Fourth of July holidays are an American tradition complete with fireworks in nearly every town, city area, and community in the country.
The issue to be celebrated is supposed to be INDEPENDENCE. The problem is, in homes ruled by overbearing and domineering or unpleasable people, many family members feel like they are being held hostage or they are slave labor — forced against our will to be traumatized and socially neglected day in and day out by Cluster B personality types.
Holiday sabotage by people with low to no emotional intelligence [aka “EQ”] is common in every nation — not simply in the United States. While folks with a strong connection to other human beings on a biologically supportive level share fellowship, the Holiday Saboteur looks for any possible way to take the focus off the event at hand and to turn everyone’s bio-psychological attention back to themselves.
Holidays are trigger events for people who fail to grasp the point of celebrating or of showing other people respect on days steeped in tradition. Not used to sharing the attention spotlight with other people in the family and in the community, oftentimes they will start to throw temper tantrums or to create events and pull PTSD inducing stunts to cause their normal Narcissistic Supply sources to pay 100% of their attention to them.
Think about it from their perspective: the rest of the days of the year except for special event days and on holidays the people who enable their toxic behavior the most tend to be fixated on pleasing them — and them alone. Not on playing social hostess or host.
In their minds you are not supposed to be thinking about anyone’s happiness but theirs. Especially your own — and definitely not about the happiness of other people.
The only time a person with a Cluster B personality disorder is interested in throwing some kind of event or in attending a party is when and if it is related in some way to them throwing it themselves or if the hosts create some sort of exclusive and prestigious guest list.
Because if they focus remains on them or they can brag about having been in attendance at the party later — not to build social prestige in the event or to show respect to the host but to energetically strive to steal whatever glimmer of success and fame the person who threw the party deserved while striving to inflate other people’s impression of them while they are bragging that the person they are talking to about whatever the function was that they (the invitee) was IN and that their listener (the person being targeted to insult) was deliberately excluded or somehow left out.
On the Fourth of July, many families in the United States get together for a potluck dinner party or to host a barbecue. Such events commonly include some kind of outdoor activity during the afternoon and watching fireworks or setting them off at home in the evening.
As with any family dinner party in the world — not just in America — the food and fun are supposed to be the focus of the event. Like any Sunday dinner or social event involving food… it’s common to expect the following atmosphere tends to be created time and time again regardless of past success hosting pro-social events.
- alcohol served at homes or facilities that are not officially “dry”
- extended family members who do not see one another regularly tend to bring up past family history and topics of contention discussed at previous events that ended poorly in an effort (many times) of manufacturing chaos or to actually honorably seek closure
- the person hosting the event physically (meaning doing the lion’s share of the manual labor and managerial as well as event planning preparation) to be stressed out of their mind unless they have a team of loving and supportive family members and supportive party guests in attendance
When and if you factor in things like:
- Narcissists like to be the center of attention come hell or high water
- Narcopaths are likely to prefer chaos to the normal order in a home where a family event is being hosted — and they want everyone messing up their pattern behavior to know how incredibly displeased they are
- People with freezing or frozen neuroplasticity tend to respond poorly to change
… all of a sudden it becomes massively easier to depersonalize their seemingly nonsensical pattern of ruining all of our holidays.
In the case of a Fourth of July Holiday Saboteur, before personalizing abuse, consider the following.
- How old is the problem person?
- How was the problem person raised to behave during social events and on holidays?
- Is the problem person bothered by things like loud noises?
- Does the person in question dislike fireworks in general due to fear of something like a fire or unresolved PTSD issues?
See where we are going with this?
By doing a rudimentary forensic psychology armchair diagnosis of every family member and prospective guest, one can quickly figure out who to include or to invite to what type of event where.
By changing our perspective about why we are involved with people who are clearly candidates for the “Basket of Deplorables” by dictionary definition in-the-know Narcissistic Abuse advocating Liberals warned us about we have the physical ability to go gray rock and to reevaluate whether personalizing abuse toxic family members dish out by habit is bait that we want to serve up to ourselves like tasty bites of metaphoric pieces of Sushi on a plate.
