Are you the family scapegoat? 9 signs and what to do
If you’ve made it this far and are thinking, “Wow, yes, that’s totally me,” know that it’s not your fault and you don’t have to make amends for your family’s mistakes. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean family members have to constantly punish or ostracize you for things that aren’t your fault.
Also, as both Campbell and Neo argue, the gray cliff method is a useful tactic to learn because the truth is that the only thing you can control in these scenarios is your own reaction. With the help of the gray rock method, you simply do not give anything to criminals – you become a rock.
“Look at the bigger picture of what’s going on and then deal with it [them] as dispassionate as possible,” Neo explains, adding that you might think that makes you inauthentic, but you wouldn’t go to war without weapons or shields.
Or, as Campbell says, you can treat the gray rock method almost like you’re cheating on your family. “On the surface it just looks like people like it, but when you know you’re doing it for yourself, the psychology is completely different,” she explains.
This is the best way if you have dealing with toxic family members, but if it gets to the point where your family is causing you more stress and trauma than you can handle, it may be necessary to cut off contact if possible.
But of course, when that’s not possible, Neo advises as little contact as possible—any form of your pleasurable play should be strategic, not unconscious.