how to stop emotional abuse

How To Stop Emotional Abuse:
Advanced Techniques

Part 5 of the Blog Series: Can We Stop Emotional Abuse?

In the last four installments of this blog series Can We Stop Emotional Abuse, we addressed many of the behavior patterns that emotional abusers use to make themselves feel more secure by trying to make us feel insecure.

In Part 1 we learned that emotional abuse is a coping mechanism that is not always completely voluntary behavior. Because the abuser is often reacting to psychological impulses that are driven by hidden motives, it is very hard if not impossible to stop this behavior by any direct means.

how to stop emotional abuse-advanced

In Part 2, What The Emotional Abuser Knows That We Don’t That Can Hurt Us, we took a look at the psychological motivation that even the abuser is not aware of that drives them to engage in this destructive behavior. We discovered that emotional abusers are always responding to a hidden fear of social rejection, which they try to get rid of by making us feel even more insecure than they are. We found that the behavior pattern of emotional abuse can become psychologically addictive to the abuser, making this pattern very hard to change.

In Part 3, How To Stop Emotional Abuse Through Learning The Games Abusers Play, we began to look at ways to use this information about how an abuser thinks to stop emotional abuse. We zeroed in on the fact that emotional abusers try to make us feel unacceptable by acting like we are either not physically attractive enough, not sexually attractive enough, not intelligent enough, not competent enough, not socially skilled enough, not brave enough or not clean enough. We learned that the abuser tries to shake our-self confidence based on these seven qualities because they are the top common insecurities that all people tend to worry about.

When we examined these qualities closely, it became easy to see that although the abuser wants us to feel ashamed for lacking in these qualities, not having an abundance of these characteristics is actually not shameful at all. We may we tend to have a good deal of insecurity in these areas, but on closer inspection it is obvious that they are merely surface qualities that make us look good from the outside. They don’t make us a better person.

In Part 4, Techniques That Stop Emotional Abuse, you were introduced to the Nicola Method, a series of techniques that allow you to reduce conflict in any situation. The technique that you learned was specifically designed to allow anyone to stop emotional abuse. Using all of the information you had learned in the previous blogs in this series, this method allowed you to outsmart the abuser at their own game.

Putting It All Together

Although the technique from Part 4 works well, there are several more techniques that can also help you learn how to stop emotional abuse. In this final blog installment you will be presented with two additional techniques. You will also be introduced to a fourth technique from the Nicola Method that works to stop a very specific kind of subtle controlling behavior that may not be considered abusive but that emotional abusers frequently use to make us feel bad.

Once you learn these additional techniques you will have all of the tools you need to stop emotional abuse in any situation and within any kind of relationship. When you gain confidence in using them, you will find you can easily to stop behaviors ranging from the most extreme form of emotional abuse to the everyday controlling attitude of the abuser.

In addition, because it can be difficult to imagine an end to emotional abuse if you have been enduring it for some time, you will be given a detailed day-in-the life scenario based on a person who is using the Nicola Method techniques to stop emotional abuse within a marriage. This more detailed scenario will show you how to not only stop an episode of emotional abuse, but how to stop the behavior entirely by having all of these techniques available during abuse episodes.

If you are already familiar with the first technique to stop emotional abuse from Part 4, you can skip this review and scroll down to the section entitled “Two More Techniques That Show You How To Stop Emotional Abuse.”

Review Of The First Technique To Stop Emotional Abuse

Let’s now get started with a quick review of the first method you learned in Part 4. As you may recall, the way emotional abusers hurt us is always through trying to make us feel ashamed, usually over some personal characteristic. These characteristics or qualities that all emotional abusers choose to focus on can be divided into seven categories.

In our last blog installment we called these categories the Seven Qualities of Social Attraction because we tend to associate people who score high in these qualities with high ratings of social acceptance. But we can look at these qualities in another way.

We could just as easily label the lack of these qualities as Seven Fears of Social Rejection since we all seem to carry the insecurity that if we don’t score high on these characteristics we may be rejected by our peers. Here are the seven fears that our natural insecurity causes us to believe can lower our chances of being liked.

Seven Fears Of Social Rejection

1. Not being physically attractive enough.
2. Not being sexually attractive enough.
3. Not being intelligent enough.
4. Not being competent enough.
5. Not being socially skilled enough.
6. Not being brave enough.
7. Not being clean enough.

