If you’re not feeling those ways, you may be in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Whether it is parents or partners that make you feel worthless, unwanted, and unappreciated, it leads to emotional abuse. It’s important to recognize these basic truths about emotional abuse so they will not continue to damage your life.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE:
- Why there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be wanted
- What unconditional acceptance means
- Why Hijackals and other emotional abusers do not want you to feel worthy, wanted, or welcome
- Why it is essential to the rest of your life to recognize emotional abuse
Hijackals and other emotional abusers don’t want you to feel worthy, wanted, or welcome. That would make you their equal and they are having none of that. You’ve likely noticed that. Hijackals are always in competition with you…for no other reason than they live in morbid fear of being wrong or shamed. So, they learn tactics to control, manipulate, and rewrite history.
It can be difficult to tell that you’re a victim of emotional abuse. The emotions that accompany it are serious and should not be taken lightly. Emotional abuse can come from a variety of sources, including romantic partners or parents. While many people don’t think it’s possible for parents to emotionally abuse their children, the truth is, there are many ways for parents to hurt their child – even if they don’t mean to.
I know it’s difficult to actually say to yourself, “My partner (or parent) is emotionally abusive.” You may feel embarrassed, or worse, you may feel unkind saying that about someone who is actually abusing you. That’s why it’s important to recognize emotional abuse, and call it what it is. Then, you can begin extricating yourself from it.
Healthy parents want and welcome their children.
It is important for victims and advocates to recognize emotional abuse, and call it what it is: abuse. This type of abuse is just as detrimental and damaging to the victim, but often goes unrecognized by society due to ignorance about its consequences. It can be just as harmful as physical and sexual abuse, and in some cases is the prelude to such violence.
Rhoberta Shaler 00:01
We’ve been talking a lot of things about emotional abuse lately, recognizing it, understanding it, understanding if you are being subjected to it, learning how to say yes, it is emotional abuse, all those things when we’re dealing with a critically relentlessly difficult people in the world that I call Hijackals.
And I’m glad that you’re here to discuss this with us and to think about this, when I say discuss it, I’m sure that you will have conversation in your head, as you listen to this and recognize that maybe that happened to you. Maybe that was part of what you grew up with. Maybe it’s happening in a relationship right now. And if it’s happening in your primary relationship, it may also be happening in friendships and sibling relationships. So really important things to have a look at.
If you enjoy this program, and I’m glad to have you here, you can support it by going to patreon.com/save your sanity, you can make a one time donation, or you can become a monthly subscriber for 135 $10 a month, your choice. And I’d really appreciate it if you do that. And more importantly, tell your friends and invite them to come on over to the channel. And to the podcast episode. My YouTube channel is also called for relationship help. So you can find me there. Tonight we’re going to be talking about whether or not you feel worthy wanted and welcome. And if not, it may well be emotional abuse.
Rhoberta Shaler 02:23
Sometimes we’ve just grown up not even having any idea of what it actually means to feel worthy wanted and welcome. Because we were born into a home where those things were not on offer. They were not part of what we received when we arrived. And maybe they never really did. And of course, you had nothing to compare it to. So you thought these giants so big, much bigger than I am, they must be right about me, they must be seeing things in me and reflecting me back to me. And it gets entrenched in us that their opinion of us is accurate. And actually, a lot of their opinion of us is a reflection of who they are. And whether or not they’re healthy.
So discussing worthy wanted or welcome applies to both parents, the parents that you had, and a partner that you had, or you currently have, or maybe some friends, maybe some siblings, as I mentioned, because if you weren’t where they wanted and welcome, you may recognize that you were put down, torn down and worn down. And that’s emotional abuse. So I want to make some distinctions here. You know, worthy means that you have the qualities that merit recognition, and you have them just because you draw breath.
You know, unless you do something terrible, you are a worthy person. And sometimes you do something terrible, and you make up for it. And you’re still a worthy person because you acknowledged your error. And you made a change in behavior. You know, I say so frequently, that an apology is only an apology, if it’s followed by sustained changed positive behavior. And many times we get used to accepting the things I call faux apologies that they’re not really apologies, you know, I’m sorry that you feel that way. That is not an apology. That is an appeasement.
The Apology sounding thing is only put out there to get you off their back and to make you feel as though they heard you, but it has nothing to do with an apology. So worthy is important and wanted. You know, you don’t want to be rejected. You don’t want to have indifference to you. You want to be wanted you want someone to be interested in you today. demonstrate that you have value, that to believe that you have value to encourage you through having value, and they want you around, they want to be with you. And welcome, of course, is pretty obvious, you’re gladly received, people are glad that you’re there. And for many of my clients, I know, we didn’t have that story.
