He’s not one of those who raises his voice and arranges the scene to the audience. He collected and self-controlled, courteous and helpful. He doesn’t wring your hands and does not leave bruises on your body. Girlfriends envy your understanding, and the parents are sincerely happy that in the house “peace and quiet”. And you’re the only one who knows that, should he be curled lips, you start to panic. When he taps his fingers on the table, you have knees tremble. And by the way he opens the door, you already know that you had a bad night.
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Humiliation and insults does not always manifest itself in high-profile scandals and slamming doors. Violence can be silent. A woman can hold at Bay or to bring to the tantrums, not uttering a word. Such violence is called non-verbal. This system of communication without words — through facial expressions and gestures, where a raised eyebrow, quizzical look or squint are worth thousands of phrases. By the way, silence itself can also be the violence.
“When D. wanted to show that he is displeased with me, he started to ignore me, that says my client B. — He silently washed his hands, silently moved a chair and sat down at the table. With sadistic pleasure he slowly cut the meat, and it seemed to me that he cuts off piece by piece from my heart. The worst thing is that I had no idea what I did wrong. And he was just staring right through me all night.”
When someone talks about violence, come to mind photos of frightened women covered in bruises and abrasions. And few can suspect collected flawless looking woman a victim to the quiet, non-verbal violence, after which the bruises remain in the soul and heart. Such women give only eyes in which lurks the primal fear — the willingness to run at the first sign of danger. A woman always on the alert, always in tension and always feels responsible for what is happening.
Body language is able to say too much about the man and his intentions. It’s in our nature. We may speak different languages, but always distinguish a friendly smile from the fist raised to strike. In everyday life and partnerships there are standard poses for the expression of mood. Banal “arms akimbo” can be rightly regarded as intimidation, and in the open arms of the unmistakable gesture of reconciliation. A smile, a friendly Pat on the shoulder, arms and tutting noise in the head are all examples of non-verbal communication, the meaning which we intuitively understandable. We do not think about how important the role of gestures, facial expressions and touch play in our relationship, while the partner does not cross a certain line, where non-verbal communication rises to the level of violence.
How many times have you refused to buy shoes just because he vaguely shrugged shoulders? How many times have you canceled a meeting with a friend, because he rolled his eyes? How many times have you felt guilty looking at his hunched back, when you were going to visit your parents?
Gestures, facial expressions, posture, touching — all of the effective attributes of everyday communication overnight can turn into a manipulation of your emotions and violence without words. To non-verbal violence included the boycott and physical neglect (when you’re talking to “the wall” or you refuse the hugs and kisses), removal and depreciation of your senses (sight or a smirk, a “come on, think, where did you get that?”), no reaction to significant events (“forgetting” important dates, denial of your emotions), public denial of support (when your opinion publicly questioned) and, of course, the notorious gasleitung (when you start to doubt your own adequacy).
Let’s look at some of the most common types of violence without words and your possible reaction. Just want to note that it is not always non-verbal violence is intentional (with the exception, perhaps, of gaslighting). Sometimes the partner behaves inappropriately, not out of malice, but because of his own traumas and complexes.
Instead discuss the problem and deal with the reasons at the first sign of discontent, he just stops talking to you. If your parents do the same, feel free to multiply the problem by two. Maybe it’s manipulation, and perhaps your man just doesn’t know how to cope with their emotions. Let’s not immediately write it to the mentality of rapists. Try it first to understand.
What to do: do not succumb to manipulation does not begin to run around the partner, trying to please, and in any case do not blame yourself — at least as long as you’re not dealing with the true cause of the conflict.
If two adults want to understand the problem, they TALK, ask questions, Express discontent, to discuss feelings and emotions. It’s not all easy and natural. This can and should learn. And Yes, women do it too.
If the “boycott” no malicious intent and attempts to manipulate you then he is usually hiding fear and pain from the inability to articulate their feelings and thoughts. Help him to understand, but don’t let to shoulder the responsibility on your shoulders. Feelings boycotting belong to him and only him. And to convey these emotions to you, his area of responsibility.
The lack of support, exclusion, devaluation through ridicule
Remember this disgust, mocking eyes of the hated teacher, when you stand at the blackboard, red with excitement, unable to answer a simple question? And your first class like a pack of jackals, waiting for the slightest signal, to laugh and to tear your world to pieces? I know you do. It is not forgotten. And when doing the same thing your favorite person, it is truly scary. He, with whom you share the most intimate, who knows all your fears and sore spots, suddenly a gesture, a crooked grin, one mocking gaze negates everything that ties you and is on the side of the enemy. This can happen at any moment when you excitedly talk about an unfair boss or poison joke in your company when you lie to the parents about the real reasons for the dismissal or hide from children the death of a hamster. You suddenly bump into his eyes and realize that he is not on your side. He is not ready to support you in this story, your experiences do not seem to him important — and anyway, what makes you think he shares your opinion?
What to do: calm down and take a break. We will not consider the situation, when in fact he “didn’t mean” and you’re just too “all read”. We take the situation when it is really not on your side. It happens. He has a right to their opinion. And although we tend to perceive partners as part of a whole, in fact it is not. Discuss your feelings with a man. Explain that this attitude hurts you. And although he “never said”, his non-verbal support in public for you is very important. If he doesn’t agree, let them discuss it with you privately. Even the unspoken irony does not cease to be a negative emotion and is rightly perceived as a betrayal. The key to understanding? Still the same: to voice their feelings and to build channels of communication with the partner is non-verbal including. Support can be expressed a thousand ways, without saying a word. He can come from behind and put his hands on your shoulders, it may just take you by the hand, letting you slightly lean over or put his arm around her waist. All these gestures will allow you to feel more confident in a difficult situation, even if he does not fully agree with your point of view. And this time to teach him “how to”, that’s your problem. Yes, it is work. What do you want?
This form of psychological violence is one of the most painful. This is an attempt to make you look abnormal and inadequate, questioning your feelings, emotions and reactions. Oddly enough, gaslighting can also be non-verbal. Surprised look in response to your response, questioning the reality of the situation. The depreciation of your fear, when the man pointedly looks around and throws up his hands, stressing that has no idea what you mean. Silence in response to a request to endorse you publicly. Through these non-verbal forms of humiliation your partner pursues only one goal — to put himself above you and seem more important at your expense. If such a relationship you can call “partnership”, I’m surprised bend eyebrow at the end of this sentence.
What to do? To escape from such a relationship where the partner is manipulating you to such an extent that you yourself begin to doubt their adequacy. How not to go crazy in the process? Write, keep a diary, take pictures, leave marks to do anything to you was evidence of what is happening. And well think, whether to convince of anything the person who would believe your crazy than the reality of the situation. It is necessary to you?
In General, summing up, do not rush to write off the facial expressions and gestures of your partner, they are able to say about your relationship much more than touching SMS and game to the public. If you “feel” that something is wrong, you’re probably right. Our reflexes are sharpened to recognize subtle nonverbal signals. That is why in relationships we often feel that it is not visible from the outside. If your partner is a master of non-verbal manipulation, make a conscious attempt to get him to talk and to understand the ulterior motives of the events. And if you know that nothing good will come of it, interrupt such relationships without regret. To anything you the hidden scars. You know that wounds are not less physical, and a loving partner will never humiliate my woman by word or deed.