A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Love Does Not Act Unbecomingly — But Abusers Do

Love is not rude  (1 Cor 13:5a ESV)

Love doth not behave itself unseemly (1 Cor 13:5a KJV)

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:7 )

Let me talk some more about abusers. I hate the subject, believe it or not, because abusers are so wicked. But I find exposing them compelling and I suppose therapeutic. I suspect most of you know what I mean.

So let’s talk about how abusers (and narcissists) are often characterized by what I would call impropriety. That is to say, they don’t do what is proper. It isn’t that they fail here because they are putzes and mess up. It is that their profound selfish entitlement simply does not concern itself with propriety in their interactions with others. Because they do not love others, they act in a rude, unseemly (i.e. unfitting), unbecoming manner. Yet they think nothing of it.

Let me illustrate.

Let’s say you have a brand new boat. You invite a couple of people along to try it out. You have a fair amount of boating experience while your guests have little, but to be polite you ask (call him Jake)… you ask Jake if he would like to take the helm for a bit. Jake shows no hesitation and hoists himself into the driver’s seat like it was his own. He doesn’t ask questions that propriety would indicate should be asked such as, “which direction would you like to go?” or “what speed should we travel at?” Nope, Jake determines both direction and speed without asking. It isn’t a rank social faux pas (an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation) but it leaves you feeling unsettled. It unsettles you because in fact what Jake has just done is totally blown past propriety. He sees himself as entitled to be the captain of the boat and the fact that you are the owner means nothing to him.

Let me illustrate again.

You are at a summer picnic for your church and there are lots of events going on at a large rented facility, one of which is swimming in a large pool. People are leisurely floating in it, relaxing, having a grand time. Then here comes Gary and some of his young buddies.  They cannonball into the pool and splash everyone. Not that they tried to splash them. No, they didn’t even consider the fact that these folks were there. And Gary continued to cannonball and splash until a couple of the men told him “you should not be doing that.” Gary didn’t so much tell them to take a hike as he simply kept right on doing what he was doing in spite of the fact that he, a professing Christian, was offending numbers of people. Gary is entitled. If Gary wants to do what he is doing then Gary is going to do it, proper or not.

Here’s another scenario.

John is a medical doctor. Now, not all doctors are good doctors, but John is. In addition, at least for myself, when I meet someone who is a medical doctor, I just automatically respect them. I honor them until they show me they don’t deserve honor. But until then, I respect a person who has had the gumption and drive and ability to go through med school and be licensed as a physician. If I am in their office, even if the doctor is my good friend, I try to remember to address them as “Dr.” rather than calling them by their first name. I was once pretty good friends with the chief of police I worked for, but at the PD, I called him Chief.  When Jake or Gary somehow get to know Dr. John – say they all attend the same church – the fact that John is a physician means nothing to them (unless they are looking for free doctoring!). They will put down and accuse John just like anyone else they want to target. If John helps them, they are not thankful. Why? Because they are entitled. John has, they do not have. Therefore John is obligated to them. Jake and Gary do not act according to propriety. They are rude, unbecoming, and unseemly.

I have been at the receiving end of these types myself. I am a pastor and have been a pastor for over 30 years. I was a police officer for 12 years before that. I have a bachelor’s degree in biology, a masters degree in biblical studies, and a Master of Divinity degree from seminary. I know, I know.  There are lots of pastors with those kinds of credentials who aren’t good pastors. I know this because I have met many of them. I get it. But, my point is this – even now when I meet a pastor, my initial response is to show them some level of respect. If I were attending their church I would address them as pastor. No, you don’t have to use such titles for your pastor and if someone in our church calls me Jeff, I am not going to press the issue. But what I am saying is that propriety directs us to do what the Apostle Paul says. We are to show “respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” But Gary and Jake will not. They are entitled. They will just as quickly level some accusation against a pastor as they would anyone else, and then they will boast about it.

Do you begin to see what I am trying to describe? Do you feel it? Have you felt it? Wives, have you seen your abuser do what is improper and unseemly toward you in spite of the fact that you are a wife and mother and perhaps a professional woman of some type? Abusers do these things. They are rude, unbecoming, and unseemly.

They are fools.

 

 

36 Comments

  1. Cindy

    i do understand what you are saying. My husband can be like this. But I struggle with you saying things like “the abuser is wicked.” I mean. We all are wicked. We all need Jesus. And even though they are wicked because they need Jesus, abuse is probably their sin bent. And because they aren’t saved, God can’t sanctify them out of it. So they do need some compassion cause evn though it is evil and sin, they aren’t saved, so they are in bondage to this.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Cindy – Oh, Cindy…. You have a long journey to travel, as we all did. And you very much need to travel it and come out of your foggy thinking about abusers. If you advise abuse victims with what you are saying here, you are going to cause them great harm and you are going to enable their abuser. If you apply what you say to yourself, you are going to remain in oppression by the wicked and if you have children you will be subjecting them to further oppression as well. What you are doing is “leveling” the abuser’s evil. You are saying, essentially, that we are all abusers. That is not true. Yes, we are all born into this world in sin, but not everyone chooses a profound mentality of entitlement to power and control in which they see themselves justified in using whatever evil tactics they want in order to possess that power and control. Not all people are psychopaths or sociopaths or narcissists. So please, never, never, never say again “we all are wicked.” That is not true. Christ does not see His people as wicked. He DOES see the wicked as wicked and His wrath is set against them.

      Another serious and dangerous error you make here is the underlying proposition that if we just show abusers enough compassion, we will be able to save them. Wrong. You can’t fix them. You can’t save anyone. Let me ask you, is it proper and right to show compassion to a person who sexually molests his children? Who beats his wife? Who emotionally and psychologically wages constant warfare against her mind and soul and over time destroys her? Compassion? Show him compassion?

      Finally, when we measure what you are saying here with Scripture, we find it to fall short. God’s own Word has Him revealing His wrath from heaven against wickedness. Read the Psalms and see how the Psalmist in righteousness cries out for God to smash and destroy the wicked.

      Cindy, your abuser is using your mindset and conscience against you. He knows full well, as do all abusers, that we “neurotics” (as George Simon terms us), that is to say, people with a conscience, are manipulated by the abuser/sociopath via our misguided guilt. The abuser uses this. While he “enjoys” freedom from any pang of conscience, he has us wrapped up in false guilt and feeling sorry for him. I highly suggest you read Simon’s books In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disturbance.

      • Seeing the Light

        AMEN! Thank you, Pastor Crippen!

      • Not Too Late

        Hi Pastor Crippen, thanks for the post and this response to Cindy. Could you please say what you think about the statement “they aren’t saved, they are in bondage to this”? The reason being that survivors often encourage fellow Christians to pray for the abusers because they are in bondage to sin and to the devil, and we need to “set them free”. Another thing I’ve been curious about is that I know unbelieving husbands who are considerate and don’t abuse. They don’t seem to be in bondage to this wickedness. So it must be something in a person’s character that chooses to give in to entitled thinking.

      • Jeff Crippen

        NTL- Good questions. All unsaved people are indeed in bondage to sin and the devil. We are all born into this world in that condition. We are blind to the light of the glory of Christ and dead in our sin, unable to do anything to contribute to our salvation. God must speak “let there be light” into us and spiritually raise us from the dead, creating a new heart in us and joining us to Christ by His Spirit. Only then are we set free.

        Certainly it is proper to pray for this salvation to be effected by the Lord in someone, including abusers. (Although we must also realize that Scripture speaks of a sin leading to death, for such a person we are not bound to pray. That is a hard one to understand, but I think it is speaking of an apostate – someone who has once professed Christ and who has experienced Christ as described in Hebrews 4:6ff, and then rejected Him. Not an easy topic to understand for sure).

        Anyway, the problem I see with focusing on the abuser as being in bondage to sin (which is true) is that it so often is meant to claim that “the poor guy isn’t really responsible.” It is also used to imply that “all of us are just as bad as he is because we are all sinners.” That is totally false. A Christian is not called a “sinner” in Scripture. We are called holy ones, saints, children of God, and so on. It is a great error to level the playing field and minimize the abuser’s evil in this way.

        And yes, you are correct, not all unsaved people are abusers. Scripture makes it clear that there are wicked people who are in a sense worse than other unsaved people. Jesus said that it would be more tolerable for Sodom in the Day of judgment than for Bethsaida. The Psalms are filled with prayers calling for God to judge the wicked, evil, oppressing man. In all of this, yes, the wicked man is held responsible. There is no hint of him being allowed to blame his bondage to sin for his own evil. In summary, there are in fact people who are more evil than others. The abuser is more evil than your “average” sinner.

