I think you'll agree that there's nothing worse than being on the receiving end of abuse. Whether you work in a call center and you've become a verbal punching bag, or that new partner isn't what they first appeared to be, there's no reason we should accept abuse. In this article I'm going to concentrate on psychological and verbal abuse. It turns out that there are three things you can do to dramatically reduce hurtful abuse. If you've seen recent news headlines you'll notice that you can encounter abusive people at all levels of society.

1. Ask yourself if you're responsible

Whether the person being abusive is a friend, relative, or customer, you should ask yourself if you have the same problem with other people as you do with the abusive person. The chances are you may find that no one else is giving you abuse other than the person making your life miserable. If you're still not convinced, try avoiding the abusive person for one week. During that week, see if you notice other people treating you the same way. If you do, then taking an assertiveness course may help you. However, I'm willing to bet that during a week away from the abusive person you may notice that others treat you extremely well. Realize that you do not have a problem, the abusive person does.

Abusive people often have personality issues such as psychopathy. Even if you confront them over their behavior, they are not able to take responsibility for their actions. This could drive you crazy as they will often shift the focus of blame on to you and make you (and everyone around you) think that you're the one to blame.

2. Should you turn into a gray rock?

I once worked for a Japanese company, and spoke to a colleague about how the Japanese deal with confrontation. In Japan, if someone such as a friend isn't treating you right then people will cut off all ties with that person. It sounds really harsh, doesn't it? The Japanese don't believe in maintaining contact, or even speaking, to a person who is hurtful or offensive.

To maintain contact is seen as pointless if the other person will never change their ways, at least that's the way a lot of Japanese people see it. On the internet there is a lot of talk about the similar and infamous "Gray Rock" technique. This is where you literally cut off all contact with an abusive person such as a psychopath. If a psychopath is looking to abuse you, they will often try to cut off your support networks such as friends and colleagues. Even a small amount of information can be used for poisonous means if you give it to the abusive person.

For that reason, a lot of people on the internet suggest using the "gray rock" technique and giving no information to the abusive person at all.

This technique can be difficult for a lot of people, particularly if the person doing the abusing is a close family member. However, it is worth trying for a couple of months to see if it works for you. You may feel guilty at first, but if you start feeling better or back to your old self, then you may have to consider cutting the person out of your life altogether. Alternatively, you can minimize contact and limit information. If the abusive person asks what you've been up to, tell them something boring like staying home and watching television. Abusive people often focus on others they think outshine them, pretend you're dull and you'll find they get bored and move on.

3. Do some research and know the personality types who abuse

Knowledge is a powerful thing. If you've been on the receiving end of abuse more than once, then there are a lot of great books on the market to help you. They deal with everything from abusive personality types such as narcissism to psychopathy and how to deal with them. Try not to become paranoid and start seeing everyone as a threat, but if you know the warning signs then you're more able to avoid being hurt again. Also realize that a lot of abusive people are afraid to admit to what they are doing. Don't try to expose their actions as they will simply tell more lies to cover up their behavior, but do your best to avoid them. If their behavior crosses the line, then you should speak to the police if you feel that you are in danger.

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