Sanctuary for the Abused
Thursday, June 08, 2006
My Top Ten Rules For Avoiding Abuse
10. Learn from all your past experiences, whether they be twenty years ago or twenty minutes ago, and whether they were good or bad. In the case of good, notice what you did right, and if bad, notice what you needed that you didn't have available, and add it, then install it in your future. See my ebook, particularly chapter 16, for how to do it.
9. Strengthen your boundaries, and extend them outward further than they have been, because if you've been abused before, you haven't had strong enough ones, nor were they extended far enough. Have a buffer zone in your boundaries, a warning zone, far out from where you could be hurt. And enforce them.
8. Get distance from any boundary invader, and keep them that far away. You don't have to be close to those who are invasive. There are millions of people in the world who will treat you respectfully, hang out with some of them instead.
7. Focus on your own needs and make sure they are met. Don't be so nice to people who don't reciprocate or who take advantage.
6. Figure out precisely what you actually want in a partner or friend, and look for someone like that. Don't go for anything less. Don't even date anything less. If he/she needs some work to bring them up to standard, pass them by. Let someone else fix them. Go for one that works without tweaking.
5. Raise your standards for how you treat yourself, and for how you allow yourself to be treated. If you value yourself, and live like you do, others are more likely to value you, and treat you accordingly.
4. Remember that you are educating the people around you all the time as to how to treat you. If they've gotten the wrong idea about it, re-educate them. All you have to do to change their behavior is to change yours.
3. Practice saying no. Practice saying it looking in the mirror, say it 100 times a day. Practice with friends and co-workers, practice with your family, until it's easy. Then use it.
2. Remember Juliet's Rule: 1. Never start before you're ready. 2. People will do to you what you let them.
1. Trust your gut. If your gut tells you you're not comfortable being around someone, or with their treatment of you, get away, and stay away. You don't need to be able to understand it or explain it. Trust your early warning systems. They're there to protect you.