Part 2 Of The Emotional Criminals Series:
Protecting Yourself From The Emotional Criminal
Dealing with emotionally harmful people can be difficult for even the most emotionally strong and intelligent individual. The Emotional Criminals we face in our day-to-day lives can be frustrating and even dangerous to our inner peace and well-being.
So what do you do to protect yourself against the Emotional Criminals in our midst who are out to damage your soul and steal your dignity, peace, happiness and self-worth? Since there is no “emotional court of law” to punish these perpetrators, we must learn to implement strategies to strengthen us and to not allow ourselves to become their victims.
Repeat after me, “I am in control of my emotions”. One of the first steps in disarming an Emotional Criminal is to realize you have the final say so in how you react to their attacks. When you take back control and don’t react the way the Emotional Criminal wants you to, your emotional strength becomes fortified. It takes time, but self-worth and self-image can be strengthened through daily practice.
9 Ways To Protect Yourself from Emotional Criminals:
- Focus On Healthy Relationships: Relationships with others need to be balanced and mutually satisfying. Choose people who inspire you, uplift you and cheer for you. Get rid of relationship that drain you, make you feel bad about yourself, or are stifling your personal growth.
- Recognize the Emotional Criminals In Your World: Learn who they are and what their tactics are. Click here for a list of the 10 most common Emotional Criminals.
- Avoid: If at all possible, avoid the Emotional Criminal and do not allow them to be a part of your world. If you have to deal with them (family members, co-workers, etc.), do not engage them beyond what is absolutely necessary. Stick to “surface” matters — be polite and professional at all times. You can control the level of personal interaction you have with Emotional Criminals.
- Stand Your Ground and Set Boundaries: Be clear of what you will or will not allow as treatment from others. It is important to tell the Emotional Criminal from the start what you will put up with. For the Petty Thieves, simply explain that you do not engage in gossip or negative conversations. They will get the point when you do not respond to their pettiness. Without set boundaries, Emotional Criminals have no barrier and you give them access to inflict emotional harm.
- Do Not Make Excuses: Many people fall into the trap of being an enabler; justifying an Emotional Criminal’s actions by simply saying, “That’s just the way they are” or “they are just going through a bad time”. Giving the Emotional Criminal slack only leads to their on-going crime wave. No one is forcing them to be a nasty individual – do not accept bad behavior as status quo. Just like we can control our reactions, the Emotional Criminal has the choice to inflict harm or not.
- Develop Thick Skin: When you are in a “war” or being attacked by an Emotional Criminal, thick skin and emotional armor are a must. Insults or bad behavior will penetrate your inner peace if there is nothing to stop them. Practice meditation, have a mantra you can repeat to yourself and realize that the Emotional Criminal cannot steal your secrets or self-worth unless you expose it to them.
- Get Rid of Guilt: Never feel guilty about saying “no” to someone if your self-worth is at stake. Eliminating toxic people from your life will create a sense of inner peace – there is no guilt in wanting a peaceful life. The Emotional Criminal’s greatest weapon is guilt. They will try to make you feel like you are the bad person or guilty for not giving them what they ultimate desire – control over your emotions.
- Do Not Be Lured Into A Fight: If the Emotional Criminal can lure you into a fight, they have a good shot at destroying you emotionally. Do not give in – smile, walk away or make others plans. Stay out of their target range.
- Rise Above It All: It’s not easy, but when you start to master the techniques to protect yourself from the Emotional Criminals of the world, you will be able stand above them with your dignity intact.
Remember, you cannot prevent people from behaving badly; but, you are ultimately in control of your emotions — no one can take your self-worth unless you let them.