What should you do when someone mistreats you?

6 mins read

If someone is abusing you, don’t react the same way. That doesn’t provide anything. The best thing to do is to set boundaries and show them the consequences of their actions. This will improve the impact of their unjust and hurtful behavior on you.

What should you do when someone mistreats you? 1

What should you do when someone mistreats you? Should you react? Should you push yourself away and pretend like nothing happened? In fact, there are few more complex and controversial experiences than responding appropriately to an ailment. Most often, the advice is to tell yourself that the problem is not with you, but with the other person.

That may be true, but what about what they make you feel? How do you deal with these feelings of injustice, loneliness, anger, frustration and even fear? In reality, it is often not enough to allow a negative experience to pass. This is because it is not good to neglect your feelings in the face of a threatening situation.

Coping strategies when someone mistreats you

As a human being, you are programmed to respond to any threat or danger situation. This is due to the role of the cerebral amygdala in the brain. Emory University (USA) conducted a study that emphasized this fact.

This part of your brain forces your body to react three times in stressful situations. In fact, when someone mistreats you, your natural reaction mechanism forces you to flee, attack, or stay where you are (freeze the reaction). These are instinctive responses that have defined human nature since ancient times. But today, you should use a larger and smarter response type.

This means that you should not choose to attack. Indeed, using the law of retaliation or responding violently to those who mistreat you will only make the situation worse. In fact, revenge gives you little benefit and only intensifies your negative emotions, such as anger.

Therefore, what should you do? Here are some tips!

Don’t react immediately, pause to digest what happened

Imagine your boss criticizing both your work and your effort, your partner insulting you, or a friend betraying your trust. These are painful and threatening experiences that automatically push you to react. But it is not appropriate to do this.

After a case of humiliation or negative treatment, you should try to calmly process what happened. This will help you carefully analyze the situation. Perhaps this allows you to understand that this particular action is not an isolated act, and that the person who upsets you has other signs of contempt before.

Self-compassion: pain is real and there is no need to hide it.
Self-compassion is a valuable strategy in difficult times. It allows you to connect with yourself with empathy and respect without judging yourself.

What you feel after someone mistreats you is real and should not be suppressed or stored. In fact, you will only be able to handle the situation better when you accept every emotion felt.

Plan your next steps

Don’t take any chances. Whoever mistreated you once can do it again. Therefore, you should prepare a plan so that it does not happen again. Think calmly and deeply about what you can do with the following in mind:

Your goal is to inform the other person of their actions.
Their attitudes cannot be repeated. If so, explain to them what the consequences will be.
Explain how they make you feel and what impact their actions have.
Think about what kind of boundaries you’ll draw with them.
Use sociability
Sociability is the language of openness, respect and courage. When someone mistreats you, you shouldn’t keep quiet. Because it is extremely likely that they will upset you again, and this will be more serious if you have not dealt with the first violation. You have to be assertive to defend yourself the way you deserve.

Talk calmly, confidently and directly (you can rehearse in advance).
Use the primary singular person (I feel, I notice, I want, I need).
Apply the following formula: “If the X situation repeats itself, it upsets me and I cannot allow it. That’s why I want you to do it (…). If you don’t, then I (…) “.

What should you do when someone mistreats you?

Take care of yourself

When someone mistreats you, everything hurts. Your sense of your soul, self-esteem, and even others is diminished. It’s like an invisible wound. In addition, it takes a great deal of effort to act appropriately, respectfully, but clearly so that the situation does not repeat.

After such experiences, you should self-care. Spend time with the people you love, share what you’ve been through, express your feelings and give yourself time to achieve calm and well-being. At the end of the day, life is full of complicated moments. However, the good usually outweigh the bad. You have to take care of them and present them to each other whenever you can.


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