You know, maybe you’ve heard things like I heard, I’m an only child. And my parents would often tell me, Well, my mother would say, I didn’t want any children, but your father insisted. Hence, I’m an only child, not really wanted and welcome, right. So it’s important to know those things. It’s not your fault, you didn’t get pregnant to have you. So, you know, we wanted to really look into these ideas. Because there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be wanted to feel desire to feel accepted and to feel loved. That’s just basic to being human.
You we want to feel wanted, is important, is healthy. And I don’t have a great affinity for the idea of unconditional love. Because it’s such a unworthy goal. It you just can’t achieve it. So it’s held out as though you’ll never be good enough if you can’t do it. But I am a big believer in unconditional acceptance. And that goes really well with worthy wanted and welcome. Because acceptance for who you are. And your right to be yourself is really important.
The acceptance is the ability to see that others have a right to be their own unique person with a right to their own feelings, thoughts and opinions. They have that right. And we accept that they have that right. Whether or not we like what they think, is not the question. The question is, can we accept that they have that right? And honor and respect that right? And is very different from condoning of behavior, I can accept that you have the right to do whatever you want to do.
But if you’re engaging in behaviors that are not alright with me, then I may want to just as myself from you, but I accept your right to do what it is you do. And I accept your right to have the consequences for what you do too. Because you you do not need to be enabling either. Not condoning the behaviors, not enabling the behaviors if you’re not happy about them, not pretending they don’t exist, because that puts you kind of in lala land. And that’s not a great place to be.
Denial will never be a healthy state to be in. So accepting Lee is acceptance is not grudgingly tolerated. Things that other people do, it is actually embracing their right to do it, and without defense without taking offense. And so it’s important to understand what acceptance is, and they have the right to their feelings and thoughts. You have the right to your feelings and thoughts. And acceptance also requires we have no desire to change someone.
We may wish they were different, we may hope that they will become different, but it is not our job to change them. Because we accept them. That wouldn’t that be great feeling to just feel you were accepted? Right? That’s great. That’s excellent. That is encompassing, that helps you feel wanted and helps you feel worthy. It helps you feel welcome. But were you treated that way in your relationships Hijackals Those people I talk about all the time, the people who hijack relationships for their own purposes, and then relentlessly scavenge them for power status and control. They won’t demonstrate acceptance for many reasons. They have to be superior to you so they can’t accept you and be superior to you they have to find something wrong with you. They also have to be an always are in competition with you.
So there’s no acceptance if if I’m in competition with you, and they are always the ones who get to decide if you’re good enough Have you noticed that they are the arbiter of good enough? That’s not the case but Hijackals think that it is so they’re not going to embrace exceptions so gaslight you they’ll describe your thoughts and feelings and wants and needs to you. And they’ll tell you that they’re yours and they’re not there their idea of what you should want or you should feel or what you should think. And that’s not acceptance. They also have this very strange belief that their truth is truer than your truth. You notice that they just honestly seem to believe that their truth is truer. And they’ll argue with you about whose truth is truer. And they have no acceptance of your truth.
Only, of course, if it collides completely with theirs, and collaborates or coalesces or whatever the right word that works for that, as long as you feel the same way that you’ve they feel, they may not object, they won’t go along and tell you that’s wonderful, we’re on the same page. Because now that would, that wouldn’t make you equals right. And they’re not very interested in making u equals, so you’re not going to feel worthy wanted and welcome and your needs when you’re with a Hijackal.
And the Hijackals include people with tendencies to be narcissistic, psychopathic, sociopathic, histrionic borderline, they’re, they’re definitely not going to accord you the right to have your needs, and your needs will definitely come a very distant second to theirs. And I’m sure you’ve noticed that if you’ve had Hijackal, parent, or Hijackal partners and thinking about those Hijackal parents, you know, when I did the episode a few weeks ago, on how narcissistic parents damaged their children, I was talking about upside down parenting, because a healthy parent knows that their task is to meet the needs of their children, an unhealthy Hijackal parent turns it upside down and believes their children are there to meet their needs.
And so we’re never going to have the your needs being important when you’re with a Hijackal, whether that’s a parent or a partner, because they have to be on the top of the pile, and you will be a distant second, except when they really, really want something right. You’ve experienced that, how they can all of a sudden come into your corner for just as long as it takes to get you onside so that they can get what they want. And then they’re gone again, and you no longer feel wanted you feel used. And that would be appropriate to feel used because you were used Hijackals don’t have a lot of love to care, but they have a lot of uses for you.
That’s a very difficult thing to get your head around. You don’t want to believe you fell in love with somebody who’s got uses for you is instead of love for you. I know that’s just not something we want to admit readily. But we have to admit it to ourselves when it becomes truly evident. And that is important, truly important. And you know, Hijackals hate that you’re in a unique, they want to pull you down, they want to tear you down, they want to wear you down, put you down because how can No, no, you’re getting attention.
