Healing Victimization Habits of Abusive
Relationships – Whose Problem Is Your “No?”
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
When I say, “No” to a request of yours, whose problem is it? Is it your problem or is it mine?
Your answer to this question can give you insight into whether you are in an abusive relationship. It is also the answer to whether you are still practicing habits of victimization.
When My “No” Is My Problem
For example, let’s imagine that your partner makes a request and your immediate reaction is one of “uneasiness” wherein your gut is saying “no.” Yet, you hesitate in putting that out there, and instead you keep it to yourself and yield to his request.
In this scenario, you have made your “no” your problem. You have attached consequences to your saying “no” to your partner’s request that have negative implications for you. Essentially, you have made your “no” your issue—your problem.
But the fact is your “no” is not your problem. It’s the other person’s problem...unless you are dealing with someone who makes it your problem, as in the case of abusive relationships.
When My “No” Is Your Problem
Now imagine someone asking something of you wherein you experience that same uneasy feeling that tells you, “I don’t want this...This is not for me...My choice is ‘no’.” And you simply relay that to the person making the request without becoming attached to and entangled in how they deal with your “no.”
You may be mindful that your response will not be to the other person’s liking, but you don’t reflexively make that your problem. Instead, you trust that the other person will find it within himself/herself to cope with your reply without it having negative consequences for you.
Moreover, you trust that in clearly stating your preferences on the matter in question, you enhance the relationship. You are giving yourself permission to be genuine with that person, and you’re giving them an opportunity to know you and your preferences.
Breaking Habits of Victimization
When you feel as though you need to regulate the other person’s reaction to your involvement in the relationship, then you are cooperating in creating a dysfunctional interaction. You are supporting an arrangement that provides for the existence of one person in the relationship. And in doing this, you eliminate the other—yourself.
If you are in an abusive relationship or have been in an abusive relationship, you may have cultivated habits of victimization that support your being disempowered in relation to others. When you break these habits, you will discover how satisfying it is to be yourself in relation to others.
For information about breaking the habits of victimization and healing abusive relationships, visit www.domesticabusetreatment.com and claim your Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps couples nationwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse. Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D. - Domestic Violence Prevention and InterventionThis series of eInsights is presented to you by Partners in Prevention, a nonprofit organization. If you find this eInsight article useful, we invite you to contribute to the maintenance and growth of the Survivor Success Tips & eInsights. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.EndDomesticAbuse.org
Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.