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Diversity & Inclusion

BAITERs, Haters, and Social Climbers

Katie Couric & Dr. Phil McGraw (Source: http://www.katiecouric.com)

Dr. Phil McGraw, talk show host and best selling author, recently appeared on Katie, the talk show hosted by former CBS News anchor Katie Couric on Friday, November 16, 2012. His appearance on the show was partly to promote his new book, Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World, and partly to discuss the General Petraeus affair, infidelity, and why men and women cheat.

Two topics that resonated with me from Dr. Phil and Katie’s discussion are BAITERs and social climbers. Both terms sync business with diversity and inclusion, a topic I write about from time to time. More important, BAITERs and social climbers pop in and out of our lives, and sometimes, more often than we like.

The real question is how adept are you at recognizing and managing these folks — especially the high maintenance, attention seeking ones? If you want to not only survive but thrive at work or in business, it is important to recognize a BAITER and a social climber should you cross paths with one. This post briefly discusses both.


Shark hunting prey (source: Google Images)

BAITERs, as Dr. Phil explained, is an acronym that stands for:

  • B-ackstabbers
  • A-cusers
  • I-mposters
  • T-akers
  • E-xploiters
  • R-eckless

Host Katie Couric’s follow up response was, “It seems to describe all the creeps who are out there.” I can only speak for myself in saying that I have met all six, and have encountered a few evil twins and some multiple-personality disorders in the BAITERs camp. “They are reckless with your life and mine,” says Dr. Phil, “Don’t fear your enemies, fear your friends who flatter you.” BAITERS infiltrate themselves into your lives with flattery. PAY ATTENTION! There is no need to be paranoid around them, but pay attention.

Bait & Hook (source: Google Images)

Now according to Dr. Phil, these folks give themselves away. He discusses the characters of the Evil 8 in his new book. Here’s the good news. They have an air of arrogant entitlement that gives them away. Some BAITERs believe that whatever you have is theirs. This includes your husband, your money, your reputation, your job, your dog, etc., and they have no guilt when they make a move on any of these. If you are paying attention, they will show you these patterns early on in your relationship. They also exhibit a pattern of short-term relationships.

BAITERs will brag about out-smarting other people. Let’s face it, BAITERs are haters by another name, and more clearly defined.

“Given all the nefarious forces out there, how do you deal with this?” asked Katie. Dr. Phil also provided the Sweet 16 tips or advice for how to address BAITERs in his new book. If you are haunted by BAITERs or haters, his new book may be well worth its price and the read.

Social Climbers

Decision, Decisions, Decisions (source: Google Images)

We’ve met BAITERs and haters, now what’s up with social climbers? Let’s start with the two words: social and climbing. If you have never heard the term, you might think it has something to do with high class society and socialites….and it kinda sort of does. According to Brett Borders [Ref 1], of Copy Brighter Marketing, social climbing is usually done by the principle of proximity – where the ticket to higher class is frequently associating with people of a higher class than your’s.

You don’t have to be a rich genius, you just have to find a way to be associated with one. You can date one, or even just work as their low-level assistant – and you’ll be treated as a member of an influential servant caste. Oh welcome, welcome to the new caste system!

Borders goes on to say that social climbing gets a bad name because it often involves turning a cold shoulder. Even if some people don’t intentionally oppress others, they spend so much time and energy “climbing” that they rarely have any energy left to smile or chat with someone who can’t help boost their status. That’s interesting.

