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Making fun of me for being single: Power Move

Hello TPM Community,

I went to my (manipulator) sister's place with some friends and she cooked for us. As I was mixing the salad with the sauce I put some outside of the bowl since my technique was poor (a bit drunk + clumsiness) and she showed me how to do it properly.

Her: Use your wrist

Her: You're used to do it right?

Me: ....

After a few seconds, I thought: I'm not going to let it slip. I prefer to defend poorly than not defend at all.

Me: when you talked about the wrist, what did you mean?

Her (smiling, happy that she found an insecurity): I think you know what I meant

Me: well I think everybody can do what they want with their wrist (loudly confidently)

I thread-expanded on that. And my friends could see my sister disrespecting me. So it was a mistake.

So basically she says that I masturbate because I'm single. It's true but it's very mean.

The thing is that she resisted the surfacing. So I could have insisted on that.

Me: when you talked about the wrist, what did you mean?

Her (smiling, happy that she found an insecurity): I think you know what I meant

Me: No I don't, what do you mean?

Her: Come on...

Me: if you imply that I'm masturbating, this is really not appropriate to say to one's brother in front of other people. Especially his friends.

So basically I feel like with my "friends" and my sister I was right to have my defences up. When I let them down, they basically attack me and then once one sees me getting attacked, he attacks more.

I think what triggered her attack (she's a manipulator, always going to avenge herself) is that when she asked us if we ate tomatoes, I joked: "no" and then said "I'm allergic". It was a joke and clear it was. But to her it was a slight as she gets her validation from people appreciating her cooking/home.

I really must say to people it's not cool. With all this time on TPM I still don't defend my boundaries strongly enough. It's a bit frustrating. I would get to get to a level where people respect me. However I think that it's because I'm not agressive enough in my defenses. So they're not afraid to be hurt by me. To them I'm harmless so who respects harmless people?

However, I don't want to be a turkey like them.

So as sad as it sounds I have to develop my capacity to hurt people. They won't like me as much but they will respect me more. I'm willing to lose likeability for respect. Like at work. Not in a Turkey way but more in an eagle assertive way: going meta. It's the next level for me.

I'm curious if anyone has any input on this defense.

Power Duck has reacted to this post.
Power Duck

Hey John,

Yeah, if one surfaces it:

  • Without the issue "addressing itself", like in the case of your former boss where because of the professional context she was so outline that surfacing it alone did the (great) job
  • Without you addressing it once in the open
  • While "losing" the ensuing debate/escalation

Then yeah, it's basically a thread-expanding that can make it even worse.

The issue with your sister's joke is that it was:

  • Totally not cool, but still not SO out of line
  • She "played it well" afterward

I agree with your own self-analysis here.
Great, great idea to go for it, props for that.
The next half was missing of keeping that resolve for confronting.

Once the resolve is there, many different techniques and approaches could have worked.

John Freeman and Power Duck have reacted to this post.
John FreemanPower Duck
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Thank you very much Lucio, it's helpful.

Yeah you're right it lacked the resolution of showing the nastiness.

I've got to work on surfacing and going meta. I think I have developed enough assertiveness and confidence to go for it now.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
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