Hi Julie and Beth – Ok. Mom says a lot of girls are real stupid and date the wrong men. Then they get their selves beat up or worse. I’m just out of high school and dating is different now. Is there a way to tell an abusive or controlling person? I guess maybe from their face or actions?
Hi Janey – I’ll answer part of this, and then let Julie step in. I also hope some of the people out there who deal with this issue day in and day out will chime in. This is a serious situation, and I’m glad you asked. Bear in mind that this is not just boyfriends. I’ve seen times where friends of the same sex will try and control another person and can be abusive either verbally or physically.
Some of the signs that someone is too controlling and may not be good for you:
- They begin to separate you from your family and friends
- They want to know where you are at all times
- They are constantly suspicious – they accuse you of things you aren’t doing
- They check your email, your phone, your texts, and listen in on all conversations
- Their language is diminishing to you – they call you names, tell you that you can’t do certain things, are condescending, sometimes rude, and then try to make it up to you if you challenge them.
- Some of them start out by pushing and shoving. If you don’t stop them, it slowly escalates and you start finding yourself in the hospital (and lying to your friends about that “fall down the stairs”)
- In short, they are constantly, consistently, and intentionally invading your boundaries and making you feel like it’s all because YOU have done something wrong.
These people prey on your insecurities. They are often good at reading where your weaknesses are, and they manipulate those weaknesses to their benefit. They do not care about you, they care about their own power. But the moment you challenge them, they become very soft and tender, making you believe that they care.
Trust your instincts. Face it, Darlin’ – If it doesn’t feel right, your inner self is sending you a message. Don’t override it by thinking you must be “nice” to everyone. Not True. We get ourselves in trouble when we operate with that thinking. Others do not “deserve” the opportunity to run roughshod over you. Set your boundaries and stick to them. And believe there are good people out there that will be good for you – both as friends, and that special man you are looking for.
Good luck and be safe!
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