      • pn

        Jeff,

        Spot on.

        After I left my abuser (after a 42 year marriage), no contact since except by texting through the divorce proceedings last year, the two words he used to try to get me back were “kindness” and “compassion.” Two qualities he always said he admired in me and that I “taught him.” Apparently, I wasn’t a very good teacher.

        And I have come to learn in my intense but exhilierating period of recovery, how I, too, was “wrapped up in falst guilt and feeling sorry for him,” as you put it. Also, spot on.

        Onward :).

    • Valerie

      Cindy, I agree with what Jeff says here. That is exactly what I used to think regarding my emotionally abusive husband. I would journal about the immense guilt I heaped on myself for thinking anything negative about him when it seemed it was hurting me intentionally. That was not a “Christian” thing to think after all.

      What I have come to realize is that while we all sin, scripture tells us that we do not keep on sinning when we are born of God (1 John). This does not mean we no longer sin because as the same book tells us we deceive ourselves when we think we do not sin. The difference lies in the heart. The one born of God feels remorse and conviction for sin. The one born of God cries over his sin and asks God to change his heart. The one born of God is in agreement with God over his sin- he hates it. He does not willfully go on sinning.

      The abuser, however, does not hate his sin and willfully continues it. What he hates is it being pointed out or being held accountable for it. He does not wrestle with his sin, he wrestles from being held accountable. When sin is brought to a follower of God it may be painful and difficult to hear, but the follower will meditate on this feedback, bring it into prayer and make changes accordingly. (I use the term follower instead of believer because believer is deceiving, the devil himself believes in God after all.)

      My husband used the “we all sin” trump card incessantly. I believe there is a difference between sinning and being wicked. Sinning is an act of will, being wicked is a state of character. Wickedness looks for evil to do and does not desire to change his heart or his ways.

    • A wise rabbi said, “we all all sinners, but we are NOT all wicked”. That is from the teaching of the Torah & the Law. There IS a “hierarchy of sin” that even Jesus spoke about: he told the woman caught in adultery to “sin no more”, but He also said that those who cause the little ones to stumble (abusers) should be “drowned in the depths of the sea”–with a millstone around their necks to make sure they stay there!!

    • Hi Cindy — welcome to the blog.
      The issue you raise is one that we have addressed on this blog in I think a quite a few places/posts.

      Here are a few you might like to read; I hope you find them helpful.
      https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2012/07/05/pastors-and-abuse-confronting-and-dealing-with-abusers-part-6/

      https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2014/08/24/putting-off-and-putting-on-change-as-it-respectively-applies-to-abusers-and-victims/

      https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2014/04/09/total-depravity-of-the-saints/

      I agree with you that the abuser needs some compassion — all unsaved people need compassion as they are in the power of the Evil One (in satan’s kingdom, the kingdom of darkness) whether they know it or not. However, the way that compassion gets expressed to the unsaved varies greatly, depending on the character and behavior and circumstances of the unsaved person.

      An unsaved person whose is proudly self-confident, not broken by their sins but secure in their sins, whose character and disposition is to treat others with overt or covert aggression, who is chronically proud and selfish and crooked and deceitful — those kinds of people need the tough-love kind of compassion, the kind that rebukes them sharply and holds them accountable for their misdeeds and wickedness. We see how Jesus and the writers of the NT epistles took this tough-love approach with the Pharisees and with the Diotrephes types who wanted to be first (entitlement mindset) and who haughtily lorded it over and took advantage of others.

      The kind of unsaved person who is broken by adversity, or broken by the consequences and guilt of their own sins, needs the gospel presented gently, with soft love, not tough love. Perhaps the woman caught in adultery could be one such example. Or the woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for decades.

      So compassion can take the form of tough rebuke that calls the person to account and aims to break down their security in their sinful state, or it can take the form of empathic loving-kindness and gentleness in the way the gospel is presented.

      This has been beautifully summed up by the theologian C F W Walther:

      The Gospel should be pronounced to ‘crushed’ sinners.
      The Law should be pronounced to ‘secure’ sinners.

  2. Anonymous

    1) Do you begin to see what I am trying to describe? YES
    2) Do you feel it? YES
    3) Have you felt it? YES
    4) Wives, have you seen your abuser do what is improper and unseemly toward you in spite of the fact that you are a wife and mother and perhaps a professional woman of some type? YES
    “They are fools.” — Years ago, as I was attempting to sort out the crazy-making I had referenced the Scriptures about what a ‘fool’ is and I told him that it wasn’t me but actually the Lord insisting that his actions were that of a ‘fool’.
    He then reminded me of Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
    He said he was insulted by me referring to him as a fool and felt that I had been name-calling.