As you can see, none of these qualities make us a better person or a better friend, family member or companion. It is only our insecurities that lead us to believe that these qualities can give us any kind of real social power. But the emotional abuser is banking on us believing that these qualities hold the key to our social acceptance. Without a clear understanding of our own hidden insecurities in these areas, the abuser can push our buttons at any time and get the boost they need by engaging in exactly the same tactics used by the bullies from our childhood schoolyard.

In fact, if we use less sophisticated language for each of the seven qualities that the abuser tries to make us feel we are lacking, we can easily demonstrate that emotional abusers are really nothing more than a grownup version of the schoolyard bully from our childhood.

1. Not being physically attractive enough. (You’re ugly)
2. Not being sexually attractive enough. (Nobody wants you)
3. Not being intelligent enough. (You’re stupid)
4. Not being competent enough. (You’re a loser)
5. Not being socially skilled enough. (You’re a social reject)
6. Not being brave enough. (You’re a coward)
7. Not being clean enough. (You stink)

The technique to stop emotional abuse that you learned about in Part 4 begins with your use of this phrase:

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed…”

Then all you need to do is identify which quality the abuser is trying to make you feel bad about and add that to the end of the sentence like this:

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed about not being physically attractive enough.”

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed about not being sexually attractive enough.”

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed about not being intelligent enough.”

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed about not being competent enough.”

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed about not having enough social skills.”

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed about not being brave enough.”

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed about not being clean enough.”

If this language doesn’t match your style, you can use other words that mean the same thing such as:

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed about not looking good enough.”
…not being pretty/handsome/cute enough.”
…not being smart enough.”
…not being good enough.”
…not having people smarts.”
…not being tough enough.”
…not being neat enough.”

The abuser will not know that you are about to outsmart them at their own game. They won’t realize that you already know that there is nothing shameful about not being beautiful, sexy, brilliant, greatly talented, socially adored, fearless or squeaky clean.

Because they have not examined these qualities as carefully as you have, they will believe that the reasoning for why you should feel ashamed is about to come tripping off their tongue. They will be very surprised when they instead draw a blank and find themselves unable to give a single reason why you should be ashamed over these qualities.

As we discussed in early parts of this series, the abuser gets their emotional fix from imagining you feeling ashamed. Even if you don’t believe what the abuser says about you, the abuser is more than capable of interpreting your defense against them as them succeeding in making you feel bad.

This technique lets you outsmart the abuser by taking away their ability to imagine they won. Instead, just when they think they are about to tell you off, they will realize they have no answers to your question and their inflated sense of superiority will deflate in front of you. In the abuser’s mind, this is a win for you. When abusers consistently find themselves on the losing side of making you feel bad, they will stop the behavior all on their own.

This technique can be used over and over successfully, but if you would like a few more options to choose from or if you are struggling daily with an emotionally abusive person, you may want to take a look at two more techniques from the Nicola Method that work in a similar way.

A Second Technique That Stops Emotional Abuse

Let’s now take a look at a second technique that allows you to stop emotional abuse without confrontation. The technique you are going to learn next works very well in any situation, but it works best with an angry abuser. Before you learn this technique it might be helpful for you to gather some more insider information about how the human mind works so you can see how this technique allows you to outsmart the abuser one more time. Let’s take a closer look at what happens to us when we are angry at another person.

The second technique is based on an observation that anyone can make about anger. You are about to find out that every time we get angry at another person we always believe they did something wrong. Just as our detective work uncovered that the abuser always wants us to feel ashamed, the same kind of investigation also shows us that every time someone is angry at us, the angry person always thinks we did something wrong.

You can test this out by thinking back to any time you have been angry at someone. You will always find that you believe they didn’t follow some kind of rule or they did not act in the way people are supposed to behave, in other words, they did something that was, at least in your opinion, wrong. Before you are shown how to use this insider knowledge to learn how to stop emotional abuse with a second technique, let’s add one more piece of information.

Anger And The Emotional Abuser

Emotional abusers use anger during abuse in a very specific way. They are working themselves into an angry state in order to help make what they are saying seem more real. What they are really doing is play-acting that you did something wrong so they can get you to feel ashamed. Remember, when the abuser imagines you feeling ashamed, they are able to feel better about themselves.

The piece of information you are about to learn that will show you how to stop emotional abuse is a second flaw in the emotional abuser’s attempt to make you feel bad. When an abuser acts angry at you, they are always pretending you did something wrong. The flaw in their reasoning is that you actually have not done anything wrong. You are now going to learn how to once again set the abuser up for failure by outsmarting them at their own game.

