Tag Archives: unhealthy relationships

The-Key-To-A-True-Friendship

How To Trust & Recognize True Friendships

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow. – William Shakespeare

As we age we start to learn that most friendships don’t last forever. Even with all the later technology marketed as a tool for us to stay in touch with the world, we understand that we have our real friends and we have our internet friends. There are some people we click with and some people we don’t. No pun intended. As we meet new people from all walks of life throughout the years, some of them hurt us, disappoint us, betray us, and some of them stay close to us no matter if they live miles away. The truth is we are not all compatible with one another. In all relationships, we connect because we relate to one another in some form of fashion. As we grow, we change, and not everyone will change with us. This is totally okay and the sooner we understand this, the easier it will be to accept that we can’t hold onto all friendships we have made over the years. photo

Here are some things to consider about people & potential friendships:

Love has no expectations: In all situations, one should never expect anything from another person. Often times we naturally assume that people we are drawn to have the same intentions as we do. Rarely is that assumption ever true. We expect people to be loyal and have the same ideas we have but as individuals, we have different perspectives and different realities. Be sure to really get to know what drives and inspires someone before getting excited about their purpose in your life. Pay attention how they treat and speak to others. The less you expect, the easier it is to feel satisfied about the possibility without having them in your future.

Unconditional Love: True friends are unconditionally loving. Diversity is something that comes natural in friendship. No two people who connect will have all things in common. One friend can be excellent in finding a relationship while the other friend attracts all the wrong people. True friends will be there for one another no matter what flaws each other may have. No matter the circumstance, friendship is selflessly loving in an unconditional way.

Understanding: Did you know that love is a high degree of understanding? We may have our own ideas of what friendship is or what life means but wanting to understand takes strength, maturity, and real love. There will be plenty of times you won’t agree or see eye to eye with your friend and that is okay. However, having the intent to listen and understand where your friend is coming from makes room for growth and an everlasting bond. This also falls in line with forgiveness and acceptance.

Self Love & Loving Selflessly: If you could trust anyone who would it be? Maybe a parent, someone who is forever connected to you, but more often than not, we mainly trust ourselves. Why? Because we have our best interests at heart. We love ourselves. We put ourselves first. Loving yourself is a discovery that should be practiced and once you master self love, it enhances the way we love other people. It helps us love selflessly because we learn to take care of others as we would take care of ourselves. There is no jealousy, there is no competition, there is only love and a bond of people relating and being there for one another through thick and thin.

Trust takes time and so does friendship. Choose wisely and pay attention to who you are attracting in your life. Pay attention to the love they have for themselves, how they treat others,  or the journey they are taking to grow spiritually. Emotional intelligence is key for a thriving friendship. Some of us may grow apart, but there will always be those few who stick around forever. And Remember, When Life Gives You Lemons…

How To Recognize & Deal With An Abusive Person

One day I woke up to screaming and shouting. A woman who lived below me in my six floor apartment building was shouting to her sister, “I’m taking a shower, shut up!”, “Go ahead call mom”, “You’re a homeless dirty slob and everyone knows it”, “You haven’t taken a shower in two days”… It bothered me so much, I wanted to tell them I was going to call the police to try and stop the yelling.

Abuse is by far the most hurtful, addicting, contagious, and impulsive behavior to be accustomed to.  We all have been introduced to abuse one way or another and some of us become abusive as a result of it. Most of the time, abusers don’t know they are abusive because they have persuasive reasons they “believe” putting someone down, neglecting, hitting, or yelling negatively, is called for.

There are different forms of abuse, different definitions and different types.  In my opinion, abuse is the opposite of positive reinforcement, the opposite of support and is not the best way to convey love.

Here are some definitions of Abuse

Definitions of Abuse

To get inside of an abusers mind we must understand “why” this person is abusive, there are many reasons but mainly it is because someone has been abusive to them. Some people distance themselves, and other just copy and repeat. Let’s delve into it…

An abuser unaware of their abusive behavior will often try to relive their past in their present relationships. They take on negative habits in hurting others because of the way they feel about themselves. They want full control and often desire to dominate other people in order to feel powerful. There are many conditions in an unhealthy mind that contributes to what abusive people gain when they feel a sense of power. Some of them subconsciously believe having a sense of power means they are worth something great and in turn, aren’t fully aware of the pain they cause others.

Here are some characteristics of an abusive person:

Fantasies of Success: This abuser has fantasies of being rich, famous, or extremely successful and believe they would be if other people weren’t holding them back. Because of this belief, the abuser feel justified in getting back at them, which leads to abuse. The abuser will also put others down as a way to build up their own self esteem.

Blaming: This abuser will shift responsibility for their aggressive actions onto others, which allows the abuser to be angry at the other person for “causing” the behavior. For example: “If you would stay out of it while I am disciplining the kids, I could discipline them without hitting them.”

