Strength and Mistreatment.

arguing.Strength for resisting mistreatment. Wait, who is going to mistreat me? What do you mean? Come on, everybody gets mistreated sometimes. Maybe mistreated is just a tad bit too strong a word-depending on the mistreatment.

You see there is mistreatment from bullies, office workers (particularly the ones from the back), bosses, families (sibling rivalry) spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends. Husbands If we tried I bet we could come up with a lot longer list than these.

Let’s face facts. Sometime during your day, week or month you could come under verbal or nonverbal mistreatment. Might be both. When that happens, we get our feelings hurt, we might get angry and we might retaliate with words in kind.

Something tells me we have a difficult time handling mistreatment. Which certainly is understandable.

I think there are different ways to handle some mistreatment. And I do believe in forgiveness. And yes, I would cut a family member a lot of slack as opposed to a stranger. But it is important to look at each situation. I think most of us know when we are around someone who is going off whether or not that person is under stress and just blowing steam. If that’s the case we will give them slack (which means keep your mouth shut and let them blow) but it should be evident you need to excuse yourself from that as soon as possible so they don’t involve you. That’s their problem and you can’t fix it. God did not put a sticker on your head that says “Main Fixer of Human Race”.

If an employer did this one, I would cut slack, if he/she did it periodically I think I would look into another job. You see there are several levels we can walk on when this happens. It’s important to figure out what is best for us in these situations. We don’t need to come down to their level. No point in handing them a string and suggest they pull us in.

By that I mean, recognize there is something going on in that person’s life that is causing them to lash out and you just happen to be in the path of their lashes. Now you can remain there, or you can remove yourself as soon as possible-keep tongue in mouth. If you retaliate the situation escalates and they are in control. However, if you do not react to this, you can back away and you are the one who is in control.

It’s important you remain in control of your feelings and actions.

That also means you don’t stew on it. Look at the situation, decide the level of importance.  And do what is best for you. But never, ever, cause the situation to escalate, that is totally forfeiting your right to control your environment.

Maybe that person is going through a tough time, but remember this, that does not give them the right to verbally abuse you. That is a lesson for them to learn, the easy way or the hard way, their choice.

If that means looking for another job, then do it. If that means breaking up with someone do it. If that means you can’t be around a member of your family very often, then so be it.

You are the one who is responsible for what you do or not do. Set your boundaries.

About Susan Reichert

President of Southern Author Serivces; President of Collierville Christian Writers Group; Retired Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine. Southern Author Services promotes and highlights authors and their books. Married with four daughters. Lives in the South.
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