For this method you only need to memorize a single phrase and use it whenever you feel you might be being emotionally abused or psychologically attacked:

“It seemed like you thought I did something wrong.”

Let’s now look at a scenario where the sentence, “It seemed like you thought I did something wrong” is used so you can learn how to stop emotional abuse with this second technique. Most abusers back off very quickly when you use this phrase. However, because some abusers are more set in their ways than others, you will be shown a scenario based on a very persistent abuser so you can see how to follow this technique out to the end if necessary.

“Get off the couch and get to work, you lazy slob!”
“It seemed like you thought I did something wrong.”
“Oh, so you finally figured that out. Took you long enough.”
“So what did I do wrong?”
“What didn’t you do wrong is more like it.”
“Okay. But what do you feel was wrong about it?”

At this point the only answer would be a meaningful and appropriate discussion about how much work you each should do and what constitutes slacking off. However, the abuser will not be interested in a rational and fair discussion with you because those discussions don’t give them relief from their uncomfortable feelings. Only making you feel bad does this, so they will back off. They will probably use an off-the-cuff remark to cover up their inability to answer your question like, “You always have to have the last word, don’t you? Not this time. I’m out of here.”

This technique is very helpful for those who find they cannot think when they are being verbally attacked no matter how much preparation they give themselves. With this second technique, you only need to memorize one sentence which can be used to stop any kind of emotional abuse episode. Let’s see how this technique works in another scenario so you get a clearer understanding of how easily and effectively this phrase disarms an emotional abuser.

Evan is 17 and does not understand why his mother is constantly yelling at him and trying to make him feel bad. He decides to try out this technique with the phrase he has memorized the next time his mother is angry.

“How many times do I have to tell you not to make noise when I’m trying to watch my program! Now get out of here before I throw you out!”

“It seems like you think I did something wrong.”
“You sure got that right!”
“What did I do wrong, Mom?”
“I already told you! You made noise when I was watching my program. Can’t you get that through your thick skull?”
“What was wrong about it?”
His mother looks angry, then confused. She then rolls her eyes and gives a dramatic sigh and says:
“Okay. It wasn’t wrong. Could you please try not to make noise when I watch T.V.? Okay? Is that better? Sheesh, just trying to get a little peace and quiet around here.”
“All right. I can do that.”

In this scenario the son has successfully gotten his mother to restate her concerns in a healthy and appropriate way. If he uses this sentence consistently, Evan will be capable of stopping his mother’s pattern of emotional abuse.

Taking The Emotions Out – The Third Technique

The next technique you will learn works by taking the emotional charge out of an abuser’s words. Abusers use all different kinds of negative emotions to embellish the meaning of their words in order to try to make us feel bad. If we separate out the abuser’s emotions and get down to the actual meaning of what they are trying to say, we are usually left with a fairly neutral statement.

This third technique will allow you to re-frame what the abuser is trying to say to you without all of the negative overtones and present it back to them. The abuser will have no choice but to accept this emotionally watered-down version of what they said, since the meaning is still true. Because it is the emotional element that gives an abuser’s words their sting, taking the emotion out will make the abuser’s attempt to make you feel bad about yourself fall flat. Here is how to use the third technique to stop emotional abuse.

The phrase you will be using is:

“It seems like I am not living up to your standards.”

This sentence doesn’t stand up as well by itself as the phrase in our last technique, so you may need to fill it in with your actual situation in order to make it sound more natural. You might say:

“It seems like I am not living up to your standards for taking care of the kids.”
“It seems like I am not living up to your standards for how a wife should act.”
“It seems like I am not living up to your standards for spending our money.”

You will find that this technique allows you to take any insult about you and re-frame it into a healthy and appropriate way to state a complaint. When we use the framework of living up to standards, we are automatically reminded that we each have a right to live according to our own standards, which is something most of us tend to forget when we don’t like another person’s behavior.

When this technique is used on an abuser, it will once again allow you, with a completely non-confrontational approach, to foil the plan of an emotional abuser. The last thing they will want to do is enter into a healthy and fair discussion with you. They will back out of the conversation instead.

Here is a real-life scenario that will help you get an idea of how this third technique works:

“You expect me to eat this? What are you trying to do, make me sick?”
“It seems like you don’t think my cooking comes up to your standards.”

