Ask Doctor Gayle

How do I handle a relationship when I feel I’m being dishonored or disrespected and the person doesn’t feel the same way about me as I feel about them?

Answer: First I think you have to determine whether the relationship is significant enough to salvage, then ask yourself several questions: Is the person open to a discussion about what you’re feeling? What were you looking for in the relationship? Sometimes your definition of dishonor may be different than theirs. Get clarity on this and other expectations. Possibly your feeling that they don’t feel the same way could simply be an erroneous perception. Don’t make assumptions about what you think somebody else is thinking or feeling. Once you’ve answered these questions and examined your perceptions, you may find that you’re not being dishonored after all; or if you still feel you are find the courage to discuss with them how you feel. The hardest part in relationships is good communication. Make sure you’re communicating properly and that each of you understand what the other is saying and meaning.  

How can I tell if I’m being victimized, or I have a victim mentality?

Answer: Victimization is usually something many people have lived with from childhood on into adulthood. It is often a result of rejection, abandonment, shame, a poor self-image or low self-esteem, inferiority, or never feeling good enough or that you measure up to others’ expectations. People who feel victimized feel they are always being attacked, everybody is against them and they can never do anything right. They have erected a huge wall in an attempt to protect themselves from more hurt and they vow nobody will ever hurt them again. Victims typically live in a state of denial, believing that everybody around them are wrong and they are always right. They exist on an emotional roller-coaster either up or down, are easily offended, and often easily angered. Unfortunately the victim spirit attracts predators who are always on the prowl for their next victim. Inner healing and/or deliverance is needed to come out of this mentality. 

Can old traumatic & emotional wounds be healed to the extent that these wounds no longer have a negative or toxic impact on my life?

Answer: The answer is yes if the wounded individual will allow themselves the opportunity to be healed. This decision happens only when the wounded individual simply grows tired of being angry and hurt. Healing from emotional scars first and foremost require an act of forgiveness; forgiving the one who has wounded you. With this forgiveness comes a release; a release of the person who wounded you, and a release of yourself; giving yourself permission to be healed and set free. Many individuals are not even aware of their need to for healing. They have lived in a vacuum so long being hurt is their normal. They recognize something is negatively impacting their lives, causing them anger, shame, resentment, etc. but often don’t have a clue what it might be. This requires the ability to be honest with oneself; doing some introspection, and asking oneself the right questions (i.e., who hurt me, how did they hurt me, when did this happen, and am I willing to forgive them). These are hard questions but essential for healing.  

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