If you have no interest in eating rotten bait fish energetically for the day, consider prepping yourself mentally and emotionally in advance in order to be able to essentially “Ambivert” the event. Ambiverts are introverts who know socializing is healthy — and many of us choose to approach socializing with realistic expectations in mind about various problematic individuals behavior so when and if they act out and follow the typical pattern for their particular Cluster B diagnosis we are able to steel our resolve to remaining gray rock (not reactive).
Love boating or fishing and going to the beach followed by watching fireworks outdoors on the 4th of July? Plan to have lunch with Great Aunt Marge on the 5th. She wants to spend time with you… not your too young children or her brother Uncle Quinn.
Want to cook at the house outdoors on the grill — a big meaty fare — followed by sparklers and cute fireworks out in the middle of the street to do something fun for the neighborhood children as well as for yourself on your holiday off work? Let Grandpa Homer camp himself indoors on the couch with a remote control in his hand — assuring him he has control of the television and the barcalounger for the entire day and evening himself.
Teaching empathy to others means having compassion for yourself as well as for them.
Take the kids to do something fun and outdoors. Let the ladies who hate bugs and mud and sweating stay home in the kitchen where they can pretend to be the best cooks in the world and fan their makeup camouflaged faces every time one of them opens an oven door.
Pace yourself. Understand over-scheduling makes cranky adults and over-tired children prone to acting out.
You know Uncle Ben. He likes running the grill and gets madder than Billy B. Damned if you don’t let him. Instead of personalizing him being pushy and bizarrely dictatorial let him have at it. Understand the reason he stands there flipping burgers, turning hot dogs, and grilling BBQ Chicken is likely because he feels massively stressed in party settings, his back hurts him if he sits too much, and standing there making sure people get their food hot and grilled to their steak rare type preferences gives him something to do to make him feel like he’s contributing to the success of the event while creating an excuse to break conversation or eye contact.
It’s a hot dog. Or a steak. Or a burger. Or a piece of chicken. Cooking for your guests every year might be his only form of “giving back to the community” his low to no EQ brain might be looking forward to all year. Let him self-actualize while you remember it’s his thing.
If you are involved with a Love Fraud predator — expect things like hanky-panky from serial cheaters, for them to pick some sort of massive fight with you so they can disappear with a manufactured excuse, or for them to be the person who always wants to go to the store. Whoever goes to the store in bad faith will inevitably claim they have to go back because they forgot to get one or more of the essential items they went there to get.
Test but verify. And, if you are actually dating or married to a serial cheater or a social predator… lordy. Make tapes and document, document, document, document.
Dark Triads tend to get drunk or to start physical or incredibly verbally abusive arguments. They want the center of focus at the party to be them and they see guests the way a wolf who snuck into a pack of sheep views their potential prey, plotting a feeding frenzy of epic social and emotional gluttony import.
Stay sober. Make them BYOB. Make sure in advance to take everyone’s car keys in exchange for their beer mug or wine glass. Only break out the good liquor after the event cleanup is done and when any problem drinkers or actual alcoholic family members have gone home.
Expect your cousin Randy who was in the Armed Forces to be emotionally thrown for a loop for the day if he’s been to war or is vexed by politics happening currently. If he’s been injured in battle — especially out of the blue by something like a mine or by a sniper assault — expect him to jump 19 miles out of his skin every time he hears the pop of a firecracker or the swoosh band of an overhead firework.
Celebrating the Fourth of July with him is for him.
Aunt Annie’s guts twisted into pretzel knots again because Uncle Bob refuses to stop making passive-aggressive slights against appearance and her weight while he sits and leers at the teen daughter of the next-door neighbor? Watch her offer to do the most manual labor to assist the party host just to have something to do with the excess adrenaline in her body produced by feeling insulted, knowing her husband is likely to be a creep, and that unless she wants a divorce there is not a thing in the world she can possibly say or do about his toxic behavior.
