Today, I would like to teach you how to detect a person’s attachment style and how to communicate with them based on their attachment style. We always say, “Communication is key.” This is true when it comes to attachment styles and communication. To learn more about the various attachment styles in more detail, please check out my blog post and podcast titled, Avoidant attachment and narcissism.
As in the past, I highly recommend watching something on television to support you in viewing a person’s attachment and observing how they communicate with one another. The show I am suggesting is Love is Blind Season Three on Netflix. I do agree that love is blind, but love is not enough. This show displays this truth. Let me unpack my clinical observation of each couple in Season three. Before I do, I must say that I am shocked at how Cole was treated at the reunion and by his peers. You can miss the signs when you do not know about psychological abuse and narcissism. In episode three, you see Cole being playful and fun. Zanab says that she loves his playfulness and happiness. She welcomes it. But she already started to question if he wanted her or another woman. That is her insecurities messing with her mind, and that insecurity stems from her anxious attachment style. The disconnect happened when her expectations of the morning did not play out as they should have been in her mind. She thought he was giving her the silent treatment but said he was tired. He felt she was overanalyzing his actions. He stated he wanted to let her sleep. He was tired and expected she would be tired since they had sex three times that night. It was clear to me that Cole was getting mixed messages. Later, we see how Cole is confused about the relationship. He says, “And here we are with all this trouble because I said last night was good when I should have said it was great.” Then Zanab asked him directly if he felt she was being a little passive-aggressive. And he said, “Yes.” Therefore, she said she would have her passive-aggressive behaviors fixed by day four. She realizes that she nags him a lot. She also said that she does come off very strong and wants to be all in his face to get his attention, and he doesn’t like it. Yet, she keeps doing it.
So, let me explain the cycle of psychological abuse. There are three patterns – love bombing, devaluing, and discard. Having a lot of sex is love bombing. Nagging and getting all in a person’s face is devaluing. Making a person feel like they can’t do anything right is devaluing. Let’s unpack this even more because I am going to expose her because she is not the real victim here.
In episode four, you see Zanab bragging about how many times she had sex with Cole within a 24-hour period. Having sex five times is a lot of love bombing. You also see Cole talking to SK and Baptise about Zanab. Cole is very confused and is wanting answers. Cole stated that from the pods to here, there is a disconnect. He is trying to figure things out. Zanab can be kinda passive-aggressive. SK says, that it can be a good thing, but Cole says, No! He states, it not at all a good thing. It just beats me down. He goes on to say that he is in love with her, he is attracted to her, but everything he does she always has a passive-aggressive comment about it. He goes on to say, “No, like she genuinely hates the fact that that towel is right there. So, she going to be like, um, hey, you think you could maybe just like next time, maybe not put your towel on the coffee table.” Baptise said, “No dude.” Because that form of nagging is petty. Then Cole goes on to say, “Cause to her, that’s how she banters and how she plays, but it just not fun for me.” Then Baptise asks if he caught these passive-aggressive behaviors in the pods. Cole states that he pictured her doing it smiling in the pods cause her voice is so uplifting. When in real life, it’s a straight face. It throws Cole off and it leave him confused. So, his confused response would be, “You actually mad, bro?” He is struggling trying to read her hot and cold mannerism. Again, love bombing and devaluing.
Next, you see Zanab speaking with Colleen. Zanab confesses that she hasn’t connected with the person in the pods with the person she is looking at. She said last night was wonderful, but going from last night to this silent treatment really fucked with her head. The truth is, her insecurities came out. He was trying to let her sleep in because he was tired. He figured she would be tired as well. That is being respectful. But in her mind, she should have been cuddling with her and chatting. So, she felt rejected by him. Her fantasy expectation messed with her mind and her insecurities because it made her question, does he love me the same way I love him. And, if she really wanted to snuggle with him and chat, she should have asked for what she wanted, but she did not. She went into rejection and defensive mode. And to prove this point, Colleen said to Zanab, “Don’t let your own insecurities get into your head.”
