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  • Eve Coker, PhD, LCMHC

Abuse through Social Tactics

My dad found a nice quote on Facebook and thought it would go well as a blog post.


When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you.
The misinformation will be unfair, but stay above it. Trust that other people will see the truth - just like you do.


So often, we can be trapped when a toxic person in our lives will bad-mouth us to relatives, friends, and community members when we do even the tiniest thing that goes against the toxic person's destructive and self-absorbed wishes. Often, that person knows how to present themselves in a saintly way to our family, friends, and community while they may act abusively towards their victims in private. They may do it over social media, through phone calls and texts, in a place of worship, in a gathering spot, or in intimate settings.


We should always do an internal assessment and take personal responsibility for our own roles in any situation or interaction. However, it can make us feel crazy when others use the abusive tactic of using social condemnation to turn others against us. There's even the term "flying monkeys" for when the attacking person sends people after us to condemn or harass us.


It's a way to stomp on our boundaries so that we don't protect ourselves against their manipulation. It causes the people-pleasing response, in which we believe that we need to sacrifice our well-being and interests in order to appease them. Sometimes appeasing them in the best way to avoid their tantrums, and other times it's the only way we know how to feel worthy of love.


It can hurt our self esteem and sense of self-worth when other people we care about are fed misinformation about us and the situation(s) we were involved in. It's so stressful! Many ask: I'm trying my best for others, but why does this person keep punishing me?


Rather than looking at this abuse as a reflection of ourselves, remember that it's a reflection of what's going on inside the abuser. There could be any number of things going on with them, from misplaced pain and anger to downright sociopathic behavior. We may have done similar things as well in our own experiences.


It's also a great reminder to be cautious of what we believe from others about other people. There comes a point where we don't need to focus on every negative aspect of an interaction or person unless it represents a danger to someone. We can also use our critical thinking skills to try to be fair towards the person who is being discussed.








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