Making Excuses: Instead of accepting responsibility for their actions, the abuser will try to justify their behavior with excuses. For example, “My parents never loved me,” or “My parents beat me,” or “I had a bad day, and when I walked in and saw this mess I lost my temper,” or “I couldn’t let him talk to me that way, there was nothing else I could do.”

Redefining Their Behavior: The abuser may redefines the situation so that the problem lies not with the abuser but with others or the outside world. For example: The abuser doesn’t come home at 6 p.m. for dinner as prearranged; he or she comes home at 4 a.m. The abuser says, “You’re an awful cook anyway. Why should I come home to eat this stuff? I bet the kids wouldn’t even eat it.”

Making Fools of Others: This abuser combines tactics to manipulate others. The tactics include lying, upsetting the other person just to witness a reaction, and perhaps provoke a fight among others. The abuser may try to charm the person they want to manipulate, pretending to show a great deal of interest in and concern for that person in order to get on their good side.

Assuming Without Communicating: Abusive people often assume they know what others are thinking or feeling. Their assumption allows them to justify their behavior because they “know” what the other person would think or do in a given situation. For example: “I knew you’d be mad because I went out for a drink after work, so I figured I might as well stay out and enjoy myself.”

Emotional Dependence: Abusive individuals are usually very emotionally dependent on their spouse or anyone close to them. The result of their inner rage at being dependent means that the abuser acts in controlling ways to exert power and to deny their own weakness. One major symptom is strong jealousy and possessive actions, normally sexual in nature. The abuser will spend a great deal of time monitoring their spouses activities. The abuser lacks support in their relationships. Another sign of dependence is the effect of what happens when the abused person leaves the home because of the abuse. It is common for the abuser to make extraordinary attempts to persuade them to return.

Lying: The abuser manipulates by lying to control information. The abuser may also use lying to keep other people, including the victim, off-balance psychologically.

Uncompromising  Attitudes Towards The Opposite Sex:  Abusive spouses tend to have more inflexible beliefs about roles and functions of their spouses in the marriage. For example: A wife may expect the husband to over fulfill all the financial needs and household/parenting chores.

Dramatic Behavior:  Abusive people have trouble experiencing close, satisfying relationships. They substitute drama and excitement for closeness. Abusers find it exciting to watch others become angry, get into fights, or fall into a general uproar. Often, they’ll use a combination of tactics to set up an exciting situation.

Closed Off: The abusive person does not tell much about personal details and real feelings. The abuser is not open to new information about herself either, such as someone else’s thoughts about them personally. The abuser is secretive, close-minded and self-righteous. Abusers believe they are right in all situations.

Ownership: The abuser typically is very possessive. Moreover, the abuser believes that anything desirable should be owned by them. The abuser also believes they have the right to do whatever they want with anything that belongs to them. The same attitude applies to people. It justifies controlling others’ behavior, physically hurting them and taking things that belong to them.

Poor Anger Management: Individuals who have experienced a violent and abusive childhood are more likely to grow up and become spouse abusers. A person who sees violence as the primary method for settling differences as a child is not going to have very many alternate ways available to channel anger. A person without an everyday outlet for anger risks exploding toward the people closest to them.

Fragmenting: The abuser usually keeps the abusive behavior separate from the rest of their life. The separation is physical. For example, the abuser will beat up family members but not people outside the home. The separation is also psychological. It is not uncommon for an abuser to attend church Sunday morning and beat the victim Sunday night. The abuser sees no inconsistency in this behavior and feels justified in it.

Pride: As mentioned earlier, abusers generally believe they are better than other people and so don’t have to follow the rules that ordinary people do. That attitude is typical of convicted criminals, too. Each inmate usually believes that while all the other inmates are criminals, she is not. An abuser will display this pride by saying, “I don’t need counseling. Nobody knows as much about my life as I do. I can handle my life without help from anybody.

Self-glorification: The abuser usually thinks of herself as strong, superior, independent and self-sufficient. When anyone says or does anything that doesn’t fit this glorified self-image, the abuser takes it as an insult.

Inability To Express With Words: This type of person is rarely capable of true intimacy and may feel very threatened by the prospect of being open and vulnerable. Particularly when frustrated, the abusive person expects instant gratification from their spouse who is expected to “read” their mind and “know” what their mate wants. When the mate doesn’t know what is expected the wife may interpret this as meaning they do not really love them. Therefore with an abusive individual, rejection usually results in violence.

Vagueness: Thinking and speaking vaguely lets the abuser avoid responsibility. Example: “I’m late because I had to do something on the way home.”

We all have been a victim of some kind of abuse. Being involved with an abusive individual can be disheartening, dangerous, and confusing. Please practice patience with yourself and learn to love yourself, know your worth, and get help. If you have the option to have your own space, stay away from the abuser.  Be with family or get help. Be sure to think logically. You must understand this is a sickness, a mental health issue.

