Have you ever known someone who made you feel like your words were invalid? Has anyone made you feel as if you were the bad guy when they’re the ones instigating disputes? Has anyone ever made you feel….crazy? Well, then you may be dealing with a crazy maker.
We all know at least one crazy maker in our lives. According to Joi from Free People International, a crazy maker is defined as many things: manipulative; persuasive; charismatic; selfish; greedy; narcissistic; and irrational. Crazy makers love the drama they bring to people’s lives. They enjoy being the center of attention, no matter how chaotic their choices are in providing them recognition. They hate order, and thrive in disharmony.
Kimberly Keys from Psychology Today notes that there are three types of crazy makers: narcissists; drama-cultivators; and stealth-bombers.
- Narcissists-They’re the biggest crazy makers of them all. Narcissists are extremely insecure people deep down, who simply crave some type of validation-however, at someone else’s expense. The world revolves around them, and God forbid you tell them otherwise. They excel in being charismatic, charming, and controlling in order to get what they want. They lack empathy, and are willing to hurt others for their success.
- Drama-Cultivators-Usually histrionic, borderline, or another type of personality disorder. Drama-cultivators expect you to fix their problems on their time, not yours. They see everything as being a crisis, and are barely able to empathize with others due to being wrapped up in their own emotions and problems. Drama-cultivators often make their loved ones feel on edge in interacting with them due to their inconsistent affections; they could either love you one day or hate you, depending on how they think you make them feel.
- Stealth-Bombers-They’re the ones that seem like the least likely ones to be crazy makers, but alas, they are. They seem to attempt to please those around them, but to their own benefit. When commitments and plans stop benefiting them, they will seek opportunities to cancel plans, ruin moments, or to lose items important to the people in their lives. Then, when they’re confronted with their behavior, they will attempt to make you feel like the bad guy, and make you feel guilty for them canceling, ruining events, wasting your time, or losing things precious to you.
Crazy makers are also excellent at using four tactics to drain people of energy, according to Keys: the double-bind; inconsistent praise; selective memory; and lack of empathy.
- Double-bind-The double-bind is a tactic that disguises a negative message or gesture in positivity. For example, your significant other is upset with you over a situation. They’ll say they love you with an angry look. Then, when you question them about their look, they’ll snap because of the fact they said something positive.
- Inconsistent Praise-Ah, gotta love this one. This was one of the major issues I experienced in my first ever relationship. Inconsistent praise is self-explanatory: praise by someone, but on their terms when it’s convenient for them. My ex-boyfriend was great at saying he loved me and in offering me positive compliments…when he felt the need to express such emotions, at least. If I didn’t agree with him I didn’t do something he liked, or he was jealous of my success, I received much guilt, anger, and self-pity. However, when I agreed with him, was unhappy with myself, or praised him in something, he was the most affectionate and praising person ever.
- Selective Memory-Another sign of inconsistency from your local crazy makers! With selective memory, crazy makers will forget the issues you had with them when they need something out of you. Then, if you confront them on those issues, they will attack you with all the things you’ve done to upset or anger them. I’ve dealt with them in some past toxic friendships, as well. I gave much time and possessions to some former friends and forgave them for their slights against me, despite their lack of apology or change. They tried to suck me dry of everything I could give them, but refused to listen to any errors they committed against me.
4. Lack of Empathy-Crazy makers have the empathy levels of a toddler. They will claim to understand you, but really they don’t. They’re too consumed by their own emotions and feelings to even attempt to understand and to feel for others around them.
Unfortunately, crazy makers are in our lives as people we know: our family members, our friends, our significant others, or our bosses. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with crazy makers-and to help ourselves not feel so crazy. Sherrie Campbell from Self-Growth offers some tips in avoiding or dealing with the crazy makers in our lives: implementing boundaries; changing our response; being consistent in our character and actions; saying no; being factual; and being self-validating.
- Implementing Boundaries: You’re justified in being distant from crazy makers. You don’t have to be around them if you truly don’t need to be. Or, if you have to be, keep interactions short and objective. Crazy makers feed on personal anecdotes and situations to use against you later in the future.
- Changing Our Response: When a crazy maker tries to provoke you or upset you, take a step back and learn to change your response. They crave the drama, and crave you responding in a negative way to victimize themselves. Respond to them objectively, factually, and quickly.
- Being Consistent in Our Character and Actions: Since crazy makers off zero consistency in their actions or personality, you being consistent is the game changer. Be consistent in how you act around or respond to them.
- Saying No: You’re justified in saying no to them when they ask for favors. You don’t owe them anymore of your time than what’s being offered.
- Being Factual: Discipline yourself in showing emotion with them, as they enjoy to take advantage of any weakness or emotion you show when they hurt you. Be factual and objective in your interactions with them. Don’t show any emotion if they cancel, and discontinue inviting them out to situations or events they could ruin.
- Self-Validating: Lastly, love yourself and take care of yourself. Crazy makers are draining, and you deserve to feel respected and validated with yourself first and foremost, and in your relationships secondly. You’re validated to cut off crazy makers from your life, no matter how much they rant or try to guilt you into letting them stay.
Crazy makers are inevitable in life. However, you deserve to live an emotionally stable, positive life, as well as have emotionally stable and positive people around them. Crazy makers may make you feel crazy-but you have the power to keep yourself sane.