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Monday, January 16, 2012

How Controlling People Get You to Doubt Yourself - How to Break Free

You don't know what you are talking about! This is what I was told over and over again. This brief remark separated me from my trust in myself. My spouse and I often fought over his idea of my not knowing what I was talking about. In fact this argument took the place of real communication in our relationship. It was the wall that went up when I wanted to talk, really talk something through. The conversation was stopped because he said I didn't know what I was talking about and therefore didn't deserve to be listened to. Nothing ever got resolved. The problem or problems just festered and multiplied.
"You don't know what you are talking about," or "you are looking at things all wrong." It was a draining experience. The continued use of it against me is what led me to want to flee, just run away and started my serious thinking of ending the marriage.
This little remark after time had me believing that I was slow and lacked common sense. That there was something wrong with me; somehow I had failed to see what everyone else did, I wasn't normal.
Countering, the behavior of being in opposition to another is one of the most common and frequently used tactics of Verbal Abusers. It happens when a person takes the opposite side of whatever you think, feel, believe or express, even if it is something that you repeated back from them just to be spiteful. It denies your perception, your viewpoint, and your contribution to the relationship.

To the Verbal Abuser, you are an adversary, how dare you have an opinion, idea, viewpoint or attitude different from what they have.
Of course the intent of countering as an act of verbal abuse is to gain and maintain dominance over you.
The verbal assaults are intended to keep you off balance so you can't connect with that center of power within you. This is intentional and is what separates abuse from regular healthy conflict. Not all relationships are abusive. In a non-abusive relationship, there is disagreement but missing is the determined actions to get you to doubt yourself.
When you are interrupted from connecting with yourself and knowing yourself, you are weaker, easier to deceive and less likely to put up a fight. The entrance of this wounding opens the door to other unspeakable experiences.
How you respond to this opposition decides whether you fall under the abusers power or see right through the lies.
Trying to explain yourself better and get your point across when you are being countered is taking the bait. You were understood, they just want you to doubt your ability to communicate.
The identifying factor that this is verbal abuse is that your attempt to share was met with denied discussion. The refusal to be heard and understood and the resistance to allow a meeting of the mind are harmful. You do not get access into the other person's thinking and their emotions are kept to themselves. You don't get to know them; you are left on the outs.
Typically this leaves you with a feeling of overwhelm and guilt; you actually take responsibility for some or all of the strife in the relationship. Most likely you just want to retreat; except that even in retreating there is no where to go.
Here's where you start to develop self-doubt. You innocently speak your truth, what you saw, what you heard, how you felt, and you get countered and told you are wrong. Continued engagement in this environment leads to second guessing and walking on egg shells.
You are wrong! End of discussion! Is what this experience is all about? This category of verbal abuse YOU'RE WRONG! wrong about what you believe, wrong about what you think, wrong about how you feel. You don't know yourself or what you are talking about....once again.
Countering is very effective, who doesn't instinctively respond in defense? This is how you engage the abuser, give them power and learn to tolerate abuse enough to where you lose yourself.
The correct response when treated with Countering is STOP IT! Simply Stop It. No need to give validation to anything they are saying by responding.
Lana McMurray is Founder and CEO of, a Company assisting people who have a deep desire for more break through resistance, stop self sabotage and end self defeating cycles so that they can get what they want with less effort and in quicker time.
She specializes in working with people who have experienced verbal abuse (emotional and mental anguish), escape mental and emotional pain, reconnect with themselves and get free from the painful experiences of the past and take charge of their life.
If you liked this article, you will also enjoy my free audio - 3 Secret Keys to Get Stronger
Lana McMurray, CPC, ELI-MP
Free 2 Thrive Coaching LLC

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