So, let me breakdown the psychological abuse Cole experienced. Love bombing feels great. When a person devalues you, it can be so confusing. You don’t know what you did wrong. You seek answers. You want to correct the problem. You tell your friends about it to see if they have any advice or answers. When you are being devalued, it messes with your self-worth. You can become a people pleaser to your abuser. You want them to love you the same way they did within the pods. So, each time they have sex they connect. Then when the sex is done and Cole is feeling happy, the nagging begins. It is a vicious cycle of psychological abuse. I love you, but you can’t do anything right. I will get more into this later.
I first want to unpack Colleen. Colleen is sweet and just wants to be loved. I feel for her. From my observation, Colleen has an anxious attachment style. She has learned from various past relationships that being vulnerable feels uncomfortable and, at times, not safe. That is why she avoids it and has learned to adapt to having a superficial relationship because that is what the majority of the men she attracted wanted from her. Yet, Colleen is on the show to fall in love and get married. When watching the show, you can observe how Colleen experiences anxiety in her relationships, and she does require a lot of attention and soothing. She is constantly worried about the state of the relationship, worried about losing the relationship, and seeks constant closeness. She has a fear of rejection and criticism. Colleen also said on the show, “I feel judged. I am a terrible flirt. Men reject my personality, and she takes rejection hard. I am learning to grow up and say how I feel and think. I fear rejection. I am not used to being vulnerable. I have never cheated.” This information shows Colleen is not attracted to being vulnerable or talking about serious stuff. She likes to play it safe. Therefore she does the please and appease patterns. Let me explain. In several episodes, Colleen appears caught in the cycle of “please and appease,” which can be a sign of codependency within a relationship. Colleen wants a deep relationship but at the same time, doesn’t. And when she was in the pods communicating with Cole, she thought Cole was seeing her as being shallow, but he was not. When Cole spoke his truth, it made Colleen uncomfortable and she could not hear it. So, she got defensive when she felt rejected by Cole. And Colleen did say, “Another day, another rejection.” The point is, Cole never called her shallow. He does not want a shallow relationship. Colleen was reading the conversation wrong because her attachment style did not match Cole’s. Now let’s unpack Matt. Matt is the person Colleen agreed to marry.
Now I have to say that I have compassion for Matt. Some people have been calling him out for his toxic behaviors, but his behaviors are justifiable. Let me explain. Matt has experienced extreme direct trauma. He married his high school sweetheart. He got married at eighteen, and she cheated on him. To make matters worse, she got pregnant by the guy. Therefore, Matt experienced three different forms of direct trauma in a short period of time. Trauma #1 – being cheated on repeatedly. Trauma #2 – discovering your wife is pregnant by another man. Trauma #3 – filing for divorce. The trauma impacted him so deeply and profoundly that he hasn’t recovered even ten years later. I am not excusing his behaviors; I get it. I understand it, and I want you as well. His trauma is so deeply rooted that he has only been able to go on two dates with anyone within a ten year period. This is why trauma therapy is so critical. Trauma can destroy and alter your life. It changes your perspective about love, marriage, relationships, friendships, trust, connection, safety, as well as being vulnerable. Matt does say on the show that he put up a lot of walls. It was hard for him to be vulnerable again when life throws shit in your face. He also says that he has been working on trust, but does not say with who.
From my observation, Matt has a disorganized attachment style, and this is based on his past trauma. Matt might have grown up with a secure attachment, but it is evident by his behaviors that he does not have a secure attachment with most people. I have witnessed Matt’s explosive anger. He feels very lonely and not understood when he gets trauma triggered. He is trying to find closeness, but his anger, verbal attacks, and threats make it hard for Colleen to connect and support Matt. Matt even experiences dissociation and selective listening. It is like a wall comes up, and Matt gets caught up in trauma memories and triggers. He is abusive, and Colleen is trapped in a trauma-bonding relationship. Colleen even mentions that she knows what she is doing is emotionally unhealthy for either of them. You can see how Matt will detach and how his anger serves to protect him. He also has difficulty believing that true love exists because it has never been visible to him. Therefore, his anger wards off Colleen when she tries to get close to him during an argument. Colleen goes into pleasing and appeasing mode. She tries to reassure Matt based on her attachment style. She wants Matt to feel more secure, safe and loved, but Matt’s attachment style is the complete opposite. No matter what Colleen says during the heat of the argument, she cannot get thru to Matt. Matt is stuck in his survivor’s brain. She can only communicate and connect with Matt when he calms down and can access his cortex brain. This takes a lot of patience, care, and the feeling of walking on eggshells. Since Matt cannot regulate his emotions under stressful situations, he really should be getting trauma therapy support. Matt will not be able to have a healthy and happy relationship until he faces his painful past.
