We’ll begin by describing some of the general indications that a person may be exhibiting SBCMB, so you can recognise that this pattern of behaviours may be at play in a certain situation, and ask further questions if necessary.
As we mentioned above, people who exhibit SBCMB can seem to be behaving in a normal way at first. In fact, some can be quite effective in their vocations. This is especially true if they work in a field where an ability to persuade people is important. Such people can build significant and loyal followings. Indeed, through their influence they can genuinely help many people. (This is probably why some such people can end up being leaders or influential figures in churches or other Christian ministry contexts.) All of these are of course good in themselves: just because somebody is effective or influential or helpful to others doesn’t mean they are exhibiting SBCMB! Furthermore, it is right to think the best of people—to take people at face value, and at their word. We all know that that’s how relationships work.
After a while, however, three things tend to happen around people who exhibit SBCMB. These are:
- Strange inconsistencies in the person’s relating and speaking
- Crazy-making: Increasing confusion among people in the person’s sphere of influence (including reports of “gaslighting”)
- People in the person’s sphere of influence identifying their experiences as “abuse”
Copyright © 2021 Lionel and Bronwyn Windsor
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To read the whole paper: Slow-burn crazy-making behaviours
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