Some Relationship Empowerment Tools

Empowered Relationships

We live in a distinctively character-impaired age. So, it really pays to know your relationship partner well. Moreover, it pays to know how to relate to them in empowered ways.  I first introduced 12 essential relationship empowerment tools in my book In Sheep’s Clothing. And in my book Character Disturbance I explain what really makes all the disturbed characters in your life tick. In all my writings I strive to give folks the relationship empowerment tools they need to understand and thrive in our times.

Some Essential Relationship Empowerment Tools

Last week I talked about two basic tools: defining engagement terms and doing so quickly. (See: Personal Empowerment Basics.) And I explained why those tools are so important. This week, I want to talk about some other relationship empowerment tools. Using the tools will help you avoid one-down positions and exploitation. So, let’s talk some about two specific ones: accepting no excuses and keeping a level head.

Avoiding the Emotion Trap

Psychological manipulators are covert aggressors.  That’s the breakthrough insight behind much of my work. Understanding how such personalities operate is key. They largely play on your emotions and your conscientiousness. So, it’s important not to let your emotions get the better of you.

Whenever someone aggresses you naturally go on the defensive. And you can easily become unnerved and upset. However, you lose power when your emotions hold sway over you. So, it’s important to keep them in check. And aggressors can easily have you emotionally on the run. But you gain power when you hold ground. The best way to do that is to keep emotion out of things and judge and deal with behavior only.

Keeping the Focus on Behavior

When someone something to hurt or disadvantage you, the reasons for it don’t matter. Besides, when you buy into someone’s excuse you not only enable a behavior’s recurrence but also allow yourself to be improperly influenced. So, judge only behavior. If a behavior is inappropriate or harmful, the reasons for it are irrelevant. You must remember that. If you forget, you could be easily taken in and manipulated. Remember also that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. So, how a person has already treated you is a good indicator of how they’ll treat you again.

We’ve now talked about some key relationship empowerment tools. Confront problematic behavior directly but calmly. And accept no excuses for it. Make clear the rules for engaging with you. And don’t wait to establish those rules. Following these rules will empower you. Next week, I’ll discuss a few other important relationship empowerment tools.

Character Matters

Character Matters will re-air last week’s program this coming Sunday at 7 pm EDT. We’ll be back live Sunday July 19, 2017.

 

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25 thoughts on “Some Relationship Empowerment Tools

  1. I have read all of your books. Together with these articles, I have learned so much about how to handle these behaviors from people in my life including random people like a pharmacist that was acting inappropriately to me. I won’t say it’s easy not to get emotional,but it helps to stay calm! It takes a lot of practice, so I read books and articles regularly to keep me in the right mind set. It makes me feel less paranoid about people, because I can understand that they are disturbed, and it’s not something they can necessarily control! Your work has been so helpful to me! Thank you!

  2. Yes, as Dr.Simon advises…keep the focus on behaviour. Nothing worse than to be drawn into debates that are structured in such a way that real resolution and actual communication cannot happen. YOU may be communicating, they are attempting to ‘win’

  3. Just to say When we through in the towel, pack up and pi** off, say hasta la vista baby, or what ever is said for the last time. Are we not Confronting problematic behavior directly but calmly. By simply leaving.

  4. I have read the 1st two books of Dr Simon and have to now study the empowerment tools. I am having a difficult time….guess I am feeling guilty as I realise that there is no hope for my relationship but because of circumstances I am unable to leave (children and in a foreign country..so need his permission to take kids to my home country). So for now I am “faking it” until I am safe to get out. But this will take years as my children are young. I guess I am struggling as the empath in me wants to fix and improve this situation but the realist in me knows this is futile. I cant risk my husband knowing that I have figured his machinations. Right now I can only modify my reactions slightly but try to maintain the status quo but fully aware (now) of his manipulations. Its totally surreal. I want to thank Eudoxia and Andy who replied to my earlier posts. I have ordered the power of now as I need to live in each moment as thats the best I can hope for

    1. Patti,

      I must had missed your post, I was gone for several days and when topics change it is hard to find a comment. I am not sure what your situation is but don’t doubt it is similar to what others have have experienced on this blog. Also, many of the posters are from other countries too. Andy and Joey are in the UK, Eudox is in Australia and I and Lucy are in the US.

      I welcome you to keep posting, we have a great group here who will welcome you with open arms and help you. This will give you an outlet to talk with others and also a great support group to lift you up when you can’t talk with others. These are real keys to keeping your sanity and surviving in a difficult to intolerable environment.

      I understand your having to wait, in the meantime it will give you time to prepare and educate yourself and become knowledgeable in who and what you are dealing with. It will give you time to plan and make well thought out decisions.

