In a recent “Ask Amy” column, a reader was in a relationship with someone who was verbally abusive.  She was asking Amy how to toughen up to walk away.

Amy’s reply (in part): “The longer you wait, the tougher your recovery will be, because the more abuse you take, the more diminished you will feel.”

I think this is true not only in personal relationships, but in all kinds of interactions.  If much of your time at work is spent hearing about all the things you or your staff did wrong, you will start to believe what is said, making it harder to have the confidence to interview.  If you tell yourself over and over that you are fat, soon you will be.  If you continually hear from a family member that you aren’t living up to your potential, you will build a resistance to risk and the prediction will come true.

Whatever is put into your head on a repeated basis wears ruts in your memory.  It becomes easier to operate in that rut, rather than trying to climb out of it. 

If you hear people or the environment around you feeding you negative information, find ways to change that channel quickly.  As hard as that may be to do, it is so much easier to switch after a few bad songs or soon it will be the only soundtrack you know.

— beth triplett

“Ask Amy: When is it time to leave abusive relationship?”  by Amy Dickinson in the Telegraph Herald, November 20, 2014, p.2D

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