April 20, 2011 - Toronto, Canada - In this Canada self defense blog, I would like to look at the signs that "he" is controlling you. I have spent the past 15 years teaching in high schools throughout Ontario teaching more than 150 000 young women self defense skills. I have heard thousands of stories from young women on how their boyfriend was possessive, how he controlled her, and how he expected her to do whatever he said. Here are just a few of the thoughts I have on this topic.
As I have said before, anywhere from 57 - 75% of the time you will be attacked by someone you know, so this obviously includes boyfriends or acquaintances. There are a number of signs that can indicate that a boyfriend or potential boyfriend is trying to control you and not respect you as a person.
1) Does he ever ask you to do something to which you respond "no" but he does not seem to hear or understand the word "no"? I once heard this from Gavin De Becker (author) who is an excellent source on this topic. He said that if you tell someone "no" and they ignore you, they are trying to control you. The word "no" is a complete sentence and does not require an explanation.
2) Does he make you feel guilty for not accepting his request ? Have you ever had a boyfriend say "If you loved me you would do it ?" It should actually be the opposite in which he says "I won't do that because I love you". If you give into guilt, you have just taught him that making you feel guilty is an effective way to keep you.
3) Does he persistently phone or text you? If someone is constantly texting and calling you, always wanting to know where you are, this is a sign of control. Or if they are saying "I called you at this time, where were you, who were you with ?" Constantly demanding to know where you are is a big red flag of control.
4) Does he constantly ask you out on dates, again not accepting the word "no"? If you tell a guy no to a date and he wants an explanation, be sure to tell him the word "no" is your answer. Some guys expect a reason which you are not required to give. I once had a student tell me that a guy in school asked her out over and over for several months. She finally thought "Wow, this guy must really like me". She went out on a date with this young gentleman at which time he gave her a cell phone and a pager and told her that they were for her personal safety. That is a huge warning sign of someone wanting to control you NEVER MIND THAT HE ASKED HER OUT EVERY DAY FOR MONTHS AFTER SHE CONTINUED TO SAY "NO"!
The most important thing I can say in closing is, Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say! Do not feel pressured to back down from your beliefs.
SAFE International is Canada's leader in self defense instruction. We have taught more than 120,000 clients in the school, corporate, and private environments. Please visit our websites at www.safeinternational.biz and www.highschoolselfdefense.com for more information. You can also contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org