There’s a risk, then that you may get more attention than them. So they are very, very, very against you being unique, except when it comes to that last part of the Hijackal definition, that they relentlessly scavenge the relationship for power Status and Control. They’ll do that they’ll take over your status, they’ll take credit for what you do. A long time ago, I used to date a fella. And we went to a lot of networking things. And he would always introduce me as Dr. Roberta Shaler. And I said to him, why did you choose that?
And he said, Well, you know, it’s really good. I want everybody to know your doctor. And I realized that he was borrowing my status as I got to know him. He was a Hijackal No surprise there. I mean, if you’ve had Hijackal parents, and you’ve had a Hijackal eggs, you’re still gonna take a hot minute to figure out if somebody is Hijackal are not. And this person definitely was, but he was borrowing my status all the time. And when I finally figured it out, it was his idea that it was staticy but he had an associate’s degree and he felt badly about those very bright, bright man. And he felt badly he felt shame about that. So he wanted to kind of borrow my credibility.
And that could be a one of thing that does Don’t make anybody into a Hijackal. But it also could be something that they do all the time. And so therefore, you cannot gain any access to equality from them. And you know, in Episode 115 equality is a is an absolute must have for a healthy adult relationship. And you’re not going to find that when you’re with a Hijackal. So they don’t want to accord you your rights. They just want to get their rights. And of course, their rights are more important. And when you get that inequity, and you have it in the ways that I’ve been discussing, many times, you’re going to find yourself in a situation that truly is emotional abuse. Because acceptance to a Hijackal True acceptance means that they’re saying you’re equal. And woe to them.
That is a big, big, big no.
So let’s just tie this acceptance to the idea of emotional abuse. Because emotional abuse is controlling another person by criticizing embarrassing shaming, blaming, discounting, dismissing, depriving, or denying their rights needs, thoughts, feelings, and equality. That’s what’s going on. So when someone will not allow you to feel worthy wanted or welcome, or set up the conditions for you to feel worthy wanted and welcome. It tells us something about that person, that they do not have the willingness or the ability or the intentionality, or the comfort even to extend that to you. Because they always have to stay above you.
They have to stay feeling as though they have the upper hand. And so emotional abuse, then we find people being constantly critical of you. There’s always something a little not right. You know, you can wear that. Or the small put downs, the large put downs, the global put downs, like, oh, you never get anything, right. And all of that constant criticism, is emotional abuse. And Hijackals will overstep your rights. And that’s abusive, you have rights. And you need to be able to exercise them freely. Not over anybody else’s, but equally and freely. and emotional abuse occurs when you’re not allowed to. And they’re constantly overstepping your boundaries, should you have some.
Now, for many people there, they recognize that they haven’t clearly set boundaries, and their boundaries have no consequences. But if you do anything that even sounds remotely like setting a boundary with a Hijackal, they go into destroy mode, don’t they? Because they’re going to overstep those boundaries to show that they have power over you. And therefore, how are you supposed to feel worthy, you can’t, and they’re telling you all the time, you’re not worth having your rights. This is just a different way of thinking about some of the things that we’ve discussed before. But it’s so important.
Emotional abuse also extends to them being possessive and controlling, which obviously, we talk about a fair amount. It’s one of the big hallmarks that people notice when you’re with a person who is possessive and controlling. And then we talk about all the other pieces we find they’re usually there too. But emotional abuse also goes to manipulation.
They’re manipulating your feelings, they’re manipulating your thoughts. They’re manipulating outcomes. They’re manipulating your decisions. And we want to be able to step back and really see those things because they are truly bright red flags.
But sometimes, particularly if we’re healthy, and especially if we’ve had abuse in our childhood. We want to keep on our rose colored glasses for way too long. And when you’re wearing rose colored glasses, you can see red flags is really difficult. We have to whip off those rose colored glasses and actually see the red flags and the bright light of day and be willing to say yes, that is a red flag. And yes, I may have been ignoring it or really not wanting it to be true.
But I am going to step up be in the moment. Be realistic and present. And say that is actually happening right now. actually happening. So another thing in the emotional abuse world is that they will dismiss and and discount your feelings. They’ll ask you, you know, would you like to do this? Or would this be okay with you? And if you possibly say no, then they’re all over you, are they? What’s wrong with you, you should want to do what I want you to do. And that’s the way that they emotionally abuse you.
They take away your rights. They demonstrate their lack of acceptance of you as an equal reciprocal, a mutual human. And they’ll also fault find, no, some of the things that are Hijackals blame you for are so absurd, because they couldn’t possibly be your fault, right? But they do it because they can’t stand the idea of not having someone to blame, especially not going to take responsibility for their own actions, or be accountable for anything. So they have to blame you, which they do. And what goes with that is blame shifting.
