Do not ignore abusive behavior

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abuse_0  The abuse of others shows it true colors in so many ways, and as much as we want to deny it is happening – all of us must be aware of the signs and then have the courage to speak up. The story in the Washington Post was of the work that Yardley Love’s mom is now doing to make others aware of the importance of not ignoring the signs of abusive behavior. I honor and applaud the efforts of someone for whom it is too late to save her own daughter.

Abuse virtually never starts with a “major” event. A person who becomes the victim of abuse is almost never attacked on the first meeting of two people. That is true in domestic abuse, bullying in school or workplace violence. Generally it begins with what seems to be annoying or even insignificant events that are uncomfortable but we may be blinded by our own emotions to see where the actions might lead.

  • Teasing and taunting may be in fun – but may be a sign of abuse to come.
  • Physical actions may be playful – but can become more violent.
  • BFF – becomes a controlling relationship with jealousy
  • Never being wrong – results in being worried that you are going to hurt their feelings

The list goes on and on. Learn everything you can about abuse as a protection to your future self. What is most interesting to me is the correlation of domestic violence / abuse and childhood bullying.  Anytime one person sees themselves as more powerful than another and chooses to hurt them intentionally on a regular basis to maintain that control – this is ABUSE.

The hardest part is recognizing the signs when it is happening to yourself. Trust your instincts.  The next hardest part is listening to those around you who see the patterns and warn you about the relationship. Trust your friends and family.  Being willing to listen to others and be real with yourself about your relationships is your first line of defense in protecting yourself from abusive relationships.

Friendship: Manipulation is not acceptable

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Here is the story of two individuals that were “friends”.  Their story line goes like this:

When we first met it was like she saw into me soul, I could say anything and everything thing to her we just clicked and it was just amazing!

After some time she started becoming really negative and forceful, she made me feel bad for certain ways I would feel towards the friendship.

Then she would constantly put me down in front of others and shut down my thoughts so she would be the main point of my life and nothing else.

Then I started constantly feeling unworthy of her friendship.

In our conversations she would always tell me how much she liked the friendship of others, making me think that I was a second rate friend.

I stopped talking to her at one stage and she apologized for what she was doing, but then a few weeks later she started acting the same and would put all her problems on me and make me feel bad.

Have you ever experienced this happen in a friendship?  Do you recognize yourself on either side of this description?  When things like this starts to happen in a friendship it is not a good sign.  In fact one of the parties is manipulating the other and this can lead to real damage being done.  There are three different kind of manipulators, those who need to be needed, wants to be in charge or wants to be pitied and manipulates by appearing to be weak.

Anytime manipulation is involve some one gets hurt.  Manipulation can be seen as early in life as in pre-school and the damage begins to take affect immediately.  It can lead to the victims being bully victims later in school and eventually into being victims of abuse in dating or marriage.  Here is a list of signs of manipulation or an abusive relationship.  This may be in a boy / girl dating relationship, marriage or in a friendship at school, the principles are all the same.

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