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Comedian Reveals Her Abusive Relationship With Fellow Comedian

Comedian Reveals Her Abusive Relationship With Fellow Comedian

“There are many reasons not to make an abusive relationship public, mostly fear. Scared of what people will think, scared it makes me look weak or unprofessional.”

Comedian Beth Stelling’s candid and powerful Instagram post about her past abusive relationship went viral over the internet causing outpourings of love and support from the sympathetic public. She had posted a collage made of 3 images of bruises on her legs and forearm, and a fourth image of herself performing on stage.

“So these photos are an uncommon thing to share but not an uncommon issue. You may be weirded out but do read on. I have a point.” She states as she starts to reveal more on the abusive relationship she broke away from. “When I broke up with my ex this summer, it wasn’t because I didn’t love him, it was because of this.”

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Why do People Stay in Abusive Relationships?

Beth Stelling writes about how difficult she found it to actually end the relationship. “It’s embarrassing. I feel stupid. After being verbally, physically abused and raped, I dated him for two more months. It’s not simple.”

“And I absolutely relapsed and contacted him with things I shouldn’t have, but there are no “best practices” with this.”

Beth’s revelations have helped many to recognize and acknowledge their own tragic situations. When you are encounter violence in a relationship, especially for the first time, it can be very bewildering. The abuser can make you feel the violence is your fault. He will tell you that you asked for it… forced him to do it. The victim takes on the guilt and responsibility, ‘it could have been avoided if I didn’t…’.

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However confused he may make you feel, it is important to remember that his violent behaviour is never your fault. How much ever a person is influenced by another, he is responsible for the actions he chooses to make. No one, but himself is at fault.

In abusive relationships, after violent incidents, it’s common for both partners involved to try and make excuses for their behavior. The violent partner apologizes, or promises to change. Life may settle back into a calmer feel, but generally this respite is short lived. It is commonly observed that if a person is violent once, they are much more likely to repeat the violent acts again.

The Courage to Stand Up for Yourself

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    Beth continues on in her Instagram post on why she decided to write her story. “I wanted to move on and forget because I didn’t understand. I don’t want revenge or to hurt him now, but it’s unhealthy to keep this inside because my stand-up is pulled directly from my life. It’s how I make my living. My personal is my professional. That is how I’ve always been; I make dark funny.”

    “If you live in L.A., you’ve already started to hear my jokes about this and I ask you to have the courage to listen and accept it because I’m trying. Already since talking about this onstage, many women have come to me after shows asking me to keep doing it. Men have shown their solidarity.”

    If you have never been abused, you will probably wonder people don’t just leave. However unhealthy a relationship may seem, breaking it up most often creates a host of complications for the victim. Fearing for your own safety, worrying how your partner will manage without you or agonizing they may harm themselves are a few common reasons. Some may be tolerating it for the sake of their children and for many, the problem is that are financially dependent on the abuser.

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    Everyone deserves to feel loved and safe. You don’t have to stay in an abusive relationship. There are ways out of this cycle of domestic violence. Leaving is not the only option. When you stand up to a bully, you may find that he backs down. You can work on building a financial nest and a strong social support system. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, you will find many people to help you every step of the way.

    Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics

    Abusive relationships and domestic disputes can easily turn violent and criminal. Here are some shocking facts:

    • Men who were exposed to domestic violence as children are 4 times more likely to commit domestic violence as adults, than other men.
    • On average, a woman will leave an abusive relationship seven times before she leaves for good.
    • About 75% of the victims of the domestic violence homicides, were murdered as they tried to leave their partner or after the relationship had ended.
    • On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or partners in this country every day.
    • About 4,000 women die each year due to domestic violence.
    • Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, exceeding rapes, muggings and auto accidents combined.

    stelling

      Beth Stelling’s Instagram post

      Featured photo credit: http://www.hukukihaber.net/ via hukukihaber.net

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      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

      If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

      Example 1

      You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

      You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

      In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

      Example 2

      You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

      People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

      You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

      Example 3

      You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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      The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

      Example 4

      You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

      Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

      If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

      Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

      • Understand your own communication style
      • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
      • Communicate with precision and care
      • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

      1. Understand Your Communication Style

      To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

      In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

      Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

      2. Learn Others Communication Styles

      Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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      If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

      “How do you prefer to receive information?”

      This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

      To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

      3. Exercise Precision and Care

      A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

      On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

      Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

      I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

      I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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      In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

      The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

      Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

      4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

      Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

      In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

      “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

      Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

      Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

      It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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      It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

      It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

      Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

      Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

      The Bottom Line

      When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

      I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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      Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

      Reference

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