Have you ever wondered how professional referees are trained? What kind of training do they go through that teaches them to remain calm, collected and expressionless, even when they have 300-lb steroid cases snarling and spitting in their faces? (No offense to 300-lb steroid cases—I understand that you’re just doing your job).
How do refs stand there without flinching or trembling in fear? How do they remain so impassive and seemingly unaffected by the intense emotions, anger and verbal insults that are often hurled at them when they have to make fair, but disappointing calls?
One of my clients shared the following Budweiser video advertisement with me that answers the above questions and thought I’d share it here at Shrink4Men for a little end of the week gallows humor:
embedded by Embedded Video
It appears that an abusive, high-conflict wife is the perfect home-training kit for having belligerent coaches, linebackers, defensive tackles and team owners screaming in your face on the field. Who knew? Can’t wait to see the Super Bowl adverts this year. Many of the 2010 Super Bowl commercials chastised men for voluntarily becoming obedient lapdogs to abusive, materialistic, pathologically critical women. I wonder if the 2011 Super Bowl ads will do the same?
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.
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Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.
image 1: Masterfile.com
I just wish I had the luxury of throwing a penalty flag at my BPD ex! Instead of a 15-yard penalty, I could impose a 15-minute no talking penalty =)
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Or a penalty box like in hockey.
Or you could always have the “sin bin” like in Rugby Union
Having been an athlete for much of my young life, I really longed for a referee to parachute into our house and and toss my ex from the game for infractions like “unnecessary dredging up of the past”, “flagrant topic-shifting,” and “persuasive blaming.”
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Funny because it’s true and sad because it’s true. Glad she’s an ex.
B Experienced says
The way you put it is funny. I like the unnecessary dredging up the past. The B’s live in it and only forget about it when they don’t want to remember something they did wrong. When I hear of someone mentioning their past to strangers or inappropriate displays of it and looking for pity with it, I look around for the nearest hill to head to.
Marshall Stack says
This one reminded me of a situation I had at work two months ago. I was requested to testify in court for a defendant, and the attorney asked me if I was nervous. I told him that if I can endure my wife’s hourlong tirades, I can handle a prosecutor’s cross-examination. 🙂
B Experienced says
I learned to be hard nosed and psychologically armed when dealing with a Cluster B. If I “have” to give one a run for their money, I will do it. The good news from those relationships is that when you heal and get stronger you can deal with more than most. I don’t recommend for anybody to do it that way, but it is a good outcome of it.
That’s a funny video… The one from The Hangover hit home for me.
Sadly *I* was reduced to that guy. walking on eggshells, trying not to set off the volcano. The part where she berates him for not calling as soon as he got to the hotel, then his excuse, then he backs down… that was so me a year ago. The wife pulling away as he tries to kiss her. That was every day of my marriage.
Then my spine and testicles spontaneously regenerated one day.
I had the exact same reaction to those scenes. Felt so good to reclaim my dignity!
B Experienced says
Good for you! She wanted to rip your dignity to shreds because hers is and for good reason. I am glad you made the right choice. The part that gets to me time and time again is that we are supposed to respect and love them. No way! Because you can’t keep your dignity and safety and do the above as well. It is part of the dilemma. Love me, but I can hate you when I want to. The only resolution to that is to EXIT.
never again says
I used to get the “forehead tip”. I can’t honestly remember the last time she actually let me kiss her on the mouth. Had to be at least 2 years before I finally left her. 🙁
B Experienced says
The part that gets to me is that men will usually take more of woman’s crap than vice verse; yet she probably clubbed you over the head for not supporting or standing by her.
Wow, I just had an epiphany after reading these comments about the lack of kissing. The last few years we were together, until we were separated last year, when I’d go to give my wife a kiss, just coming home from work or leaving, she turn to the side, either her whole head so I’d get a cheek, or just her lips. She didn’t even know she was doing it until I pointed it out to her. I’d get half her lips as she turned them. I think she was doing it unconsciously. That’s insightful….
