email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
"Intimate" Violence against Women3 NBS of Julian DrewA Little PregnantA Natural History of RapeA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Stir of BonesAbout a BoyAdult Children of Emotionally Immature ParentsAgainst MarriageAgainst MarriageAlmost a PsychopathAlone TogetherAnatomy of LoveAngelsAnother CountryAnxious ParentsApples and OrangesBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeing the Other OneBetrayed as BoysBeyond AddictionBipolar DisorderBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Breaking ApartBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBringing Up ParentsBut I Love HimCaring for a Child with AutismCaring in Remembered WaysCherishmentChildren of the Aging Self-AbsorbedChildren of the Self-AbsorbedChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingClawsCloserCold HitCoping With Difficult PeopleCouple SkillsCruddyDancing in My NuddypantsDivorce PoisonDoing ItDone With The CryingEcstasyEmotional ClaustrophobiaEmotional Fitness for IntimacyEmotional Intelligence at WorkEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Premarital CounselingEvery Pot Has a CoverFacts About ADHD ChildrenFamilies Like MineFamilyFamily BoundFamily FirstFear of IntimacyFinal JeopardyFind MeFlashpointFor Lesbian ParentsForgive Your Parents, Heal YourselfGandhi's WayGeorgia Under WaterGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGirl in the MirrorGirl StuffGoing Home without Going CrazyHandbook of AttachmentHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHappiness Sold SeparatelyHard to GetHe's Just Not That Into YouHealing ConversationsHollow KidsHot ButtonsHot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHow Families Still MatterHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Don't Know How She Does ItI Hate You-Don't Leave MeI Only Say This Because I Love YouI'm OK, You're My ParentsIn the Mood, AgainInside the American CoupleIntrusive ParentingIt's Called a Breakup Because It's BrokenIt's Love We Don't UnderstandJakarta MissingKeeping Passion AliveKeeping Your Child in MindLet's Get This StraightLiberation's ChildrenLife's WorkLikely to DieLove JunkieLove SickLove Times ThreeLove Works Like ThisLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderLoving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderLust in TranslationMaking the RunMaking the RunManic DepressionMars and Venus - Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming Your Difficult FamilyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRelax, It's Just SexRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Philosophical ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe State of AffairsThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUntrue Up in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!
The goal of this book is simply to offer some empowerment tools that help "targets" stop abuse within their relationship while improving their own self-worth and general state of happiness. What is a target? A "target" is the authors’ preferred word in lieu of "victim" or "survivor." The word choice itself is designed to empower the reader.
This book is NOT a self-diagnosis tool. Such self-help books usually delegate the bulk of information to examples, and homey stories designed to get the reader to recognize themselves. Usually those books have only one chapter devoted to "what to do"; quite often that advice is to seek professional help. By contrast this book spends the bulk of itself outlining very specific tools. A much smaller part tells the reader when to get out -- and how to seek professional help.
The tools as described in the book are reminiscent of what was known as "assertiveness training" in the 1960’s and 70’s. "Assertive communication" is not obnoxious and is characterized as non-aggressive. Respect-me rules will work for either gender, although it is recognized that women more commonly than men make themselves the target.
"Targets" as described in the Respect-me-Rules are people who respond to aggression with increased compliance thus "training" their abusers that rude behavior is an effective means of communication. The dynamic between the two partners can be upset by changes in the target’s behavior, regardless of whether the abuser changes. This is important, because as the authors point out, even if the target feels the abuser is at fault, we have no control over what others do. (emphasis mine.) Therefore, if targets wish to see change in the relationship, change they must.
Why are they "targets" and not victims? Not survivors? The authors suggest that children are true victims because children lack the means to leave. Readers of this book, by contrast, are adults. It is useful for adults to remember that they are capable of making choices. Interestingly the authors would prefer the target NOT leave. Leaving prior to learning the Respect-me rules might set up a situation where a new abuser is quickly found. The authors suggest that implementing these techniques before the reader considers divorce will create one of two situations: either the abuser will leave finding the new dynamic untenable, OR the situation will repair itself, with both partners now exhibiting respect.
This book is designed for people who perceive their partner is snide, sarcastic, unsupportive, narcissistic, or bullying. This book states that it is NOT for relationships that have already reached a level of physical violence. Readers who are experiencing physical abuse are in danger and must leave.
The rules should be carefully read and completely comprehended. Initially the abuse may escalate in response to Respect-me behavior. Starting haphazardly will merely teach the abuser that more abuse is necessary to get effective results. By contrast, consistent application of the rules will teach the abuser new boundaries. If the target falters even once, the abuser learns what he/she needs to do is increase abuse to get things back to "normal." One hundred percent consistency will teach the abuser that abuse is not effective. Therefore, if a target is not emotionally ready to implement it is preferable to not start at all.
Three step enforcement
· Pause and choose
· Set a boundary
· Implement a consequence
Never defend or explain
Do not accept or believe derogatory statements or actions
Respond with strength
Do not reward nasty and negative behavior
Do not keep his/her secrets
Call attention to verbal abuse
Use a prompt
Be a model of respectful behavior
It is important for the target to recognize various forms of abuse. Chapters are devoted to abuse patterns and cycle, "benefits" of victimization, secrets: how and why to tell them, choosing the therapist ad support groups. This is useful nuts and bolts information for the person who upon self reflection is ready to take responsibility for their half of the relationship dynamic and wishes to change. This book might be frustrating to the friends and relatives of an abuse target because once you realize how much the abuser and target both contribute to the situation, you won’t feel like using the word victim any more.
Why not use the word "survivor"? Many support groups do. I quote directly from page 136 regarding this subject,
"Using the word "survivor" denotes that we are victims of larger force beyond our control, such as a plane crash. If one is raped, yes, she is a survivor. She did not choose anything. She is a victim of a heinous crime. But we do choose our partners. We are not talking about physical violence, which is something we may have little control over and of which we may indeed be a victim and survivor. But when it comes to verbal and emotional abuse. . . .You can respond to this rather unfortunate situation by thinking either "When the arrow hits I will survive," or "I am the target." The latter thought demands evasive action. . . .If we don’t want to be a target, we’d better get out of the line of fire."
While this book is specifically directed toward love relationships, I observed that the tools can be used in any relationship where one feels disrespected such as a parent/child, with associates and co-workers, friends, acquaintances and relatives.
© 2012 Kumari de Silva
Kumari de Silva, RYT, IS a yoga instructor in Southern California with a BA degree in History from the University of Hawai'i.