In the last post, I talked about the importance of knowing yourself and your blind spots that Emotional Predators target. Once you’ve identified your core interpersonal stories and beliefs, the next crucial step in protecting yourself from toxic people is to adjust them to inoculate yourself.
Being flexible about your core interpersonal stories and beliefs is essential for protecting yourself from toxic people. Your core stories and beliefs generate the assumptions you make about yourself and others, and about who you need to be in a world of others. These stories generate your identity, your sense of who you are and who you must be to be a good person, so it’s not necessarily easy to adjust them.
But to protect yourself from an Emotional Predator, you don’t need to become someone entirely different. There’s no need for an identity crisis. You can make small, but powerful adjustments, becoming more versatile and flexible, developing new capacities and defensive powers you didn’t imagine possible.
Start by liberating yourself from your self-victimizing beliefs – the self-defeating stories, self-limiting assumptions and negative self-fulfilling prophesies about yourself and others: things like “I’m not good enough until a special other approves of me” and “bad things that happen to me are my fault and prove I have screwed up and I am screwed up.” A bumper sticker I’ve always liked says, “Don’t believe everything you think.” To that I’d add, and don’t believe everything you believe.
So loosen your grip on stories about yourself and the world that keep you emotionally reactive. Embrace new stories or edit your existing core interpersonal stories in ways that help you become strategically responsive. Don’t be afraid to become a new you. We’re always changing. Take control of your evolution as a person to become someone who is immune to Emotional Predator attacks.
In a future post I’ll talk a little about the value of being strategically responsive instead of emotionally reactive.