Let’s look at a few more definitions of social climbers from three dictionary sources:

  • Someone who cares about being nice and sociable merely for their own gain – they’re not genuinely interested in their friends, but would throw them under the bus if it benefited them and they saw no consequences for themselves. This manifests itself in many different ways but in general, it reflects selfishness that is carefully masked. It can be hard to tell when you look at individual situations or incidences, but becomes clear when you look at behavior habits. (Source: Yahoo! Answers)
  • A social climber is someone who seeks social prominence, for example by obsequious behavior. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Similar to an “attention whore”, a social climber is anyone that becomes friends with someone else if they have something that they want, which we all know involves people. They become ‘friends’ with people who “know people”. In turn, they become (or attempt to become) ‘friends’ with that first person’s more “popular” friends, leaving the first person behind. This cycle repeats to “get to the top”, in their own mind, until they realize they are shallow and unable to like people for who they really are. Inevitably, they will be forced to “mature” beyond this. This usually pertains to girls more so than guys. (Source: Urban Dictionary)

Social climbing can get pathological and downright nasty according to Borders. He uses the term road blocking to define behavior that deliberately excludes or sabotages people – with the (unconscious) intention of maintaining one’s perch on the social ladder. Road blocks can be as simple as quietly pulling out someone’s speaker application because you’d rather have the limelight to yourself – or as complex as creating a whole suite of false, libelous rumors about someone and spreading them on multiple fronts.

Kitty grab (source: Google Images)

Social climbers are usually looked upon with disdain. However, Alain de Botton of the BBC News asks this question: Is social climbing always a bad thing? No, and most people engage in it to promote themselves or their careers.

How does one separate good social climbing activities from the bad and ugly ones? According to de Botton, “What really marks out corrupt as opposed to forgivable social climbers is the former’s strong belief that the rich, powerful and famous are at heart better than other people”.

And there you have it….enough said! If you didn’t know, now you do.


1. “What is Social Climbing?” Brett Borders, copy Brighter Marketing, http://copybrighter.com/what-is-social-climbing, September 8, 2009.

2. “A Point of View: Is social climbing always a bad thing?” Alain de Botton, BBC News Magazine, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14346040, July 29, 2011.


About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


55 thoughts on “BAITERs, Haters, and Social Climbers



    Posted by Rsharver | February 3, 2013, 11:08 am
    • RSharver: I am still a git mesmerized at the number of views or hits that this article has received. I thank you for your comment and am interested in crafting a related article that others may find equally valuable. Are there any potential questions, issues or topics that you would like to see a post or short article on? Or is there a particular BAITERs topic that I should expand on?


      Posted by Vi Brown | February 16, 2013, 4:07 pm
    • I have to say mines father has always been an Acuser, Ever since I was a young child I’d come up with an idea and he accuse of me of committing an act of something “bad”. Everything Idea I’d come to him with he’d accuse me of something or an another till finally I’d just given up on bringing him mines ideas because he’d shunned me so many times for mines ideas but yet mines mother on the other hand I’d say my ideas to and she’d say “Well sure lets try it out Paul jr. that’s a good idea. See that’s the difference between mines mother and mines father See mines father came from a family of 8 and he was the 3rd oldest so he was as felt pushed aside. So he pushes me aside because his ideas are always better than mines ideas are in his head , that’s what he feels anyways though, but that’s not mines thoughts by the way.


      Posted by Paul Stencell Jr. | February 16, 2015, 12:23 pm
  2. i meant , i have a mother who is a baiter , how do i LIVE with her ?


    Posted by lisa marie | May 1, 2013, 7:46 am
    • What is your mother doing that you consider her to be a BAITER?


      Posted by Vi Brown | May 1, 2013, 11:38 pm
    • It is important to assess the actions of anyone around you. I was the type who had victim written all over me but not anymore. I worked my way up from the littlest baiter to my mother. Remember, you can’t change anyone but yourself. After years of abuse physical and emotional, things evolved to include financial abuse.
      As I watched my mother verbally attack my 5 year old son I declared the end. Except for a court battle, she is trying to get money AND property from me, she is dead to us. I speak through my attorney and we will meet and end this soon, in a courtroom. It should not have come to this but I kept saying, she is my mom… Wrong, a mother is someone who loves and protects…. This woman is a baiter and will soon but completely out of my life. Praise the Powers that be.