      I think you are wise to keep all this info you have found to yourself. I would also suggest you make sure you delete all your history so he doesn’t know what you have been reading.

      Again, I encourage you to keep posting, we learn from each other.
      Blessings and be safe Kindred Spirit

    2. Patti,

      Please keep posting. We all help each other here. Now that the cloud has lifted and you see your husband for who he really is I’m sure you are feeling much anxiety, because now you know that he won’t change. You’re doing everything right. You’re reading, educating yourself, planning, preparing. Like BOTV said, delete the history on your computer and stash those books away where he cannot see them. If he does find out you’re onto him, there will be new behaviors you’ll have to deal with.
      Sorry. I feel for you. Hang in there.

      1. Thanx for all the advice. It is truly appreciated. I only look at these websites using my phone which has a password and still I delete the history. The books I keep in my locker at work and only read them on my lunch.

        It is, at times, an extremely emotionally taxing situation as I both love my husband, loath him and fear him. I know this will take time to resolve and right now I am in survival mode. I will post. It helps to know I am not alone

          1. Nothing physically…just emotionally. Implied threats regarding custody of my children if it were to come to it. I live in my husbands home country. I have no family here. I know he would use them as pawns with no remorse. My husband is not physically abusive.

    3. Patti-
      I am going through a nightmare of a divorce right now which sounds similar to your situation- I too didn’t want to leave for the same reasons and he actually filed ultimately. I have so much to share about the legal process as far as tips and how very difficult the legal stuff can be to an already traumatized mom. It’s a process that makes an abused person feel even more alone – esp if it’s mostly covert aggression and manipulation and even livid anger outbursts and s/he has not actually been directly physically abusive to you (yet). It’s almost like the world really expects people to not be so sociopathic (as did I) so they can’t believe a person could be so calculating and sneaky about life. People really do see the veneer of behavior and so did I. The legal system only makes this ingrained social belief more evident. It’s been awful trying to show how poor a father my ex is. BUT even still things do show themselves in evidence. Record and write down everything – that way you have a journal to refer to later / keep it very safe! Also – although I’ve been told by my lawyer that you don’t want to “appear” overreactive (bc that of course will be his counter claim) by constantly recording him, it helps to just have it in chronology at least. The recordings and journal entries of how he behaves to your children will be your most valuable assets in protecting your children should he soon discard you- which he probably will no doubt.

      Just saying it like it is.

      1. Cera and Patti
        A tip about the record keeping – in my state, if you want to refer to your records (diary) in court the opposing side will ask and be allowed to look at it – all of it and ask for a copy of it – so keep that in mind while making entries – that he/she may get the chance to read its entirety

  5. Patti,
    May I ask what country you live in? This will give us an idea, perhaps, what you are dealing with. In many cultures it is accepted to abuse ones spouse. I understand not having family or friends too. The CDN like to isolate us.

      1. Patti

        Implied threats regarding custody of my children if it were to come to it.

        Have you seen a lawyer. I ca’nt hurt just to know were you stand with regards to your situation.

        Abuse of any kind is unacceptable, it feeds their fire. The more they dish out, the more they see this as normal. It will only get worse over time. Scapegoating is a big thing with them. He will project his actions on to you.It will give him a big power kick plus his family. Trust me I know.

        1. Yes I have seen a lawyer here. I would not get full custody…I would not br able to take my children to Canada without his permission…there is no such thing as alimony here only the splitting of assets which could be difficult to track down (other than our house). I cant afford to live here without my husbands support. So for now I am building my finances and educating myself until my children are out of school.

          1. Hang in there. You have my greatest respect. CD’s are just Life Leaches, Life destroying, dream recking, parasites.

  6. What I realized is that whatever in my mother that is reflecting in me, I do have the capacity to change. It is cutting off that relationship (or lack thereof), and realizing that if I don’t, I am winding up the same way. Acceptance of the differences in other people (keeping an open mind), and learning to set healthy boudaries with myself and other people, my life isn’t about anyone else, it is God who is in control, I can learn to appreciate things that I haven’t been, not role over and play dead, and getting back into living-work, volunteering, and not focusing on things I can’t change. Other people.

  7. Here is an example of the power that a narcissist has to turn on you-being able to effectively convince you (bullying at school was no help, I got it there too, what wound up happening, they convinced me too that I was stupid). As a result, I never cared much until I was in college (and a stupid kid starts kindergarten in a private school at the age of 4?), when at 42, I took an IQ test, guessing on several of the questions (lazy), and scored at 120, and without making much of an effort?

    Let no one convince you that you’re stupid, or you are crazy. I never was, and now, seeing is believing.

  8. As for therapy, I will go once or twice more, to wrap it up. To mark the date my mother’s birthday is in a couple of weeks, it is also my last day of therapy. :-).

    Don’t need it anymore.

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