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How to Deal With a Masochist

by eHow Relationships & Family Editor

Masochism is often destructive psychologically to those who are affected by it. Interacting with someone with a masochistic personality or masochistic tendencies can wear down the threads of any good relationship, causing conflict and emotional disturbances. However, dealing with a masochist can be difficult if you aren't working with some basic information about how the masochist functions. Learn how to deal with a masochist and make your life a bit easier.

Learn as much about masochistic tendencies as possible by doing some research, either online or in books. Understand that masochism is a psychological problem that affects a person's ability to have equal and balanced relationships due to a need to place themselves in a painful victimized position.

Figure out how to remove yourself from the role of punisher or dominant member of the relationship. Allow the masochist to make their own decisions and reinsert the person's willpower back into their lives. Be vigilant about not falling into manipulations by the masochist and tell them that you will no longer participate in their masochistic tendencies.

Talk to a therapist if necessary to help you deal with the emotional issues surrounding masochistic behavior and its impact on your life. Adapt coping strategies for anger management and codependency avoidance to avoid feeling controlled by the masochist's behavior.

Help integrate the masochists into larger groups so they can deal with people on an equal and respectful level without placing themselves in the lesser role. Model healthy relationship skills and communication skills. Expect nothing less from them so they learn how to function without resorting back go masochistic thought patterns.

Understand where the masochistic behavior comes from without excusing its presence. Maintain healthy boundaries with the masochistic and be vigilant about the person taking responsibility for their lives and personal problems.

Tips

  • Encourage the masochist to seek professional help from a mental health practitioner to work through some of the complications associated with masochism.
  • If you are dealing with a sexual masochist, then it's important to be clear about your sexual desires and how far you will and will not go.