One very interesting theory explains this connection between abuser and abused as an evolutionary trait aimed at survival of the species. According to this belief, since early in our human history when one tribe attacked another, female hostages were taken into the conquering tribe. In order to survive they had to accept and take on the values of the aggressor.
We are most used to understanding this way of interacting as Stockholm Syndrome, the behavior of kidnap victims who become sympathetic to their captors. This is considered to be a desperate and usually unconscious act of self preservation.
This behavior is also called ‘capture-bonding’ or ‘traumatic-bonding’ - defined as the strong emotional ties that develop between two people where one intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses or intimidates the other.
DANCE WITH IT! EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...
Of course there are many degrees of abusive relationships – for the most part, not as extreme as our gorilla story. But, let’s face it, almost all of us have been in at least one of these relationships at some time, with a boss, a parent, a teacher, a romantic partner.
Think about it:
Have you been in a relationship that could fit into this category?
If your answer is yes:
What would have happened if you had faced the nature of the relationship head on?
How many times did you find yourself saying: “He/she didn’t really mean it…”
“They just had a bad day…”
“It’s just the way they talk…”
“They’re just trying to help me improve…”
“They had a bad childhood…”
Now ask yourself what would have happened if you stopped making excuses? What belief of your own kept you hooked in?
Unfortunately, this is a really pervasive human dance!
What do you need to do to give yourself permission to say NO!
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