Now let’s talk about Cole. I really like Cole’s personality. He is happy and playful. He is your typical dude. He might not think before he speaks and can act immature at times, but he does have a good heart. He shares that he grew up in a close knit secure family. His parents are still married and he seems happy with life. He is very close to his family and based off his behaviors and mannerism, he has a secure attachment style. He likes to banter, have fun, be silly, travel, and enjoy life. He does not want a shallow or superficial marriage. That is why he did not pick Colleen. When Cole does get to meet Colleen face to face, he likes her looks. Nothing wrong with that. A secure attachment styles does allow you to appreciate another person without feeling jealous or insecure. And I did not see Cole or Colleen flirting with each other. They were just communicating, but because Matt and Zanab both have unhealthy attachment styles, things were blown out of portion. I know in the reunion, the conversation between Cole and Colleen was blown out of portion. Let me explain. What Baptise did to Nancy was way worse. Baptise revealed that he was more attracted to Raven and she was a smoking hot. Nancy handled his brutal honesty with grace. It was painful to hear, but she did not get all up in Baptise face about it. Nancy did not beat him up about it. She handled it coming from a place of maturity and a security within herself. It was a concern, but she knows Baptise picked her because he did not have an emotional connection with Raven. In order for any relationship to last, there must be trust. Nancy trusted that Baptise would not leave her for Raven. Zanab should have trusted that Cole would not leave her for Colleen. But when Zanab’s avoidant anxious attachment style is triggered with insecurities, she shut down. She becomes jealous and cold. She starts a fight and picks Cole apart. Then she tries to make up for it by having sex. This pattern is so confusing on the heart, mind, emotions, and soul. It creates identity erosion and we all saw how Cole’s personality changed on camera.
Now, Cole decided to pick Zanab. Personally, I really do not see what Cole felt from Zanab in the pods, but he made a really bad choice. I know Cole appreciated and respected Zanab opening up about her parents dying, but he should have asked more questions about her recovery process. If Cole knew about attachment styles, he might have asked more serious questions because Zanab was traumatized and struggled for years with grief, pain, and heartache. So, why do I feel Cole made a bad choice? Well, if you watch the show, you will notice how Cole starts to experience identity erosion. I know Cole shared that he gets super lonely at times, but when a person comes from that state of mind to fill that loneliness void, your choice in finding a healthy partner can be tainted. Yes, Cole was briefly married and divorced, but the experience did not destroy him. Cole is trying to form a secure attachment with Zanab, but her attachment style is destroying her relationship. Cole is very confused and is trying to figure her out. They connect great in bed, but outside of that, they are struggling.
Cole even asks Zanab if she is bipolar because she is loving and kind one moment and the next is cutting him down, he can’t do anything right, and she is cold and distant. I know Cole loved the idea of traveling with Zanab because she can travel and fly for free, but the mental and emotional abuse he is experiencing is not worth it. I question if he felt pressure to propose to Zanab because the clock was ticking. Honestly, Cole needed more time to emotional connect and understand the complex parts of Zanab. So, let’s unpack Zanab.
