33 AM »
My spine goes limp if someone (anyone) seems skeptical about whatever I'm saying.  No matter what it is that I'm trying to say, or what the situation is, I tend to start doubting my own word. 

That doubt can actually be a VERY good thing, on all-too-frequent occasion.  But sometimes it's disastrous.  At those times, I encourage folks to see me as less than credible, and/or let them walk all over me -- even when I'm (at least partially) right.

Coley

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 10:35:10 AM »
Oh, my mother. The spine is there now, but it's a work in progress. Even though I know the right (eHell approved) ways of handling her, it isn't always easy to deal with the blowback. And there's always blowback from her when she doesn't get what she wants. I still have to work at not caving in.

I've had some bosses who were major spinesuckers. One in particular had a habit of standing over me when I was seated at my desk, raising her voice and shaking her finger in my face when she didn't like something I did. To deal with her, I started standing up whenever she entered my office. That made it more difficult for her to engage in that kind of aggressive behavior. I remember once that she said a whole bunch of demeaning, demoralizing stuff to me when we were in a meeting. I just sat there silently and stared back at her. She was so put off by my lack of response (both verbally and nonverbally) that she couldn't stand it. She actually snarled at me, "I hate the way you just sit there and look at me without any expression on your face." She was such a vicious person. She wound up getting fired shortly after I left the job.

I still have difficulty sometimes in dealing with PA behavior. It stems from patterns with my mother. I tend to take on guilt too easily, so I have to be mindful when people are being PA.

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 11:19:13 AM »
I still have difficulty sometimes in dealing with PA behavior. It stems from patterns with my mother. I tend to take on guilt too easily, so I have to be mindful when people are being PA.

This is me too!  Early training from my mother = me thinking everything is my fault.  I'm still fighting to break those habits.

And my mother was a major spinesucker up until my thirties.  She still tries the PA/guilt trip/spine sucking but it's become a trigger for me and I tend to snap at her in response.  And yet, she still keeps on trying.

gen xer

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 11:35:10 AM »

At the risk of sounding annoyingly feministy I think women especially have a hard time with growing a spine.  From my own experience we are taught to always put others ahead of ourselves, not to make waves and to endure, endure, endure.  So many of us are taught that those are "nurturing" qualities - not doormat qualities.

It can be really hard to break out of that as you well know from some of my posts!

I am struggling with this myself - I certainly don't want to become selfish or inconsiderate but I have to get rid of that little martyr on my shoulder!

weeblewobble

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2013, 12:00:00 PM »
I'm totally with Coley on the bad bosses.  Somehow I got two unstable, passive aggressive ones in a row! 

With my first boss ever, I wouldn't speak to him in the mornings until he spoke to me, because I never knew what sort of mood he would be in and I wanted to tailor my approach.  You NEVER knew how he was going to respond to requests for time off or "home life" issues. Some days if you had to leave because your kids were sick, he would sympathize and tell you to go home and take care of "what really mattered."  And other days, the same issue would result in him screaming at you in the middle of the office about your poor attitude and laziness.  I never knew what I was walking into from day to day and the stress was killing me.  I fell into a cycle of trying really hard to please him, waiting on pins and needles for him to blow up at me again,  internally curling into the fetal position when he DID blow up at me, and weeping all over my husband when I got home. It to the point that I would cry on the drive to and from work every day, before I finally said, "enough."  And in my exit interview, my boss told me he thought I would be back to reapply for my job within a year.  HASN'T HAPPENED YET!

My second boss was deeply attached to the person whom I replaced and hated the fact that she had retired.  He didn't want anyone else in the position and expressed this by being extremely passive aggressive.  He refused to give me objectives or goals and said I should just "anticipate his needs."  But when I tried to work ahead, I was "presumptuous and over-stepping."  He made it clear he thought hiring me was a mistake.  And I fell back into the old pattern of trying too hard to please him, failing, taking his (admittedly harsh and nit-picky) criticism too personally, and weeping all over my husband when I got home.

