Post # 17
- Wedding: October 2019 - City, State
@deetroitwhat: I really hate it when people hide behind the whole honestyreal talk thing and use it as an excuse to just be an asshole. I think it goes without saying that someone who stays with an abuser does not value themselves or respect themselves enough, if they did, then yes, they probably wouldn’t be with someone abusive. Something to remember though, is that there were things, traumatic things, in most cases that led to someone having such a poor sense of self respect and value. It isn’t a choice. To point out the obvious to someone who is currently a victim does nothing but remind that person that they are in that position and it does nothing to actually help that person’s mental state. In fact, it probably does more damage. Even in the slightest of ways. As someone who has dealt with abuse, I can tell you that I never was unaware of how pathetic it was that I just couldn’t get myself out of that situation. i had no self worth, no self respect, and I had no idea how to pull myself out of the bad situation I was in. It took a lot of love, positive words and the strength of those around me who loved me to help me to pull myself out. So my thinking is, if someone is asking for advice or help (even on the “big bad internet”) and they are a victim of an abusive relationship, it’s best to send as much positivity their way as possible. Reminding them of what they probably already know and are most likely not very proud of just doesn’t seem the best way to offer help.
So yes, it’s the internet and it’s completely expected by most that when you ask for advice you should really be prepared to get the good the bad and the ugly. But I refuse to be part of the ugly by offering such useless “advice”. It’s an insult and not really advice. It takes more effort to word an honest, and sometimes harsh, comment in such a way that doesn’t rip someone to shreds than it does to just spew venom. I’ll make the effort though because I value honesty and real talk very much, so I won’t sugar coat things and be all rainbows and unicorns, but I sure will act like a decent person that has some concern for the feelings of others who are in very bad situations.
Post # 18
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@stardustintheeyes: well said.
Post # 19
@stardustintheeyes: I agree, very well put.
Post # 20
Post # 21
It’s tough love. They may not realize it until someone says it out loud (or, online in this case). It’s to get them to think about it, not to just be a jerk.
Edit: Also – Personally, I don’t just say this sort of thing online in a forum where people can’t see me. My mom is in what I believe to be an abusive relationship (or at least, it’s well on its way) and I have had the same talk with her as what I’ve posted previously about self-respect in a relationship. Perhaps it’s the difference of saying it in person, but it has been really helpful for her to hear, and learn from. I talk to her about her confidence and self-respect because I love her, not because I’m trying to be mean.
Post # 22
@mchitt329: I think it’s people’s attempt at tough love. I have been in the situation before and I stayed because I didn’t have any self respect. My friends and family told me that because they were frustrated and nothing else they were saying or doing would help.
At the end of the day, nothing you say to someone in that situation is going to change the situation until the person decides they are done with it.
Post # 23
They probably don’t realize that it doesn’t happen over night, that the self respect gets whittled about a bit at a time over years. They don’t know what its like, they haven’t seen it from the inside. They also don’t realize that when someone finally wakes up to what is going on it takes years to rebuild what was whittled away. Again, this happens a bit at a time.
On the plus side, once you have been on the inside, if you find yourself dating another individual who would like to break you down you know the signs. I’ve broken up with people who were genuinely amazed that I’d have the audacity to dump them. One even said,”but you let so and so get away with this, why would you break up with me?” That was easy to answer,”because I know what this is, and I’m not going there again.” I didn’t. Its been a decade since i first met my ex, I’m engaged to a wonderful guy who remindes me on the bad days that I’m better than I think I am and every day tells me he loves me.
Its easy to judge sometimes. Its easy to judge when you’ve never been in their shoes. They just don’t know how hard it is to put your world right again, and honestly, they aren’t giving these women a hand up. Thankfully, there are places that do give the hand up, support, protection and advise that these women need. Best bet, IM them links to help.
