Getting Free from Funky Relationships
Let’s face it, we’ve all had our fair share of funky relationships. Whether it’s with a friend, a partner, or a judgmental passive aggressive parent who always finds the need to point out a flaw. Whichever the case, these relationships after a while just no longer feel good. You know these individuals love you but you constantly find yourself making excuses for why they are the way they are. It can become overwhelming and frustrating to constantly rationalize someone’s strange behavior towards you.
Emotional abuse can occur in a number of ways, and being in relationship with someone who is almost always subtly “sarcastically”rude, takes unfair jabs especially at inappropriate times, downplays your emotions when you express that their behavior is hurtful (instead of taking responsibility), or frequently makes you question “am I crazy?...what’s wrong with me?...maybe I really am too ______” —-chances are you’re a victim of emotional abuse.
Now before you go stomping into their room and accusing them of abusing you (which may not go well because they’ll likely deny and rationalize), let’s take a look at what constitutes a healthy relationship. All healthy relationships are built on the foundation of (mutual) respect. Other factors like: trust, communication, honesty, accountability, safety, support, and cooperation also play a huge factor in a healthy relationship.
Take some time to think about the dynamic of your relationship with the person that came to your mind at the beginning of this post. Does your relationship have at least 4 of those tenets? Does it have all? If it has less than 4 there’s a possibility that there may be some emotional abuse going on within the relationship. Emotional abuse is hard to recognize because it may be exactly what you’re used to. We’re creatures of habit and our brain makes sense of patterns and consistency, so if our primary care giver didn’t treat us well then, we’ll likely choose friends and partners who may not either. Also, if an individual never witnessed healthy relationships it’s sorta hard to know how to be in one. In many cases, the abuser isn’t maliciously evil, most people are just acting out of their own wounds and trauma (another post for another day; but in this case, you just so happen to be the lucky victim.
Fret not! There is hope!
It’s very tempting to fall into the fixer role where you try to be and give the other person everything they need in order for them to treat/love you right. But the sad truth is that isn’t going to happen; you can’t change that other person, you can’t love them into loving you. But what you can do is learn some skills and information that will help you change yourself and in turn change how the other influences you and/or treats you. We teach people how to treat us by what we allow, advocate for, and avoid-- it’s all information for the others in our world to know how to interact with us.
If this resonates with you then maybe it’s time do some inner work. Maybe you need help gaining some awareness of where your patterns began; maybe you need to learn more about boundary setting; or maybe you’re struggling with your sense of self-worth and believe that these short-handed relationships are all you’re allowed to have. If this is you, give me a call and let’s talk about how to get free from funky relationships.
Edie King is a trauma therapist who specializes in working with people who are in emotionally abusive relationships. She helps people empower themselves through untangling their desire to fix and rescue. Edie practices EMDR CBT, Narrative Therapy, Mindfulness, DBT, and recovery based techniques. If you’re ready to get started feeling better and finding more satisfaction in your relationships, contact her here for a free 15 minute phone consultation. If you’re looking for help with codependency relief, book your first counseling session at our Bryn Mawr or West Chester office, click here: