11 Dec Are you the abuser?
What if you have been reading these posts and thinking, Hey, that kind of sounds like me…. Hmmm, I do that kind of stuff a lot… OR: Wow, I’m told that’s what I do.
What can you do? The first thing is to give your self credit for recognizing that you may in fact be abusive. Only by being aware of your behaviors can you change them.
Change is not always easy, but it is ENTIRELY possible. Change will take awareness, focus and dedication but, in the end, your efforts will be entirely worth it. Your relationships will change for the better and YOU will have changed for the better.
Why might someone abuse?
In general, we do what we know. This means that we might do what has been done to us, or react in ways we’ve seen, often without awareness. So, your approach to relationships (and handling frustrations) may be a result of what you have been taught and/or what you have seen modeled all your life. Take a moment to reflect on that: because what it means is that perhaps the way you behave is not so much about who you are, but about what you have been exposed to (check out Your Past for more on this). You can learn new ways of being who you choose to be. That is what Your Self Series is all about.
To begin your journey of change, try reading the Healthy Relationships post to explore the elements that constitute (meaning make up) solid positive relationships. As you do that, write down goals for yourself and imagine the relationship that you want to create. Imagine how you wish to be treated. Imagine how you want your partner to handle matters when your partner is mad at you. Imagine how much trust you want your partner to have in you. Imagine how your partner could make you feel like a valued and respected person. Think about how you can change to be that person.
But most important, seek help. Talk to someone you trust. If you have abusive tendencies, working with someone to develop new ways of behaving is a great place to start and one that is likely to give you the best chance of success.
Channeling your aggression
One last thought: if you have a problem with your aggression and anger and you don’t know how to handle it, think about expressing it in more positive ways, like sports, journaling, art or work. Seriously, take the energy from your anger, or whatever it is, and channel it into something productive, rather than at another person who doesn’t deserve it. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel.
And if you feel that another person does deserve your anger, just take a breather. Count to ten or one thousand in order to calm your emotional self so you can tap into your logical self and have a conversation about the issue, not a brawl that will leave both people feeling worse.