If you say to them, you know, there’s something that really bothers me. And I’ve, I feel very disrespected in this relationship, they will leap into blame shifting, they’re not going to have that land on them, it immediately becomes a boomerang back on you. Yes, you are the most disrespectful human I’ve ever met. No equality, we can’t have a conversation that doesn’t have blame shifting, or fault finding just won’t happen. And then they’re experts at projection, which means that what they’re afraid of is true of them. They project on you like a movie projector and say it’s true of you.
That’s why you’ll often see memes that say things like, always remember that an accusation from a Hijackal is really a confession, because of that process of projection. So again, what they’re afraid is true of them. They don’t want to be seen as so they say it’s you who has that fault, or has that view or has that failing. All of this is emotional abuse. So none of these things would happen. They wouldn’t be critical. They wouldn’t be overstepping your rights or your boundaries, they wouldn’t be discounting you and dismissing your feelings and fault finding and blame shifting and projecting if they were capable of accepting and acceptance. And therefore they would be able to allow you to feel worthy wanted and welcome. But they can’t, you know, in order to have a gift, if I wanted to give you this pen, I would have to have this pen in order to give it to you.
Contrary to the way that they behave Hijackals Don’t feel worthy wanted or welcome either. But they would never admit that readily. So therefore, you can’t feel worthy wanted and welcome. that just can’t be because they’re not getting it, you can’t have it.
So if someone does not treat you as worthy, wanted and welcoming that is a big red flag.
It says this person, this relationship is going to have some things that need to be worked out. And then we need to be worked out within yourself. Like what’s really going on? How do I feel seem appropriate? Does it happen frequently? What happens when I mentioned it? And you calibrate that yourself? Or you may have to have a look to see, oh, how do they treat other people? Do they treat you particularly badly they put on this big show to other people? Well, that’s a big red flag. A
nd if you still want them, after you’ve recognized all that I’ve said today, that’s not unusual.
It means you’re trauma bonded. It means that you have an unhealthy bond with a person who abuses you. It’s not uncommon, don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s just something that you have to recognize and then realize the impact of it, then recover from it. You’ll probably need some help. And then, you know, maybe your healing will take place. But it’s very important that you recognize that trauma bonding is something that happens in order for the Hijackal, to get what they want, they, they abuse you. And then they’re the ones who console you. They’re abuse you, and then they, they throw you a fruit, few breadcrumbs, and you come back quickly. And that’s why breaking that cycle is difficult. It is difficult.
You know, many times you’ll think of leaving before you actually leave. And many times, people leave and return and leave again before they finally make their exit. Because of the trauma, bonding. Trauma, bonding can lead you to even have sympathy for the abuser. And then you will turn into their enabler. And I’ve done lots of podcast episodes, to help you truly understand what enabling is, and why you want to stop doing it.
All very important things, but you deserve to feel worthy wanted and welcome. You really do, everybody does. And a Hijackal is dead set on taking that away from you.
Sure. They’re great in the beginning in the love bombing, really good at it. Definitely you feel worthy wanted and welcomed you, they just can’t get enough of you. They can’t do enough for you. They can’t show off enough take you to the best places you’ve ever wanted to go or do things for you that you’ve just came to that. But they can’t keep it up. Because it’s a charade. It’s a facade. That’s not who they are.
So we also have a tendency as we become trauma bonded, to go back and say, Oh, but they were so wonderful in the beginning. And if only I make myself into a pretzel or a doormat, there’ll be wonderful again, no, that’s not going to happen. They were all kinds of wonderful in order to get you, once they’ve got you, they’re not going to go back to that except for a hot minute when they want something, or they’re afraid you’re leaving. So I hope this new spin on this is something that tweaks your interest, maybe has you look at emotional abuse in a different way.
As I said at the beginning, we don’t like to say I’m with an emotional abuser or I am being emotionally abused, or physically or sexually or financially or spiritually abused either. Nobody likes to think of themselves as being abused. However, we can’t change it until we name it. So I hope I’ve given you some insights to recognize other forms of emotional abuse, and how you might be thinking of that. And until we talk again, take very good care of yourself. Because you’re precious, and you matter. toxin. Thank you for joining me on the save your sanity podcast today.
I hope you’ve had some new insights, some ideas and strategies to help you gain clarity and confidence from moving forward toward greater emotional health and safety. You deserve that and so to your children. If you found value here and would like to support this podcast with $1 of five each month, please do so at patreon.com/save your sanity. Learn more about how to work with me via video conference. Join me optimize circles or subscribe to this podcast on my youtube channel at my website transforming relationship.com Talk soon