If you are dealing with an abusive situation try not to respond aggressively. Instead, find a way to make your exit. Until they get help for themselves, they will always desire to hurt you to feel better about themselves. If their abusive behavior is somewhat tolerable and you want to make an effort to resolve an issue, allow time to pass and talk it out. Discuss the desire to have a healthier relationship and suggest any kind of therapy. Inform them of the pain these situations cause you and the relationship without blaming them or putting them on the defensive side. If they agree by acknowledging and wanting to change, then offer them support, but if they continue, you will have to separate yourself from them.

Please remember that an abuser is typically dishonest and displays the characteristics above. In certain cases, it can take a year or so for an abusive person to show you this side of his or herself. If you are someone who is experiencing emotional or physical abusive, you must get help and find a way to get out of that situation. 

If you are a victim of abuse and have no one to talk to, please, go to Abuse Victim Hotline

couple-talking

6 Ways To Enhance Our Relationships Through Conversation

Relationships are formed by communication. Whether it be a look, touch, kind gesture, or through words, relationships are established by communication. If communication is the establishment of relating to others forming a “relationship”, then it is safe to say that relationships also grow and enhance by communication as well.

First thing to realize is, the way we communicate with ourselves is the way we communicate with others. This is why we are known to be reflections of the people we are with. We reflect what we feel, think, and believe onto others with our realizing it. When you are happy with your life and yourself, and your partner is happy with their life and themselves, it is easy to have a happy union because together you are sharing and expressing happiness. Even if you aren’t in an intimate relationship these rules are still applied.

So let us delve into the negative side. No relationship is or will ever be perfect by definition. Two people with two different lives connecting with one another often is bound to have a disagreement and a difference in perspective. What comes next is how to use the art of conversation to be mature and share thoughts and feelings with one another  in a way that isn’t unpleasant and unloving, but instead, in a forgiving and understanding way with the respect that we as people deserve. Here are 5 things to practice.

1. The Way We Communicate With Others Is The Way We Communicate With Ourselves: If you tell yourself you are ugly or not good enough for whatever reasons, you will communicate that way with the world. You probably judge people without knowing them and aren’t being fair or loving to yourself. Try posting positive notes around all your personal areas about how amazing, lovable, and hard working you are. Remind yourself of your achievements and all that  you will achieve. Be your best friend. Doing simple things like this will give you spiritual pride. Ego filled pride is a way to protect yourself from the outside world. Ego filled pride gives you confidence to hurt others in order to protect your own feelings. This is a trick because it does not heal you from your fears. It does not solve the issue. It makes things worse and it hurts more people.

2. Take Time Out Before Reacting & Responding To What It May Be That You Are Feeling: This is the biggest challenge for people who have never took time out to understand where their fear, pain, and anger come from. The easiest thing to do when someone hurts us (intentional or not), is to react immediately by yelling, saying something to hurt the other person, sometimes even physically harming someone else, or not saying anything or coming back to the problem at all (Passive Aggressiveness). All which are detrimental to healthy minds, healthy relationships, and love. Take a walk, take yourself from the bad space and think about how to express yourself.

3. Ask Yourself A Few Questions Before Responding: What am I feeling and why? Where does it stem from? How can I express my feelings and where they come from without offending and hurting someone else? When asking yourself these questions remind yourself that you can not take anything personally. Why not? Because the way we communicate is us reflecting how we feel about ourselves, our own reality, thoughts, and feelings. Remind yourself that you shouldn’t come from an attacking place, but from a mindful place. The other person has their own perspective and we must respect that and be willing to understand them so they feel safe and willing to understand you.

4. Speak From A Loving Selfless Way When Responding: Start off with saying things like, “I feel this way when…”, “I feel this way but I understand that it may not be your intention to hurt me…” Remember love is respect. Love is forgiveness. Love is patient. Loving others is loving yourself and there is healing in love. Stick with these ways of thinking and you are sure to be mature in communicating with others respectfully.

5. Be Patient And Allow The Other Person To Respond Completely: It is important to allow people to speak when they are trying to convey a message productively. Some people aren’t good with expressing themselves through words. It is important to take turns by listening well with the intent to understand the other person. If you do not do this with them, they will not want to do this with you. Not everyone will want advice so be sure to ask if they are open to suggestions before giving them. We may also want to ask them what we can do to make a situation better and happier.

6. Ask About The Resolution: After the two parties have expressed themselves completely, ask one another what the next step is. After you both feel good about the exchange of words and come to an understanding or an agreement, ask one another how to compromise with one another to make it better.

These steps aren’t always simple but if you have the will power to be emotionally intelligent and mature, then you can complete these steps overtime to create stronger bonds and relationships  in your life.

And remember, when life gives you lemons…