What happens within you when someone directs their anger at you—attacking or blaming you?
I grew up with parents who often took their frustrations out on me. My father would occasionally yell at me, but my mother's anger, blame, or irritation was a daily occurrence. As a very sensitive little girl, I was terrified of her. When she was irritated with me, I would start to shake and then freeze, as children often do when they’re being traumatized. They feel helpless.
It took many years for me to learn to stop freezing and lovingly manage another's anger at me. Here are the five coping mechanisms I use now: