As the #metoo movement continues to gain momentum and public attention, women are finally feeling empowered to take a stand against mistreatment both in their public and private lives. The inspirational bravery of these women has allowed many others to follow in their wake and speak up for the very first time. Are you being mistreated? Here are five behaviors you should never tolerate.
Unwanted sexual advances
Whether in a relationship or in the workplace, you should never feel pressured into physical intimacy. You have every right to say no with or without reason. If your significant other does not respect this, then they do not respect you. If your boss is threatening your job security, report them to HR immediately. There is no reason for you to put up with this behavior under any circumstance. Nor should you feel as though you were “asking for it” because of the way you dress, the way you carry yourself or the way you conduct your conversation. No means no.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but many women convince themselves that physical abuse was a one time passion. Don’t become a victim. It’s easy to fall into a cycle of violence and contrition. Once the inclination for physical harm becomes apparent, it’s time to move on. You never deserve to be hurt. People make mistakes; that does not mean they deserve physical abuse.
Unlike physical abuse, mental and emotional abuse can be more difficult to identify. However, it’s much more prevalent and can take on many forms. Words can carry so much weight, and what your partner, friends, co-workers and family say to you can severely impact your self-worth and mood. No one should ever make you feel irrational, stupid or depressed on purpose. The insidiousness of a simple phrase like, “You’re crazy,” can cause intense mental distress. Surround yourself with positive people, and don’t stand for manipulation. Mind games are not sexy, they just invite suspicion and unease.
Expect an unequal partnership
You are not a superwoman, and should not be expected to pull more than your own weight in either a relationship or in the workplace. Sometimes, there is an expectation that as a woman you must take on more than your fair share of work, get paid less than a man without complaining or showing emotion. Oftentimes, the woman is expected to take on full domestic duties and work while her partner does not contribute to the household. These unfair and dated expectations should be expunged from your life as much as possible. No, life is not always fair and easy, but stand up for yourself and don’t take on more than you need. Finding the balance and compromise in your relationships and workplace will leave you more fulfilled and much less stressed in the long run.
If you are in an exclusive relationship, you have a right to expect fidelity. Relationships are difficult and temptations are many, but these are feeble excuses when you consider the damages that cheating on your partner can have. Trust is a precious and necessary ingredient to any successful relationship and can take years to build. Destroying trust through cheating is plain cruel. While it is true that some former cheaters reform, generally once someone is unfaithful in the relationship they will continue that pattern. Forcing a relationship to start from scratch in rebuilding trust is at best incredibly difficult, and at worst impossible to overcome. There are faithful partners out there and you deserve to be with someone who honors that.