MJ: One really great way to control someone is to threaten them. Would they follow through with the threat is the question that puts fear into someone’s mind. The threat could even be through silent body language of a man leaning in toward a woman, puffing himself up to look larger, hands in fists at his sides, a stone-like expression, a low growl of a response if he answers a question or speaks to her. From the woman’s perspective, the innuendo is that he can hurt me…and he says this without a word. A man can be vocal with his threats in telling her what he could do to her giving her imagination a wild run. Would he really follow through? She has no idea. She might think, “Who would say things like that if they weren’t serious?” She might also think, “He loves me…he would never hurt me…he’s just blowing smoke.” He could throw things past her at random times. He could hit walls and leave holes in them leaving proof of his ability to harm. If given time, perhaps he might actually begin to make good on his threats. I had my own coping skills well established. What I am curious about Percell, is what are options during this type of encounter? What about after the event? If escalation is a potential problem, what would you recommend for her to do in order to keep her wits about her?
Percell: Of course, this question cannot accurately be answered without exact circumstance. Yet, in a general regard, you are right; all of those questions race through the woman’s mind, which is exactly the caused intent of the man. But bullies cannot bully someone when there is no victim. Do not give anyone the mental or emotional power to control your life. Remove yourself from the situation... either during or after, and most certainly if escalation seems inevitable. You cannot reason with delusion. Quietly appeasing the situation until a more opportune moment of escape is understandable. Sadly, this often seems to be easier said than done.