B Experienced says
They are so used to suddenly detaching and not caring if they hurt other people’s feelings that I am not surprised at all. If you did that to her,your lips would probably be bitten off for rejecting her. Her sensitivities matter, yours don’t. That is a rule in Cluster B Land. Another rule is that the rules can change on a whim in Cluster B Land without notice or approval. Both of them are two of their Golden Rules.
Marc Rudov points this out , all the time ,and I am sure other here have thought of this: reverse the genders and watch the public outcry.
Ever notice how many shows and movies have women slapping or hitting guys? No problem, I guess. Guys faces have no nerve endings, apparently.
It ammazes me at times how many people just don’t seem to have a problem with women being violent towards men. Hitting is hitting.
B Experienced says
That is one of my peeves. Some people actually believe that it doesn’t hurt a man because of his muscles and that women don’t hit that hard. Perhaps it doesn’t hurt that much at times, but what about the psychological abuse behind it and the escalation that can follow. It isn’t solving a problem in a constructive, healthy way either.
These B’s don’t get that using violence is really a sign that they aren’t that intelligent.
I referee youth soccer games, and most coaches and parents are pretty civilized. There are going to be things that I see that they don’t, and things that they see that I don’t. In the end, the officiating rarely affects the outcome of the game.
But the biggest dose of earache I caught was from a female coach. She objected to every call or non-call I made, complained about how long it took before I let her send in her subs, blah blah blah. She even bellowed at me asking if I needed a new pair of sunglasses (it was a sunny day). It all made me kind of chuckle.
In the end her team lost. Because they were outplayed. Not because of the refereeing.
Closure at last says
Ha Ha! Sad but hilariously true. That ad is priceless! True, if you can come out stronger and learn to not react to Cluster B bullshit you emerge out with yogic equanimity and poker-faced calm. Though that referee should leave that screaming bitch.
A good former-marine friend of mine jokes that his crazy AHC ex-girlfriend made marine boot camp feel like a breeze.
Sometimes I laugh now thinking how growing up with a screaming, bullying narc sister who would scream like the woman in the video in my ear has given me permanent thick skin at work. (Having a narc sis is like all the manipulations, aggressiveness, abuse of a wife you had to see on a daily basis but without the sex or even the initial charms that you get from a narc wife, PLUS an inescapable 16 years of guaranteed exposure while you’re at your parents’ home and then some more over the years as you keep in touch with her for family events.) Looking back, I can say that the ‘training’ certainly helped me in my career as I’ve been able to deal calmly with angry, hot-tempered bosses or clients or even squabbles on construction sites without losing my cool and keeping a monotone voice.
But when there are complaining narc female city council bureaucrats or nagging narc wives of clients – I ask some good looking dude from the office to appease or deal with her with some mild flirting (since these women LOVE male attention focused only on them, even if some pretend to be feminists. Learned this tactic from dealing with sis too – she would be super-sweet and seductive to my boyfriends while being a scream-queen at me and her husband.) Female high-conflict high-power women can be the worst of all. Only a handful of female bosses I met were exemplary – these were women who were calm, rational and dignified, had a great sense of humour and were firm without being abrasive and did not downplay their feminine softness or looks. But these few were rather the exception, not the rule – and 3 of them told me that bullying siblings at home ‘trained’ them to rise in the business world.
Come to think of it, some of the most zen-like calm, controlled and unruffled men I’ve met at work who never bat an eyelid at job crises had crazy screaming ex-wives or girlfriends. Sad, but true.
I was that guy. I always wondered how it could be that I could be perceived as so calm and accomodating by my superiors and co-workers, all while being told by my wife that I was a hot-headed, “raging narcissist,” “master manipulator” of an all-around prick.
Closure at last says
Sorry you had to go through that SweetJones. These women keep eating away at your reality of who you really are. ron7127 is spot on ’bout the reasons why they do it too. Self-loathing projected on to the good guy. The day i stopped caring for my sis’s approval and put-downs was a day of freedom for me. Today when i look at my own work website and portfolio, I feel a sense of quiet contentment of all I’ve designed and built on many projects around the world – but listening to her awful tirades one would think i was the greatest loser and slob in the world. (Dr. T’s article on how abusive women control you with the ‘need for approval & the fear of loss’ was so enlightening.)