The emotional abuser’s choice of words to talk about your cooking is chock full of emotional sting. But bottom line, all the abuser is really saying once we take out the highly-charged language is simply that your cooking doesn’t live up to their standards. Although it might be disappointing to not meet someone’s standards, it does not carry the sting of abuse.

There isn’t really anywhere an abuser can go to make you feel bad after the emotional charge is removed. They might make a flippant comment or two, but this is only an attempt to not look foolish as they back out of the conversation. However, let’s keep going so you can see how to follow it to the end.

“You expect me to eat this? What are you trying to do, make me sick?”
“It seems like you don’t think my cooking comes up to your standards.”
“Your standards aren’t even good enough for the health department.”
“So what are your standards for cooking?”
“How about the ability to keep it in my stomach?”
“I’m being serious. What are your standards for what you want to eat?”

As you can imagine, the abuser does not want to talk about standards. They will back off by saying something like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Can’t I have a minute of peace in this house?” If this approach is used consistently, the abuser will abandon this tactic entirely.

Let’s go through a few more real-life scenarios using this third technique.

“That’s the last time I go out anywhere nice with you. Don’t think I didn’t see you looking at every woman that walked in the room!”
“It seems like I am not living up to your standards for how a good husband should behave.”
“That’s the understatement of the year!”
“What are your standards as far as how a husband should act when there are women in the room?”

Discussing standards is a healthy way to resolve our issues about our spouse’s behavior in public. The abuser has no interest in healthy resolution and will drop the subject, probably with a comment like, “You know what? I don’t have to answer your questions.” This may sound like the abuser has the last word, but it is really an excuse to back out of a conversation that you have made uncomfortable for them.

Let’s take a look at one final scenario, this time with an abusive teenager and her mother. If the word “standards” seems too formal, you can always substitute the word “ideals” as the mother does in this scenario.

“You make me sick! I hate you! I can’t believe what a terrible mother you are!”
“It sounds like I’m not living up to your ideals of what a good mom is.”
“That’s right! You’re the worst!”
“What are your ideals for how a mom should act in this situation?”

Many teenagers who are acting out abusively towards their parents are reacting to strong emotional swings that can be difficult for them to handle. You will often find that using this particular technique you can bring them back into a more emotionally calm state. Let’s see how this scenario might play out to the end:

“You make me sick! I hate you! I can’t believe what a terrible mother you are!”
“It sounds like I’m not living up to your ideals of what a good mom is.”
“That’s right! You’re the worst!”
“What are your ideals for how a mom should act in this situation?”
“Well, you shouldn’t be so mean.”
“Okay. What was the mean thing that I shouldn’t have done?”
“Oh, Mom, why can’t you understand? I really, really wanted to go over to Pam’s house this weekend.”

Although this may sound like more manipulation, getting your teenager to express their actual feelings instead of defensive anger is a great step. This technique can provide a rebellious teenager the chance to get in touch with real emotions and to express them through a more healthy communication style. It may not resolve the issues, but this technique can provide some much-needed moments of connection.

Techniques That Stop Controlling Behavior

The last technique that you will learn has not been developed to stop emotional abuse. Instead it is a technique that stops a common behavior often used by emotional abusers. This technique will allow you to put an end to the more subtle form of controlling behavior that is often a part of the pattern that emotional abusers engage in.

Most abusers use subtle forms of control along with the more obvious tactics in order to make them feel like they have more power or more control in their lives. We are going to look at a very common form of subtle control. It is so common that most of us have used it from time to time when we wanted to get our way without anyone questioning us.

The tactic emotional abusers use to make us do things their way without being questioned is to act like you want to do things their way even when you don’t. Let’s take a closer look at the tactic of pretending another person wants to do it your way.

When you act like someone wants to do things your way, you are setting up a situation where the other person has to either confront you to set the record straight or do it your way. Most people do not like confrontation and will choose to let it go. But manipulation, no matter how subtle it is, always gets to us. And when we let ourselves be controlled we often end up feeling as bad as we would if we started a confrontation.

Now let’s see how this tactic gets to us. A controller might announce that they have made reservations for an event in a way that makes it seem like they have done us a favor when they know we were never planning to attend that event. A controller might ask their spouse which formal outfit they would prefer to wear to an event when they know their spouse wasn’t planning to dress up at all. They might, knowing that you are allergic to dogs, embarrass you by announcing to one of your friends who is a dog lover that you hate dogs.

