Personal Growth, Self-Discovery

9 Ways To Protect Yourself From Emotional Criminals

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 torment 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 games and their attacks.  When you take back control and don’t react the in way the Emotional Criminal wants you to, your emotional strength becomes fortified.  It takes time, but self-worth and confidence can be strengthened through daily practice.

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9 Ways To Protect Yourself from Emotional Criminals:

  1. Focus On Healthy Relationships: The relationships you have with others, needs to be balanced and mutually satisfying.  Be selective with who you allow to be in your life.  Choose people who inspire you, uplift you, and cheer for you.  Rid yourself of relationship that drain you, make you feel bad about yourself, or are hindering your personal growth.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.  Stay classy and don’t give them any ammunition to use against you.
  4. 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 setting boundaries, Emotional Criminals have no barrier and you will end up giving them access to inflict emotional harm.
  5. 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 bad behavior.  No one is forcing them to be a nasty individual – so do not accept their bad behavior as status quo.  Just like we can control our reactions, the Emotional Criminal has the choice to control their action or to continue with their bad behavior.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 ultimately desire – control over your emotions.
  8. Do Not Be Lured Into A Fight: If the Emotional Criminal can lure you into a fight, they have a good shot at being able to upset you or to create unnecessary drama.  Do not give in – smile, walk away or make others plans.  Just stay out of their target range.
  9. 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.

Read Part 1:  The Top 10 Emotional Criminals and How To Recognize Them

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About Paulette Klein

Paulette is a freelance writer and the creator of She writes and blogs about travel, parenting, relationships, and adjusting to the next chapter of life. With coffee in hand, you will find her searching for her next big adventure or lost somewhere in a shoe store.
View all posts by Paulette Klein →

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