3 Ways to Support Someone Stuck in a Controlling Relationship
I'm worried that my friend's partner is controlling 'If this is indeed an abusive relationship, helping her to see this will be an invaluable gift.'. Share these tips for people who want to help a loved one in a controlling or violent relationship. And finally, if you want to help with overall anxious or depressive thought In fact , someone may try to convince themselves that their partner's criticism of them is It's the common-denominator theme of many a controlling relationship.
It is likely that they feel as though things are already chaotic enough in their life, so to best help them, you will need to be a steady support with whom they can talk openly and peacefully. Be supportive Listen to your friend and let them open up about the situation on their own terms.
It may be very hard for your friend to talk about their relationship, but remind them that they are not alone and that you want to help.
How You Can Help Someone in a Controlling Relationship
Focus on the unhealthy behaviors The focus of the conversation should be on the unhealthy behaviors in the relationship and to provide your friend with a safe space to talk about it. This instinct, however, can cause your friend to retreat and shut down.
You can also gently point out that certain behaviors seem unhealthy and be honest about how you would feel if someone did it to you.
This is one of the first steps in getting your friend to understand what is and is not an appropriate behavior in a relationship.
Help them to understand for themselves that something is off about the relationship, and acknowledge that their feelings are legitimate. Keep the conversation friendly, not preachy Very few people in abusive relationships recognize themselves as victims and it is likely that they do not want to be viewed that way.
Help Someone in an Unhealthy Relationship: Quick tips
If you want to be helpful, make yourself emotionally accessible and available to your friend. One way to reassure your friend that you are not judging them is to normalize the situation. Talking openly about your own experiences with relationship troubles will help them feel as though they are not alone.
Try to make it feel like an equal exchange between two friends — not like a therapist and a patient or a crisis counselor and a victim. Everyone is responsible for their own behavior, and no matter what the reason, abuse is never okay. Also, your friend is already dealing with a controlling and manipulative partner and the last thing that they need is for you to mimic those behaviors by forcefully telling them what to do.
Offer solutions to your friend The best way for you to help your friend is to offer them options. Some of these options include visiting the campus violence prevention center or behavioral health center, talking to a R. Depending on how ready your friend is to open up, they may feel more comfortable vetting the situation with someone anonymously over the phone, or they may want to have the conversation in person with someone on campus who can help.
Be careful about the advice you give. For example, many well-meaning people tell their friends to obtain a restraining order. For some victims, this is highly dangerous and leads to increased violence.
How to Help a Friend Who May Be in an Abusive Relationship
Most coercive control relationships involve a man dominating a woman. This article uses gender-neutral language to acknowledge coercive control in same sex relationships and in those rare situations where a woman dominates a man in this way. Lisa Aronson Fontes, PhD, has a doctorate in counseling psychology and has worked in the areas of child abuse, violence against women, and challenging family issues for over 25 years.
A professor, researcher, and popular conference speaker, she teaches at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She survived a relationship that included coercive control and stalking. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health. See More Any opinions, advice, statements, services, advertisements, offers or other information or content expressed or made available through the Sites by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors and not Everyday Health.
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