Compassion Training For Abusers

“Boy, your last post must have been about me,” someone said. “For me, as soon as we’re in an argument, it’s all about winning at any cost. I can be sarcastic, do the put-downs, yell, whatever it takes to win. And you know what? I don’t want to be an abuser any more. What can I do?” I assured this individual that I’ve met so many, many people with this same complaint that I could not possibly have had just one of them in mind. Why We Have To Win The problem is that when the argument begins, people with this issue slide back in time to the fights with their father or their mother, the arguments that escalated into intense power struggles. The only way out of being humiliated, injured (physically, emotionally, sexually or verbally) and lost was to strike back, and if the strike was really powerful and the parent was devastated, then all the pain would be over for the moment, until it would start again. Those original fights were struggles for survival. At least, that’s how they felt. Losing would mean not losing the argument over the topic at hand; it would mean losing their sense of self, their identity, their ability to hold their head up and live one more day. That’s the reason they take over so quickly when people are starting to argue with their partner: Since it’s all about survival, their fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in and the thinking brain disconnects. How can this sudden takeover of the brain be stopped? How We Teach Children To Be Compassionate The answer is compassion....
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