Two of the sweetest, nicest, most competent men who I hold in highest regard for their professionalism and level-headedness both had ex BPD wives. Hard to believe that these wonderful men were trapped so bad. The second one was even cheated on (it was ‘all his fault’ of course acc. to his wife) He was a handsome, incredibly loyal gentleman – who would do such sweet things for her that we would smile at work at how much he loved her. When her betrayal finally came to light, he was devastated, as were we. We could only think ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ Dr. T’s site helped him too after the wife dragged him to some crazy phil-type therapist and made suicide-threats and awful guilt-trips.(He’s French so doesn’t write here as his English isn’t too good, but when she finally did more drama, and cleaned him monetarily to boot, he was glad that the advice here had already worked as a shield. It was horrible what he went through and how his love was used and betrayed.)
The first man, would tell me that the workplace was his solace, his peace, his ‘space of stability’ – since going home always meant walking on eggshells and meeting a frigid, bitter wife.
B Experienced says
It is her magical device called projection. It is obviously crazy when you start to see and understand how it works.
I think that is pretty common, SweetJones. These folks isolate you and have you doubting yourself. I heard :”Everyone likes you and thinks you ae so nice. But, I know the real you.” I think it is a combo of projsection and actual jealousy that other people think highly of you(thus taking some of the focus off them, which they hate ((unless they are diverting focus from their abusive behaviors)).
I can’t tell you how many guys I have talked to that are nice guys and whose wives claims they are evil monsters.
Again, this is a very common dynamic in infidelity situations, as well. Wife had to cheat because her H was so bad.
ron7127, this is exactly what i heard. ‘everyone thinks you are so great, but they just dont know you like i do’. stuff like that. the few times i got her to go to couples therapy…she would say that i was ‘sucking up’ to the couples therapist and therefore made her ‘like me more’. she said she hated her and refused to go back. pretty much anything heartfelt, caring or genuine i said, she said ‘she didnt believe me’ and i was just ‘manipulating her’.
i think this is bc she was threatened by me (and the fact people actually like me bc im a genuinely nice person, and authentic in what i say or feel).
but i ALSO think this speaks highly to the fact that these women cannot imagine that anyone is not exactly like them….ie that anyone exists who doesn’t think like them or operate like them.
IE, when THEY are ‘nice’ and ‘sweet’ to the outside world…it is an act. so YOU must be ‘acting’ too. and apparently YOU are just BETTER at fooling everyone. i really think she actually believed this.
closure at last: i had a similar sister situation. i think that is how i was groomed to end up in the marriage i ended up in (and thank god filed for divorce soon after). as awful as her affair was, it was a godsend to let me CLEARLY see the ‘real’ her. and once i saw that, i got the hell out. and now i realize the dynamic and how i fell into it in the first place.
when you have a older sis who berates you and is threatened by you and is competitive with you (simmering resentment and bitterness directed at you your whole life), then it makes sense to find someone like that, who is insecure and threatened by you and simmering with rage. It plays out an old narrative in your life that feels familiar. you don’t even realize its not normal or that you shouldn’t have to live like that…until your PD wife/partner does something VERY clearly f’d up and you snap out of it, like ‘wait a minute…this is BS’. and then it all comes together, crystal clear.
But still, the work on yourself is important so that you don’t get drawn into something similar later down the line.
TTSP said: “pretty much anything heartfelt, caring or genuine i said, she said ‘she didnt believe me’ and i was just ‘manipulating her’.”
Wow…flashback to my childhood. Mother and sister used to pull that same mindgame crap on me. I distinctly remember bringing home a Mother’s day gift I had made at school in 3rd grade; a poster size construction paper with the word “Mother” on it, and cut-out words of compliments, such as “Beautiful” “Lovely” etc. I remember handing it to her, and watching and hearing her voice oozing with utter contempt, say, “Yeah, right!”
