Most of us have encountered controlling or abusive people at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, these manipulative individuals exist everywhere – in our homes, workplaces, and even in spiritual communities.
While it can be difficult to protect ourselves from their abuse, there are some steps we can take to reduce the risk of becoming their victim. In this blog post, we’ll share 8 strategies for protecting yourself from controlling and abusive people. By following these tips, you can help keep yourself safe from harm. Thanks for reading!
What is spiritual abuse?
Spiritual abuse is a form of psychological manipulation or mistreatment that occurs within a religious or spiritual group. It involves use of dogma, belief systems, rituals and codes of conduct to control an individual’s behavior, and can range from extortion or exploitation of vulnerable members to coercion, intimidation and outright fear-mongering. Spiritual abuse can come in many forms such as forced conformity to certain norms, threats of eternal damnation if not followed correctly, and dictatorial control over all aspects of life. Unfortunately, such manipulative methods are often used by the Church with impunity, leaving those involved stigmatized, brokenhearted and sometimes without a refuge to turn to.
The 8 signs of a spiritually abusive people
If you feel mentally overwhelmed or spiritually drained, there are signs to look for that can help you identify if you may be in an abusive situation. There are 8 primary indicators to look out for that can signify emotional exploitation. These include:
- Isolation tactics
- Blame shifting and manipulation
- Spiritual elitism
- Fear inducement and inflexibility
- Lack of accountability
If any of these traits sound familiar to someone in your life, it is important to take the steps necessary to ensure your emotional wellbeing by removing yourself from their influence. Advice and support from a trusted friend or professional is invaluable in understanding the ways out of this type of toxic environment.
We all know someone who loves to control every conversation, every situation, and everyone around them.
They might be a family member, co-worker, or friend. Maybe you’ve even been in a relationship with someone like this. Abusive people are masters at manipulation and can make your life a living hell if you let them. But there are things you can do to protect yourself from their controlling ways.
Here are 8 steps on how to deal with abusive people and take back control of your life.
1. If you are being abused, the first step is to reach out for help – whether that’s from a friend, family member, or professional support system.
Reaching out for help when you’re being abused is never easy, but it is an essential first step. It can feel daunting to open up and seek support, particularly if the abuse you are facing is coming from someone close to you. But remember that there are people who want to listen and help. Friends, family members, counselors and helplines are often ready and willing to provide assistance as soon as possible. Reaching out for help and support may be the most difficult thing a person can do in a vulnerable state, but it can also be incredibly empowering. Help is available – you just need to take the first step.
2. It’s important to have a solid support network in place before you take any further steps to protect yourself from an abusive person.
It is essential to have a strong network of supportive people surrounding you if you are facing an abusive situation. Knowing exactly who you can rely on for support, guidance and comfort can be incredibly beneficial for your mental and physical health. You could reach out to friends and family, or organisations such as a survivor’s group or mental health professionals, who can provide much-needed resources to help keep you safe while also providing vital emotional support. Ultimately, having access to people who understand what you’re going through and have a wealth of knowledge to draw upon can make the process of dealing with abuse much smoother.
3. The next step is to create or strengthen your personal boundaries. This means setting clear limits on what behavior is and isn’t acceptable in your relationships.
It’s important to understand what your personal boundaries are and to make sure that you set limits on how people should treat you in relationships. Having a healthy list of boundaries establishes trust, respect, and reduces conflict. This can help keep both parties accountable for their actions and feelings. Furthermore, it interrupts unhealthy patterns in the relationship and makes it easier to have open communication. Creating or strengthening your personal boundaries is an invaluable next step in cultivating strong, positive relationships with others.
4. Once you have strong boundaries in place, it’s time to start communicating them to the people in your life – including the abusive person, if they are still part of your life.
Developing and maintaining healthy boundaries is one of the cornerstones of staying emotionally safe, even in situations where an abusive person may still be part of your life. Communicating these boundaries clearly sends the message that you won’t accept any form of mistreatment, helping to give your abuser the chance to change their behavior, or else face potential consequences when those limits are crossed. Additionally, communicating healthy boundaries not only sets important expectations to avoid conflict but also conveys to people that you value yourself and expect the same level respect from them in return, creating a healthier environment for everyone involved.
5. Another key step in protecting yourself from abuse is learning how to assert yourself effectively. This means saying “no” when you need to, and standing up for yourself even when it’s difficult.