    • Suzanne

      An unsaved person is not a brother. Brothers and sisters in Christ occupy a completely different position in the life of a believer and the protocol for dealing with them is very different than the way we are told to deal with the unsaved. Also, quoting scripture does not equate to name calling. Habitual, lifetime abusers are not demonstrating the fruits of the Spirit and can therefore rightly be said to be unsaved. In quoting Matthew your husband appropriated to himself a privilege that belongs only to the believer.

  3. Ann

    I overheard my abuser-narc husband (through a floor vent) talking to a relative and the entire conversation he never once used my name; it was all “she” and “her” with disgust filled tones. It was one of the first times I was realizing his true heart towards me.

    At award ceremonies (for things I was a part of too) he gave long winded speeches thanking everyone under the sun, but not me. One time the gentleman in charge said in front of a large group, “aren’t you going to thank your wife?!”

    In a counseling situation, the counselor having a Ph.D, he started referring to her, using her first name, as Dr. Liz. He never even knew her before these sessions, but displayed inappropriate familiarity.

    There was a gentleman at my husband’s workplace whose work was key in making my husband very successful. This man on numerous occasions went out of his way to help our family and in a very humble no strings attached way. When he and my husband transferred to another location with the same company, they ran into alot of problems left over from previous management. This gentleman was struggling in the crazy aftermath he inherited. I asked my husband how could he help this man so he wouldn’t lose his job? His answer in an angry, mean tone: “*I* don’t have time to be helping him!” After all that man did for him and us and now the gentleman was expendable! My husband got fired a year later.

    • Ann

      Forgot to include his unseemly flirting and making fun of me in front of other women.

  4. Joyce

    I so identify with your entire description of abusers as being entitled – most definitely when you state: “Why? Because they are entitled. John has, they do not have.” Yes – it is as simple as that. I endured this exactly from my abuser – I had, he did not have as much, therefore he felt he was entitled to take from me, to put me down, to abuse me. I see so much of this in people now as I am sensitive to that “entitlement state of mind”. It lacks all humility. But then abusers don’t know what that means – it’s not part of their being. I also see this entitlement attitude in people that are not abusers – if someone else has, they simply put them down because they have. I have helped so many of these people before I was aware of their attitude – and they of course could care less because they simply felt I had more than they did, therefore I was expected to give. Disgusting…..they need prayer and I pray for the Lord to change their hearts.

  5. Sarah

    I used to admire my ex because he was never intimidated by people in authority. Later I find out this is a abject disdain for everybody

    • Valerie

      Sarah, me too!!

  6. Valerie

    Pastor Jeff, you are spot on! I could really relate to the boat example especially. It was the kind of thing my husband did a lot. Sometimes it would embarrass me (when done in front of others as your example) but it would always unnerve me. You walk away thinking, “wow”…but never knew what to make of it- until realizing his abusive character anyway. I had always chalked it up to being socially handicapped- that it just didn’t occur to him to consider others when making decisions that affected a group.

    Something I’d like to point out regarding the non-use of credentials that is typical of an abuser. A few years ago my husband started doing something odd- he went from covertly disregarding people to beginning to address them as sir or ma’am (and we are not from the south). I was totally snowed at first and thought he must have a lot more respect for people than I realized. Later, however, it creeped me out because knowing my husband, I realized this was manipulative. It was either his way of deceiving people of his true nature toward them or he would use in it a way that I knew to be derogatory. For instance, he might complain about someone to me and minutes later they would call and he would address them this way. The look on his face was like he was almost calling them a name in his mind. Like it was his way of replacing the term.

    I was subconsciously changed by his way of handling this. I have found myself refraining from using titles because I came to associate this with manipulation. I saw him do this and I saw through it and I didn’t want to be perceived as disingenuous. My personality is one that likes to see everyone as equal and so I also refrain from using titles because in my mind it tells the other person “you are not one of us”. But I addressed this response to you in this way because I do have respect for you and until now didn’t realize my propensity toward this. I just wanted to offer my position on this since I tend to do this too. 😦

    • Jeff Crippen

      Valerie- thank you for all of those lessons you learned and for sharing your experiences. And I am sure that you do give honor to whom honor is due.