Help her untie those knots by slipping her a note with the web address for flyingmonkeysdenied.com or send her a Facebook invite to follow one of our official fan pages:
Bad Brad always makes his Narcissistic Harem females feel special by promising to see, to call, or to Skype or Facetime on the day of any holiday or special event. Know if you are his primary supply, you get to throw the party but he will be in and out faster than a waiter bum-rushing back and forth through a revolving door to the kitchen. The mistresses, on the other hand, tend to end up not making plans for the day or evening with other people in the hopes their love interest will make time to contact them or to see them.
Encourage him to go to the store or to handle that mysterious emergency at his closed-for-the-holiday workplace. Seriously. If you have a house full of company there or on the way and a cheater is being obstinate and antagonistic… encourage him calmly but matter of factually to leave. Argue with that sum of a mommy dearest mother person later.
Love Fraud predator Jim is likely to disappear on his primary Narcissistic Supply store if he meets that special guy or girl who believes whatever Tinder-style line to get them to hook up on the fly. Expect him back when he gets bored or she has somewhere else to be without him — usually 12 to 120 hours after he (out of the blue without rhyme, reason, or warning) pulled a disappearing act based on happenstance romance opportunity.
Use time alone with your support network to discreetly and as safely as possible to reach out and to let them know what’s going on. Let the day be your opportunity to self-advocate to have assistance to plan your safe escape or to figure out the best possible of all was to get the gaslighting moral criminal out.
Auntie Jennifer gets falling down drunk at events. Then she and Bad Grandma — both nearly the same age — start doing a striptease and singing karaoke. Expect one or both to strip down to their birthday suit or knickers to “celebrate” the special day and to end up jumping in the pool or off a boat with some sort of grand, attention-seeking holler of the word, “Woo!”
Be ready for her — by literally having no part of her garish behavior. Uninvite or let her know that getting binge drunk in front of children or sober people is never socially appropriate. Film her behavior in the moment. Show everyone she lies to about how she was acting — later.
The more histrionic random house guests or people included in the event are, the more one can expect social competition to be generated and promoted. Expect people trying to do things to outdo one another.
Expect drinking games to get out of hand, truth or dare games to deteriorate to a try out session for Darwinian Awards, and for whichever person has BPD in the family [Borderline Personality Disorder] to spend the entire evening blathering on without taking a breath.
With all of this said… knowing the aforementioned pattern behaviors are simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reporting the types of shenanigans provocateurs and Sadistic Voyeurs tend to behave like at Fourth of July holiday events, know this…
You are not OBLIGATED to socialize. Not with your family, not with a love interest, not with anyone — ever.
You have a right to say no to hosting or attending events. Choose to socialize — or be polite and excuse yourself from being forced to host or conned into attending house parties or any form of gathering with your own or with anyone’s toxic family.
If you find yourself at one of the events, pretend you are Jane Goodall observing a new form of primate. Grunt back at them like a Gorilla and wave your arms at them to chase them away from you or out of the kitchen if you are looking for a ridiculous way to let them know that you are displeased with but refuse to be rattled by their provocative, baiting, or party sabotaging behavior.
Then, really take in the data you were able to collect. Study forensic psychology and make mental note to yourself about any behaviors that are new, escalating, or absent that used to be a problem with any particular individuals in the past.
Try to survive the fireworks at home by limiting time guests are allowed to spend talking to or jibbering at their preferred Scapegoat or social abuse targets. Take the targeted person underwing in a place away from their tormentors before they have a chance to be trapped into emotionally provoking, calm destroying conversations.
Strive to make plans with those most likely to ruin a party on a day just after or nearest after the actual holiday. Exclude guests who are mean to others or who are routinely caught with a wry smile on their face feigning innocence about why a family member or person they marked to talk to in private is upset and bawling while they are simply NOT.
One of the best ways to understand how to wrangle a herd of toxic family cats is to start by ensuring the most emotionally sensitive person in the family unit has support. Work your way up from there whether that person is you or it is someone else.
You are not imagining that Cluster B people always strive to be included at special events they do not actually like, appreciate, or enjoy attending.
Celebrate your own social and emotional independence from Abusers and from their Enablers by going gray rock and learning how to simply observe them as forensic psychology subjects to study if and when you, for whatever reason, find yourself in their same space and proximal geo-distant vicinity.