There are some things that every smart woman (and man) needs to know to survive in this world. One of those things is how to recognize abuse tactics immediately. The sooner you recognize the signs, the sooner you can get out of the situation. These are the secrets that abusers don’t want you to know because it enables you to spot them before they can spot you and do maximum damage to you and your reputation. These abuse tactics are in no particular order, and they are usually performed simultaneously.
Personal Experience: Growing up in New York exposed me to many different things and people. Fortunately, the women in my family taught me valuable life lessons, the men in my family taught me how men think, and the rest I learned from trial and error (more error than trial). However, as a friend of mine always says, “That’s life in the big city.”
Abuse Tactic #1 Gaslighting: This tactic involves distorting your sense of reality. These malicious mind games derived their name from the 1944 movie called ‘Gaslight’ that stars Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. Remember that abusers will lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want. This blog post from LongHairCareForum.com is a perfect example of how gaslighting can even occur between roommates.
Abuse Tactic #2 Two-Faced: They will be one way in private, then a completely different person in public. In public, abusers will appear to be the perfect person—kind, patient, and caring. They use this mask to make you seem like “the bad guy.” No one will believe that such a wonderful person is capable of such horrible behavior.
Abuse Tactic #3 Isolation: All abusers want to get you alone. They will isolate you from the rest of the world because isolation distorts your sense of reality and allows them to control you.
Abuse Tactic #4 Minimizing: The abuser will minimize your accomplishments and devalue you. They will always compare you to someone they know who is doing exactly what you’re doing, only better.
Abuse Tactic #5 Character Assassination: All abusers will try to destroy your reputation. Abusers will spread lies and malicious rumors about you. Common character assassination tactics include telling people that you are crazy, abusive, or a troublemaker. These lies help to keep you isolated, destroy your self-esteem, cause psychological distress, and further gaslight you. For examples of character assassination in romantic relationships, read GodWoman.blogspot.com.
Things to Remember about Abusers: Abusers come in all shapes and sizes. Huffingtonpost.com ran an article, “Tell Somebody: 10 Surprising Signs You’re Dating an Abusive Guy,” that offers a list of helpful hints about how to recognize abusive men. Click here to read the article.
The Secret Weapon: Leave quietly and quickly. By staying and fighting, you are giving abusers exactly what they want–you, your time, your energy, and your attention. Get out of the situation as soon as possible. Do not announce your departure to anyone you cannot trust, especially your abuser. Abusive people will not willingly let you go. Read LisaE.Scott.com for more inspiration.
How to Handle the Situation: Document everything; however, never fight fire with fire. The abuser will only use that against you.
Just remember: Always come from a place of love. Never allow these people to turn you into a mean person. They come from a place of hate; the only antidote for hate is love.