Zanab tells us that she is picky as F. She has a history of family trauma. Both of her parents died at a critical development part of her life. One parent died when she was thirteen, and the other one when she was eighteen. She claims that her teenage years were her grief years. That would explain her anxious attachment style, but when triggered, she has an avoidant, ambivalent attachment style. Let me explain. When Zanab is triggered, she does not do what Colleen does. She does not go into pleasing and appease mode. She becomes dismissive, cold, uncaring, and passive-aggressive. This is because she experienced trauma. When the trauma is not healed properly, a person can become narcissistic. They are stuck living in their survival brain. In my observation, in order for Cole to form a secure attachment with Zanab, he must earn it. Cole is trying to earn it, but it is too much work for Cole to handle. He has to deal with all her insecurities and constantly feed her sense of self-worth. It must be exhausting for Cole. You can also notice how Cole starts to take on some of Zanab unhealthy attachment style because he is now having anxiety and insecurities of his own. Zanab appears to be very jealous and insecure within the relationship. She starts drama. Her primary caregiver said that Zanab should expect to be treated like a queen. Yet, Zanab can’t treat her man like a king, and appears to enjoy making Cole feel bad about himself. You might think I am being harsh, but this is my observation. Her behaviors are so confusing and irritating at times. She lacks maturity and does not take responsibility for her actions or harsh words. And yes, at times, she does appear to have some narcissistic traits and behaviors. Like gaslighting, stonewalling, baiting, projecting, split thinking, undermining, withholding affection, and silent treatment. Again, she experienced a lot of trauma growing up. She should be in some form of trauma therapy because it impacting her ability to have a healthy relationship or trust her partner.
Let’s talk about Nancy. I adore Nancy. Nancy is very down to earth. She was a warm, bubbly personality. She knows herself and knows what she wants in life. She is driven and motivated. Nancy has a secure attachment style. There was something that really stood out for me in watching season three. Nancy has a fun, bubbly personality. Raven hates it. It get’s under her skin. Why? Well Raven has an avoidant attachment style. I will unpack that more later. Why this is important is if you recall what an avoidant attachment style is like, an avoidant person is dismissive towards others. Nancy’s joy and happiness make Raven sick. She learned this dismissive behavior because it was modeled to her. So, there is a part of Raven that can’t stand bubbly or overly happy people. This part of Raven experienced someone shaming, humiliating, or embarrassing her as a child when she displayed those same behaviors she can’t stand. Therefore, those bubbly, warm, and cuddly behaviors were not acceptable. So, Raven has a fragmented part of her that is operating unconsciously in the background. This part always has an underlying positive intent. It’s job is to protection Raven from being shamed, embarrassed, or humiliated again. It is a form of self protection and avoidance. If Raven ever hears of this podcast or blog post, I would suggest she look into IFS (Internal Family Systems – Parts therapy) or NLP (neuro-linguistic programming – Parts therapy). She can repair and restore those fragmented parts, so she can feel more whole and complete within herself. It will improve the quality of her life, her relationship with others, and help her understand herself better as a person.
Now Nancy had two men interested in her. One was Andrew, and the other one was Baptise. I feel Nancy dodged a bullet with Andrew. Why? Andrew is much about life experiences, and he went after the money. He enjoys having money and power. From my observation, Andrew has an avoidant attachment style. He is a smooth talker and boasts about his achievements and accomplishments in life, but he lacks this feeling of closeness, vulnerability, warmth, and a personal connection with people. He seems very superficial because all he talks about is himself. There is little depth. It’s all about money, wealth, accomplishments, and sex. I could tell that Nancy was not feeling an emotional connection with Andrew. And he validated it in the end when Nancy did not want to marry him. The scene when Andrew puts eye drops in his eyes is shocking. It showed his dismissive side; I don’t need people, I am happy being independent, and he had a sense of arrogance. It was childish and immature when he put the eye drops in his eyes to appear hurt and heart broken. In my personal opinion, it was offensive and rude. Nancy would have been heartbroken over time if she picked Andrew. Andrew might also have some narcissistic behaviors and patterns. He sort of fits the profile, but I did not watch enough segments with Andrew to make that assessment. But, I did see some patterns of behaviors that were concerning.
