Control And Bully Tactic: Double Binds

Double binds are a favorite control tactic of narcissists and bullies. They love to give advice, and then treat the person they gave the advice to like they're doing something wrong, stupid, or shameful when they follow it.

Like "You need to stand up for yourself!"
~Then when the person stands up for themselves, they are criticized and belittled.

"If you need help, don't be afraid to ask!"
~Then when the person follows this "sage" advice and asks for help, that same controller will act like the person is being demanding, needy, pathetic, or asking for a million dollars.

"There are no stupid questions."
~Of course when the person asks a question, they get condescended to, made fun of, snapped at, or called stupid.

"If you need someone to talk to, or a shoulder to cry on, I'm always here."
~When said by a controller or narcissist, this is an invitation to divulge your personal information, relationship issues, weaknesses, and past traumas so they can use them against you another time, condemn you, tell someone else what you said, or spread gossip.

"You should do that, go for it, you're very"
~Then it's "well you're really just an amateur, you don't really know what you're doing, or what you're talking about, or how to go about it."

"You have to take the bull by the horns."
"You have to believe in yourself, and believe that you can do it."
"Do what you love to do, the pieces will fall into place!"
~Until the Controller who gave this advice sees the target take initiative, and then it's "You can't just charge ahead like that" or "Don't expect to be successful, it's more likely that you'll fail" or
"You're not THAT good, not good enough to make a living at it."
or "Who do you think you are?! You think you're all that?"

"Always respect others' point of view."
~Translation: Always respect MY point of view, but if yours is different, shut up, you're already wrong, and if you don't shut up, then you'll be barraged with Ad Hominem attacks, and probably rejected socially.

"Be fair, compassionate, kind, and polite to others, and they'll return the same to you."
~This works with people who have actual integrity and manners, not with those who give advice in order to feel superior and to control others.
Translation: You be polite, fair, and kind to me, and to everyone else, and shut up about it when we snub you, gossip about you, condescend to you, manipulate you, and treat you rudely, inconsiderately, hostilely, and disrespectfully.

The double bind serves a purpose:
"We'll blame OUR behavior, and the way we treat you, on YOUR actions. Everything that happens to you and everything that others do to you is YOUR fault, I am/we are blameless and innocent, it's all you. You brought all of it on yourself... if you had heeded my advice, WE would not have been forced to treat you that way...."

Apparently only CERTAIN people are worthy of success, allowed to speak their mind and have their own point of view, or allowed to stand up for themselves against unfairness, disrespect, or bullying.

And apparently only CERTAIN OTHER PEOPLE are accountable for their own behavior, and those same people are responsible for everyone else's behavior and life as well...

Red flag: Unsolicited advice, condescending advice, advice with negative assumptions about you in it, and advice that sounds like it's taken from a talk show, celebrity, coach, drill sergeant, someones relative, self-help book, song, or affirmation meme (without referencing who said it or why).