However, if I seem to get in trouble with escalating negativity from the patient playing the targeted other even while employing the usual countermeasures, I know that I should stop, and try a different initial approach.
|"Who is Taking Care of Whom?" is a shell game|
The metacommunicator begins strategy #4 by expressing a wish for more closeness with the parent. They say something like, “I really feel bad that we get along so poorly; I really wish that things were better between us.”
In dysfunctional interactions, whenever one party brings up such parallels, the other party usually feels unjustly criticized, and therefore reacts negatively. This occurs for one of two reasons. First, the second party may feel that the first party is a hypocrite who is criticizing her for things the other party does herself. Alternately, one or the other party may feel that their situations though similar are not really the same at all.