Meet Rhiannon. Rhiannon is a writer and blogger on a variety of topics including self-love, self-care, women empowerment, and domestic abuse. She is currently writing her own memoir which tells all on how she survived a domestically abusive relationship and what she endured. I've only spoken to Rhiannon for a short while but I am already incredibly inspired by this woman!
We are so excited to have Rhiannon on The Coaching Corner as she holds some very invaluable insights that we can all learn from. I'm positive you won't be disappointed reading what Rhiannon has to share. Learn more about abuse and how Rhiannon stays focused as you read through today's article.
Let's get started - Rhiannon,
How can those on the dating scene spot red flags and a toxic personality? What tips and advice can you share?
"...it is easy to get swept up into the 'fairy tale' and romance of it all and not neccessarily spot the essential warning signs..."
Rhiannon: Getting into a new relationship is fresh, new and exciting but it is easy to get swept up into the ‘fairy tale’ and romance of it all and not necessarily spot essential warning signs that things could turn toxic if you are not quick off the mark at spotting them.
Equally, it is important to not be fearful of starting a new relationship. Instead, still enjoy the dating process but be mindful that some people’s intentions may not be as pure as yours.
Early warning signs that you are embroiled into a toxic situation may be:
They ‘love bomb’ you.
They message and call you all of the time. They overdose you with loving sentiments, douse you in gifts and pleasantries and it almost feels too good to be true. Equally, you may also feel pretty daunted by how forward they are being but they are telling you everything you want to hear so you convince yourself that it's fate and you let that dodgy gut feeling slide.
However, suddenly, you find yourself in too deep, you have truly fallen for them but their ‘love bombing’ has out of nowhere stopped. It’s almost like their infatuation with you has gone - at least that’s what it feels like. Suddenly, there are no gifts anymore, there are not as many loving messages blowing up your phone, it’s almost like you are in a relationship with a completely different person to the one you started out with. But you love them now, you are in too deep, you will do anything to try and get that person you started a relationship with, back…
You start to justify their bad behaviour.
If you find yourself justifying their bad behaviour or mood swings to your friends, family, or even yourself but you know deep down in your gut it isn’t right, listen to your gut feeling! They are showing you a side to them that you aren’t comfortable with and it’s making you feel uncomfortable around your loved ones. Acknowledge that.
They test your boundaries.
You are in a new relationship with someone and you start to find that they are testing how far they can push you. How much you will give or take. They are testing what it would take to get you to snap. This is toxic. No partner who loves or cares for you should want to see you upset or stressed.
Potential examples of this are: You don’t want to have sex with them yet but they insist on persuading you to do so anyway.
You don’t want them to move in with you just yet but they go ahead and move themselves in anyway.
They don’t respect your privacy. What’s yours is theirs by right.
There’s been no rational conversation about things; they have just served their needs instead of considering yours and had no regard for your boundaries.
Something just doesn’t feel right.
You can’t put your finger on what. On paper everything they are saying and doing is fine but minor, underlying things an outsider wouldn’t see are triggering you to feel uneasy. For instance, your relationship feels rushed, there are invisible pressures and your partner won’t ever give you a moment’s peace. When you aren’t around them your phone is constantly pinging. When you address things you find unnerving with them, they won't have a rational conversation with you about it and they immediately take a defensive stance. Ultimately, if something feels like a red flag in your gut, listen to it!
Tinisha (Let's Talk Coaching): These are such amazing insights. Often, we can make excuses for certain types of behaviour because we really want that relationship or friendship to work. As Rhiannon says, if you ever have that unnerving gut feeling - you should probably listen to it. I mean, how many times have you been proved right about a gut feeling you've had about someone or a situation? There is power in your intuition.
How did you find your passion for writing about empowerment and domestic abuse?
"...I've realised we are so much more than what social media brands us."
Rhiannon: I have a chequered past. I grew up in the era where social media became ‘everything.’ Facebook was this wondrous, new found beast. Suddenly my generation was all about life updates in the form of ‘statuses,’ the perfect ‘selfie,’ the perfect body, the perfect family, the perfect friendship group, the perfect house, the perfect lifestyle. All of a sudden your worth was deemed by how many ‘likes’ you got. I was naturally tall and curvy, my friends were incredibly petite, doll shaped and skinny and for a while, I struggled to accept myself and developed a mild eating disorder.
Since coming out on the other side of my teenage days, I’ve realised we are so much more than what social media brands us. We are all unique and beautiful in our own way. However, on that long journey to loving myself, my self-worth and self-love have been in tatters at times and so when it’s come to picking a partner to get into a relationship with, in the past, I haven’t chosen well. This has been due to the standards I have set for myself and my self-worth and self-love just not being present.
As a result, over the years I have been thoroughly mistreated by men. One day I had an epiphany where I saw my flaws for what they were. I realised I didn't need to worry about men for the time being, in actual fact, I needed to do some inner work on myself, first. Now, I finally understand myself and I want to guide any other female who is in that mindset of no self-worth and no real standards and I want to empower and inspire her to see she deserves only the best life can offer.
How do you stay focused and motivated on your path towards happiness and success?
Rhiannon: I love meditating. Guided meditations on Youtube are the perfect way to ease your way into doing this. I also journal my gratitude’s and affirmations, I am a huge believer in the Law of Attraction and manifestation. I also enjoy exercising regularly, there’s nothing like boosting those happy endorphins around your body!
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What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about domestic abuse?
Rhiannon: Domestic abuse isn’t just physical abuse. A lot of people believe unless they are being physically hurt the police won’t be able to help them. This simply isn’t true, reach out for help! Controlling behaviour- otherwise known as ‘coercive control,’ is a criminal offence too. Coercive control is an act of threat, assault, humiliation, intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victims.
Examples could be financial abuse (control over money/what you spend/how much money you have to spend).
Being isolated away from friends and family, etc.
Another big misconception is people think someone in a domestically abusive situation is weak-willed.
Domestic abuse is no joke and it can happen to anyone, no matter how mentally or physically strong of a person you think you are.
According to Women’s Aid, one statistic reads that the police receive 100 calls an hour in the UK alone reporting a domestic abuse-related crime. Everyone can be at risk of getting into the wrong relationship. It does not mean you are a weak person; in fact, women who have gone through domestic abuse are some of the strongest women I know.
What is your favourite word?
Rhiannon: ‘Sonder’- The profound feeling of realising that everyone, including strangers you pass in the street has a life as complex as your own.
Related product: 200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See The World
What sound do you love?
Rhiannon: The sound of waves crashing on the shore.
What profession would you like to attempt?
Rhiannon: Primary school teacher.
Thank you so much for your contribution Rhiannon, I'm sure our readers will find your insights very helpful (as have I!). Don't forget to check back in for another contribution to our Coaching Corner.
Stay in the loop with Rhiannon's upcoming book and blog about self-love, self-care, women empowerment and domestic abuse via her Instagram handle (@rhi_write).
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