Scars of an emotional abuse lasts longer than a physical incident. We could have been a victim of emotional abuse, party to it without knowledge or both. An average individual would have gone through this cycle at least once in his/her life time. It takes immense strength for one to realize this or accept if we were party to it.
In fact the fear to accept leads to much more such instances. While we focus on physical health, we fail to acknowledge the need for mental health. Awareness on mental health and issues relating to it are neither taught in every family nor comes from formal education. May be some who were lucky enough to engage in sports could have built mental strength through tough practice and situations.
We fail to realize that our character, behavior and mentality are stuff we build after we are born and is influenced by the environment we live, people involved in our life, situations we have faced and belief system we follow. We become too judgemental about ourselves or, someone who can not control their emotions, inner fears, odd behavior, socialize easily, have trouble in communicating. And we fail to recognize that we were, are and may be in this spot at sometime in the life.
While it is absolutely understandable to acknowledge the fact and try to be compassionate or expect some compassion, it becomes one’s responsibility to realize that “It needs a change”. Taking responsibility of one’s actions, trying not to bother others around us, not expecting special treatment, is part of growing up. It becomes absolutely essential to know how to protect ourselves from being emotionally abused or stop abusing others.
How to stop abusing others ?
- Self reflection is a major key to understand who we are, our actions and behavior without being biazed.
- Acknowledging the truth even if pin points us is essential for any potential growth or personal development. If we don’t find even a single situation where we could have been a little bully, it could mean either we are not true to ourself or fear to accept.
- Try to understand that anyone other than us is an entity on their own and we don’t have any capacity to change or control them. The best one can do if the other or the situation hurts is to move away or distance from it.
- We are not a moral police. Morality ends with us and it is the responsibility of the individual to practice it unless the actions directly inflicts severe consequences for us to worry.
- Find out if you are in a love hate relationship with others where you admire them and love them for all their good and hate them for the not so good aspects of them. Realize neither your admiration nor hatered is of any value to them. You are just another person in their life. Learn to mind your own business.
- Also, it is ethical not to take advantage or excercise control on those who are emotionally incomplete, weak, immature and unaware. A beautiful tamil saying goes like this,
வலியோர்முன் தன்னை நினைக்க, தான் தன்னிலின் மெலியார்மேல் செல்லும் இடத்து. (அருளுடமை அதி. 25 – குறள் 250)
How to protect yourself from emotional abuse ?
The major tool to protect yourself from any kind of abuse or unpleasant events is to draw your borders. Self reflect before you speak or act, if this is what you really want, wish to communicate or accept. See if your actions are for your highest good. We have atmost duty to ourself before pleasing or being kind to others. There is a tamil saying which states “தனக்கு மிஞ்சிதான் தானமும் தர்மமும்”.
Do not fail to recognize that, only those acts which are done for the highest good brings laurel. See if your acts are to please power hungry, self centered, ungrateful individuals or for a collective noble cause. It definitely has a bearing. Take an example of a young man sacrificing his life in honor of the country vs an immatured man taking his life because his lady love did not return his feelings back.
Learn to stay your ground firmly but without resentment while
- You want to persue your passions
- Express your opinion in a subtle way
- Deciding your life path
- Protecting your interest
- Gaurding your dignity
- Preserving the truth and serinity
Abuse of any sort is not justifiable and it is our duty to act responsibly to ourselves and others.