Finally, you may be at a point where you need to say something publicly against a person exhibiting SBCMB. If this is the case, you need to be very careful and precise. All the features of SBCMB we have noted above—i.e. that they seem deeply committed to a distorted view of reality, that they are often very good with persuasive language, that they are highly skilful at portraying themselves as victims and eliciting sympathy both from crowds and from those “above” them, will work against you. Here are some suggestions.
Firstly, be very, very sure you are right and that the truth of your criticism is real.
Secondly, choose to focus on one key, big, central issue. It needs to be something that is clearly demonstrable, understandable, concrete and obvious. Don’t try a shotgun approach, criticising them for small things—because any small thing you choose will probably be seized on by the person and turned into a big thing and thus an opportunity to portray themselves as a victim.
Thirdly, be prepared for an onslaught. We are not necessarily speaking about an onslaught of direct rage against you, but something more difficult to resist: an onslaught of vulnerability. The kinds of reactions to criticism we have mentioned above may all be employed. You may be covertly criticised for being mean, or for blowing up tiny things into huge things, or for not listening enough, or for being drawn into a conspiracy against them. It is likely they will then work extra hard to co-opt others in to their cause, who will act as champions for them. So do be prepared to be slandered in this way.
This is why prayer continues to be important. You may need to pour out your heart to God in prayer: prayer for the person, prayer for yourself, and prayer for others. If you have been slandered, be prepared not to receive justice in this life. That is, you may never “win” the argument on a human level. But God knows. Trust his justice and judgment, as the one who will in the end bring everything to light (Matthew 10:24–33). God willing, however, your own clear statement of the truth may help others—including even the person exhibiting SBCMB—to see the issues and avoid damaging behaviour, for the glory of the Lord Jesus.
Read the next section: Resources to help.
Copyright © 2021 Lionel and Bronwyn Windsor
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To read the whole paper: Slow-burn crazy-making behaviours
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