Here is the technique you will use in order to stop this form of subtly controlling behavior. When someone makes a statement that implies you believe something you don’t believe, you simply use this phrase:

“When you said that it seemed like you thought…”

Then add to the phrase whatever they are trying to get you to believe. Here are a few examples:

“When you said that it seemed like you thought I wanted to go to the opera.”
“When you said that it seemed like you thought I didn’t like dogs.”
“When you said that it seemed like you thought I was planning to dress up for the event.”

When you use this kind of non-confrontational language, the controller must face the fact that you don’t want to do it their way. By using this sentence you force them to correct themselves without you taking the heat for correcting them.

So how do people who use acting like you want to do things their way respond to this technique? They wiggle out of it with an excuse like, “Oh, well, it must have been your sister that was telling me she liked opera.” Or, “Oh, I thought the invitation said it was black tie. I must be mistaken.” Or, “Oh, well you should have told me you were allergic. And here I was thinking you just didn’t like dogs.” As plausible as their excuses may seem, they will know that they’ve been caught and will think twice before doing it again, especially if you consistently use this technique to outsmart them.

Very controlling people sometimes use this tactic through actions and not just words. A mother who finds out her unmarried daughter is pregnant might announce to the father of her future grandchild that she has made an appointment at the jewelers for him to look at rings.

A controlling father might ask his adult son what restaurant he wants to go to for his birthday and then drive the son to another restaurant that he wants to go to instead. A relative who thinks you should lose weight might cook a nice meal for everyone else but place a bowl of salad at your place at the table.

The way to use the third technique when the controlling person does something instead of says something that implies you want to do things their way is by changing one word in the phrase. Instead of saying:

“When you said that it seemed like you thought…”

You can instead say:

“When you did that it seemed like you thought…”

Let’s take a look at how well this technique can work for people who do things that make it seem like you wanted to do it their way. We will use the above examples as scenarios.

When the mother of his pregnant girlfriend has just announced she has made an appointment for him to pick out an engagement ring, he can say to her: “When you did that it seemed like you thought we had decided to get married.”

What can she say? He has clearly pointed out that she has broken an important social rule in making this decision for him. She will have to wiggle out of it.

When the father has asked his adult son where he wants to go for his birthday and then pulled into his favorite restaurant instead, the son can say to his father: “Dad, when you did that it seemed like you thought I wanted to go to the golf club for dinner.” This way he doesn’t have to confront his father directly. The sentence itself is designed to point the father directly to his controlling behavior.

When your relative has just placed a bowl of salad at the table for you instead of the spaghetti everyone else was served you can say, “When you did that it seemed like you thought I was on a diet.”

Each of these sentences catches the controller red-handed and forces them to admit to not playing by the social rules. They will definitely think before they try it again.

This technique also works well on subtle forms of criticism disguised as innocent statements.

Let’s say your sister-in-law with three kids decides to make a dig at your expense over the fact that you are putting off having children to get your career off the ground. When she makes the innocent-sounding dig by saying to her young son who you are happily playing with, “Come away, Tommy, Aunt Sally doesn’t want to see your drawing,” you can reply like this:

“When you said that it seemed like you thought I didn’t like being with children.”

When you bring the insult she was subtly implying to the surface she will be forced to back off and she will think twice before insulting you again.

Now that you have learned four techniques that you can use to stop emotional abuse, here is a day-in-the life scenario to help you see how these techniques can be used on regular basis until the abuser realizes they can no longer get away with the behavior and they decide to stop.

To end this series, we will take a look at how these techniques can be used in order to stop not only individual episodes, but also the chronic behavior pattern of emotional abuse. You will now be taken through a day in the life of a person who is using the Nicola Method techniques in order to stop her husband’s emotional abuse. As in the previous scenarios, we will be using scenarios with a very persistent abuser so you can learn how to use this technique even in difficult situations.

This scenario will include the three techniques to stop emotional abuse as well as the technique that stops controlling behavior so you can see how the method works in real life. By following along with a day in the life scenario, you will be able to see how using these techniques to stop the abuser from engaging in this behavior pattern both empowers the person being abused and also takes away the control from the abuser.

A Day In The Life Of An Emotional Abuser

Sarah and her husband, Tom, are getting ready for work. She sits down with her coffee to read the paper. Tom puts his section down and says, “Really, Sarah? You’re going to work looking like that?” She answers, “It’s casual Friday, Tom.”
“You know what, it’s bad enough that I have to live with a slob like you. Do you have to advertise to everyone else? Now get upstairs and put on something respectable!”

