You may be used to making excuses for the pressure in a relationship. All relationships occasionally experience pressure. Ones with #Hijackals--difficult, toxic people--are volatile, high-pressure, and way too much steam. Save yourself distress . Listen.
Who wants to live in a pressure cooker?
No one goes out and says, "I want to live with anxiety, hyper-vigilance, stress, and uncertainty. Give me that relationship!"
Well, no one who cares about themselves does, right?
Today, I'm using the contrasts between a slow cooker and a pressure cooker to highlight just what I mean. Most of us have one or the other--maybe, both--in our kitchens. We know what they do.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE:
- Healthy relationships get better with time
- Hijackal relationships have too much pressure
- How to tell the difference between healthy relationships and unhealthy relationship
- Nine ways to recognize there is too much pressure, too much anxiety
- How Hijackals trick you into thinking all is well and you are loved
- How to tell if you're in a narcissistic relationship, a controlling relationship, a potentially traumatic relationship
Have you ever thought about slow cookers and pressure cookers in terms of how relationships start, grow, cook, or burn? It makes it quite clear!
Healthy relationships grow. They're gently creating depth of flavor, slowly.
#Hijackal relationships degrade and love to reduce even the strongest fiber to nothing.
Which relationship sounds better to you? Less heat over more time to savor the flavor? Or, greater heat over less time to break things down?
Are you genuinely captivated by your partner, or feeling controlled and a captive? Big difference!
Think deeply about these points today, even though you may think they are presented in a more lighthearted way. These are important distinctions that can lead to you being more able to discern whether your relationship has hope for being healthy. You need to know that!
Hello, and welcome to save your sanity podcast. So glad you're here. Today we're going to be talking about nine ways to tell if your relationship is a healthy slow cooker or if it is an Hijackal pressure cooker. And you may have some clues, of course, you know, if you're living in a pressure cooker, I'm sure, but I wanted to give you some analogies here because I think we all know what a slow cooker is. Likewise, we are familiar with the pressure cooker.
And I think the two are a good way of making distinctions between what is healthy and what is unhealthy. So we'll have some fun with that.
So slow cookers, pressure cookers, which one of them does your relationship feel like? You know there is a great difference between the two of them. And we'll just talk about some of them. Now one of them is really great for everything. You know which one that is, that's the healthy slow cooker. You can use it for any kind of food or purpose, and then the other greatly reduces time under pressure.
So those are the two big differences between the two. One will get the job done, but it'll take a long time allowing you to savor the flavor, while the other will more than half the time by utilizing pressure. Now I can tell you that it is one of the major distinctions between how a healthy relationship starts and how a Hijackal relationship starts.
A healthy relationship starts slowly and then grows. It is something like a slow cooker, which is great for everything. There's no rush; you get to know one another, you get to be apart and come together and do things in an organic way. And it's quite lovely how it can develop and yes, sometimes you really wish you could go a little faster. And sometimes you want to slow it down. But it's healthy because when you put that feedback in there, slow down, speed up whatever the other person responds, and it becomes quite a lovely dance.
On the other hand, a relationship with a Hijackal is something like a pressure cooker. Hijackals are almost always in a hurry. They put on the pressure on when you first meet them. They tell you, Oh, I don't know you, but I love you. I'm gonna spend the rest of my life with you. You are my soul mate; I just want to make babies. They will tell you anything to speed up the process. And they do these because they are putting up a front, a façade, a persona that is nothing like who they really are.
It is their aggressive self, the personality that seeks to go out and capture what they want. They're in a hurry because they can't be that charming and lovely all the time. They don't want to be, and when you meet them, you feel like you're so known, because they kind of have an 18th sense like, to figure out what would make a person really happy quickly. And so there is this pressure cooker phenomenon. Are you familiar with that? I bet you are if you have had anything to do with a relentlessly difficult, toxic person.
And so we want to make distinctions by listing nine ways to differentiate between the healthy slow cooker relationship and the Hijackal pressure cooker relationship. That way, it's really clear, and the analogy sticks.
Number one: the way that the slow cooker does things is that it's a slow, healthy process. Okay, we meet we don't get in a rush, we like each other. But we're circumspect. We're checking each other out and basically just calibrating. You know, did I really hear that? That was that lovely. That seemed like a little bit of a red flag. Let me investigate. I don't think I like this person very much, but I'm willing to get to know them to see what's there. I'm not in a rush. I don't need to hurry. I don't make snap judgments; I'm willing to learn. That's basically how a healthy relationship moves along.
