Understanding Abusive Behavior

When we are trying to objectively understand the behaviors and causes of behaviors in others, it is not the same as condoning, allowing, or letting them walk on us.

An example of understanding objectively without allowing one's self to be a target can be seen in psychiatric hospitals, and also group homes for the mentally challenged or ill. There are units in psych. hospitals where patients are constantly trying to target doctors and staff members, some of them every minute of every day. A professional worker, whether they're a doctor, nurse, caregiver, counselor or janitor, must maintain objectivity in order to work there and do their job. A patient might throw their food tray at a nurse. Her job effectiveness relies on her ability to not take it personally, and be fully aware that this person is mentally ill, and that there is always going to be a possibility of a "behavior".

One of the main reasons labels are created in the first place is so that those who work with and help patients and clients can be prepared for what they might be dealing with, and modify their own expectations and behaviors regarding the patient/client.

So that nurse would have expected, or at least not have been shocked for that particular patient to hurl the tray if she had objective awareness, and also experience. She would have been on guard around that patient. If it was an unexpected behavior, the next step is to re-visit the patient's diagnostic evaluation, treatment plan and medications, and re-evaluate how staff is protecting themselves from his or her behaviors.
>>>A non-professional staff (and I've seen this happen) would instead engage in a conflict with the patient, try to bully or shame him or her, and then gossip and trash talk about the patient with each other, and subsequently treat the patient with less and less care and treatment. I've seen this go to the point of serious neglect and abuse.

When we have someone who is abusive to us in our lives, we need to look at the entire dynamic, including ourselves. Of course it's not healthy to live with someone who is abusive toward us, so we need to make some changes for ourselves. Allowing ourselves to be treated badly should not be an option at all. So we need to change things to make our situation safe again.
Understanding and comprehending what is going on with a person who is abusive or manipulative has nothing to do with letting them continue to do it to us, and is in fact the OPPOSITE of that. When we are able to understand in a more clinical and less personal way about why someone behaves a certain way, we become more UNATTACHED and UNENGAGED in their behavior, not more attached. Understanding their behavior in a more clinical way makes it LESS PERSONAL, and easier to deal with in a healthy way.

To put it another way, if your brother ignored you all the time while you were growing up, if he wouldn't play with you, if he wouldn't respond to you when you asked him questions, and if he became ANGRY every time you tried to play cards or get him to go outside with you, you would probably feel hurt, rejected, angry, and/or sad. You might even end up kind of hating him, and maybe developing anger issues yourself, especially if your parents never tried to correct him or intervene.
But~ if your parents had explained to you about Autism, if you had read about it, learned about it, and came to understand that your brother CAN'T do the things you want him to do, and WILL get angry whenever you or almost anyone else tries to get him to do something, your entire perception of him and of your relationship with him would be completely different. You would not take his anger personally, you wouldn't feel rejected by his introverted demeanor, and you would not be confused about where it's coming from, and you wouldn't harbor so many ill feelings toward him. It would be a healthier environment for both you and him, and you would build and live your life in a different way than you would have in the other scenario.