Are you abusive?


How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse erodes and  will destroy a person’s sense of trust. It diminishes someone’s confidence and causes them to doubt their own experiences of demonstrated competence. Where a person may have experienced trust and confidence in the world, abuse will replace those experiences with doubt and hypervigilance concerning their physical, emotional, and mental safety.

Abuse is prevalent in our culture: the adult who uses sarcasm to belittle a challenging person or child, the adult who makes allusive or oblique remarks of a suggestive or disparaging nature to another adult or child, the adult who touches another adult or child in a way that is not suitable in context, or time, or place. These behaviors are harmful in and of themselves, but when they become a pattern of behavior they are destructive.

You can make a difference. As humans, it is likely that we all engage in abusive behavior. Bringing that behavior to your consciousness is the first step in changing that behavior – change your behavior and you change the world. This week consider how you might want to instill trust and confidence in your neighbor.

Tami Boehle-Satterfield has challenged herself in 2016 to post week about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at

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