When a man is drowning in the ocean and you swim out to save him, he will thrash about, grab you and pull you down in order to climb on top of you to save himself. For him this is survival.
The best way to save a drowning man is to knock him out cold before he drowns you too.
When someone treats you poorly there is something wrong with him or her, not you. Emotionally healthy people do not go around destroying other human beings.
A person who feels the need to constantly judge, berate or belittle you is that drowning person who needs to pull you down in order to feel good about himself/herself.
Unfortunately many people have these ‘drowning’ persons in their lives and feel they cannot do anything to change it. Many actually fall prey to such abusive people and begin to believe there is something wrong with them, or they would not be treated that way.
A good way to protect yourself when faced with such abusive people is to remember that they are emotionally drowning. As you uncover the reasons they have such low self-esteem, you may even develop compassion for them. But the most important lesson for you is to not allow anyone to make you feel less than.
You may have to ‘knock them out cold’ by standing in your own power. You can create personal boundaries and communicate this to them. One way you can do this is to say to the effect; “I will not allow you to berate me anymore. If you continue to do this, I will disengage and leave the room”. But you must act on what you say and you must be consistent. Remember, a habit takes a while to break and a person who constantly berates you has formed this habit.
When we create boundaries, we must also be prepared to lose people from our lives. There are a lot of people who refuse to look at their own behaviours and therefore may never accept that they are wrong. And so you must be prepared to lose this person who berates you. It’s the only way to succeed and remain in your power.
Have you ever allowed yourself to create boundaries and in doing so lost someone from your life?
How did it feel? Any regrets?
To learn how to create healthy boundaries around important people in your life, contact Therapy With Carol now.