      Posted by Kathryn Diamond | May 5, 2013, 8:21 am
      • Yeah Kathryn, you’re so right. It doesn’t matter who it is and what role they are SUPPOSE to play in your life, they can still be a baiter. I have always made excuses as well because of who they were and what they had been through in their past, but there in lies the danger. They know you care and they know you empathise with them and that’s when they have us hooked and hoodwinked, at our own pearl. As one comment says, there is nothing we can do to change them, only change ourselves and that’s what I intend to do from now on. Good luck in your quest.


        Posted by Blossom Reilly | June 26, 2013, 4:06 am
      • I had a physically and emotionally abusive mother too. I grew up too scared to stand up for myself, a perfect victim. Anyone could take what they wanted from me, even smaller weaker people, if they acted aggressively I’d just back down to them. Being male, I was too ashamed to talk to anyone about it and chose the self-medication route for decades. My mother is a drama queen who always needs my help financially. The only time I see her is when she wants money. I don’t think she ever loved me. I’m pretty sure she hated me as a child. Her abuse included constant put downs, yelling, name-calling, slapping, hitting with objects. Destroying my toys, killing pets, beatings, deprivation of food, electrocution once, constant fear and stress. I can’t ever remember her being nice to me, unless she was setting me up for something, like the electrocution, and giving me food that was full of maggots. Now I’ve learned not to expect anything else from her. She is who she is, my Mum!


        Posted by Maaui | July 20, 2013, 10:29 pm
      • Mauui, it sounds like you went through a lot. This woman may have given birth to you but she sounds nothing likes mother. Being a mother is a great opportunity and the reward is the title, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Mum, whatever loving term endowed by one’s child. That is why the lady who birth me is Betty, NOT MOM.
        Grant Betty is/has always been sick person, as it seems the woman who raised you was, but they chose to dwell in their illness and allowed us (their offspring) to be the victims. I invite you to think back in your life and give recognition to the women who were mothers to you. I challenge you to stop pretending that the sick soul who tortured you through your youth is in any way “mum”. Call her by her name the tell her to stop calling you.
        My Best, Kathryn


        Posted by Kathryn Diamond | July 22, 2013, 10:11 pm
      • Thanks for responding in the manner that you did. Too often we forget that those who we call family are not always related by blood, and that those who are related by blood often present themselves as anything but “family”.

        Also every BAITER that I know is someone’s sister, brother, son, daughter, mother, father, cousin, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or some other relative.


        Posted by Vi Brown | July 23, 2013, 9:38 am
      • P.S. And no disrespect to Maui’s mom; however, it is clear that she may have had some physical and/or mental issues that she was dealing with and didn’t know how to get help for her condition.


        Posted by Vi Brown | July 23, 2013, 9:42 am
      • Vi, that is another good point. When I wrote ‘mother’ it was a fill-in-the-blank. All titles of endearment should be earned and not taken for granted.
        My biological father abandoned me (it is personal because I was young and should have been cared for and about irrespective of, or maybe because of, the sick woman he mated with to create me. I never called him ‘dad’, but I was blessed with a number of wonderful male figures who earned my love, respect, and the title ‘dad’.
        The same should go for one’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, yes…even children. If you have done your best in the relationship only to linger in lowly squaller walk and don’t look back. Honestly it is difficult but within your power. Do it and discover every wrenching moment is worth it. No, “yes but…” walk and don’t look back.


        Posted by Kathryn Diamond | July 24, 2013, 12:02 am
    • My mother wasn’t a baiter but my older sister is. I didn’t see this until she put our mother in a nursing home and began to strip her of all her dignity, pride and possessions. When I tried to get it back for Mother, I met the meanest Baiter you’ve ever imagined. I was shocked, she had hid it so well. It took me 2 years to get to the point of “blood thicker than water” doesn’t mean you have to tolerate their behavior. My best action was to cut the DNA and let it go. She is a church goer when the doors are open, sends me religious birthday cards but signs her name without the word “love.” It took a lot of praying to “forgive” her but I eventually accepted how she treated me, THEN was when I cut the chord. I’m sorry it’s your mother. I’m sure that’s much harder.


      Posted by Linda Grimes | November 19, 2013, 12:12 pm
      • Growth in your emotional life is recognizing that family members can do as much or more damage than friends and strangers. Recognizing this is very important as you learn how to navigate over, under and around them and their toxic behavior,


        Posted by Vi Brown | November 28, 2013, 3:19 pm
      • Thank you. She is a staunch church goer and it took 67 years to see the hidden. I’m much more aware now. I’m half way through Dr. Phils book. Its hard to put down.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


        Posted by lindaknits@comcast.net | December 3, 2013, 12:14 pm
      • Well, this is a bit dicey because I hate talking about church folks. I’m Baptist so you can should catch my drift. Needless to say, many folks have used the church and the Bible to promote bad behavior. Just as there are people inside and outside of church, so are BAITERs.


        Posted by Vi Brown | December 3, 2013, 7:32 pm
      • I sure do get it Vi. We were raised penticostal. Still believe the same. She was always quiet and separate. I went with it. I don’t have enough thumbs to tell you what they did to try to either keep me from loving mother or being with her. My younger sister doesn’t get it either. But I forgave them thru God. I was thrown uder the bus many times. Its just a mystery. But Dr. Phil has hit me between the eyes on things I need to stop. No I’m not a baiter. I’m a giver with waNting nothing in return. I do it quietly.


        Posted by linda grimes | December 4, 2013, 7:13 pm
  3. I just broke up with a guy of whom my intuition said was a bad guy…he was my first boyfriend or so i thought when i was 15 yrs old, he was 18. My parents broke us up, he was drafted in 1972. After 40 yrs we bumped into each other. Oh did i hear wonderful words, “lost you once never going to let you go again, plus lots more. Found out on his birthday he had another woman (whom he had been seeing prior to running into me, and seeing her and me at the same time ), in his apt drinking beer with him, i was the one who was supposed to be there. I broke it off with him, he moved in with her after that breakup, a year later he steals a debit card from her causing an arrest record and Fraud, Theft, and Identity Theft charges were brought upon him…To make a long story short, he sought me out again six months ago after breaking off with her. The sweet words again, the same nagging thoughts and behavior pattern. Today he broke another date. So at his explanation that he had to work all night I surprised him with a call. “Oh we got done early”. It was 6pm. You can come over now, I told him no. He said he would be free tomorrow night. I said I wasn’t free. Then I said that old behavior problems of his from last year were showing up again and that I was done. He says I’m sorry to hear you feel that way, with no emotion in his voice. I hung up. Researching him I found out he had made victims of three former wives and lying on a marriage license. I resolved never to fall for that type of guy again. Thank you for educating women on the dangers of these bad guys.


    Posted by Sandra Horn | May 2, 2013, 8:08 pm
    • Hi everyone, my whole life has been full of baiters and now I know I have to change – BIG TIME. Apart from the horrible partners I’ve chosen in the past and the unbelievable heartache I’ve experienced, I decided enough was enough and give up men for good. I’ve been on my own now for almost 10 years. However, at a very low ebb, I met a friend who I really clicked with and we got on great. He was in my life for 8 years and I cared for him. I thought it would be ok, because I wasn’t emotionally involved with him. I now know I cared for him too much and he really did a number on me and took me to the cleaners. He ate me out of house and home, stole money from my purse, stole money out of my bank and cleared every single piece of jewellery out of my house. Not worth much, but sentimental value was priceless to me. I finally had enough and ditched him, but it really hurt to think someone could do that to you after you had been so kind to them. He got busted for growing cannabis in his house, so I am hoping the parasite gets the jail soon. Earlier today he came bounding up to me in the local supermarket and began chatting as though nothing had happened. I am so angry and disappointed in myself, as I am now bankrupt. I have always tried to help people and see the best in them, but I am not doing that anymore, I’ve had enough and it has gotten me nowhere. Time to bring out the SUPER BITCH!!!!