Let’s talk about Baptise. Personally, Baptise is a hard nut to crack. He wears a mask. I have seen two completely different sides of him. When Baptise met Nancy’s mom, she talks about his mask and she found it difficult to read him. Nancy’s mom’s works with people on a daily basis that wear different masks. Therefore, she knows when someone is being genuine or fake. I know Baptise was interested in Raven and Nancy. You will see how Raven dismissed Baptise when he was sharing a very personal and vulnerable life experience that made his parent’s divorce. Raven was doing jumping jacks and working out. She was not listening or paying attention. She chose to stay disconnected when Baptise was trying to emotionally connect with Raven. This was a big turn off for Baptise and made him realize that they were not emotionally compatible. Baptise was able to have a more emotionally fulfilling connection with Nancy. But, when Baptise meets Raven for the first time, he gets this instant physical attraction to Raven. He tries to emotionally connect again with Raven by flattering her physical appearance, but it doesn’t work. Raven is not into Baptise because his approach is very superficial. Therefore, in watching the show, I believe Baptise has an anxious attachment style and when triggered with jealousy or insecurities, the avoidant attachment style comes out. I noticed this when Nancy talked about abortion, his strong physical attraction to Raven, how he called Nancy needy when she asked for a hug, and his hot/cold behavior towards her. I also did not like how he gave Nancy the silent treatment and acted like he was sulking because she stood her ground about abortion. And, I must say, I fully agree with Nancy when it comes to having an abortion and raising a child with extreme special needs like down syndrome. I am raising a child with special needs and it is hard. When my son was little, I took him to OT, PT, speech therapy, Shriner’s hospital, Doernbecher’s Children’s hospital, eye exams and eye surgeries, and much more. I couldn’t have a full-time job because of all his medical appointments. Now things are better, but it was a lot to manage. My son is manageable, but Nancy has worked with families were the child is not manageable and it can rip a family apart. She knows, there will never be a break as the child gets older. At least I get a break now because he no longer needs all those appointments. So, I get you, Nancy. Nancy doesn’t want to experience that much pain, trauma, and heartache. It has emotionally impacted her choices in raising a family because she is viewing the reality of life from all angles and perspective. Which is important and vital. I don’t know if they are a good match.
Let’s talk more about Raven. Raven is expressive with her face. What she is thinking and feeling is displayed all over her face. It must be hard for her to hide it. As I said earlier, Raven is an avoidant attachment style. She is very independent, dismissive, has never emotionally connected with a partner before, love is like a business arrangement, and her view of the world and people are different. She appears distant and cold at times. She is stubborn and has a wall up that prevents her from letting SK get to know the real person inside. Yet overtime, she softens as a result of SK. You can see her coming out of her shell and allowing herself to cry, be vulnerable, contemplate what she wants in a relationship, marriage, and in a partner. Her style of love and what means love to her is very different. She is not into romantic, mushy, lustful, passionate, or deep love. She wants conventional love that is more based off her reality how love was modeled to her, which means a friendship or partnership. At first, I did not like her personality, but I enjoyed watching her open like a flower receiving the warmth of the sun. Under that hard shell is a sweet, caring, and kind woman. SK gave her this gift by his secure attachment style. SK is very good Raven, but how much self-sacrifice can SK give up before there is a loss of self. I have enjoyed watching SK’s patience, rational thinking, accepting Raven with all her imperfections, and how he is just a calm/grounded soul. The problem I see is that SK is scarifying too much of himself and his happiness to please and appease Raven. I would love to see them get married because I know SK would be good for Raven. I just do not think Raven would be good for SK if she is not willing to compromise on their differences. Why I say this is she knew he would be going off to California. He has to live off a budget. Raven said that she expected him to pay half her rent in Texas. She has been independent and able to support herself before she met him. Her hair style alone costs $500. Asking him to pay half of her rent was extreme in my opinion. Not being willing to move to CA to be with him is not very supportive. I just do not see them lasting if Raven cannot make some compromises within the relationship.
Now let’s talk about Brennon and Alexa. I really love this couple. They have both come from two very different homes (one from wealth and one from poverty). They both have a secure attachment style. They communicate and connect well. The only struggle I could is Alexa was raised with having all her needs met. She spoke of how she has a massive closet full of clothing and she never wears an outfit twice. Not many people can afford this luxury. Brennon has probably 1/3 invested in clothing and shoes. Brennon is smart with his money and only buys what he needed. Brennon grew up not having some of his basic needs met, like heating. Alexa has not experienced those hardships and the value of money or lack of money. This could be a hard shoe to fill for Brennon. It is clear that Alexa’s dad expects Brennon to provide for his daughter, but I do not know if Brennon can afford to give Alexa the lifestyle she expects to have during marriage. I would love to see these two get married because they are a great couple. I just do not know if Brennon earns enough in his current job to give her the lifestyle she is accustom to having. We shall see what happens.