Sarah decides to use the first technique from the Nicola Method. She answers him with the phrase she has learned:

“It seems like you think I should feel ashamed about dressing this way.”
“Well, I am. Aren’t you?”
“What do you think I should feel ashamed about.”
“Oh, come on! Do I really have to explain it?”
“I don’t want to do something that I feel ashamed of, so, yes, I do want to know.”

Tom starts to answer and then changes his mind. He says, “I’ve had it with this conversation. I’m going to be late. Just drop it, okay? I’m out of here.” Tom gets his coat and leaves.

Sarah gets home from work. Tom, is sitting at the dining table. As she closes the door he gets up, fists clenched around a piece of paper and says, “Just who do you think you are?”
“What do you mean, Tom? What’s going on?”
You know very well. You think I didn’t see your little list of people who are coming to our house tomorrow?”
“Yeah, that’s who we’re inviting.”
“That’s right. And I see you invited Jack.”
“He’s Suzie’s husband. They’re our neighbors. We have to invite them.”
“Right, and you expect me to believe that’s the real reason? Do you have any idea how transparent you are? Admit it. You’ve been trying to get up next to him for months now. Don’t think I don’t see how you look at him. I know exactly why he’s on your list.”

Sarah puts her second tool that she has learned from the Nicola Method to use. She says:

“It sounds like you think I did something wrong.”
“You’re darned right you did something wrong!”
“What did I do wrong?”
“I just told you. You don’t understand anything, do you?”
“I don’t want to do things wrong and I would like to know.”
“Can’t you get it through your thick head? You invited Jacky-boy.”
“I know I invited him. I’m just trying to figure out why it was wrong.”
Tom hesitates, starts to say something, then instead says, “Forget it. I can’t talk to you about anything.” He leaves the room shaking his head.

After dinner Tom starts to go through their mail. Sarah is watching T.V. when she feels an envelope drop onto her lap from behind her shoulder. She turns around to see Tom glaring down at her. She picks up the opened envelope and says, “What’s this, Tom?”
“Well, I think it just might be a credit card statement. What do you think?”
“I know it’s a credit card statement.”
“You thought I wouldn’t see this, didn’t you?”
“What are talking about?”
“I’m talking about your little spending spree, as if you didn’t know.”
“I bought some clothes for work.”
“What you did was spend us out of house and home. And I am sick and tired of you trying to get things like this over on me. What did you think you were doing spending this kind of money?”

Sarah tries out her third technique for stopping emotional abuse.

“It sounds like I don’t meet your standards for how much money I should be spending on clothes.”
“Meet my standards? You want to know what my standards are? My standards are you not buying the whole store. That what my standards are!”
“So what are your standards for how much I should spend?”
“I don’t know anything about any standards and I’m not going to sit and talk about standards, okay? Now I’m tired of listening to you. Would you just drop it?” Again, Tom leaves the room.

The next morning at breakfast Tom is making coffee, his back towards her. He tells her, “I’m making reservations for Palm Springs at the golf resort next month. I got a good deal from the timeshare company, so you need to cancel our hotel in Hawaii.

Sarah recognizes this as controlling behavior since she is aware that Tom knows she not only has no interest in golf but she would never choose to go to Palm Springs for a vacation. She decides to try out her technique for controlling behavior.

“It sounds like you think I want to go to Palm Springs instead of Hawaii.”

Tom turns around as if he is going to say something, and then hesitates. She sees confusion pass over his face, and then he throws his coffee cup in the sink, grabs his briefcase and as he is walking out the door says, “Fine! Just fine! I’ll cancel the Palm Springs!”

Sarah has successfully defused three abusive episodes and one attempt at controlling her. Although Tom may have backed out of each of these interactions as though it was his idea, you can be assured that this was only to save himself from looking foolish when his attempts to make her feel bad failed so miserably.

If Sarah consistently disarms Tom every time he tries to abuse or control her, he will on his own stop the behavior pattern of emotional abuse without her ever needing to intervene in an open or confrontational way.

If you would like to learn the Nicola Method so you can put an end to the high conflict situations you may be experiencing, click on this link to the welcome page of this website where you will find the resources you need.

If you want to try out some of the basic techniques of this method for free to see if this method is right for your situation, you can learn them from an intro guide flip-book here or a PDF version of the intro guide here.

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