      Posted by Blossom Reilly | June 25, 2013, 12:49 pm
      • One last thing, I’ve purchased Dr Phil’s book in CD form and I am listening to it in the car and loving it.


        Posted by Blossom Reilly | June 25, 2013, 12:53 pm
      • You don’t need to bankrupt yourself attempting to help someone else. Takers don’t have a problem taking everything you have, and give them an opportunity they will do it again.


        Posted by Vi Brown | June 25, 2013, 5:28 pm
      • Absolutely right, Vi Brown. I’ve learned the hard way and didn’t really expect to go bankrupt, but things just didn’t work out they way I had expected them too. By the time I woke up and smelled the coffee, it was too late. Nothing I can do about the past Vi, but believe me it will never happen again. Honestly, I could blow a gasket thinking about how stupid I’ve been.


        Posted by Blossom Reilly | June 26, 2013, 3:58 am
      • Blossom, let them change you for the better. Don’t become cold and hard, be kind and WISE. Smile gently when you say, “No.”
        Walk away quick, quiet, and calm as you say, ” I really don’t have time / energy / interest ( your qualifying word)”
        You will be tested but don’t give in…
        My sister recently told someone, “My sister tells people our mother is dead to her right now.”
        I corrected her an umpteenth time, “My mother is dead to me, period. The dead does not rise, I don’ t talk to the dead, the only difference between my loss and others is we have not buried the body.”
        Another baiter came along months ago, I spotted him instantly. No smiles, no pretense, ” thank you for the compliment, I am very busy with life and must ask that you excuse me.”
        “I would really like to help,” was the come back.”
        “No thank you,” and a slight turn of my body stated clear lack of interest. He came back a few times, I would wave acknowledging his existence and turn away… It works over time but like training any creature, consistency is a must.
        I go to face Betty in court Friday. I can do this… You can become a SUPER WOMAN.


        Posted by Kathryn Diamond | June 26, 2013, 7:56 am
      • Hi Kathryn, thanks for the wonderful message you sent me. It feels so good that I am not alone and I empathise with what you are going through. I have made some new discoveries regarding a family member, who is also a BAITER. I can’t go into too much detail here, but I know I have to cut all contact. I believe “The Smiling Assassin” has been pretending to be a concerned family member to gather information on me and pass it on to very undesirable people from my past. I hope I don’t sound as though I have lost the plot, but I sometimes wonder that when my mum passes away, something bad will happen to me. I don’t know if i’m just being paranoid, but giving “The Smiling Assassin’s” previous behaviour I wouldn’t be surprised. I have decided to reveal this to a trusted person and cut all contact with “The Smiling “Assassin”, maybe even changing my phone numbers. I am so tired, weary and burnt out of dealing with all this. I can’t think straight. However, I am going into therapy soon and hopefully start to recover. Thanks again for the message and good luck with court. Keep me posted.


        Posted by Blossom Reilly | June 28, 2013, 12:32 am
      • Court delayed till July 24. Downer for me but I am still moving on.
        Look carefully, I believe where there is one baiter there are many. Your plan for therapy and instincts to deal with them one at a time are spot on.
        Be strong, remember at times it’s okay to Not Be okay! (K.I.T.).


