Sometimes extremes are necessary…..

by Rod Smith

“Does severing ties mean you will never have to ever see that person again or be expected to relate to them at all? I am referring to your column from Friday where you gave ‘broad scenarios” where a family severance may be necessary.”

Extreme responses, like never having to ever see someone again, are sometimes necessary.

Extreme abuse or cruelty calls for extreme action. But, thankfully, things are not usually so extreme in families.

Just as I offered (with hesitation) the broad scenarios justifying cutoffs, I am going to offer broad stances or attitudes or truths to carry you into a family where caution is required but a complete cutoff may not be necessary.

  • Agree to not be alone with a person who has formerly victimized you in any manner.
  • Agree that you will not give a single penny to the person who has formerly used you for money no matter how convincing or “reformed” he or she may be.
  • Clarify for stance ahead of time. Highly manipulative people know how to “work you” and will take you by surprise.
  • Abusive people by definition don’t play by the rules of common decency and respect. Know that going in.
  • Remember that you are always in charge of you. This is not a selfish way to live. Surrendering your power to another usually is.

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