Self-protection and self-respect

Some folks are in inherently unsafe relationships.  In particular, those in a close relationship with someone who demonstrates narcissistic traits.  This is a great trial because, to one degree or another, a person who is narcissistic is not able to care, nor particularly interested in, your position on anything.

In relationships like this, we have to consider all our options, including detachment and creating distance in the relationship if it becomes destructive for us.  If you are in a relationship like that and are working hard to maintain it for various reasons, then here is a piece of advice for you (and all of us really).

Our day-to-day work, a spiritual discipline really, includes identifying and valuing our own core values so that we can both own them and apply them under the pressure of conflict.  I know how hard this is to do particularly if you discover that you are in relationship with someone who is skilled at gaslighting and is doing so to you.  Again, evaluate and re-evaluate your options for moving to a safer relational distance.

But while we figure all that out, seek to practice your own core values so that you do not add your own personal disappointments in yourself into the mix.  It is sad but true that many of us are in relationships with people who are so insecure that they try to elevate themselves by stepping on our necks to keep us down.  If this is happening to you - get counseling to help you sort this out!!

But also be mindful that if a core value of yours is respecting humans, then you owe it to yourself to make sure you do not allow another person to treat you with disrespect AND do your best to act respectfully to others.  

In an abusive relationship (get evaluated you might be in one and not recognize it), the most respectful thing you can do is make sure you keep yourself safe!