        Posted by Kathryn Diamond | June 28, 2013, 9:11 am
    • Sandra, you just described my on again off again boyfriend … the overuse of flattery … the other women … theft … the emotionless, ‘I’m sorry to hear you feel that way.’ Absolutely sickening. These people really work you for their own ends. Why is it such a common phenomenon that Dr Phil is addressing it in such a big way? The patterns of behaviour seem to be a blueprint for sociopaths – no concern for what they put people through.
      Funnily enough I have been home and watched Dr Phil everyday this week and I am having huge light bulb flashes learning about BAITERS. I say ‘funnily enough’ because what should be my ex boyfriend is back on the scene wooing me with flattery, meals out etc and I had almost fallen for his charm offensive (again) but I have to remind myself that as recently as January (I found out through snooping around on Facebook) that he had infact been living with another woman the past year. We had broke up, but the whole time he was with her he claimed to me he was single and pursued me with flowers, gifts, poems etc for an entire year. He had done the exact same thing before with a different woman. Each time he can say, ‘well you rejected me’, when the truth was I was asking him to show me signs that he had changed – like moving out from his mum’s house where he went after his marriage broke up. I never even knew that he had moved out and in with other women until much later. He now claims he is the victim of a gambling addiction that explains the money stolen from every woman in his life.
      Sad thing is, he is a catholic primary school teacher, a thief, a liar and a cheat. By his own admission he is fat, bald and ugly with a small penis. But oh, he is so charming and so flattering you just don’t see his short-comings (excuse the obvious pun).
      Player, manipulator, baiter. You can never win with this people, they are expert at what they do and they love the thrill of getting away with what they do, I’m sure. I have seen so much remorse from my ex, but only after he has been caught out and it is short-lived and soon turned on its face … I’m not good enough for you … you never loved me … you’re commitment phobic … joke … fraud … user … player. I have heard it all as he deflects his behaviour onto me. Beware of overly charming people. Ask yourself, what is their agenda?


      Posted by Richelle | July 18, 2013, 2:47 am
  4. One more thing…last year and this year all I ever heard after an argument on his non trust worthy behaviors was, “Can’t you give me the benefit of the doubt?” Exactly what Dr. Phil and Oprah were talking about this past Sunday on Oprah’s Life Class. Dr. Phil and Oprah, I was listening. Thank you.


    Posted by Sandra Horn | May 2, 2013, 8:22 pm
    • I’m so glad to hear that you are taking notes and listening. This person that you speak of is definitely exhibiting a pattern of undesirable behavior.


      Posted by Vi Brown | May 3, 2013, 6:31 am
    • UPDATE…After a year of continuances in his Fraud case he didn’t go to court this past friday for case management..i.e. there is now a warrant for his arrest, no bond, AND he lost his public defender, the third one. So when they pick him up he will have to stay in jail for awhile till his next case. lol i love JUSTICE.


      Posted by Sandra Horn | May 26, 2013, 11:45 am
  5. Sorry to hear court was delayed, but hopefully it will be over for you on the 24th. You’re right Kathryn when you say where there is one Baiter, there are many. My Baiter family member befriends my ex-Baiters and they all have one thing in common…..Me. I’m looking forward to going into therapy and beginning the healing process. From now on, instead of assuming that people say who they say they are, I will believe they are a Baiter until they prove otherwise. I have to stop taking everyone at face value. It’s that, that has got me in this state. Good luck for the 24th.


    Posted by reilly46 | June 28, 2013, 10:42 pm
    • How about starting with a neutral attitude towards others. Consider that they are just passing through and if they linger longer look and listen. Watch what they do. Do they smile, do they care about others, how do they treat strangers. And most, my biggest tip, what do they say about others!?!
      If you pay close attention you will begin to see what people say about others is an incredibly accurate description of themselves. The woman I thought of as my mother seldom spoke a kind word of others. “She’s a user (of others.)… He lies so much… She is a (mentally) sick person.”
      All sentences I could put this woman in the subject role and make an accurate statement.
      I had to grow so much… I feared becoming her… I felt like a horrible person for hating my own mother…I had to separate the role from the person. I defined a mother, I realized I had many mothers and this woman seldom filled the role. Now I refer to her by her given name, my birth mother is dead to me. I am a product of some wonderful women and now I am an awesome mom of three.
      As for other BAITERS I have walked away from, many more tips, but I am sure there are better books out there.