Knowing how to assert yourself is a key skill when it comes to protecting yourself from abuse – this means expressing your needs in a way that is firm and respectful. Saying ‘no’ when something doesn’t feel right is an important step, even if it’s hard. It’s also important to be assertive with your boundaries, and make sure they are being respected by those around you. Utilizing assertive communication can take some practice, yet it provides an invaluable foundation for creating respect in your relationships and preventing future abuses.
6. One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from abuse is to build up your self-esteem and confidence . This will make it easier for you to stand up for yourself and set boundaries with others.
Having a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence can be an incredibly empowering experience, as it makes you more aware of yourself, your goals, and your boundaries. Establishing boundaries is key in protecting oneself from any form of abuse: when you are clear in what those boundaries are and feel comfortable standing up for them, it is significantly harder for someone to overstep them. Building up self-esteem and confidence means understanding who you are and what you want out of life—two decisive elements that will help guide you in protecting yourself from any kind of negative or abusive external forces.
7 . Another crucial step in protecting yourself from an abusive person is learning how to spot the warning signs of abuse . This way, you can take action early on if someone begins behaving abusively towards you .
Taking action to protect yourself from an abusive person starts with being able to recognize the warning signs. These signs can range from an individual becoming overly possessive, persistent criticisms of your decisions, or exaggerated jealous behavior. The sooner you are able to identify these types of red flags and address them, the better off you will be in the long run. Furthermore, if someone is showing any signs that suggest potential for abuse or violence, don’t hesitate to ask for help or reach out for support. Taking this step means that you are recognizing a potential situation before it spirals out of control.
8 . Finally, one of the best ways to protect yourself from abuse is by staying informed and educated about the issue. There are many great resources available that can help you learn more about recognizing and dealing with abuse.
Staying informed and educated on the issue of abuse is an important step to protecting yourself. There are a variety of different resources available that can help you become more aware of abuse and how to deal with it if it arises. These resources often include brochures, personal stories, support networks, and hotlines specifically designed as outlets for survivors of abuse to reach out and seek assistance.
Additionally, these resources may provide general information, such as what domestic violence is and the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Taking steps like these is crucial in the fight against abuse and will bring us one step closer to ending this type of violence in our society.
You probably once saw a TV show called the Big Bang Theory that is a wonderful study in human characteristics. You have the couple where one partner needs to control and the other needs to be controlled. There is another couple where each have attributes that the other is lacking, – and then there is Raj. Raj is a perfect representation of the person who has no balance – no middle ground. He is either living life in deep depression, putting himself down, and being utterly helpless and needy – or – the minute his life changes for the better he becomes arrogant, demanding, and entitled.
I’m sure we all know people like that. Their moods swing widely. They are totally unpredictable and keep everyone around them off balance too. You can’t trust them because you never know which side of themselves they are going to present. There are not great life partners, they are not great bosses, and they are in actuality very disturbed individuals. Yet we all probably have one in our lives. How do you deal with them?
If they are family or we are in their employ we need to learn some self defense tactics. We need to look at the issue of trust differently. Our trust cannot be placed in an unbalanced person or we will forever be angry, walking on eggshells or disappointed. We must shift our trust to ourselves. We need to learn that no matter what happens in our outside world, we can trust ourselves to take appropriate action, not over-react, and above all not to take it personally. If we believe in a God or Higher Power we can also shift our trust there.
If it’s a situation where you can minimize contact with this type of person all the better. If you can’t, then facing the situation honestly has to be the first step. They will not change until motivated to do so, and in the mean time you need to find and maintain your own balance in spite of their lack of it. If we allow it, and react to them, they become the controllers of our moods.
One of the biggest problems with this particular type of individual is that they are masters at shifting the blame for their moods to someone else. If someone hadn’t done this, then they wouldn’t have done that. We can buy into that line of thinking way too easily. The most extreme situation is the physically abused wife who tolerates broken bones thinking that somehow she caused her husband’s anger and accepts the blame for his brutality.
I hope and pray that anyone who is living in that kind of situation can realize that no matter what you say, or do, or how you act, that does not excuse violence in someone else.
For the majority of people whose lives are just unsettled on a regular basis by someone else’s behavior, I hope you are willing to look at the situation honestly and takes the necessary steps to save yourself.
Many Blessings, Elaine