There always seem to be people somewhere in our lives who think that treating others poorly is okay. The individual(s) on the receiving end can be caught off guard, confused, and even have their feelings hurt. I prefer to call these people who intentionally treat others badly, crazymakers.
Crazymakers can be bosses, coworkers, neighbors, relatives, so-called friends, and even in your own nuclear family – parents, siblings, and even your own children.
In her book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron describes Crazymakers as “those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. And…toward people in their vicinity, they are enormously destructive. You know the type: charismatic but out of control, long on problems and short on solutions.” In short, they will sabotage your time, your vacation, holidays, special occasions, etc.”
"Crazymakers plant seeds of strife where ever they go. They waste your time and suck you into the black hole of their neediness. They devote their extensive energies to destroying other people’s lives; always choosing critical moments for their sabotage” – pre-holiday season/holidays, special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries, when you’re on vacation….anytime the crazymaker thinks the attention isn’t on them.
"Crazymakers are the kind of people who can take over your entire life, and will keep trying until they feel they’ve succeeded. They also passive aggressively pit people against one another and stir up dissension. The crazymaking dynamic is grounded in power, and so any group of people can function as an energy system to be exploited and drained.”
“If you are involved with a crazymaker, you probably already realize it, and you certainly are familiar with what’s listed in the above paragraphs. Crazymakers like drama. If they can swing it, they are the STAR. Everyone around them functions as supporting cast, picking up cues, their entrances and exits, from the crazymaker’s (crazy) whims.”
“Whether they appear as your overbearing mother, your manic boss, your needy friend, your stubborn spouse,” or your temper-tantrum adult child, “crazymakers share certain destructive patterns that make them poisonous” and toxic.
Julia Cameron describes crazymakers as follows:
CRAZYMAKERS BREAK DEALS AND DESTROY SCHEDULES.They show up two days early for your wedding and expect you to wait on them hand and foot. They rent a cabin bigger than the one agreed upon and expect you to foot the bill.
CRAZYMAKERS EXPECT SPECIAL TREATMENT. They suffer a wide panopoly of mysterious ailments that require care and attention whenever you have a deadline looming – or anything else that draws your attention from the crazymaker’s demands.
CRAZYMAKERS DISCOUNT YOUR REALITY. No matter how important your deadline or how critical your work trajectory at the moment, crazymakers will violate your needs. They may act as though they hear your boundaries and will respect them, but in practice, ACT, is the operative word.
CRAZYMAKERS SPEND YOUR TIME AND MONEY. If they borrow your car they return it late with an empty tank. Their travel arrangements always cost you time or money.
CRAZYMAKERS TRIANGULATE THOSE THEY DEAL WITH.Because they thrive on energy (your energy), they set people against one another in order to maintain their own power position dead center. (That’s where they can feed most directly on the negative energies they stir up.) Or they say, "so-and-so feels/thinks the same way"....and "so-and-so" has no clue they're being included in the accusation, nor do they typically share the crazymakers same feelings/opinions.
CRAZYMAKERS ARE EXPERT BLAMERS. Nothing that goes wrong is ever their fault, and to hear them tell it, the fault is usually yours.
CRAZYMAKERS CREATE DRAMAS – BUT SELDOM WHERE THEY BELONG. Crazymakers are often unhappy scared individuals who are stuck (by choice) in a vortex of anger. They are loath to allow happiness in others. It makes them jealous and they feel threatened. It makes them dramatic – at your expense. Devoted to their own agendas, crazymakers impost these agendas on others. Whatever matters to you becomes trivialized into mere backdrop for the crazymaker’s personal plight.
CRAZYMAKERS HATE SCHEDULES – EXCEPT THEIR OWN.If you claim a certain block of time as your own, the crazymaker will find a way to fight you for that time, to mysteriously need things (or you) just when you need to be alone and focused on the task at hand.
CRAZYMAKERS HATE ORDER. Chaos serves their purposes. When you establish space that serves you for a project, they will abruptly invade that space with a project of their own.
CRAZYMAKERS DENY THAT THEY ARE CRAZYMAKERS.They go for the jugular. “I’m not what’s making you crazy,” they will say when you point out a broken promise or a piece of sabotage, “It’s YOU that [insert something else to blame].”
“If crazymakers are that destructive, what are we doing with them? The brutal answer is that we’re that crazy ourselves and we are that self-destructive. Really? Yes."
When we, the non-crazymaker, go to whatever lengths possible to keep the peace, do what’s (supposedly) right, turn the other cheek [insert more clichés as necessary], all we are really doing is enabling the crazymakers behavior and allowing ourselves to be abused.
“As frightening and abusive as life is with a crazymaker, I can seem far less threatening than the challenge of creating a life of our own without the crazymaker present. OMG, what would happen then? What would our life be like? We can get stuck on our own fears, making up excuses and continue to allow others to abuse us.”
I have learned over the years (from tons of first hand experience!) that while it’s important to choose good companions for our life’s journey, it’s imperative to avoid crazymakers as much as you possibly can! The path to a better, happier life filled with personal growth and understanding is often the one path that leads us directly away from a crazymaker.
"So, if you are involved in a tortured tango with a crazymaker, stop dancing to his/her tune. Pick up a book on codependency, get yourself to a 12-step program for relationship addiction," find a therapist, or better yet hire a life coach to help you with setting boundaries so you too can have a BRIGHTER FUTURE!
(Note: Specific quotations and crazymaker description are direct from the book, The Artisits Way - A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity - 10th Anniversary Edition, by Julia Cameron.)