5 Techniques to Avoid Abuse
Abuse is something that is present in day to day life, in many diverse forms. It may exist in your relationship with your spouse, your parents, a friend, or a colleague. It may be with any person who is unable to treat others with respect; any person in your life who is unable to come into contact with you without mistreating you in some way.
This is something that can be avoided, because not everyone will mistreat you. Those who practice abuse typically choose the “weakest” and most insecure people to victimize. They choose those who do not know how to respond to a situation that is out of their control.
“Abuse is described with words as subjugation, humiliation, power, control, fear, slavery…”
-Juan Antonio Cobo Plana-
Do you want to know how to respond and react to a situation of abuse? Do you want to put an end to these circumstances, but you are afraid? Don’t put yourself down, and don’t accept something you do not want in your life. Today is the day to start escaping situations of abuse.
1. Respond correctly
An appropriate response can help avoid a situation in which a person continues to abuse you. However, how can you do this? It is not easy to always possess the necessary bravery, but it is essential to try your hardest in the situations in which you are able to and know how to respond.
Sometimes, there are certain ways you can change your behavior in order to avoid abuse, in whatever form it may take. Responding appropriately can ease a situation. Here are two suggestions of ways to respond to a situation of abuse:
- The first is to respond with closed phrases. Brief, clear, and concise statements that are accompanied by a firm tone and complete conviction, for example:
- I apologize, but I have to go at 5:00.
- Today I cannot. I am very sorry.
- Right now, I have other priorities I must focus on.
- That is very interesting, I will think about it.
- I would like to think about what you are saying.
Sometimes it may seem harsh speaking in this way, but in order to avoid abuse and mistreatment, it is necessary to change your position from being nice and kind, to being firm and assertive.
- The second way to respond like a broken record. By repeating over and over again the same thing, continuously giving the same message, the other person may become aware of your position and perspective. In this way, you can restate and reaffirm that which you truly do not want to allow in your life.
2. Protect your sense of humor
No one has the right to rob you of your smile. Even in the most difficult of situations, pick yourself up with a smile. This will help you to overcome the feeling that what the other person says is all that matters. The key is in knowing yourself the best. Know the things you are good at, and also the things that are not your strong points. Know your weaknesses as well as your strengths.
If you are sure of yourself, nobody can bring you down. Any contemptuous word or statement that could be said to you can be said, and it means nothing. You yourself know who you are; nobody else can define you! Smile in the face of abuse or hurtful words or actions that are done with the purpose of humiliating you or bringing you down. You know the truth. They do to, but they try to hurt you regardless.
“The best way to overcome difficulties is by attacking them with a magnificent smile.”
3. Say what you feel
Why do you remain quiet when you are dying to say what you feel? Why are you afraid? Fear of the ridiculous, of what could refute you, may not be worse than not being able to say what you are thinking. You even probably feel afraid of what others can do to hurt you, or you doubt that you are right. Learn to say what you feel. Learn to express yourself. This will make you stronger and help you avoid situations in which others cause you pain.
If you don’t like the tone of voice that someone is using with you, tell them! If you don’t like how someone is acting, say it! What is wrong with speaking up? Learn to express yourself. If others are bold enough to attack you for it, have the confidence to defend yourself.
4. Ask, don’t just comply
When someone who tends to abuse others says something to you, it is easy to keep quiet. By not saying anything, we are complying with what that person is saying, even if we don’t actually agree with them. In times like these, silence acts against us.
Therefore, today you should learn to question what others tell you. Lead that abusive person to expand on their argument. You will soon realize that they will not be able to do so. They will respond with answers like “just because” or “because I said so.” But despite this, you should force this argument so they can realize what they are saying does not make sense!
By doing this, you will not humiliate yourself, nor will you let that person conquer you. You will put yourself on the same level as that person, allowing them the opportunity to explain something they cannot explain. At this point you will know that other person is not right and that they cannot hurt you.
5. Disarm your abuser
Do you want to know how you can disarm the person who mistreats you? It’s simple. You only have to know how to block the other person so they do not know how to respond. We have already discussed one of these things earlier, but there are many more:
- Invite this person to reflect upon what they are saying, and lead them to see they are not right.
- Use short and determined words and phrases that prevent you from being drawn into their game.
- Speak slowly and with a low tone. If the other person is yelling, don’t yell back. Display calmness!
- Bore them, talk to them until they don’t want to talk anymore.
- Respond with questions like “so what”?
What happens when you act like this? Ideally, this person will leave you in peace. When they say “Why are you wearing that, you look horrible!”, and you respond with “so what”, that person will soon run out of reasons to berate you.
Be free from abuse! It does not matter what others say or how they say it. It doesn’t matter how others define you. You know who you are and you should defend yourself.
An abuser is an insecure person who believes they can feel safe and secure by humiliating others. Don’t let them. It is up to you whether or not that person mistreats you, whether or not the relationship is romantic, familial, or from work or school.
Images courtesy of Angela Carte, Gustav Klimt