“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.”
As always, thanks for stopping by. Color your world today!
If someone treats you like crap, just remember that there’s something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don’t go around destroying other human beings.”
Psychological abuse, often called emotional abuse, is characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Wikipedia
Both Verbal abuse and Emotional abuse are insidious and may not always be easy to recognize. We often hear about Abusive relationships but they usually refer to Physical abuse. Physical abuse is what makes the headlines and what people are arrested for; that is what restraining orders are given for.
If you hear someone talking about their partner and how upset they are, they don’t know what to do and it is so difficult, you may ask what is wrong. When they try to explain it to you it may be difficult for them to express it in such a way that you will understand the trauma they are feeling. Quite often we may not take it seriously.
We may be inclined to think it is just someone having a bad day or going through a “rough patch” in their relationship which will pass by and everything will get better. It is easy for us to give them easy answers telling them it will get better, just give it a little time and then it is over in our mind; we move on. Sadly, we may never ask them about it the next time we see them or talk to them. Sadder yet is they may feel we do not care or they are embarrassed and don’t want to bring it up again.
Even worse is when they do not even realize themselves that anything is wrong. They never mention it, we do not see the effects it is having, and life and the abuse goes on.
When you start a new relationship everyone is on their best behavior.
It is new and exciting. We are happy and we want it to work. It is very difficult to recognize someone who has the tendency to be abusive because they are very good at not showing that side of them when in a new situation. They will usually be on their best behavior when out in public.
” They may, in fact, speak very kind words to you. And appear nothing but supportive to those around you. Their covert abuse is administered in small, cunning ways over time. So the impact is gradual, not fist-to-the-eye immediate.” –Augusten Burroughs
As the relationship evolves that is when the abuse will slowly seep into our every day normal activities. Something as simple as not putting a dish in the sink or not putting the cap on the toothpaste is enough to be criticized for. We brush it off and try not to do it again. If we make light of it and make a laughing retort their response will be much stronger and turn it around to blame you. Something like, “Are you making fun of me ? How dare you laugh at me.” “This is serious, do as you’re told; don’t act like a child”.
As time goes by this type of verbal and emotional abuse will continue and get increasingly worse. It will be a progressive, continual process where you become gradually used to it, so much so that we do not even realize it is happening. We may secretly question it once in awhile but quickly brush it aside.
To the person who is being abused, especially long term, they do not truly recognize what has happened. They may not feel well sometimes, have headaches or problems with their overall well being. They may lose interest in doing things they once loved to do, they may lose friendships and not realize why. Things that were important before do not receive the attention they once did. You may lose or gain weight. You may get passed over for a promotion at work because you are no longer able to put in the same quality work effort.
Quite often the abused person ends up losing their self esteem; their self confidence is gone. A once vibrant person who was happy and enjoyed life slowly turns into someone who does not smile and may find it difficult to complete things they once thrived on doing. They may be the happiest, most secure, when they are home and away from other people. Sadly, they will likely feel dependent on the person that is the abuser. That is just what the abuser wants.
“Emotional violence is another kind of abuse … it’s not about words because an emotionally abusive person doesn’t always resort to using the verbal club, but rather the verbal untraceable poison” – Augusten Burroughs
So how do you recognize that you are in this type of abusive relationship ? How do you end the relationship ?
Sadly, some people will never recognize they are in an abusive relationship. If someone else does not recognize the situation and step in to help them they may live the rest of their life with the same person and the same abuse.
Depending on the type of person you are, or used to be before the abuse, something may happen that makes you realize. It may trigger something inside you that you says’enough is enough”. I cannot live this way any longer.
Maybe you have a child and the abuser starts to abuse the child. You recognize what is happening and understand the effects. You could not see it in yourself but you can see it in your child.
Perhaps someone who cares does recognize that something is wrong. It could be a parent or family member trying to step in to help you. It could be your priest or minister who recognizes that something is wrong and questions you.
When that happens what do you do ? It will be different for each person and it may be a very difficult decision. You may want to try to “fix” it and that is certainly an option but one that should be taken with great care. If you want to fix it you should seek professional help for both people. Both people are broken at this point so they both need to be fixed. You may never know or understand why the person became an abuser and it may not be possible to fix them.
Quite often someone who has been abused long term will be “programmed” to the abuse and will have to guard against entering into another abusive relationship. That is another very good reason to seek professional help. You will need to understand the abuse, the cycle it takes, and the signs to look for. If you see them, you should run as fast a you can to get away from another abusive experience.