Another example of: self-hatred and refusing to believe that anyone could do something or say something loving to them without some kind of ulterior motive (People think that other people think the way they think!).
when you have a older sis who berates you and is threatened by you and is competitive with you (simmering resentment and bitterness directed at you your whole life), then it makes sense to find someone like that, who is insecure and threatened by you and simmering with rage. It plays out an old narrative in your life that feels familiar. you don’t even realize its not normal or that you shouldn’t have to live like that…until your PD wife/partner does something VERY clearly f’d up and you snap out of it, like ‘wait a minute…this is BS’. and then it all comes together, crystal clear.”
I think we grew up in similar homes. I also have an older sister, who all the time is playing out the past family drama of my mother (who hated younger sisters b/c she hated her own younger sister)…by questioning my every move, every act of kindness or love was responded to with hateful contempt. When I would try to walk away, out came the emotional slings and arrows, meant to cut to the heart, to try to rope me into an argument (so she could ultimately play victim when I would engage with her). Of course, when I would engage, and get angry back, all of a sudden 1) she was the victim 2) I wasn’t fighting fair (I never wanted to fight!) and 3) Aha!! It was Proof that she was RIGHT about me…see, little sis is the angry one, the psycho, the one everyone has to tiptoe around…God, it is so sick!
I do keep some contact, as my children have a connection to those two (who live together, along with father who stays away by working as much as possible)…but have gotten to the point where if it’s a holiday, and I don’t have my children that day, I have NO reason whatsoever to spend time back at the Family Funny Farm. I’d much rather spend it alone.
This is my first post. I recently discovered Dr. T after starting counseling and looking for other resources to escape from my abusive, BPD spouse. Abuse is mostly mental / verbal. The personality disorder is compounded by legitimate hormonal issues and a raging PMS.
Work is easier than home and that is bad. I have to quote “Closure at Last” as he posted above:
“Come to think of it, some of the most zen-like calm, controlled and unruffled men I’ve met at work who never bat an eyelid at job crises had crazy screaming ex-wives or girlfriends. Sad, but true.”
I’m that unruffled guy. I have had people actively trying to kill me and that was LESS stressful than walking in the door at home.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Welcome, Mark. I’m glad you’re reading and commenting. There’s some great men and women here and I hope you’ll find a lot of support.
B Experienced says
I am sure the hormonal issues are legitimate, but I don’t buy the raging part. A lot of woman have hormone problems and don’t rage. Even with hormonal mood changes you still have to have thoughts behind it to rage.
Mark on the flip side–there is a legion of these women so you are not alone.
never again says
My NPD actually went to the doctor to get checked for hormonal issues or pre-menopause. There were none. No PMS, either.
But, instead of looking deeper into why she had withdrawn from me, for her it was just simply confirmation that my anger was the cause of it. Of course, she would never admit that I wasn’t angry before she withdrew from me, or for two years after she withdrew from me, for that matter. I had no reason to be angry, I had a beautiful, sexy, affectionate wife. What’s to be angry about?
Only when I’d finally exhausted every ounce of patience I had in trying to work this out with her did my anger finally surface.
Thanks all…this helps.
Closure at last says
@ Mark – Hope you begin to decipher the code of the Cluster B, with some help from this site. Helped me TONS to find logical explanations for their craziness.
Check out the index section for several past articles – those related to cause and effect – the brainwashing (March 2010), our own insecurites that lead us to stay and keep trying, and the pathological nastiness of Cluster Bs. I’m a ‘she’ btw, since you referred me as ‘he’, but no sweat – I do work in a field where there’re 90% men and think more like an analytical guy (extremely high brain-systemizing on Simon Baron-Cohen’s tests, and a true all-out geek within – though I certainly don’t look like one) and prefer this site more than the sappy ones directed at women; or worse, those where Oprah’s touting bs like ‘the secret’, ‘the rules’ etc that seem to be more directed to enable Cluster Bs than at rational women. So Dr. T’s site is a like an island of rationality and good ol’ common sense based on facts and solid research, not fairy tales. Just thought I’d clarify the gender or else my post sounds as though I had the hots for sis! (no – I’m a gal, and I think these women hone their future abuse skills on younger women in the family and in high school and workplace first before using them on their future husbands.)
