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How To Stop Emotional Abuse And Communicate Effectively

How To Stop Emotional Abuse And Communicate Effectively

Stop Emotional Abuse So You Can Build Better Relationships

I have a story to share with you today.

Something happened this morning that made me reflect rather deeply about myself. I gained a new perspective on emotional abuse.

The weather was freezing out, but I had to take the train to work. I was running late, because I never know what to wear and was wasting time in front of the mirror trying to decide. (Yup—I’m one of those people.)

As I got to the station, the train I wanted to catch was just pulling away! Gosh, why today?

Well, it was only a 10-minute wait until the next one but when you don’t enjoy the bitter cold it can feel like taking a stroll in Antartica naked.

I observed a guy in his 30s, texting intensely on his phone. He kept sighing and tapping his right shoe against the metal pole of the seat in the waiting area. Never looked up for a single second. He was fixated on what he was doing. Frustrated as ever.

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We got on the train and funny enough we ended up sitting across from one another. I watched him intently as he dialed a number. This made me curious (and nosy). I was interested in eavesdropping, hoping to hear what had gotten him so worked up.

I heard the beep sound—it has gone to voicemail. DRAT! He spoke into the phone saying these exact words: “I know you still don’t want to talk, it has been two days. I said I was sorry. I was wrong, but you ignoring me is far more painful than what I did to you.”

He hung up the phone, lifted his head and made eye contact with me.

His deep green eyes looked sad and tired, red and swollen from tears or, perhaps, lack of sleep. I thought gosh, whoever is doing this to him must be a real jerk.

I don’t approve of psychological punishment.

Why Am I Telling You This?

Well, just like a slap in the face—it hit me. I was guilty.

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I have done the exact same thing! Maybe even hurt someone the same way as the guy was hurting.

Giving the silent treatment for long durations of time is a form of emotional abuse. It is a good weapon of choice because it’s powerful. A form of inflicting pain without visible bruising.

If you are regularly giving your friends, partner, and/or family members this type of treatment, you need to stop.

Reasons People Give The Silent Treatment:

  • Deliberately trying to hurt or punish you
  • Want full control of the situation
  • Are avoiding a confrontation

How Do You Deal With And Practice Effective Communication?

If one or both of you need space, establish it.

You need to have patience, which is hard when you are hurt and angry.

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If someone is purposefully trying to hurt you through the silent treatment and acting out of malice, analyze the situation. Remember, this is emotional abuse and is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

There is a lack of effective communication and you need to decide whether it is a relationship you want to grow or walk away from.

This does not only apply to your spouse, but friends, colleagues, and acquaintances as well. Don’t ever let anyone tell you or make you feel like you don’t matter.

You do.

5 Ways To Stops Emotional Abuse And Practice Effective Communication

We say one thing, the other person hears something else, and misunderstandings, frustration, and conflicts ensue.

Fortunately, you can learn how to communicate more clearly and effectively by:

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  • Agreeing it’s okay to disagree
  • Actively listening
  • Being present
  • Finding your voice
  • Being honest but mindful of the feelings of others

It is important for you to understand the emotions and intentions behind the information.

Practice Effective Communication Daily

It is a learned skill and the glue that helps you deepen your relationships and connections to others.

By practicing effective communication, you and those around you will be more respectful to one another and you will see your relationships flourish.

Are you able to convey information to people clearly and simply in a mature and fair way?

How do you practice effective communication? Please share in the comments section below.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Sheri Leinfellner

Lifestyle, Self-Improvement & Travel Blogging

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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