Post # 24
@stardustintheeyes: I never called anyone pathetic or said they didn’t have self respect. And to assume that everyone telling you something you don’t want to hear is mean is a cop out. My comment wasn’t just about this thread. I agree that there can be mean spirited people, but the truth is that we are all different and not all of us hand hold and hug. And in the same token it’s the internet. Of course we don’t understand all situations but give advice based on what we are told. I’m baffled by the concept that if you post on the internet people don’t understand you’re going to get 100 of the same opinions.
Post # 25
@deetroitwhat: No. There is a polite and proper way to approach things. There is honesty, then there is intent to hurt another person.
Post # 26
OP, I said that I had enough self respect to leave, I’ve never actually said “you have no self respect” there’s a difference because there is obviously a process one must go through to leave. I don’t think it’s mean, I think it’s the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Post # 27
@deetroitwhat: You make a good point. Asking for advice and receiving multiple view points and opinions is a fact of life. Not to mention, a lot of times people in crap situations cry ‘mean’ or ‘bully’ because they’re not ready to face the truth. Just because someone has a different opinion or tells you the blunt truth, it doesn’t make them mean. Some people need tougher skin.
Post # 28
- Wedding: October 2019 - City, State
@deetroitwhat: I don’t hold and hug either girl!!! But I sure wouldn’t say “I think someone came on the big bad Internet and asked for an opinion & they got one.” in regards to the specific example given in the OP. Saying something like that to a victim of abuse, even on the internet, is not just offering a brutally honest piece of advice. it’s saying something that will most likely directly have a negative impact on the victim. I think that’s completely different from saying something like “I really wish you would realize how worthy you are of love and how much you deserve more respect than your getting right now, both from yourself and your partner”. It sends the same message but it’s worded in a way that doesn’t insult. It’s encouraging. It’s reminding them that yes, they have no self respect and no they aren’t being respected by this person who’s hurting them, but that they are in fact worthy of both.
Post # 29
Well, I suppose it’s different for everyone..I will say from experience, saying that someone needs more self-respect is not a put-down – it’s a harsh truth that is difficult to couch in gentle phrases.
If you choose to stay in an abusive relationship, it is a CHOICE- simply put. It sounds harsh but it’s true – if, as a friend, you say anything else honestly I think you’re being a bad friend and an enabler. Say what you will about manipulative men and having your confidence eroded away – of course that’s awful – at the end of the day it is up to YOU to change your situation, and a good friend will firmly but gently remind you of that.
Saying to a friend that she needs to work on her self-confidence is not cruel at all. I’ve had friends tell me the same thing. In fact I’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship myself, and you know what? Those friends were right. It is possible to support someone while also not just commiserating with them or playing into the denial they have going on in their heads.
It’s the same concept with addicts: you are not necessarily responsible for getting into the situation but you ARE responsible for getting out. No one else can do that for you, no amount of internet advice, well-meaning friends – although they can listen and remind you of the work you need to do while you do it.
And I honestly don’t believe that that is bullying or ugly or hurting someone. It is the TRUTH and when a person is ready to hear it, act on it, take control of it, they won’t be offended by your words anymore – they will understand what you were talking about in the first place, and they will be glad for your continued support, and grateful that you didn’t just tell them what they wanted to hear all along.
At least that’s how I felt when I left the man who emotionally abused and stalked me years and years ago. I thanked those friends who didn’t berate me but rather listened and still told me I had to leave, over and over, until I got it.
Post # 30
Without getting too psychology on everything….everyone is over simplifying the situations. And for better of worse saying someone has no self-respect is demeaning. In truth, most people in abusive relationships have internal working models that tell them that are not “worthy” many times due to childhood experiences and childhood attachment. Is the difference between feelings of “worthiness” and self-respect just semantics? Partially.
My personal opinon is that instead of putting people down for “having no self respect” you should be thankful that you had influences throughout your life that helped you develop a positive view of yourself.
Post # 31
@mchitt329: In my “opinion” someone in an abusive relationship shouldn’t be asking internet strangers for advice in the first place…they should consult the police, a close family member/friend they can trust, and a mental health professional…hey but that is just this internet stranger’s opinion…