There are ways of evaluating the potential of future violent acts by those people we associate with in our daily lives. Part of the problem is that we “choose to ignore” the signs and symptoms that suggest future problems in our relationships out of our “hopes, needs and desires.”
The Nice Guy Syndrome
We frequently hear others describe people who have been violent as “nice guys” who never showed any indications that they might “lose it.” Others may like them, but they are difficult to live with. Some people say that there was nothing notable in the person’s behavior that would have predicted their “doing such a terrible thing.” However, professionals who treat domestic violence are clear that there are signs and warnings that are evident well before something “explodes” into violence.
Statements of Threats
In the past, we did not think that occasional threats of violence needed to be taken seriously. We now know that it is critical to respond seriously to threatening words and behaviors. If we do take quick and clear action to threats, many more assaults and deaths could be prevented.
We are presently living in a society that seems to “honor” violence on films and in our daily lives. What we do know is that women are physically battered every 8.1 seconds and emotionally and mentally battered ever 0.15 seconds. Most domestic murders are preceded by some sort of emotional abuse. For this reason, it is critical that we pay attention to issues of emotional abuse leading to more violent acts against others.
People do not “just snap or lose it without warning.” It is not possible to go from a healthy relationship to killing someone for “leaving.” Statements, and acts, of abuse are all about the “issue of control” of others.
Signs Of Emotional Abuse
- Using intimidation: Making others afraid by using looks, actions, gestures, displaying weapons, and destroying property.
- Using Isolation: Controlling what the other person does, who they see and talks to, and where they go and how long they can stay any place.
- Using Denial & Blame: Making light of the abuse; saying the abuse didn’t occur; shifting responsibility for abusive behaviors onto their mates who “provoked them;” Saying that they deserved it.
- Using Coercion & Threats: Threatening violence against women, children, other family members or pets; threatening to injure oneself or to commit suicide; blaming others for those acts. Telling others what they are thinking or planning.
- Being Jealous: Not wanting their mates to spend time with others; always questioning their mates about what they did, said, or where they spent their time; throwing “temper tantrums” when their mates do anything that takes time away from home.
- Issues of Control of Finances: Wanting to control all the finances and only providing small amounts of money to their mates. They want accounting of every thing that is spent. Refusing to share equally in financial resources, etc.
- “Put-Downs” That Hurt: Finding fault, blaming, looking for any way to point out the negatives, avoiding any positive statements, and making their mates feel dependent on them for every aspect of their lives.
There are many more issues that could be added to this list. Paying attention to these “little issues” will help in understanding the underlying motives of your mate. The best way to determine how someone will act is in how they have behaved in the past (patterns of behaviors), not their words or promises. However, get out and away ASAP. Set clear and specific limits and boundaries.
Consider the danger of having such a person around. Spouses and friends should stay away and not try to “understand or make it better, or smooth it over.” This is when people get hurt!