And the other side of it is the pressure cooker, in which the Hijackal speeds things up. Get in there. Get what you want. Make the person think that you are who they want, make that person feel good, even though you don't care? It's an acquisition process for Hijackal.
So when you think back on your relationships, the healthy ones involved a slow process. Which one is speeded up? Not good. You know, one of the things if you find somebody who's really trying to speed things up, know that that's a big red flag. Know It. Don't miss it. Somebody's trying to go faster than you're comfortable with. Not good at all. So that's the first one. Now,
Number two: A healthy relationship involves less heat and more time. Okay, we're not in a rush. We're not under pressure. We're learning. We're growing. We're inquiring, we're curious. We're calibrating. We're figuring things out. I like this; I don't like that. Let's see if we can talk about what isn't working. There's less heat, more time, and no rush. But with the Hijackal, it's more heat and less time. And it is important for us to realize this distinction. Because they are not engaging with you, they are not endeavoring to create something with you. They endeavor to have power over you and be intoxicating so that you won't notice they're toxic.
And they're good at that. And you may have your friends saying to you, oh, I don't like that person very much. And you say, Oh no, but there's a wonderful, they are my soul mate. Well, they just need to be loved a little more. You just don't understand them. And other people are saying to you, no, you know, take a step back look at it this way. But because you are all caught up in that heat, which we also know as the love bombing stage, it becomes difficult for you to immediately see through their façade.
You know, there are really many things that we can look out in the rearview mirror and see well that happened and That's probably where I should have said, Stop. But Hijackals are very clever. You know, just when you think you're feeling too much heat, they'll take the pressure off for a hot minute. And then you think, well, maybe it's okay.
Number three: They are in a healthy form. When there's external heat, which in the case of these things, you should plug them in, and you take that heat off, maybe the heat of the world or the stress of the world or whatever, and everything cools down. Okay, that was tense that was tight. But you know, cooler heads will prevail. We know what's going on. We know the heat was turned on. We know it's off now. We can relax, we can figure things out. That's a healthy way. That's the healthy approach to all of this. But what should the Hijackals do? Oh, no, they don't do that.
When the external heat is turned on after being turned up, the external heat goes away. But they steam for a long time. Lots of pressures still remaining a long time to get rid of the heat, and therefore, a long time to get rid of the steam, and it's very anxiety-producing for the people around them, right? Because are they okay? Am I safe with them? Am I not safe with them? Can I look at them sideways? Is it time to speak? Can we solve a problem? Will we ever be able to solve a problem? Is there ever a good time? These are the questions that we end up having to ask ourselves about these Hijackals.
It's really important to know that Hijackals paint a public picture of perfection. At home, they create a private place of pain. So what they were showing you in the beginning and what they were showing your family or your friends, trying to make a big deal of how wonderful they were, does not hold true when you get home. Now all of a sudden, everything is your fault. You are always wrong. You are demeaned, devalued discounted, dismissed. And I know that because that is a big distinction. You know, I remember saying to people about my mother, both my parents were Hijackals and I'm an only child. And I remember saying to someone, you know, I think I was about 14 and lived in a small town and I said, you know, my mother's really mean, and they said, How dare you talk about your mother like that. She's the salt of the earth.
Oh, well, that wasn't true. Everybody didn't think that but that particular person did. And they made me wrong for bad-mouthing my mother. Have you had an experience like that in your relationship, whereas, at home, they are just horrible? And then you say something about how it is at home, and nobody can recognize that person. So they tell you, you're wrong.
That can even happen when you go to a therapist. I've had many clients who come in and tell me that they've been to many therapists. And what happens is Hijackal goes along, and what's their agenda? Their agenda is to get the therapist to agree with them. So they manipulate, exploit, and seduce the therapist into their way of thinking. And then the person who went along hoping to have the problem seen gets wounded by two people instead of one.
And you know if I can ever help you with that, just go to be a client calm. I do offer an introductory one hour, where we have a full session for only $97. So that we can get to know each other and know what I can help you with. So if what I'm saying has made some sense to you, that this external heat goes away the heat of the world, the heat of what was going on in their day goes away, and they come home, and this is their safe haven, and they relax, and everything is lovely. Or even if they come home a little agitated, it all dissipates, that's healthy. But if the external heat gets turned off, and they come home, and you are the lucky recipient of all that heat, and then the steam is that was built up, just goes off and goes up. And you don't know when it's going to end. That's the Hijackal relationship. That's the way Hijackals roll, and you need to be very clear about that. So what's another way that you can tell the difference is a slow cooker which is healthy. And of course, this doesn't have anything to do with cooking because both of them will create wonderful food if you're looking for a kitchen appliance. I just want to use this as a metaphor.