    • Seeing the Light

      You’ve got me thinking, Valerie. My husband also does the “sir” thing, but it feels so strange when he does it. Sometimes it doesn’t fit the tone of voice he is using either – almost like his “hello, sir” comes out in the same tone as something like “hiya little buddy.” I have not been able to figure this one out! Weird. And, no, we are not from the south either. I also can’t recall ever hearing him say “ma’am.” His mentality toward women would probably preclude that. Hmm.

  7. I also really relate to them having a sense of entitlement. It was so bizarre to me to when I would observe how my husband would talk to/about others. He seemed to view everyone in his life as an object… just looking for what he could get out of them. “Oh, he’s a doctor.. maybe we can get free appointments? Oh… she’s an accountant.. maybe she’ll do our taxes for free? Wow! They have a big house… we should be friends with them.” When I confronted him about these things… he never seemed to understand where I was coming from. Thinking others as individuals who had worked hard to be where they were and who should be treated as *friends* not objects to be used… seemed completely foreign to him.
    Also, he lost his last job for stealing… was not the first time he’d done it, and he was making plenty of money getting great benefits… absolutely no need for stealing. Just did it. No remorse once he was caught.. just anger that he was being punished. I had asked him not to steal a billion times, and warned him that he might get fired and that it wasn’t worth it.
    Of course he ended up getting a job that pays better… only reinforcing his sense of entitlement.
    I have to believe though, that in the end, justice will be done.. and I am happy to no longer be a part of that sinking ship.

  8. I must say I had similar thoughts to Valerie when I read this article. I guess I have been burned too many times that now I’m cautious when meeting new people until I’m more certain that they deserve the respect. In ‘pulling your own strings’ the author advises against elevating others (by using titles) that could leave you vulnerable to abuse. Dr Simon advises to draw up the boundaries and terms of communication early on in a new encounter for the same sort of reasons (not showing yourself open to manipulation). I have seen titles used with false humility. And often people that insist on their titles being used are the ones with bullying tendencies. Eg my mum and dad-in-law that used to insist I call them mum and dad, even tho I was uncomfortable with that cause i have only one mum and dad. I can fully relate to the impropriety of abusers!! Rather than seeing it in him avoiding using titles, I see it in a more general disregarding attitude during the conversation. Very embarrassing sometimes. I too used to put it down to a social handicap, but now I know that he chooses when to turn on the charm, and when to show his perceived superiority.

    • You bring up a good point, NotHeard, one that I had not thought about. Abusers wanting you to call them their perversion of who they are or think they are and should be to others. My FIL had mentioned to his son that I have not called him Dad, (I never have) and he asked him, not me the question, which I now find interesting. Why not ask me? My “fake” husband is the oldest, so when his younger siblings started getting married, they called him Dad. I suppose it made him think about why I never had, I call him by his name.

      I feel the same as you, I had one Mom & Dad, and they were the best people I have ever known, and wonderful parents, why would I give that honor and distinction to someone who clearly did not reflect any of the attributes my Dad did? It didn’t seem disrespectful to me at all, it just seemed truthful, no harmful thought intended. I told my “fake” husband that that was how I felt and it wasn’t going to change. Not difficult now to see the similarities in them!

      Looking back, how eerie it is to think that he felt as though he deserved the title, without ever having to do what it actually took to earn it, act like it, and then be respected.

      I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Father was a humble man, such humility I have never seen in another human being. Always giving credit, respect, kindness, encouragement to everyone else, and never accepting any for himself. He truly lead a ” by example” life and was and always will be my hero.

  9. My husband (can’t WAIT to be able to say “ex!”) is exceedingly scrupulous in public. We always felt that he was willing to sacrifice our needs and desires in an instant, if it would make him look good to someone else. And he’s always been highly skilled at doing it in private, in a way that left him looking, somehow, like an upstanding husband and father as well.

    So even now, most people think he’s just awesome. His entitlement is so cunningly disguised that it’s very difficult to spot.

  10. My husband had an illustrious and very successful career, well respected, high ranking, etc., all the while at home wreaking all kinds of vile abuse on mostly me and at times on our children. Although if he was abusing me it cannot help but affect them so horrifically.

