— Doe Zantamata
How to Escape from an Abusive Relationship
It’s important to have a safe exit plan from an abusive relationship. The following tips might help you with this:
• Make a note of the phone numbers for your local women’s shelters.
• Confide in someone you genuinely trust (a good friend, a colleague at work, or a family member. Develop a code so they can help you if you are in an emergency (like a word you can text to them.)
• If your partner harms you, go to the emergency department and ask the staff to document your visit, and your reason for seeking medical attention.
• Journal each threat or abusive incident (with dates). If possible photograph any injuries.
• Prepare your escape in advance. Plan where you will go, and how you will get there.
• If you have a car, keep it backed in the driveway, with plenty of gas, and the keys close at hand, so that you can make a quick escape. Hide an extra set of car keys in case your partner steals and hides yours.
• Set money aside, either in a secret bank account or with a trusted friend or family members.
• Leave a packed bag with a friend or family member. This should contain an extra set of keys, essential ID (birth certificates, social security card, credit card, bank information, important phone numbers, passport, medical records etc), some clothes and any medications. If possible, avoid making use of neighbors or mutual friends.
• Know your partner’s schedule, and plan ahead for safe times to leave.
• Be especially alert to securing help through your computer or phone. Delete your internet browsing history, any websites you’ve checked out for resources, and all your old emails. If you called for help just before you left the house, dial another number afterwards in case your partner hits redial.
• Leave a false trail behind. For example, call hotels or rental agencies that are several hours away from the place you are planning on moving to.
How to Stop Being a People Pleaser
1. Recognize that you have choices. Usually people-pleasers feel as if they don’t have a choice, and they have to say yes when someone asks for their help. But you DO have a choice – and it’s Ok to say no.
2. Decide on your priorities. If you already have commitments or you have set priorities then it’s easy to say no as you’ve a genuine “excuse”. Do what matters most to you, and please remember - it’s your life!
3. Stall for time – don’t give an answer right away. Say you need a bit of time before you make up your mind. That allows you time and space to think about the consequences. For other things will likely suffer if you take on far too much.
4. Don’t be afraid to add conditions to your yeses. For example, say that you’ll only say yes if someone else says yes as well – or only take on a new task for a set period of time.
5. Are you being manipulated? There are plenty who will use you to ensure their plans succeed, so watch out for those compliments and empty flattery.
6. Be firm when you say no. The first time you say no it feels uncomfortable and hard. But once you’ve done that a few times it starts to feel much easier. Also, if you sound confident then others take you seriously.
7. Don’t defend you decision. You have a right to say no – and to NOT defend yourself. It’s your life after all - you don’t have to explain “why” … or come up with excuses … or be pushed and pressurised. And don’t apologise to others - saying no is not a crime!
— Lao Tze
— Charlotte Green
— Quotes and Thoughts
Respect in a Relationship
Respect can be hard to quantify and measure. It means recognizing our own value and worth, and the value and worth of the other person. But what does that look like in relationships?
1. Think before you speak. Remember … you can’t take back your words no matter how much you regret them. So, don’t react in anger, and say mean and nasty things.
2. Acknowledge the other person’s contribution. Even when you have frustrations and some justified complaints remember to notice the positives as well. It’s likely that your partner does something right at times. Don’t write them off completely and see them as “all bad”.
3. Respect their personal boundaries. This applies to spending time, and doing things, with other people. Also, respecting their right to have their own views and opinions – without justifying their reasoning to you.
4. Being flexible and willing to compromise. Relationships are based on both give and take. It’s about the needs and preferences of both individuals.
5. Be considerate. Help the other person out; give each other compliments; and generally be thoughtful, kind and understanding.
6. Admit when you are wrong. If you’re secure, confident and have a healthy self-esteem you won’t be threatened by admitting you were wrong.
7. Never compromise the other person’s wellbeing. For example, if your temper’s a problemseek professional help. Also, don’t play with emotions, or attack their character.
8. Be honest and reliable. Be upfront and honest in your relationships. Don’t lie, pretend, play games, or let the other person down. This undermines that basic, and essential, sense of trust.
How to Overcome Emotional Detachment or Emotional Numbness
1. The first thing to do is to choose to respect and allow all emotions – no matter what they are. Also, try and grasp the fact that suppressing your emotions will likely lead to heartache and problems later on (as they’ll possibly resurface at inappropriate times.)
2. Try and understand that feelings and actions are two very different, and unrelated, things. That is, you can still feel angry without becoming violent – so don’t assume your feelings will affect your actions, too.
3. Try to figure out the message behind intense emotions. Are you angry because you’ve been hurt, used or abused? Are you sad because deep down you feel that you’ll never find true love - as you can’t believe that anyone will love you for yourself?
4. Take that risk – and find the courage to ask someone for help. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know that there are those who genuinely love you like – like a true and caring friend. The important thing is not to try and isolate yourself, and to make the extra effort to prioritise self-care. You need other people to help you work through this.
5. Seek professional help if the symptoms persist. There are excellent counsellors and therapists out there who have the training and skills to help you to get free – so you can live a more fulfilling and normal, healthy life.
6. Be patient within yourself. It’s likely to take time – as you will need to learn to trust, and take some barriers down, so you can be yourself again (and that is often hard to do when you’ve experience hurt and pain).
Platonic Love or Romantic Love: Ways to Tell
Falling in love is probably one of the most mystical phenomena one could ever experience. When you fall in love, you succumb to a gamut of human emotions—joy, sorrow, excitement, and sometimes, even depression. Falling in love becomes a bit more perplexing if you find yourself falling in love with a close friend. Now, this is where denial and rationalization enter the picture. Initially, you become confused as to what you are feeling. Then you ponder whether what you’re feeling is only an extension of the platonic love you feel for a friend.
The key here is self-introspection. There is a need to confront yourself, look in the mirror and ask yourself the following questions. Honest answers, however, are necessary for you to gauge if the platonic feeling you have for a friend is blossoming into something romantic.
1. Have you changed?
Did you suddenly become self-conscious on how you look, what you wear and what you say in front of your friend? Have your feelings changed? Does your friend’s presence suddenly becomes enough to make you feel ecstatic? Do you find yourself putting your friend under a microscopic eye, pondering and extracting meanings on what he or she says or does?
2. Do you think of your friend 24/7?
One always keep a friend in mind; however, thoughts about a friend does not perpetually cross one’s mind every second of the day and every day of the week. If you find yourself thinking of your friend practically all your waking hours and before dozing off to dreamland, then it might be a sign that you are falling in love with your friend.
Some Facts on Avoidant Personality Disorder
Avoidant Personality Disorder (AVPD) is a serious condition characterised by a pattern of withdrawal, self-loathing and heightened sensitivity to criticism. According to DSM IV, people who suffer from AVPD display many of the following traits (Note: These must greatly interfere with the individual’s everyday life):
1. Avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection.
2. Is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked.
3. Shows restraint initiating intimate relationships because of the fear of being ashamed, ridiculed, or rejected due to severe low self-worth.
4. Is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations.