If you tend to control others, are cruel, ignore personal boundaries, and criticize others, you are most likely an abuser, that is, an emotional rapist. Don’t be discouraged; this can be treated.
There are different ways to change if you recognize the abuser and decide to fix the situation. Going to a psychologist is effective but expensive. It’s cheap but time consuming to work out the question yourself. It’s easy to give up on everything, but it’s already psychologically expensive because the price in the form of spoiled relationships with others and internal discomfort is high.
Let’s focus on the second option. Below you will find a program for six months to become kinder (I hope you did not expect this to be done in a week?). Kindness as a friendly, caring attitude, in this case, can be opposed to violent caring without taking into account the needs of the other and the control of others.
Read also: 5 Ways to Develop Emotional Intelligence
60 days to realize
The task of the first two months is to observe yourself and note (without judgment or any attempts to change something) when and how you act like an abuser. For instance, showing rudeness towards animals and children, ignoring another person’s attempts to say “no,” neglect other people’s requests, desires, and feelings, trying to limit the communication of loved ones with other people, criticizing, controlling, interrogating.
To do this, keep a diary and note information on three questions
- When did I act like an abuser?
- What did I do, and what did I feel?
- What preceded this (events, actions, feelings, sensations)?
The more you write, the better. Firstly, awareness is the first step to any change because it is difficult to change what you are not aware of. Secondly, in the process of observation, you may notice some patterns, for example, what exactly makes you act like an abuser, even though you do not like it.
Few people really want to hurt others. Most people who act as abusive people suffer themselves.
60 days to analyze
The next two months’ task is to hear yourself, that is, to understand what triggers the abuser’s behavior in you and what you want to change.
To do this, using the records of the first two months, answer your questions
- What events, actions, or words do I most often react to as an abuser?
- Who has done this to me in the past?
- What benefits do I derive from this behavior?
- How would I like to react in such situations?
- What kind of person would I like to become?
- What will help me act differently?
Note: Again, two months are given to reflect on these questions. You can set aside a week for each question, add your own questions, conduct your own research – in general, do everything within the analysis framework, and take your time to look deep into yourself.
60 days to act
The challenge in recent months has been to take action and start reacting the way you would like.
To do this, there is the wonderful “Act as if …” technique; you commit yourself to act as if you are already the person who shows a friendly, caring attitude towards others. For example, when he feels that emotions are going through the roof, a person who takes time out allows his partner to go to friends even when he does not want it, restraining criticism and condemnation.
We often say to ourselves: “Now, if I were more confident in myself, I would…”, “If I had more friends, I would…”, “If I were more restrained, I would…”. However, in practice, our inner and outer worlds are interdependent. Changing our own behavior leads to changes in our thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It is necessary here and now to behave as if you are already more confident in yourself, you have many friends, and you are quite reserved.
So your motto for the last two months is to set
I am already the kind of person who takes care of others in a way that is comfortable for them, who knows how to stop caring when asked, who speaks only kind and supportive words, who thinks about other people’s feelings and needs, who trusts others.
This is just an example; you can formulate your own attitude during the second stage of the analysis when answering the question, “What kind of person do I want to become?”
Finally, a few additional recommendations
- Ask for support from someone who builds friendships and caring relationships with others. Tell him about this program; perhaps he will help you and suggest what you yourself do not notice.
- Take your time and do not shorten the time allocated for each stage. Anything that happens quickly doesn’t last long.
- Whatever happens in your life, no matter how strongly your emotional abuse tendencies, do not reproach yourself. Shame and guilt re-start the vicious circle. After shaming yourself, you will soon want to take it out on someone else.
After six months have passed, you can take stock and understand what has changed in your actions, relationships with others, and life. And if you deem it necessary, you can start the cycle anew because the inner development is infinite in its essence. I wish you success! And be kinder!
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff
Sources: Life hacker