If you struggle with confidence, and you do so in a noticeable way, keep your guard up. Most everyone struggles with self-esteem to some extent, but the only way to gain confidence is to accept yourself for who you are and take risks. If you need advice on how to do that, look here. Don't let anyone take advantage of any doubts you have about yourself.
2. Emotional and financial dependency
If you rely on others to control your happiness or you are financially dependent on others, you are more likely to be a victim of abuse. Abusers seek to control the emotions and actions of others, which means if you depend on others for emotional support, you're making yourself a target. Protect yourself by working hard and controlling your own happiness. Emotional independence is a vital trait to have in life.
3. Blaming yourself
Blaming yourself every time something goes awry is a dangerous habit. When you take the blame for everything, you make yourself a victim. Take credit for your accomplishments and don't shy away from praise. When you are proud of yourself, you gain confidence, making you less of a target for abuse.
4. Social isolation
Being an easily manipulated loner is a trait abusers look for. Socially isolating yourself severely limits the support you need from other people. It is easier for an abuser to keep you in a relationship with him or her when you don't have a friend who can see the toxic effects of your relationship.
Having a good relationship with your family or having a close friendship with others protects you. Your close friends and family know you deserve the best and will advise you on your relationship.
Abusers often use words and violence as a way to get others to do their will. They want to be in control. So if you have a submissive personality, be careful about who you date. Set solid goals your family and friends support. Abusive people will try to dissuade you from your desires and provoke you to submit to theirs. Therefore, be confident in your own decisions and don't be afraid to say no.
Tolerating annoying behaviors instead of responding with anger or violence is a good trait to have, but being excessively tolerant can backfire in your romantic relationships. If you tolerate terrible behaviors from your significant other, they will know they can get away with practically anything because of your ability to forgive and forget. Of course, being able to forgive is a great quality to have, but be aware of the more serious behaviors you should not tolerate, such as physical violence or mental abuse.
7. Lack of motivation
Being unmotivated can keep you captive in an abusive relationship. Find something (or someone) that makes you want to wake up in the morning and do your best. Set goals, follow your dreams and have confidence in chasing them. The key is finding something to bring energy into your body and motivate you to live and work. Motivation will ward of potential abusers.
Abusers are predators and they often look for weak prey. Don't allow yourself to become that. Keep in mind that abusers do generally look for these kind of personality traits, but they will often go after those who are completely opposite of the traits above.
No matter what relationship you are in, always ask yourself these questions:
Am I happy?
Does he/she make me better?
Does he/she support me in my goals?
Am I confident around him/her?
Am I safe with him/her?
Strive to never become a victim of abuse, and look out for your friends who may be struggling. Reach out to new people and build strong relationships with your loved ones. You can help yourself and your friends avoid and break free of abusive relationships.
Stacie Simpson is a FamilyShare staff writer. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.