Now let’s talk about communication. I have talked about timing, self-awareness, the map of consciousness, and the sandwich approach. Therefore, if someone with an avoidant attachment style is in a bad mood and you want to communicate, the avoidant person will be irritated by an anxious attachment style person. The avoidant person will dismiss them, saying they are being needy, insecure, and overly emotional. They will seem cold and distant. They want to avoid connecting and communicating. They do not like to be or feel vulnerable. They are conflict avoidant. The anxious person will feel rejected, not good enough, worry more about the relationship, and might get wounded. This is not good.
Therefore, my suggestion to the secure or anxious person would be to factor in timing. What is their mood? If you reviewed the map of consciousness, where is the avoidant person emotionally at? Is it permitting or withdrawn? Is it Neutrality or disappointed? Each emotion has an energy frequency. Permitting is 200 and neutrality is 250. This is your place of power and it is strong. Withdrawn is 100 and disappointment is 125. Anything below 200 is force and weak. You never want to communicate and connect when someone is below 200. It would be like talking to an angry wall. That is why timing is everything. Now you can raise them up, if you have practiced it. You can use your words to raise them up into thinking and feeling differently about a situation. Feeling and thinking indifferent about a situation is a frequency level of 175. They just need to get to 200, which is permitting, feasible, courage, and empowerment.
Next, I would see where YOU are on the map of consciousness. If you are experiencing anxiety, the frequency is 100. If you are experiencing anger, that is 150. You are not in the right frame of mind or emotional state to communicate and connect. If you are in the right frame of mind and emotional state, I would do the sandwich approach. The top bread is the positive and the middle meat/veggies are the issue. Always end with the positive. Make I, us, or we statements. Never say you, unless it is positive and never say but. But removes all the positive things you just said. I like to suggest that you write it out first. Doing this technique can be so challenging. Why? Well, most of us grew up learning the art of blaming another person. We blamed our siblings, our friends, the dog or cat, etc. We blamed to get out of trouble. We blamed to make the other person feel bad. We blamed to avoid situations or circumstances. It is easier to blame another person than accept responsibility for our own actions, behaviors, and failures. When you really practice and learn the sandwich approach, you are learning to be honest, transparent, vulnerable, and open to accepting feedback that could be hard to hear or handle. It can be scary, but it can change everything around. It can bring you closer to one another and open the doorway to a deeper, more connected relationship with each other.
Now if you are trying to communicate with someone that has a fearful/disorganized attachment style, be careful. Timing again is everything. They live in their survivor brain. You can see how difficult is has been for Colleen to communicate and connect with Matt. She really has to walk on eggshells and she is trying her best. It can appear that her best is not good enough. Because I think she realizes this failed relationship has nothing to do with her. It has to do with the unresolved trauma that Matt has not faced or dealt with in a healthy manner.
Now, I did not say much about the maladaptive attachment style, but those types seem like they can have psychopathic tendencies. I would not suggest being in a relationship with these types of people. They seriously need professional help. This information comes from Wiki, “Psychopathy, sometimes considered synonymous with sociopathy, is characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits. Different conceptions of psychopathy have been used throughout history that are only partly overlapping and may sometimes be contradictory.” Someone that is a psychopath does not have guilt or empathy. A narcissist does have guilt, but lacks empathy. So, if you just watch the show on Netflix, “I am a stalker“, you will notice how the first male that is interviewed in episode one does have a maladaptive attachment style. Here are the traits.