      Posted by Kathryn Diamond | July 4, 2013, 1:50 am
      • You are so right Kathryn and I will from now on have a neutral attitude when I meet new people instead of believing every word that everyone tells me. My ex-husband baiter, use to shout at me, “Oh you are so gullible” and you know what – that was the only truth that ever came out of his mouth. As for my family member, well she has been leaving everyone without a name for years and I honestly thought that she wasn’t doing it to me, but the denial has gone and I’ve had a dose of realism. Life is hard enough as it is, without being rabbit punched in the back of the head at every turn. It’s incredible what we are willing to put up with just because that particular baiter has the same blood running through their veins as we do. In my opinion, they are more deadly, because in other’s eyes, they must be telling the truth due to inside knowledge. I made bad choices in my life over the years with two particular men who were abusive to me and my baiter family member befriended them after everything they did. Both partners were 10 years apart. Honestly, when I think about it now, I cannot believe I didn’t cut contact years ago. I think it gave her power and excitement, as her own life was so dull and boring.
        I’ve been listening to Dr Phil’s Cd, Life Code. Do you know of anymore books that would also be beneficial?
        Keep me posted in regards to the court date and I wish you every success in your journey.


        Posted by Blossom Reilly | July 8, 2013, 1:44 pm
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    Posted by saffron extract pills | September 17, 2013, 3:48 pm
  7. Read the article, saw the life class episode and read Life Code. I know my family well. Unfortunately, too well. Sparing the details, I’ve been able to almost sort of predict my parents’ next move and my sister and brother in law’s next move just by how they sound over the phone. Sometimes down to the very words they would fire out at me. My whole life I’ve made the excuses for them (“they are family” “they are good people deep down” “it’s my obligation to help them despite anything they have done to me in the past, otherwise I will have an extended stay in purgatory”…the list goes on). Now that I am married and have a little one, though, I feel a need to protect my growing family from these people. My husband still wants to give them the benefit of the doubt (which could lead to us taking a mortgage out to save my parents house all while the 3 of us are still living in a rented home). My question is for those who sought therapy. I was in therapy for a few months, but I got the impression that my therapist just thought I was paranoid. So in therapy, has anyone felt like their therapist reacted this way? I didn’t return to her for that reason. It’s just that I know my parents and sister’s “tells” when they aren’t being honest with me. I know their moves. When I tell my husband, he too thinks I am being paranoid and that I just don’t trust anyone. Then I start to doubt myself and my instincts. So I guess I am out of ideas of where to turn for support.


    Posted by Confused | November 2, 2013, 10:57 pm
    • What strikes be most in your comment is your reference to being able to predict your relatives behavior and what they might say or do. While I have not had the experience of therapy, what is clear to me is that your relatives by any other name are still BAITERs. BAITERs are very predictable and you must treat them with kid-gloves treatment. They may be your relatives, however, you don’t have to allow them to take advantage of you or your family’s situation.


      Posted by Vi Brown | November 3, 2013, 3:14 pm
      • Thank you for your reply. Earlier I made the decision to completely cut them out of our lives. This would mean never seeing my mom or dad or sister/brother in law/nephew/niece. This was a very painful decision, since those children mean everything to me, but I dont think I can let my son be exposed to that type of behavior and those personalities. My husband, bless his heart, is sad because he doesn’t believe you can disconnect from family. But he also doesn’t fully understand how/why family members can be so manipulative and downright mean. That, and the children have nothing to do with what the adults do. Anyway, We compromised with keeping them at a very cool distance which should be relatively easy since we live far away. Since making this decision I think I am sleeping better. I don’t know. It just stinks. But, Thank you for responding.


