Don't let this happen to you!

  1. When you tell someone that their behavior is hurtful and unacceptable, there are several possible outcomes. She or he can: Hear what you say, hold themselves accountable, respect your feelings and actively try to change. Translation: I love and respect you. I care about your feelings and will make every effort to change.
  2. Hear what you say, hold themselves accountable, respect your feelings, communicate which of your behaviors are contributing to the situation and you both actively try to change. Translation: I love and respect you. I care about your feelings and will make every effort to change.
  3. Acknowledge their hurtful behavior, but hey, you knew what they were like when you married them so get used to it and stop complaining. Translation: I don’t care about your needs and feelings. I won’t change.
  4. Acknowledge their hurtful behavior and then blame you for it. Translation: I’m not responsible for my actions. It’s your fault. You deserve it. I don’t care about your feelings. I won’t change.
  5. Acknowledge their hurtful behavior, make a lame apology while justifying their actions (blame you), repeat the same hurtful behavior over and over again as if you never talked about it and become angry if you don’t forgive them. Translation: What I want is more important. I don’t care about your feelings. I won’t change.
  6. Deny their hurtful behavior and accuse you of being the abusive one. Translation: I’m above reproach. You’re crazy. My needs and feelings are the only ones that matter. You need to adapt yourself to my silences and rages and pretend like nothing is wrong. I don’t care about your feelings. I won’t change.
  7. Minimize their hurtful behavior and accuse you of being oversensitive and unreasonable. “It’s not that bad. Don’t be such a baby. You’re so thin-skinned.” Translation: I’m not accountable. Your nose broke because it got in the way of my fist, so your nose should apologize to my fist. I don’t care about your feelings. I won’t change. - Me: It is hard to describe for the uninitiated how much a person such as this, can get so deeply into your head. Your most lofty of goals and your most mundane of tasks are questioned until you second guess your every action, your every motive: you find yourself living a life divided between defensiveness and surrender. It's like having a devil living on your shoulder. Everything that you once held dear is questioned, misaligned and portrayed as being something other than what you once believed. Your introversion is beaten into isolation: your family, your friends, your associates are all brought into question. In time, you only know alone.  

Comments

GaiaGirl said…
You know, I imagine that in the past, you would have kept this inside, and therefore, ill-expressed.

Seems as though these days, even if it's only "What the fuck! I'm pissed." - You SAY it! Let it be that. Be with it. Judge yourself not, and be gentle.
Kerri Wilson said…
I really identify with several aspects of this post. Quite thought provoking actually. Thanks for sharing.
GaiaGirl said…
Like the Church
Like a cop
Like a Mother

You want me to be truthful
Sometimes you turn it on me like a weapnon, though
And I need your approval

Still I sent up my prayer
Wondering who there was to hear
I said 'send me somebody, who's strong, yet somewhat sincere' ~ Joni Mitchell