Current Page: 2 of 3
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 24, 2008 08:25AM

Yasmin wrote:

"i find it helpful to look for what is behind the curtain.Who is sitting talking words of wisdom..and who is washing the dishes? Is there someone it is ok for everyone to pick on? Work on the basis that people are capable of treating you as badly as they treat whoever is on the bottom of the ladder. "

Hear, hear.

And ask, 'Who is washing the dishes--and do they get time off to stay in bed if they get sick?

'Or are only the guru's needs considered worthy of interest or compassion?'

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: amely ()
Date: September 07, 2008 02:42PM

Thanks everyone for your responses. Here are a couple ideas I have for moving forward, and maybe they will be of interest to others.

The first tip I got from someone in response to a question I asked on another forum: ask two questions for every volunteered bit of information. Probably this could be tweaked to whatever seemed like a balanced exchange, but since I have no feeling for this yet, the simple 2-1 rule will work for me. The suggestion was just to repeat the last few words of the other person's sentence as a question, if you couldn't think of a good one.

The other tip I gleaned from ON2 LF, which is to ask mentally (and maybe even out loud) why the person is asking the question. It could be the person doesn't even want to know the information s/he is asking for and would rather know something else entirely, but just doesn't know it yet. This may require redirecting questions... like someone asked "How do you follow up with people after a meet?" Instead of revealing who my friends were or whatever, I could have said "Are you having trouble making friends with people, or is there something else troubling you?"

The third tip came from corboy: I don't have to give a complete answer. I can just pause and think of an answer that is true, but not necessarily overly revealing, and go with that.

In the case of 2 and 3, I will definitely have to practice pausing and thinking before speaking. I know, I'm too much of an American -- I speak first and think second! Maybe if I bring a notepad and write down what people say before I respond, I'll have enough time to think before I reveal too much.

What do you guys think?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: mxkitty ()
Date: September 11, 2008 03:45AM

Glibness is a huge clue. They will smile even when you disagree, which is NOT honest behavior.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: mxkitty ()
Date: September 11, 2008 04:17AM

Your post is truly EXCELLENT. Thank you for giving me, and so many others, such great advice!

My favorite:

"If someone is very, very charming--dare to ask 'Why is so and so not content just to be human? Why is he or she putting out this kind of effort?'"

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: Resolute ()
Date: October 07, 2008 07:37PM

Good to read these posts this morning. Cheered up a grey day, thanks everyone.
The thing I have noticed happen and I don't always like it as I feel coerced, is when you are just walking away and they call you back when you are nearly gone. They just hook you as you are disappearing. We have to get strength to believe we can go and it's ok.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: Missbee ()
Date: March 08, 2009 11:05PM

I've been repeatedly abused since childhood. In some ways, I think I'm almost "programmed" to seek out people like my family of origin. I think this has something to do with trying to repeat the experience with some kind of different result (all unconscious.) I'm wondering if anyone has this? And how is the pattern broken?

Also wondering if anyone else felt they had to find a whole new way of communicating after leaving the cult/spiritually abusive situation. I feel like I'm about 2 and learning everything from scratch.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: mxkitty ()
Date: March 09, 2009 10:31AM

I think all of us subconsciously seek out the familiar. The key is to seek those who reflect the positive aspects of one's background, and avoid those who display aspects that are negatively familiar.

Perhaps we seek the familiar in others in order to learn more about ourselves.

Coming out of a cult is like being a foreigner in a new country. One solution is to seek out foreigners. The sense of alienation is a connecting point; making cultural observations with them is both fun and enlightening.

Another solution is to seek out other former cult members. It doesn't matter which cult it is, the reacclimating process is the same.

We may not be able to choose our families, but we are at liberty to choose our friends.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: Missbee ()
Date: March 14, 2009 02:51PM

Good to be reminded about choice. Sometimes I think I need to hear that one again and again. Still kind of tricky.

Have a minor hook to a bad online relationship I'm tempted to respond to. Kind of red-flagged this guy a while back, but whatyaknow? I still wrote him a couple times after that. Think I'm still looking for his approval somehow. (Oh, somehow, if i'm just honest enough, bright enough, whatever, i can touch this con man's heart! LOL) maybe can just identify that as still looking for the family's approval. (dad was a con man within the family.) Remember now I have a choice. I can identify it, stay with my perceptions, and choose to let that particular "relationship" go.


Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: Jupiter ()
Date: July 16, 2009 02:22AM

I appreciate this is quite an old topic but it is one that I've been thinking about more and more. In my case, I feel extremely uncomfortable being in a group of people, even if it's just sitting together for lunch, but at the same time I don't like trying to 'single someone out' who seems more like me. It seems just as wrong to latch on to someone and try and become friends with them as it is for me to sit in a group and fear losing my identity (because I do... I lose a part of myself in even the most innocent of group settings). There are so many mixed emotions for me about engaging with others that I feel safer and much more of 'myself' when I just avoid everyone completely. I do come across as being very cold and uptight, but I've also been told that when I talk to others they can see I'm painfully shy / awkward / afraid. I don't like showing my vulnerabilities so instead I just seem haughty and ignore people. My cult took a part of my soul away, they exploited my empathy. The more likely I am to like a group of people, the more likely it is I will ignore them. In a sustained situation I come across as very inconsistent and weird - one minute being open and honest and the next being cold and ignoring them.

In my street, if someone says hello I will smile and say hello back. But if they ask me how I am, I will say I am fine and not return the question. I'm so paranoid about being used that I don't even give anyone the chance to start talking about their problems to me. I hate this because I used to be caring and really wanted to be someone everyone could turn to. I'm not that person any more. I won't let anyone turn to me. It's a shame... I hate being so cold and distant, but it's just... I don't trust myself. I don't trust myself for the following reasons:

1) I don't trust my ability to retain my own beliefs if the fashion goes the other way
2) I don't feel good enough to talk to anyone else
3) I don't trust myself to not say something inappropriate or embarrassing or just stupid
4) I don't trust myself to fully understand the topic
5) I don't trust myself to not be easily led or manipulated
6) I don't trust my verbal and non-verbal clumsiness to not betray the awkwardness I feel
7) I don't trust myself to not be sycophantic - I will automatically try to get myself to be 'liked'
8) I don't trust myself to not be drawn into something I'm not ready for too quickly
9) I don't trust myself to identify the subtlety and nuance of conversation between others
10) I don't trust myself to not get angry if someone says something that personally offends me or clashes with my values
11) I don't trust myself to remain calm and collected - at the time and afterwards - if an encounter with others doesn't go well.

I'm working on it... but not always successfully. In short, I've made great strides in some areas of my life but social interaction isn't one of them. Thankfully I'm generally happy with my own company but it would be nice for once in my life to be able to have real friends who I can trust. Even the non-cult relationships I've had have generally been unbalanced and unhealthy. I guess, in light of past experiences, being a lone wolf really doesn't seem so bad...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Avoiding real connections with people
Posted by: Mary Struggler ()
Date: August 18, 2009 11:45AM

I was somewhat shy as a person but the organization needed people that went out into the communities. I learned how to go door to door, stand in front of a grocery store soliciting donations, make phone calls to complete strangers, very outgoing activities. My sister was the exact opposite, a social butterfly if you will, who eventually was relegated to the desk duties of typing, typing and more typing, became somewhat introverted. After our departures, she has retained much of the introversion whereas I retained more of the extroversion. (I hope those are real words.).

She is reluctant to form friendships so ends up with a handful of casual acquaintances. Mostly she is afraid of getting burned. She saw a lot of people come and go when we were in. I try to keep busy and have a large circle of friends. I have heard from others that once you've been sucked into a cult and leave, that you are prone to being sucked into another one. I have also heard the exact opposite, that people fear being sucked in so just don't commit to legitimate organizations.

I find that doing research on a group helps me make a decision what I want to get involved with. It's unlikely the PTA is a cult but a very aggressive PTA can come off like a bunch of bullies. I guess the best advice I can give is to set parameters for what you are willing or not willing to do. If the group is demanding things that you are not comfortable with, it's probably not a good fit. Not every group is on the watch lists. My background is with a political group but that does not mean I shy away from political causes. I hope this helps you.

PS: I'm still working things out too, and I haven't been in the group for twelve years but I was in for sixteen, started at age 14, joined and worked with my father (with my mother's blessing, and she was not in).

Mary Struggler

Options: ReplyQuote
Current Page: 2 of 3

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.