        Posted by confused | November 6, 2013, 8:07 am
    • Hi Confused,

      Im in the exact same situation as you described. My fiance also thinks that my family just makes jokes. Its horrible when you have to explain to him that you know them all your life and that their behaviour isnt innocent at all. For example: The first time i introduced him to my family my uncle said this: ” nice job, your very intelligent man, so why are you with her (me) then? My fiance still thinks that my uncle was making a joke. While i instantly knew he was just trying to humiliate me with that comment, its exhausting en above all, very dangerous for your relationship. Cause in that whay baiters can wreck your relationship. So whenever there is an opportunity i take my chance to explain again and again that they are not innocent at all but just mean, frustraded and jealous.
      And i will keep on explaining until i feel he REALLY gets the message.
      I also said litteraly to him that the reason why i keep ontalking about it is because its dangerousfor our relationship.
      The same problem i had also with women that are insecure about my looks (i was model) and therefore they try to exclude me from their group in school, work, everywhwere almost. And next to that they try to flirt with my fiance and other mean things to compete and try to upset me. It took me over 10 years until i knew myself why women behaved towards me like that. Someone had to actually tell me.
      Also when we visit friends women leave me out most of the time while men are treating me completely normal.
      If they say something to me its purely because they want my fiance to think that their actuallly kind to me but i know their trying to hurt me.
      Also about this we talk a lot. Luckily he’s becoming more aware lately of these situations.
      Because we had huge arguments in the beginning about it.
      His naivety was terrible. His innocent personalitycauses for him that he cannot believe that ppl are actually capable of doing this to me/others.
      But we’ve been together now for over 7 years and his experience and me talking about it over the years made him eventually more aware when such a situation occurs. And that’s what is most important cause when he’s aware he can protect me.


      Posted by Renico | February 3, 2014, 10:17 am
      • Your post stirred a number of ideas about people and their behavior. The main thought that bubbled to the top of my mind is that we have to take people on face value when we meet them. After all, we may have only one exchange or encounter with them, or it could be the beginning of a future relationship. However, just because I had a bad experience with an individual does not always mean that you will. And that is why I’d like to suggest that you focus on patterns of behavior, and I suggest that you share this with your fiance. Rather than attempting to get him to see the negative in one of your relatives or other individual, suggest that he be careful to observe if the behavior exhibited by the individual(s) is consistent and frequently repeated. Doing so also makes the conversation more objective and less subjective to how much one likes or dislikes a person…..just a suggestion.


        Posted by Vi Brown | February 3, 2014, 3:13 pm
      • Hi renico. It’s amazing how most of what you said applies to my life. My husband and I are still trying to figure out this married life thing. It’s only been 3 years. But in that three years i feel like we’ve aged 50yrs through all the turmoil that others have caused us. Our issues were and still are entirely how his family and friends treat me so rudely, belittle me, and even disregard me. And it makes me feel like he doesn’t have my back or isn’t in my corner. He has girls in his life that he grew up with who every chance they get, they will flirt with him and try to make me look like a jack —. He doesn’t get it. He, too, is pretty naive and sweet that way. A part of me likes the fact that he is a little innocent, because, no matter what, I know he has a good heart and wants to think the best of people. I just wish he would acknowledge that the people around us do not always have OUR best interest and that I am not crazy or that I am not the enemy.
        In response to Vi Brown’s reply to you. I completely agree. It wasn’t until I was able to list out a recurring pattern of behavior about one particular woman (i use that term loosely in describing this low life) before he started to show some glimpse of coming around. A few things she’s done include pushing me out of the way when i was dancing with him and them proceeding to unbutton his clothes on the dance floor a wedding reception, having her friends tell me I will never know him the way she knows him (when we just announced that we were expecting), constantly commenting on the fact that I am putting my career on hold to stay home with the little one as though I am a lesser person for it and implying I am just taking advantage of my husband. these are only a few things. In the past he actually actually accused me of being jealous of her! It still stings. I don’t want to change him, I just want him to be aware of what people are doing to me, and as a result, what it is doing to us. Again, the thing that started to help him come around (aside from constant prayers) was that each time there was an incident, I would plainly let him know (but try my best to avoid sounding ready for a fight…that’s still a work in progress).
        In any case, I am glad that things are turning around for the two of you, and I hope it only gets even better from here.


        Posted by confused | February 18, 2014, 10:02 am


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