Number four: So, what's another way that we can identify a healthy relationship? Well, one thing for sure is that they're easy to maintain over time. A slow cooker, is easy to maintain over time, doesn't have many bells and whistles doesn't do too much. Heats the food, keeps it hot for a long time, and cooks it thoroughly. Easy, low maintenance, reliable. It always does what it says it'll do. It always makes the food tender, flavorful, better. And you can rely on it. You can put things in that slow cooker, and all are going to be good.
But a relationship with a Hijackal has so many parts that can break that would need to be replaced. It is not reliable. It may be faster, but it's not reliable. Now, of course, I'm not talking about kitchen appliances here at all. I have an instant pot. I love it. It's 100% response reliable. However, for this analogy for this metaphor, just want you to think about the fact that if something has lots of settings on it, with different timings, and valves and steam jets and all of those things, there is a higher likelihood that something in it is going to get broken. But something that is easy to maintain and lasts a long time means that you don't have to be thinking or watching over it all of the time.
Very clearly, you don't want to be in a relationship that is absolutely focused on your fears all the time, which is what happens when you're in a relationship with a Hijackal. There are so many things that can break, and Hijackals are always telling you that you're not good enough; everything is your fault. They're always trying to win. They'd like to Gaslight; they like to define your reality for you. They like to tell you what you think, feel, need, want, prefer, or remember (gaslighting). And so there's just so many pieces waiting to break.
What's healthy in a relationship is the same thing with the slow cooker; it's less expensive, easy to get easy to keep lasts a long time. Great thing. But initial investment, much more expensive if you get yourself a pressure cooker. Now, more things to break. We've already had that except that discussion. But do you see the analogy? Okay, in the beginning, it's less expensive. It's easier. It's easier to get it's easier to walk through the other high pressure. Oh, I'm falling in love with you. Oh my goodness, you're wonderful. Oh, I just need you to do this for me. And they make a mistake. They show their true self, and then they apologize deeply. Oh, I never meant to hurt you. Or one of the famous passive-aggressive things is when you complain that something hurt you. They will say this passive-aggressive thing. Be very aware of how passive-aggressive sounds. This is what a Hijackal or a passive-aggressive person (all hijackals are passive-aggressive), will say, I'm sorry that bothers you, but it's your fault.
And so Hijackals are expensive, and a relationship with one involves a high personal cost. But when you're in a healthy relationship, your needs are both equally met all the time, there is no loss involved, and there is no potential threat to lives.
But when you're in a Hijackal relationship, it can be very expensive. Now another important thing to remember is when you're in a healthy relationship, you have a lot of time. There's no rush. By it's very nature, a slow cooker is slow. There's breathing room; there's room to learn and grow. There's time to think and formulate a response. It feels leisurely, and you don't feel pressured.
But conversely, if you're with a Hijackal, everything is always under pressure. In fact, if you're with them for a while, or if you were raised by one and then or with one, you probably have become somewhat hyper-vigilant. You're always looking over your shoulder. You're always wondering, you know, Is everything okay? Is the person going to blow up? Are they going to find fault with things? Have I done things as perfectly as possible? Are they going to hurt me? Are they going to threaten me?
And so, you are always under pressure, which is very hard on your body. That kind of chronic stress is very hard in your body. A study done to observe the effect of chronic stress and anxiety on breast cancer in women found out that women who are under chronic stress and anxiety were nine times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who weren't.
Now, we know that even natural stress and anxiety can cause us to develop autoimmune disorders. How much more of a bigger risk we stand if we're always under pressure does. And if that relates to you, like you're always kind of sleeping with one eye open. You've always got one foot on the floor, ready to run. You've always got one eye on the Hijackal wondering, are we good? Is it going to be okay? Are they going to blow up, and what's going to happen? You're in a pressure cooker. And it's not a good place to be. And no, they're not going to change. I can tell you that. You need to do the changing.
You can't change an Hijackal, they have to really want to change, and they usually don't. But you can change. You can test a few things you can make sure you're in the best shape possible that you can communicate in.
