A few posts ago, I wrote about a young woman who found her mother-in-law "too nice." The issue, as Carolyn Hax pointed out in her column, was whether the 'niceness" was a cover for manipulative, over-protective and intrusive behavior. Helicoptering carried to its highest level: an inability to let go.
Don't know if the daughter-in-law read it, but I did--not to fend off a persistently meddlesome parent but to see if I saw myself in De Becker's descriptions of the controlling parent, sibling, or in-law who can't let go.
Of course I did not find myself there. Who would connect with the difficult --almost "call the cops"--personalities De Becker describes in his chapter, "Persistence, Persistence." That said, based on his chapter, here are some of the warning signs of overly-persistant personalities who can't take lift their finger off the control button.
--refusing to hear 'no'--that is, perceiving "maybe" as "definitely."
--projecting onto others committments that were not expressed and are not present--or are unwanted.
--demanding attention. or put another way, refusing to be ignored and using guilt, harrassment or insults to make sure attention is paid.
--insisting on constant communication despite requests to back off.
--exhibiting an extraordinary sense of entitlement
If you ever had to deal with someone like this, De Becker's book can help you figure out a strategy for making the relationship less painful--or at least give you some control over it, which is where Carolyn Hax' was sending her reader.