Top 10 Workplace After-effects of Emotional Abuse

by Annie Kaszina on April 29, 2014

If you’re an emotionally abused woman , you need to know that the effects  of emotional abuse don’t just melt away like mist in the morning anxiety girlsmallsun once you leave your emotionally abusive partner. That’s not the way it works. You still have to clear the after-effects of emotional abuse  from your life. It’s a way of giving yourself – and the Universe, if you believe in the Universe – the message that you want and deserve better than an emotionally abusive relationships. Here are the key after-effects you’ll need to deal with in the workplace.

  1. You view the workplace through the ‘filter’ of your abusive relationship. You expect to be on the receiving end of bullying, and unpleasant behavior.
  2. You don’t really believe in yourself. You’re in two minds – even about yourself.  Part of you knows you bring a high level of ability and commitment to what you do; and part of you believes that you aren’t good enough.
  3. You constantly have to prove yourself. Because you don’t believe 100% that you’re as good as you want to be – and feel you need to be – you need other people to give you that reassurance. Some will, and some won’t. Unfortunately, when you’re running the “I’m not good enough” program in your head, you won’t really absorb the good things people say to you, anyway.
  4. You let bullies push you around. In your private life, you had very little choice: you had to live by the bully’s rules. If you tried to rebel, he’d just ratchet up the pain. That was your private life. In the workplace, there are rules and practices in place to prevent bullying. But you do have to speak up and go about tackling the bullying in an adult, empowered fashion.
  5. You believe your voice doesn’t count. Instead of telling yourself a story about why your voice doesn’t count, think instead about how you can couch whatever contribution you have to make in a way that is aligned with the best interests of the company.  That way people have to listen.
  6. You over-work. Because you’ve had an experience of being not-good-enough-to-impress-Mr-Nasty, you carry that belief over into other areas of your life where it has no place. And you carry on doing what you did with an emotionally abusive husband’s: working your socks off to try and change his opinion. Other people don’t have Mr Nasty’s  issues. The work you do is good enough. End of.
  7. You’re under-achieving. Sure, you’re doing what is asked of you to an excellent standard, but chances are there is so much more that you can be, and do, and have.  But you haven’t dared to own. Why not? Because a certain person – your very own lack-of-talent scout – said that you couldn’t. Actually, he knows diddly-squat about what you’re capable of. Open to the possibility of getting your abilities out there.
  8. You’re underpaid. It goes with the territory. Self-worth can have a powerful bearing on net worth.  If you don’t believe you’re worth much, you don’t really believe you deserve to earn much. Nonsense!! The value you provide in the workplace is far higher than you think it is. It’s time you got round to believing in yourself, so that you can share your true value with the people who will acknowledge it – in financial terms, also.
  9. You catastrophize.  That’s understandable.  What happens when you get something wrong?  You go back into the Abuse World mind-set, and start fixating on the very worst case scenario. Mr Nasty has an extraordinarily acute nose for sniffing out possible disaster. (So, you didn’t pair his socks nicely. That just proves that you’re out to sabotage him in every area of his life. Which means you’re a man-hater.  You’re out to make it impossible for him to do his job properly. Which means you are destroying his livelihood. And besides, you’re probably also doing it because you’re insanely jealous of the effect that he has on other women and… who knows what else?) Sane people don’t see cataclysm as the inevitable result of one small slip-up the way Mr Nasty does. Even if you mess up, things can almost always be put right. So, relax a bit.
  10. You tell yourself a story about how other people can do things that you can’t, and it’s easier for them. The truth is, for some it will be, and for some it won’t. Either way, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that does matter is for you to let go of that old Inability Story. Ask yourself instead: “How can I?”

If you resonate with these 10 After-Effects, that’s not surprising, given what you’ve been through.  But you will need to deal with them, so you can enjoy professional, and financial, success going forward.

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