You can’t control the hurtful person, but you can control your environment. This can quickly become a negative spiral of compulsive activity. Maybe for you this means keeping your spaces spotless, checking social media repeatedly, or making unnecessary purchases. Maybe it involves comfort eating.

These behaviors give you the impression of being in control, but they will not change the result of your interactions with the person. These activities only distract you from getting to the heart of the problem.

What to do instead: In the midst of compulsive behavior, there is often a moment when you realize what is happening. Choose to pull away. What is important to you? Is it being reflected in the way you spend your time? Is what you’re doing helping you to heal?

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