- They do not respect others
- They do not listen to others
- Cannot observe or respect other people’s boundaries
- Lack in close relationships
- Experience short lived relationships
- They have emotionally charged relationships
- They do not express their needs in a healthy manner or don’t express them at all
- They do not care for the needs of others
- They lack empathy
- Cannot express emotions appropriately
- They have high anxiety
- Low confidence within relationships
- Do not trust others
- Do not accept others or allow others to be imperfect
- They cannot offer compassion, sympathy, or understanding. They lack these skills.
- They want and need to control others
- They have intense anger within relationships
- They enter into relationships quickly and impulsively
- They have unrealistic expectation of others
- They are not interested in the emotions of others
- They need constant support and attention
Now, I did watch the final episode and reunion last night. It shocked me how Cole was treated. Let me explain because I was not the only one that was shocked. I previously told my partner about Cole and Zanab. I thought Cole would have said no at the alter. I did not expect Zanab to do a complete smear campaign and humiliate him in front of everyone. If you don’t know what a smear campaign, it is a plan to discredit a public figure by making false or dubious accusations. Zanab could have just said, “I do not.” She did not have to destroy him. When you say I love you to a person’s face and then smear them publicly, you do not know the meaning of love. That is not love, but abuse. Baptise and SK did not abuse their partners when they said, I do not.
Then to make matters worse, I am pretty sure she smeared him behind his back. She most likely did triangulation, where the narcissist will act as a messenger between two other people. Triangulation is one way a narcissistic partner might work to maintain control in the relationship and prevent themselves from being exposed. People with narcissism don’t always use blatant abuse tactics, like name-calling or aggression and violence. Their abuse is indirect. Instead, they often use manipulative tactics, like gaslighting, silent treatment or triangulation, in order to maintain the upper hand. Therefore, triangulation is where the narcissist will write the script to change people’s reality. This is considered gaslighting. The Zanab will play the victim, Cole is the abuser, and the person listening behind Cole’s back will receive a distorted story to change their opinion or reality of Cole. She was turning Cole into the abuser and turning them against Cole. And it worked. My partner and I saw it. Rumors were spread, and at the reunion, the other couples within the pods disliked Cole. And to make matters worse, Zanab was making up stories about Cole to make him appear even worse as a human being. Cole tried to call her out on her lies and even told them to please play the cut footage that Zanab declared happened. That is another form of triangulation. She plays the victim, Cole is the abuser, and the cut footage is proof, but there is no proof. It was just a fabricated story to play the victim card. And if she was the victim, she would be a mess, crying, and displaying the actions, behaviors, and identity erosion traits like Cole displayed if she truly loved him, but she did not truly love Cole.
Then we could see that Cole was wondering if he was such a bad person. It was clear as day to me that Cole was the real victim here. He looked like a mess, crying, apologizing, and wanting to understand what he did wrong. Remember the patterns, love bomb, devalue and discard. Zanab did precisely that to Cole and more. I do not like her. When you love someone or are even mad at them, there are better ways of acting, communicating, and behaving. And my partner pointed something out that I need to share today. When a story is created to make another person look bad and it is told enough times repeatedly to various people, the story can take on a life of its own. When enough people hear the same story over and over, people will believe that the story must be true without even going to the source for clarification. Zanab did this because she knew when her pod peers viewed the playback, they would be looking for what she considered abusive from Cole, trying to cover her own tracks of abuse towards Cole. So, if you are a peer pod person listening to podcast, I want you to review again and see if you can see what I see.
Also, the mind can play tricks on you. For example, there was a lot said about what happened off-camera. Some of the pod women said, well, I know what you did. But did you see it with your own eyes? Did you hear it with your own ears? If you have heard it enough times, when asked these questions, you might say yes, when the answer should be no. It was just feed to you enough times that you will believe the lie and believe that you were present, when in fact you were not.
When my partner watched the kitchen recap clip of Zanab nagging at Cole, my partner said, “That is so familiar. I can see myself in him and my ex-wife in her.” We could see what others could not because we both have experienced psychological abuse. We know the signs and patterns. Therefore, Cole, if you listen to this podcast or review my blog post, I am sorry. Your brain is fried. It can take you one or two years to get your brain back to normal. I suggest seeing a trauma therapist that specializes in psychological abuse and narcissism.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog post about attachment styles and communication.