But Hijackals always come with pressure, they're always creating pressure, and they and you want to notice if your shoulders go up towards your ear lobes most of your time and it's unhealthy if it's coming from your relationship.
So a slow cooker relationship is healthy because the heat grows slowly and steadily. Now that could be intimacy, desire, safety, trust, love, etc. These things grow slowly and steadily in a good way. There's no rush, and it brings you joy. This is something that wakes you up. This is something that makes you feel loved and stable and solid.
But by contrast, if you're in a pressure cooker Hijackal relationship, it sizzles at the start and then turns into high pressure from then on. And then every time you sort of complain about the intense pressure, and you say I can't do this anymore, they dial back on the heat. That's what we call love bombing. And then slowly they crank it back up to get what they want.
And they get what they want by exploding in anger, giving you the silent treatment, going away for a few days. They would do whatever it takes to get you to yield. But the whole idea is to turn up the pressure and get what they want.
Now, coming to the last couple of them, in a healthy relationship, things cook gently, slowly extracting the flavors to get the best of whatever there is in the pot. Making sure that things blend well together, that the seasonings are shared, and we arrive at something that is better than the sum of its parts. Because it's cooking gently and that's terrific. It gets better and better as it cooks. It's the kind of relationship we want one that gets better and better as it cooks. I certainly hope so.
But if you're with a Hijackal, it's going to cook aggressively. It's going to come on really strong. It's going to get the heat way up. It's going to put the pressure on, steam is going rise, and all of that sounds great if it's in the bedroom where it often is in the beginning, but it extends to the emotional and verbal abuse that I talked about. "I want you to do it this way. I want you to do it my way. I want you to do it when I want you to do it."
And they're very aggressive and insensitive. You do not want to live in a pressure cooker like that? I hope if you recognize this right now, and you recognize that you've been making excuses or rationalizations or justifications for the person who is behaving like a pressure cooker, this might be a good time to stop and recognize the difference.
That is not what you want. It's not what you deserve. It's not what your children need to see. It is a big deal, especially when you have children; you are undertaken to show them how men and women are and who are in a relationship are supposed to behave. They are taking it all in. And depending on whether you're with someone who's aggressive or kind, your kids could take up some of those traits.
Always remember this. Children often fail to do what we tell them to do. But they seldom fail to do what we do. It's a big deal.
Now to the last point, the difference between being in a healthy slow cooker relationship, and in a Hijackal pressure cooker relationship, is that when you're in a healthy relationship, it makes things tender. It is delightful. It makes things juicy and tender and flavorful and lovely things. You look forward to things that you enjoy things that you can share.
But if you were in a relationship with Hijackal, you are going to get Hijackal's attention that breaks things down. Makes them tender. It is continually breaking them down. And that's the thing about a pressure cooker. It's one of the reasons people have them and enjoy them so much because of their amazing capacity to take a really tough kind of meat and break it apart.
Now the slow cooker will soften it and tenderize meat with time. But actually, the pressure cooker will actually break it down, and that might be happening to you right now. You may find that you are being broken down by your relationship. And that is simply not good.
You don't want to be in relationships where you're broken down, or where you're afraid of being broken down, or where you have been broken down to the place where you have kind of given up. You've been torn down, worn down, and put down so often that you've given up; you don't even know who you are anymore.
Maybe the Hijackal has defined you for a very long time. And you've given up and said, maybe they're right. I've had so many clients who, who come to me and say, Well, this person says I'm awful, maybe they're right. And when we look at it, they're wrong. These people are not awful. The Hijackal is using those lies to keep the pressure on and break their victim down. That's what they're doing, and that is not good, and it is not necessary.
And you may need help to build that up and know; I'm always here for you, I'm always ready to help you. So I hope this analogy, this kind of metaphor, has made some sense to you. Because if you're constantly feeling pressure, if you're living in a pressure cooker, that is not going to produce the slow, tender, joyful, flavorful, wonderful life that you want. In addition, you would be providing an unhealthy model to the children who are observing your actions. I hope you chose what's good for you.
So in the meantime, I look forward to speaking with you again. I hope to find you in my membership program. All the things I have talked about, you'll find my website. Take very good care of yourself and think about these things. You don't deserve to be living in a pressure cooker. Every one of us has pressurized moments now and again. But if your relationship is a pressure cooker, that is not okay. Please, take very good care of yourself, your press new matter.
I look forward to talking with you soon.