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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday Love: Living in Fear...How to Cope? Part 2

Jewel of wisdom du jour: When someone shows you who they are....BELIEVE IT!

Last week we began speaking about abuse of various forms...more specifically verbal abuse. We talked about some of the characteristics of verbal abuse so this week we're going to begin discussing some steps that can be taken to minimize the impact that abuse can have on you (if you find yourself in a verbally abusive relationship).

Let's first look at some steps that can be taken in order to be proactive in trying to counteract the effects brought on by verbal abuse:

  1. Know that the abuse is not your fault, and never blame yourself for it. You can never allow yourself to justify any abuse.
  2. Let your abuser know how much their harsh words/speech hurt you.
  3. Discuss ways in which each partner can improve in order to strengthen the relationship.
  4. Surround yourself with a strong support system of friends, family, etc.
  5. If verbal abuse ever begins to escalate into physical abuse, leave the dangerous situation and allow a cooling down period to occur.
What else should a victim of verbal abuse keep in mind?
  • When your partner begins to launch into a tirade...stay calm. Do not become agitated.
  • Allow the abuser to vent. Don't try to interrupt them, allow them to rant, eventually they will lose steam when they realize that you're not going to feed into it or allow yourself to become a victim of their abuse.
  • Do not reward the abuser by reacting to their actions with your own hurtful responses. Lashing out will let an abuser know that they have the power to affect your emotions.
  • React with wisdom, not with feelings.
  • Guard your heart; don't take the abusers hurtful words personally.
Learn to understand verbal abuse and how it's designed to make someone feel unloved, unwanted, unnecessary, or unworthy. Realize that the abuser feels a need to make themselves feel more powerful and in control by putting others down. Keep in mind that most abusers feel a sense of insecurity and this abusive pattern is their way of regaining their security within themselves.

Most who face verbally abusive partners at home tend spend their time focusing inward, soul-searching, taking inventory, trying to identify what they've done wrong. Cancel the notion that you've done something wrong or that you are weak because it takes a very strong person to endure life in an environment of verbal violence. It takes tremendous courage to face your tormentor again and again. While that is a great showing of your inner strength, it's an amazing waste of that strength at the same time.

Remember the jewel of wisdom du jour...."When someone shows you who they are...BELIEVE IT! This means that if someone is verbally abusive towards you, you can only do but so much to get them to realize what they're doing to you. Like we said a few weeks ago....don't live your life blinded by the rose colored glasses of love. Keep your eyes open to what they're doing and don't listen to only what they may say to get you stay with them. Someone who is verbally/emotionally abusive towards someone they "claim" to love has to WANT to change, and if your attempts at getting them to see their wrongdoing continue to fail...then it may be time for you move on before it turns into something much physical abuse; which we'll discuss next week.

For more information on verbal abuse and ways to cope or prevent it, read chapter 5 "Abusive Partners & Self-Esteem" in my book entitled "You're Worth It" that is available for download here:

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