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7 Top lessons on handling emotional and mental abuse

31/03/2016 22:31

The deepest wounds are the ones we cannot see. How to deal with emotional and mental abusive relationships



7 top lessons on handling emotional and mental abuse


 ***This post is now also available as an audio file on YouTube ***


The following are 7 top lessons I've learned from experience, which have proven to be particularly liberating in my battle with the bullies.

As the saying goes, we often hurt the ones we love. However, isn't it about time that we challenge this strange belief? Why does society accept this form of torture and most importantly what can you do to put an end to it?

Lesson number 1: Check in with your feelings for signs of abuse

There are endless examples which define mental and emotional abuse. However it always boils down to the same thing. And that is - how do they make you feel? Do they have a tendency to make you feel:

  • Overly self conscious?

  • Like you're walking on eggshells?

  • Jealous?

  • Rejected?

  • Guilty?

  • Embarrassed?

  • Controlled?

  • Stressed?

  • Drained?

  • Worthless?

Unfortunately, most skilled abusers like to play within the limits so your best bet is to go with your gut because the body never lies.

We've all encountered unsavoury people, at some point in our lives who've ridiculed us; criticised us; controlled us; betrayed us and just made us feel downright miserable. They may be highly intelligent people; respected people with status, who come up with the most convincing arguments and justifications for their 'tough love'.

In truth, they are nothing but cowards; morally unethical people who cannot control themselves and thus have no qualms projecting their own issues on you! And despite what your peers might say – such bullying behaviour is neither harmless, helpful or entertaining.

Trust your feelings and stop making allowances for their bullying ways.


Lesson number 2: You cannot reason with them or appeal to their softer side during an attack

You can try to plead, beg or call out the white elephant in the room. However, this wont go down well with your abuser and will probably backfire. Even attempting to have any sort of rational conversation with them at this point is like running through an assault course - minus the glory. You will never beat them at their own game so there's no point wasting your breath, or fighting fire with fire. They are merciless, relentless and vindictive.

Trying to speak up for yourself or even defend yourself will only cause them to become increasingly resentful and enraged; and only results in more pain and destruction.


Lesson number 3: Your attention = more encouragement for their bad behaviour

Stop rewarding them with any more of your time, energy or amazing qualities when they're behaving like blood thirsty sharks. Any flustered or heated reaction from you gets them going; then they berate you for 'overreacting' and simply wash their hands of their responsibility. It's an incredibly frustrating and humiliating experience. They are feeding off of your emotions; good or bad so stop trying to be an appeaser, feeding the crocodile and hoping he will eat you last! Set healthy boundaries and stop engaging with people who feed on such low vibration energies; even if they do happen to be your significant other!


Lesson number 4: Practice the art of retreating

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Whilst it's true that your abuser may have had a difficult childhood or was exposed to much disturbing social activity; it does not excuse them of their cruelty. By all means, feel free to give them your deepest sympathies but don't allow yourself to be their chew toy any longer. Free yourself from their clutches. Show yourself some self-love and self-respect by disengaging. You cannot save those who do not wish to be saved. If you must save one person, let it be you under these circumstances.

The next time you've become a prime target for their bullying; just simply withdraw and do your best to not react. Internalise your thoughts and feelings. It's the only safe option you have. Choose peace over the need to be right. You have the right to walk away from a bad situation with your dignity still intact. Allow them to cool down. And if they do come to their senses, explain how their behaviour makes you feel and that its not something you wish to entertain further. Be firm but be kind. Don't play with them at their own low-level games.


Lesson number 5: Judge them by their actions

Once you've mastered the art of retreating, observe their reaction! Are they willing to see your point and are they motivated to address their issues? If not, it may be time to consider detoxing these dangerous influences from your life. Otherwise, you'll just end up feeling utterly drained from constantly banging your head against a brick wall. They are perfectly aware of what they're doing – which is basically hurting you. Don't allow them to hide behind their excuses. If their choice to remain 'broken' overrules your happiness then let that be a red flag of how little they value and care about you!

Your request for better behaviour is not unreasonable! Take your business elsewhere and converse with like minded people - they are out there!

If it's hard to love me then you're doing it all wrong. There is no excuse for abuse.


Lesson number 6: Educate yourself – knowledge is power!

Ask yourself why you've attracted such an abusive person in your life? Do you have a propensity to attract people who mistreat you in a certain way, over and over again? Did you grow up with an overbearing parent or guardian who always abused you in such ways that left you feeling worthless, defenceless and somehow responsible for their erratic behaviour?

Arm yourself with as much information as possible. Seek guidance from a professional if you can, to help navigate you through the process. Develop an understanding of what has caused you to tolerate such people or situations? Do you harbour feelings of low self-worth? Have you been duped into believing that drama in relationships equates to passion? Do you have a tendency to play rescuer; forever attempting to fix problems that aren't even yours?

As you develop a deeper understanding of the core issues, you will start to view things differently. The control your abuser once had will diminish and you will be able to break the cycle once and for all.


Lesson number 7: Don't blame yourself for their abusive behaviour

That's exactly what they want you to believe - because they are incapable of dealing with any sort of blaming themselves. Abusers are simply venomous; they stir up drama, intimidate and twist facts to fit their crazy arguments. And they derive unhealthy pleasure from making victims feel weak, uncomfortable and confused. They are sad people who damage others for their own entertainment. And they know exactly what they are doing – which is basically hurting you.

Allow yourself to feel the anger, frustration, unjust and tears bottled up inside. It's not your fault that they're acting unreasonable. They chose to abuse - not you. Don't beat yourself because there is nothing that you can do to make them stop. They've created a game in which you will have no chance of winning. So why bother playing a game which always results in you being the loser?



If you find yourself becoming a victim of their abusive traps again, try not to revert to your usual responses. And if you do relapse, forgive yourself and make a conscious effort to do things differently next time. It will take some practice but it will become second nature. Don't focus your energies on trying to correct their behaviour. Instead, start focusing on what you can do to turn the tables in your favour.

Show them your worth and value by disconnecting. Give them the opposite of what they want! Forgive yourself, learn from the lessons, get as much information and support as you can. Every step, no matter how small is an investment towards the reclaiming of you; your power; your identity; your hopes and dreams; your beliefs and your destiny. Just remember that by dodging their senseless games, it makes you the winner! Rise above and withdraw and know that by doing so, you are refusing to be anybody's clown.

If the above resonates with you and you wish to explore a personal matter further, please feel free to contact me for a friendly personal consultation.


Sophie x


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