    Fast forward and now retired; we are sitting at dinner with friends and the subject of work comes up. My husband ( I hate even calling him that, I never had a true husband!) starts rattling on about how good God was to him in his career and how God protected him and promoted him blah blah blah!!! I had heard it too many times. Of course never a mention of me of any kind.

    Fast forward again, as I had begun to slowly come out of the fog of abuse, He and I were in the car and he brought up his career. He had been telling someone how good God had been……..all of a sudden I interrupted him and said, so when are you going to admit and tell the rest of the story? I knew he had no idea what I was talking about, I said I have a side, too. Still looking bewildered, I said while you were building this so called success, you came home and were abusuing, controlling, mean, and perpetrated harmful acts on your family, that is my side of this story. And it will be heard at some point! I said I guess it depends on how one defines success, and I define it much differently than you! He had no idea of how to respond to me, like a rat in a maze. Subsequently, he never spoke of it again in my presence. Never! And that was years ago.

    That is not a believer’s response, it isn’t even a human response…..

    • I can relate to your husband (I use that loosely as well) thanking God for his promotions and career. It’s usually in some speech so he looks nice and thankful in front of others. I want to roll my eyes. I’m sorry he never acknowledged your help and sacrifices. Just know not everyone thinks he’s great. Work is another place they spend a lot of time and they can’t fake every moment, some things will slip.

    • I like that response you made to him SurvivorThriver 2 🙂 It was very astute.

  11. Happy2bHere

    Entitlement as a way of life is why it’s irritating and embarrassing going anywhere. He walks ahead of me constantly, and a couple times I’ve asked why and it doesn’t even occur to him and he still does it. It’s really at the very bottom of my concerns but found it just odd behavior. Also why he has to have a brand new vehicle every couple years while I have been driving the same vehicle that has issues to transport our children. I’m thankful to have a vehicle, and I’ve never asked about a new one, it just bugs me that it’s his status and comfort over our children’s safety. Again, at the bottom of my concerns in contrast to other stuff, but even the little quiet things seem so thoughtless. This article reminded me he’s just not wired that way, and it’s really wasted energy wondering why and how. This site has helped me get through many days. For me, I don’t feel compassion anymore but I do feel sorry because he will never be content, or feel love living life this way. It just makes me sad his actions dont just affect him

    • Ann

      Happy2bHere My husband did this too “He walks ahead of me constantly”. He once tried this bizarre behavior at church whereby he walked far out in front of me, than drew his arm back in my direction wiggling his fingers for me to catch up and take his hand! It disgusted me and I stood back and just stopped walking. He had to finally turn around to see where I was. He never did it again.

      • Good for you that you just stopped walking!! Didn’t participate in his strange ways. Maybe I’ll try that sometime, Im just afraid I’ll upset him when really I’d like him to keep walking and not come back

  12. Great post Jeff, as always! You keep on the front burner the ability to discern all that we believed in innocence, but found out was cloaked in depravity. I thank God for you ( and Barbara) and this place of safety and truth!

  13. AJ

    Speaking of “rude, unbecoming, and unseemly,” has anyone heard what’s happening with Mark Driscoll? Is his six weeks up yet?

    AJ

  14. A point about this, sometimes we don’t see the needs of others, but that doesn’t make us abusers. We can appear to be “entitled” when we are just socially awkward or missing a social cue. However, the key is how we respond when people bring it up.

    The cannonball example is perfect. Can a good Christian person jump into a pool and splash people, not realizing that he is making others uncomfortable? Maybe he didn’t realize that others wouldn’t want to get wet (after all, they are at the pool), or maybe he just figured it was part of being at the pool.

    But when people say “you should not be doing that”, the normal person stops and considers what they say. The normal person realizes that there are other people and their thoughts and feelings matter. The abuser doesn’t care. He just keeps on cannonballing (as he does in the example) because other people only matter when there’s something he wants from them.

    And that’s the key. It’s not that abusers are the ones who make mistakes. It’s that they are the ones who never change course for the sake of others. Because others only exist to meet their needs.

    • I want to add, recognizing this behavior (thanks Jeff C!) has been hugely beneficial to me because when I see people who operate this way, I know to treat them differently. My boundaries change and I am far less concerned about trying to make nice with them. Because niceness isn’t really niceness to an abuser- it’s just a weakness to exploit.

      • Valerie

        Exactly, Jeff S!

      • Thanks, Jeff S, that is so true! And so sick!

    • well said! That’s it exactly. how they respond when admonished and asked to change their course.

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: