When a friend brings up a hurtful behaviour, any defensiveness will result in a lack of trust in the relationship. It’s easy to no longer feel safe with them. The “blame” lies with both here if they do not communicate this.
Unfortunately, relationships cannot be salvaged by only one person accepting personal criticism. We can maintain the status quo, but the power dynamic will forever be skewed. Whoever tries to “be the bigger person” will soon find to be very restricted in communicating any hurt feelings or boundaries – whatever you do, do not upset.
So the entire relationship becomes a lie. We do not want to spend time with this (side of) person, but force ourselves to. The why might be different and subjective, but always be rooted in fear.
Our true motivation for interactions becomes avoiding confrontation or fear of losing the life you know and starting a new one. Sometimes we have stronger reasons, such as children or pets that are caught up in between, or we fear for our lives. Once it goes this far, there is only one true way out:
- Get yourself somewhere safe, a home you can trust, and surround yourself with people who have proven to have your best interest at heart
- Total accountability IN RETROSPECT
Once we have removed ourselves at least physically from the traumatic experience, we will have to heal our mental scars too. Any kind of abuse from a loved one will strain someone’s mental health.
How much of the unhealthy relationship pattern have we internalised? We cannot be sure for now, so let’s not let our emotions get the better of us in the moment. I found that I ended up regretting most of my direct emotional outbursts because I did not know/see the full picture at the moment.
I was triggered by something that reminded me of a traumatic memory, and set up walls, sometimes taking it out on the messenger.
And isn’t that what our abusers ultimately did? If we do not see that yet, we haven’t suffered enough to move on.
Let’s sit with our hurt feelings, and find out which are justified. Talk it out with trusted ones if you can, write a secret letter or just talk to your camera and never show anyone (worked for me).
Just GET IT OUT of your body instead of letting it fester there!
At the same time, we shouldn’t take anything personal.
Don’t question your character based on day to day interaction. Question your actions.
Does your world view and happiness depend on being right in this interaction?