Usually, it is better to end the relationship and to do so quickly. Walk away and end all contact. It will be too easy to be drawn back in because the abuser is usually a master manipulator. They will know you well and they will know how to control you. Do not give them that opportunity. You may be fearful; particularly of the abuser. That is normal.
A bad relationship is like standing on broken glass, if you stay you will keep hurting. If you walk away, you will hurt but eventually you will heal.”
Take back control of your life. Move if you have to, change your phone number and all your social media. Talk to your friends and family and tell them, beg them, not to give the abuser any information about you, nothing. Build a new life. Take time, be careful of your choices, and be happy.
You are starting a new chapter in your life and you are the one to decide what you want to do. What activity did you really like to do before ? Maybe you can do that again. Maybe it was something creative, like drawing, or physical, like Yoga. Do that or try something new. Go on vacation; where have you dreamed about going ?
When you are ready to talk about what happened; let it all out and get rid of it; just like throwing out the trash. By doing so you are also building something brand new. You. Maybe you can talk to a support group with other people who have experienced the same thing. Maybe a circle of really good friends, or just one, who you would be comfortable sharing you story. Maybe writing it all down in a journal if you are not ready to talk about it yet.
Be positive. You have an opportunity to rewrite your life. Something that most people will never have, or take the opportunity, to do. You are strong, you are a survivor. Congratulations.
As always, Thank You for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day.
This is an updated repost of Recognizing Verbal and Emotional Abuse
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This quote by Maya Angelou defines the meaning of empathy for me.
The definition of empathy is the ability to understand things from another person’s perspective. It is the ability to share someone else’s feelings and emotions and understand why they have those feelings.
In my mind, I have been able to achieve empathy if I connect with someone on such a level that I understand their feelings. I also need to leave them with good, positive feelings they will not forget.
How wonderful it would be if we could all connect on such a high level, that we all walked away, feeling better, and remembering how we felt.
Empathy is essential in all aspects of life, both in our personal lives and at work. It helps us understand how others are feeling so we can respond appropriately to the situation.
Empathetic people are more generous and concerned with the well being of others. They usually have stronger and happier relationships, and tend to be happier themselves.
At work, if you are empathetic, your communication skills will be more skilled. You will be better able to understand both coworkers and customers. You will be better at understanding the motivations and fear of your coworkers.
Here are tips to help you increase your ability to communicate and be empathetic.
Smile. So simple to do and so effective. When you share a genuine smile with someone, they will automatically feel better and so will you.
Acknowledge other people by knowing their name and using it to have interactions with them as often as possible. I remember having a boss who would not even hold a door for an employee and rarely used someone’s name. He had a very negative affect. A small gesture makes someone feel good and can have a significant impact on building rapport.
We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.”
Learn and use non-verbal communications with everyone. Studies show that a high percentage of our communication is through our body language. Learn to be aware of the messages you give off when talking to an individual or a group. What you say should be 100% in tune with what your actions are showing.
You should also be able to understand the body language of others. A one on one conversation, or a group, there is much being said when no one is speaking. When you are in a group of people, it can be enlightening to watch and see the interactions of others.
Recognize the achievements of others. It feels so good when someone gives a compliment or acknowledges that you have done a great job. Recognizing someone’s abilities does not happen enough, and it can have such a positive effect.
Practice having meaningful conversations with people. There is a tendency today not to communicate one on one and for conversations to be superficial. The use of cell phones, email, and social media has changed how we interact. It is challenging to practice empathy when we no longer take the time to talk face to face. When was the last time you had a real conversation?
Being empathetic is a combination of skills that we should be familiar with, and hopefully, practice. It is a connection with yourself, your emotions, and your feelings. It is also the ability to be able to connect with the emotions and feelings of others.
It will be easy for some and difficult for others, but it can be a learned skill. The most crucial piece of the puzzle is wanting to and being able to make a connection with others.
Practice by spending some time actively watching and listening. Be there in the moment and think about how you feel, what reaction you have. Then take it a step further by imagining the opinions and feelings of other people in the room.
We all have our assumptions and beliefs and it is too easy to make judgments. We need to be able to see why other people have views different than ours. We also need to acknowledge and respect their right to those feelings. We should be able and open to having a conversation. Talking and asking questions should be the most straightforward and most direct path to understanding and empathy.
Empathy is being able to see things, big and little, from different perspectives. Small actions practiced every day will develop a reputation for being caring, trustworthy, and approachable. So go ahead, smile, use people’s names, give others your full attention. Be interested in their lives and what they do, give encouragement and recognition for a job well done.
Power Of Empathy
I’m in it with you. I’m not here to fix you. I’m not here to feel it for you. I’m here to feel with you and let you know you are not alone.”
~ Dr. Brene Brown
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!