My husband finally said, "You know what, this isn't you.  You wouldn't take this (redacted) from anyone else. Why are you taking it from these pinheads?" (meaning this and my previous boss)
 
So while second boss was out of town on vacation, I went for a job interview with another company.  I was hired immediately. When my boss returned, he was greeted with a resignation letter from me. THAT was a fantastic feeling.

Fortunately, my next boss was fantastic.  I kept waiting for her to go crazy.  I kept tumbling into a tailspin over the smallest errors or the anticipation of errors.  And I realize now I was probably presenting some minor symptoms of PTSD.  Finally, Fantastic Boss sat me down in her office and said,  (paraphrased) "OK, you're really good at your job, and I like you.  But I'm worried by the fact that you seem to expect me to punch you in the face over printing problems.  That's not normal.  What's going on?" And I had to explain what happened at my last two jobs.  We agreed that we would talk about it if I began to feel stressed out and it was smooth sailing until I left three years later.


I also have a hard time standing up to my mother, even though we actually have a pretty good relationship.  She was not abusive, but I tend to be the "reasonable one" amongst the kids when mom is having trouble with my brother or sister.  So to keep the peace, I make compromises that are well, not reasonable. Usually it involves making exceptions for my idiot brother.  But I'm getting better at it as I have realized I HAVE to put my DH's needs and comfort ahead of my FOO.  My mom is getting better at accepting that.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 12:01:42 PM by weeblewobble »

SPuck

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 01:00:59 PM »
So to keep the peace, I make compromises that are well, not reasonable. Usually it involves making exceptions for my idiot brother.

Meh... I'm dealing with that with my brother in the Etiquette Quagmire thread. I can easily stand up to him on my my own, but if my mother get's on my case concerning something about him my spine trembles. When I do get my way it is a hard path to take. I hate it when I hear "because he's your brother" or "because he's faaamily..."  :P
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 01:04:13 PM by SPuck »

Snooks

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2013, 01:19:42 PM »
My brother, we all walk on eggshells around him and I've no idea why, possibly because he's so judgemental of the fact that we all work 9-5 jobs and live in a boring, dull city unlike him.

weeblewobble

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2013, 01:27:02 PM »
So to keep the peace, I make compromises that are well, not reasonable. Usually it involves making exceptions for my idiot brother.

Meh... I'm dealing with that with my brother in the Etiquette Quagmire thread. I can easily stand up to him on my my own, but if my mother get's on my case concerning something about him my spine trembles. When I do get my way it is a hard path to take. I hate it when I hear "because he's your brother" or "because he's faaamily..."  :P

Exactly, I have no problem saying no directly to brother when his stupid schemes affect me.  I.e. When he acted like a jerk while staying with me recently, I told him to book a hotel room on his next visit.  He's not going to stay with us again.

It's when my mom gets involved that things go all wobbly.  Because if mom asks me if brother can stay with me, and I say no, I know that I'll get the "disappointed" tone and mom will be the one to pay for a hotel room for brother.  I will still say no but it will be painful.

I suppose I should be happy I'm not dealing with the more serious issues that you are dealing with - with leaving the bad substances in your car, stealing your car, etc.  My brother's just immature and snarky.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 01:37:52 PM by weeblewobble »

SPuck

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Re: Spinesuckers?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2013, 04:21:11 PM »
I suppose I should be happy I'm not dealing with the more serious issues that you are dealing with - with leaving the bad substances in your car, stealing your car, etc.  My brother's just immature and snarky.

I know it's just all about perspective in the end. For what are serious boundary stomping issues to me are just "borrowing without asking" to my mom "or an illegal drug that should be legal." All I know is that I woke up one morning without my car being there, and that I drove to my college with a sprig of marijuana in my car that could have resulted in getting my but handed to me legally as well as academically.