Regarding PMS – as a woman in my 30s I can confidently say that NO – the PMS excuse is like the ‘Twinkie defense’, except I call it here the ‘Tampon defense’. Normal women don’t go bonkers off the edge during that time. In my case the worst it gets is that I get a bit nostalgic and sentimental, maybe feel a bit girly and cry watching ‘Amelie’,feel anger at people who torture and skin furry animals alive for the fur industry, but no – it does not involve boyfriend-bashing. In fact if anything at all, one feels more amorous during that time. As B Experienced rightly says: “Even with hormonal mood changes you still have to have thoughts behind it to rage.” The Cluster B condition is like a constant rage-filled mode, it’s not like the pms a healthy woman would have.
Also, a warning from experience to the guys here – my paternal grandma after who my older sister took – just a nasty, vicious in-built nature (so I can say that even abuse is not a factor, since both were never abused, a la contraire – far too pampered and spoilt in their childhood through not-strict parenting) – well, this grandma continued her tirades and anger well into her 60s, 70s and 80s! So it’s a brain wiring thing – not a uterine hormonal thing – or else her nasty, criticizing, angry nature would have disappeared after menopause – ‘stead it just got worse. So the sad (but liberating) news is it doesn’t get better – just worse and crankier – and to boot, without the looks either – since over time pretty soon the frowns and scowls turn the face into bitter ones.
I thank my calm and wise mother and Mr. Spock for teaching me equanimity early on to deal with my sis and grandma. I only wish she had been more strict with my sis while raising her and not been such an enabler and eternal optimist who stood by as I was bullied on, and it’s too late now to change my sister.
@ TTSP – yep, spot on what you’ve written about playing an old narrative that feels familiar. Yep – did fall for two crazy cranky critical partners with NPD-BPD later in adulthood, albeit male and much taller versions of sis, recreating my pattern of high narc-tolerance and my love for my sis – but my two real and long and stable relations which includes the present one have been with healthy, sane men and inner-nerds like myself.
Dr. T’s site definitely helped to understand and check that pattern of getting fascinated by push-pull, dark, ‘mysterious-seductive-initially-monstrous-later’ types, and most of, realize that true love is NOT blame, shame, guilt, anger (the way HCPs turn ‘love’ into) – but rather peace, acceptance, healthy reciprocity. Love that makes you more authentic and free, not less. And most of all, helped me learn to receive rather than only give and/or ‘fix’ which is the way HCPs make you feel like – to become their permanent problem-solver. Don’t, as we all now know better. Or else you get sucked in a black hole (the galactic one 😉 instead, and our kindness gets abused and used into exhaustion until we learn how to resurrect it back again through the force of our will and determination to not give up on ourselves.
B Experienced says
I have been having hormone problems since I was in my early 30’s. I have severe Fibromyalgia which can cause hormonal problems as well. I had dysmenorhea, and I am being checked out for MS right now too. I live in a lot of pain and get fatigued. I am nearing 53 and I am entering menopause. I decided a long time ago, that I could change my thinking and it would help balance out my hormonal system. In medicine, this is sometimes called the second heart because you can change hormonal reactions by largely eliminating anger and stress. Exercising and the right diet is very helpful on top of that as well. I can tell you that just because you have severe pain and/or feel moody it does not give you the right to get mad or fight because there is no acceptable reason for it. As I stated before, you still have to think like that when hormones are involved. Nothing other than thoughts allows you to throw things or hit someone yet alone verbally lash out. It only amplifies who you really are. All of that is so different from my personality that I couldn’t even begin to think of verbally assualting my husband or hitting him as a lot of BPD child/women do because of my hormonal or pain problems.
A good friend of mine has MS and is in a lot of pain too. She doesn’t pick fights with her husband or scream, yell and rage either. It is just another Cluster B excuse in my book. I wouldn’t trust her either if she said that a physician said that. If you were told that by a physician yourself, I would be finding a new one.