Thursday, 26 September 2019

Protecting Yourself From Emotional Predators by Steven J Wolhandler + #Giveaway

Protecting Yourself From Emotional Predators by Steven J Wolhandler
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction
Genre:  psychology, self-help, relationships, divorce
Publisher:  Amare Press
Release date:   January 2019

Steven Wolhandler, JD, MA, LPC knows how abusive and manipulative people prey on the emotions of good people - and how good people can protect themselves. He offers a radically different view of these Emotional Predators and provides practical effective solutions. For Emotional Predators, life is a strategy game to dominate and control, and you are either a player to be defeated or a game piece to be used. Without empathy or remorse, they’ll ruin your life, and traditional approaches will make things worse. You’ll learn 5 essential steps for protecting yourself, valuable guidance for safe relationships and over 30 specific defensive tactics for:

Distinguishing romance from intimacy
Restoring your self-esteem
Removing your emotional triggers
Using gratitude and humor
Playing their games better than they do - without becoming like them
Screening professionals to be sure they can help
Regaining control in family court
Breaking an addiction to an Emotional Predator
Re-balancing power in your favor
Adjusting beliefs that keep you trapped
Responding strategically, instead of reacting emotionally

Guest Post for Literary Flits, by Steven Wolhandler

Distinguishing Romance from Mature Loving
Emotional Predators make powerful use of our romantic desires when they seduce and hypnotize us.  Most people I know want to feel cherished, valued and loved.  Much of our economy is driven by selling romantic hopes for getting these things.  When she is laying a trap for you, an Emotional Predator will appear to completely adore you, to deeply share your world, to give you shelter from the storm and to be everything you’ve always dreamed of.  Once you’re hooked and committed, your dream person will become your worst nightmare.  This is a good reason to distinguish romantic love from mature loving.
Emotional Predators see the world and other people as either with them or against them.  They’ll idealize you as “all good,” which can be almost unimaginably seductive; who doesn’t want to be seen as perfect by someone else?  But without warning, they’ll flip you from “all good” to “all bad.”  An Emotional Predator will seduce you with messages about how great you are, which hooks into your romantic fantasies, only to attack you when they don’t get everything they want from you at the moment they want it.  After the romance has you hooked, they end the honeymoon, blaming you for almost anything.  Flipping you from “all good” to “all bad” is a form of what psychoanalysis calls “splitting.” 
Despite the relentless advertising and marketing messages of our mercantile culture, romantic love can be very dangerous.  Some years ago, a therapy group I ran called me the “romance dream killer” because of my concern about the dangers of romance.  It’s said that “love is blind” for good reason.  Emotional Predators prey on the blindness of others, particularly the blindness induced by romantic love.  To protect yourself, you need clear vision, not blindness.
The dangers of romantic love become clear when we understand that the romantic experience of “falling in love” is a form of blinding ourselves in order to try to master painful experiences from childhood.  I call this the mastery theory of romantic love.  As I describe in my book, Emotional Predators tune into your unmet needs from childhood that you seek to fulfill in adult relationships, and they hook you with a facade that they’ll deliver those things.  So it’s important to understand the mastery theory of romantic love to recognize what you unconsciously seek when you fall in love.
The mastery theory of romantic love holds that there are no perfect childhoods.  Everyone I know had some negative experiences with parent figures in childhood.  The common element in all of these negative childhood experiences was that, because we were children, we had no power to change them.  The mastery theory of romantic love says that, as adults we unconsciously seek out relationships that will re-create some aspect of those negative experiences.  This sounds pretty dismal, but the mastery theory also says we do this not to relive those negative experiences over and over, but to overcome them - to gain mastery over them.  Trying to change, fix or heal an Emotional Predator is a sign of the dangerous unconscious operation of the mastery theory of romantic love.
Understood in light of the mastery theory, falling in love is the process of seeking out a partner who will re-create negative childhood experiences (so that we can eventually overcome those experiences).  In order to get into an adult relationship that will re-create something negative from your childhood, you have to blind yourself to the negative traits in the other person that remind you of your childhood - traits that you’re actually there to try to overcome.
Suppose Julie’s father always told her that she had nothing worthwhile to say.  As an adult, Julie attends a party where two men talk to her; one’s a great listener and one’s a lousy listener.  Although it seems backwards, if Julie hasn’t resolved her childhood wound of being told she had nothing worthwhile to say, she’ll be captivated by the poor listener and will hardly notice the good listener.  This is romantic “falling in love” starting to operate.  Julie’s unconscious blocks out the negative traits of the poor listener, leaving only positive traits in her awareness.  In this highly filtered experience of him, he seems perfect and the honeymoon stage of romance begins.
Julie’s unconscious continues this selective attention - this blinding - until she’s gotten involved with the bad listener.  She needs to get involved so she can try to overcome his poor listening trait that recreates her childhood wound.  The honeymoon begins to wear off as her unconscious slowly lets that trait into her awareness - a trait that was in him all along.  And that gives her the opportunity to stand up to and master her childhood injury, using him as a surrogate for her father.  In this example, after Julie has been involved with the poor listener for some time she’ll start demanding that he listen to her and take her seriously, and will be frustrated when he doesn’t.  The point for purposes of protection from dangerous and toxic relatoinships is to be aware of how romantic love blinds us in ways that make us vulnerable to Emotional Predators.  An Emotional Predator will tune into your un-mastered childhood wounds, and pretending to be the person who’ll heal them, will feed your blind romantic fantasies.
By contrast with romantic love, mature loving isn’t something we feel, it’s something we do.  It’s a way of selfless acting toward another who can reciprocate (unless they’re a child or other innocent).  Sadly, too often when someone says “I love you” they mean “I’m getting what I want from you,” not “I want you to have what you want and need even if that means I won’t get what I want and need.”  You can be confident that when an Emotional Predator says she loves you, no matter how desperate you are to hear that, what she’s saying is that she’s getting, or thinks she can get, what she wants from you.  Remember, no matter how intoxicating it feels, romance is not mature intimacy.  Cynical as it may sound, when you’re involved in a passionate romance it’s a time to be particularly vigilant about noticing signs of an Emotional Predator.  Not all romance involves an Emotional Predator, but romantic love is a favorite stalking ground for Emotional Predators.

Please freely copy and distribute this post, but be sure to include that it was written by Steven Wolhandler, author of Protecting Yourself from Emotional Predators.  (It’s copyright, Steven Wolhandler, 2019) Thanks!

Meet the author:
Meet the Author: Steven Wolhandler, JD, MA, LPC is a psychotherapist, mediator, arbitrator, custody evaluator, national consultant and retired attorney. He has decades of experience dealing with, and learning from, difficult and manipulative people, and helping their victims with penetrating insight, effective solutions, warmth and humor. He lives in Colorado, consults with people internationally through

Connect with the author:
Website  ~  Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!  

Win one of 3 ebooks (mobi) of Protecting Yourself from Emotional Predators, or one $25 Amazon Gift Card, or the GRAND PRIZE of a 30 min FREE Consultation with Author (phone or video) (Open Internationally) (five winners)

Note: The GRAND PRIZE is transferable. This means if the winner knows someone who could use the free consultation, then they may transfer the prize to him/her.

Ends October 4, 2019

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  1. What an informative post! Thank you for sharing.

  2. This sounds like a book everyone should read!

    1. Lots of good advice for a difficult emotional issue

  3. This sounds like it is a very important topic. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I wish this book had existed twenty years ago :-/