Way back when, Mrs. CA edited a domestic violence handbook for the Junior League. We had some memorable exchanges. “[LOL] Do you really need another pair of shoes?” “That’s financial domestic violence!” We were both joking. But through these types of exchanges, I became aware of the many types of non-violent domestic violence. I couldn’t find the booklet online – it may have been before the internet took off. In any event, I found something similar to what I was looking for (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/crystal-sanchez/8-steps-that-explain-why-_b_9143360.html):
“Step 5- Leniency & Opportunity
Just when a victim can literally take no more, the abuser offers leniency. This is when the abuser offers a small act of kindness amid the psychological abuse and the victim feels a deep sense of gratitude completely out of proportion to the deed.
Because the victim’s perception is so skewed, the small act shifts emotions to relief and a sense of admiration. Since these small acts of kindness are so infrequent, the kind gesture is magnified. It can be something as small as offering a glass of water, a hug, or a compliment. This can lead to a sense of false hope. It puts the responsibility on the victim to do things better, to try harder, in hopes the acts of kindness will become more frequent.
These unpredictable responses are detrimental to mental wellbeing, confidence, and self-esteem. The abuser can have an extreme reaction one day, and then the next day have the complete opposite reaction. This unpredictability can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety.”
And do you know when I thought of this? When Trump called China last week. I’m not saying Trump is Domestic Violence Man. Save your hate (or praise) mail. What I was more interested in was this psychological effect of extreme changes in reactions from someone you are in an important relationship with. Trump did seem to have an abrupt positive change-of-heart towards China. After his previous negative comments, just maintaining the status quo of previous US Presidents seemed like high praise. The three possibilities I see for this sudden change are: (1) someone gave him the tap on the shoulder to remind him of the importance of a longer term relationship with China (perhaps his cabinet or the many business leaders he has been meeting with recently), or (2) this is a calculated move before his weekend Japan meeting, or (3) he just gave China a glass of water, before he goes on another rampage. Note that #1 should show up as a longer term change in Trump’s behavior, while #2 and #3 are shorter-term. I’m not sure which it is (and it could be more than one), but I certainly won’t be surprised if it is #3. Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks – we should have a better idea.
Now that he’s made Mexico an example of what can happen (Lord Trump’s pillory), most countries probably do feel somewhat relieved when they get anything positive from Trump. Is Iran going to join Mexico and the seven Muslim nations on the pillory? Anyway, this is just some food for thought. I’m really curious how 2017 will impact the course of American history. I’m not a huge fan of the road that Trump is taking so far, but if he leads us to the destination he has promised, I’ll overlook it (mostly).