All users aren’t abusers, but all abusers are users. If you are in the beginning stages of a relationship with one of these people, they will try some common tactics to real you in. I will share some strategies you can use to combat these tactics.*
Note: If you are already in a relationship with an abuser, these tactics may put you in danger. Consider your actions carefully.
Bizarre questions and comments – “Why do you dress so frumpy?” or “I know you have secret feelings for my best friend.”
Your natural inclination will be to defend yourself against comments like this. When you try this, he** will negate you and try to provoke you. Pretty soon, you will be bickering back and forth and you will both look crazy.
Learn the value of silence. Don’t give him the satisfaction of engaging with him. Tweet This
Resist the urge to be “nice,” and always fill in gaps in the conversation with words. Questions and statements like this deserve no response.
The Raging Bull – When you don’t behave the way he thinks you should, be begins to rage. This is part of the abuser’s disorder, it’s the equivalent of an adult “temper tantrum.” He uses it to try to get a reaction from you.
Don’t take his bait. If you feel safe, try saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” or “We will talk later when you’ve calmed down.” This is a potentially dangerous time, where an emotional abuser can turn into a physical abuser. If you feel like you are in danger, activate your safety plan. Try to leave safely. Anticipate and prepare for his rages. If he follows you, you can take advantage of this by getting witnesses.
Liar Liar – Abusers are liars. Asking questions of a pathological liar is inviting him to lie to you. Or he might bounce all around and avoid answering you.
Don’t waste your time. Only legal prosecutors ask liars questions to trap them when proof is available.
High Pressure Conman – He acts like a used-car salesman. He might say, “We need to . . .” or “I know a guy . . .” or “If we don’t act right now, we’ll lose out.” He tries to bait you with urgency, immediate gratification or last-minute panic. Using “we” and stating some “snooze you lose” consequence is his game.
Run a self-diagnostic on your naive meter.
Giving money to these guys is like asking a dog to guard your dinner. Tweet This
Tell him you need to check with your financial advisor first. Back off completely when faced with this type of pressure. Say, “I’m not interested,” or “No.” Refuse to give into his pressure.
Manipulation 101 – he tries to trap you into doing something you don’t want to do. He asks, “What are you doing Friday night?” If you say, “I haven’t made any plans yet,” you are ripe for the plucking. He might ask you to clean his apartment, or take food to his dying grandmother.
Don’t tell him you have no plans. Answer his question with a question of your own. “What did you have in mind?” You have successfully blocked the ball and punted it back to him. He will be forced to tell you that he wants you to stay late at work and write a report he is supposed to write. Using this strategy, you can make up a reasonable excuse, or simply say, “No.”
Stay away from a fool,
for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.
Fools give full vent to their rage,
but the wise bring calm in the end.
Question: Do any of these tactics sound familiar to you? How have you dealt with these in the past?
I pray we will become more aware of some of these tactics so we can defend ourselves from them. May God bless you today and always.
*These examples were given to me by a friend. I don’t know the author. If you do, please contact me so I can give the author credit.