It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and give up when you are dealing with an abusive partner, a despotic boss or a forever angry parent. There are no easy solutions, but there are some things you can do to insure that you protect your sanity.
1. Don’t engage them when they are too emotional
The abusers will never take responsibility for their actions. It’s never their fault. They consider that they act as they do because the others have forced them. When they are in a very intense emotional state, don’t try to get them to see the error of their ways. Wait for them to calm down and then tap into their problems. Find out what are their concerns and what are the causes of their behaviors. If possible, suggest them more constructive and positive ways of expressing themselves.
2. Understand their emotions, but don’t justify their behaviors
It’s one thing to care about the other, to worry and to try to help them in any way you can and it’s a whole other thing to enable their behavior. Don’t lend money to a gambler, don’t cover your emotional or physical bruises when your partner’s parents are coming to town! Make them see the consequences of their actions. Don’t make excuses for their behaviors. Allow your empathy to encompass their emotions, not their behaviors.
3. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim
People who have been in abusive relationship for a long time tend to have low self-esteem. The abusive behavior of the other has corroded their sense of self and that’s why they feel guilty about everything that goes wrong. They blame themselves and absorb all the negative emotions that the other exudes. They are always careful not to set off their anger and they withdraw in a reactive mode. Be aware that the guilt that you’re feeling is not genuine and that you haven’t done nothing wrong.
But the most important thing is that if you feel that you’ve done your best and nothing has changed for the better, maybe it’s time to leave the relationship behind. Sometimes, this is the only way you can protect yourself. Please, share this!