Not all abusive relationships happen among romantic partners, they can be among/in relative family members, siblings, caregivers, organizations, workplace, church, friends, or sometimes with ourselves. Yes. I am not kidding. Sometimes, we can be toxic to ourselves to say or think, "Okay, it's me. It was my fault so they can treat me like this. Next time, they won't."
Do you know what population is the most susceptible in a relationship? I know what you are thinking. You may think men seem strong and have more power so female-gendered or genders other than straight-male make up the majority of the population being abused? Actually, No! A fun fact I want to share with you, new research shows that being abusive or not is not necessarily correlated to gender (but of course, some marginalized or underrepresented populations might be more susceptible than others). However, anyone can be a little bit "abusive", "aggressive", or "mean" at times. How can we draw the line between what is acceptable and what is not?
What are the practical 5 steps self-check for you to apply to your relationship when you are in doubt?
Knowing who you are: your core values, and who you want to be?
Connect your inner strength: Understand your cultural background and your childhood experience.
Self-compassion: setting a clear boundary starts with knowing yourself.
Prevention: finding your own peace through regularly journaling, meditation, or yoga practice.
The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu encouraged us to find ourselves–our inner strengths in order to know how to position yourself in the world,
"Knowing others is intelligence;
Knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
Mastering yourself is true power."
Where is your true power in the relationship?