Bad Habits. Change In 10 Effective Steps

change bad habitsBrian Tracy said that “Forming bad habits is easy to do and hard to stop, but so is forming good ones.” Abusive relationship brings a risk to create bad habits. How can you change them?

How do you change habits?

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So what are the bad habits which occur in abusive relationships? It might be your lack of assertiveness, thinking of him as your only option for a relationship, agreeing to everything he wants, justifying his acts, doing things for him, even so small as emptying the rubbish bin. Let’s say that you cannot say “no” because you are afraid of his anger and violence. What to do then? Here are the 12 steps which will help you to change bad habits in your relationship.

1. Identify how bad the habit really is.


If you cannot say “no”, there may be room for it in your life. You know often that something is not completely verboten makes it easier to scale back on it. You might say: “what is wrong with compromising?” But in case of abuse it is his dominance, not compromise. He assumes only two scenarios – either you agree for what he wants or he will use violence.

However,paradoxically, what he wants can be also abusive, so whether you agree or say “no” – the abuse will happen. What you have to do is to visualize the most nasty scenario of what you are doing. Imagine what happens if you became ill and could not do everything for him? He will abuse you anyway, even if you have done much for him so far!

2. Recognize that you are not the only one in the world who has bad habits.

 Every person has them and you are not alone. Do not isolate yourself from others because of your bad habits. If not saying “no” is a bad habit for you, try to find things you enjoy doing when you actually say “no”. You might find that you enjoy the break from doing things for him and it could encourage you to say “no” more frequently

If you decide that you can fit your habit into your life somehow, designate specific times for it. This means saying „no” regularly, first in minor cases, like emptying the bin. Then you might choose more challenging situations.

3. Think small.


Rather than ‘I’m never going to enjoy peace of mind !’, try saying ‘today I’m going to spend 15 minutes thinking of my rights and enjoyment’. Instead of ‘that’s it, always stand up for yourself’, think ‘today I’m going to be more assertive saying „no” in small things than I usually do’, and build from there. Soon you will find that you spend more time doing the positive things than the negative ones.

4. Have patience with yourself!


If you do relapse, remember that people who forgive themselves and try to do better next time often have greater success than those who berate themselves for making a ‘mistake’. Have a good balance of self-forgiveness tend to say ‘oh well, tomorrow will be better’ and have it be true: when you don’t often say ‘what’s the use, I’m a failure, why even try to be better?!?’ you will never end up making a positive change. Be prepared that your abusive partner will become more angry and violent, seeing your assertiveness, but after some time, when you do not give up, he will have to respect you more, knowing that you may leave him or call the police.

5. If you change the bad habit which is truly detrimental to your health and quality of life, enlist the help of a health-care provider. 

A doctor, nurse, or therapist may be able to give you a more tailored and comprehensive plan to help you kick an unhealthful habit and help you with lifestyle changes in a way that you can’t do for yourself. In case of abusive relationship it is crucial to contact the professionalist and start with small things.

6. When you find yourself tempted by your old patterns, change your course of thoughts and action.

 If, for example, you find yourself tempted to avoid saying „no” because of fear, take a deep breath and count to 10. Then think of all the benefits when you say „no” instead.

7. Give yourself small, reasonable rewards for meeting goals. 

For example, if you’ve gone two weeks saying „no”, treat yourself to a long walk (first examine what is suitable in your relationship). If you’ve quit emptying bins for him, why not to have a relax in the bathroom when he is not there? Be creative choosing your reward, enjoy it as much as you can.

8. Get support from a friend. 

If a friend has broken a similar habit, ask her about his/her experience. Also, if she a habit to break, maybe you can be there for each other while you’re working on yourselves. Work with your councellor or psychologist, too. You can also call helplines.

9. On the flip-side, accentuate the positive.

Spend the time you would normally spend on emptying bins for him start writing a book or do something something to admire or to give as a present.

10. Give your bad habit an unpleasant association.

 If your bad habit is not saying „no” when your partner wants you to empty the bin, image how tired you become doing this, how nasty is the smell of the rubbish. You deserve some enjoyment, too. An old-fashioned way to deal with bad habits is to put a thick rubber band around your wrist. Then, whenever you find yourself tempted to relapse, snap the rubber band HARD! Soon you will associate the habit with pain, which may make you more likely to break it.

Take action

Choose one kind of behaviour from your relationship that you want to change. Then prepare the alternative for that, gather helpful people and associate the bad habit with nasty thing. Practise your new habit for 30 days and reward yourself every week. After 30 days evaluate your progress and continue the change process.

Please comment today’s post and share with your friends. Have a nice day.

Victoria HeroctenAuthor: Victoria Herocten Writer and coach.
Since 2009 she helps women with abuse to start over and how to be happy .
The co-author of the bestseller “Gratitude Book”.

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