I think we could create a lot of change by simply challenging abusive behavior when we see it. But some people get nervous, hesitant about how to confront an abuser. And for good reason. I’m not saying you should put on a superhero suit and wrestle the knife out of his hand. I’m not even talking about physical violence. We need to call people out way before things escalate to that point. I’m saying notice and comment on the creepy, possessive, controlling stuff your friend says or does: convey a sense of alarm; describe the bad/worrisome behavior; and tell the person to stop. It’s that simple.
Give one of these a try:
Dude, WTF? She’s a person, not a piece of property. Knock it off and give her some space!
Dude, WTF? She’s not screwing someone else – she’s just stuck in traffic, like she said. Sheesh, you need to knock it off!
Dude, WTF? You’re totally Facebook stalking her. Knock it off.
Dude, WTF? Just enjoy your visits with your kids and don’t worry about what she’s doing. Knock it off and move on.