The definition of hijack, based on Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, is “to stop and steal (a moving vehicle); to take control of (an aircraft) by force; to subject to extortion or swindling.”
Although it may sound harsh to use the word “hijacking” when referring to some relationships, but this has happened more times that we’d like to admit. When someone comes into your life, wins you over with sweet words, gifts and so on, then once you’ve opened up yourself to them they “take over;” this behavior certainly mimics what a hijacker does.
The pain of being hijacked psychologically cannot be described adequately. Your thoughts aren’t your own thoughts anymore. You are fearful of what you will lose should this person no longer be in your life. You are emotionally controlled by them and feel helpless as this happens.
What does psychological hijacking look like?
• Not allowed to be independently minded
• May try to override her moral code
• Not allowed to disagree or question a decision or statement
• Expected to commit to them in ways that removes personal freedom
• May use religious talk to keep them from disagreeing or leaving them
None of these are healthy premises for relationships; in fact, with these types of actions or thought processes, emotional and mental (or physical) abuse is not far behind. Sometimes individuals start out genuinely loving each other, but when unhealthy ways to resolve conflict arise, it can trigger these other actions and set the stage for psychological hijacking. The underlying premise for this type of behavior is selfishness or self-centeredness. There is also narcissistic behavior, when someone is so in love with themselves that they are always looking out for themselves and never anyone else.
What allows psychological hijacking to continue?
Many times, we as women believe everything that men say to us. Many of them will say things just for us to let our guard down, and not mean any of it. Once they have had their way with us (sex, etc.) then they may begin to treat us differently. The change in behavior may not occur immediately; it may be gradual.
Psychological hijacking typically happens to women unawares. This is where caring mentors become a necessity, and where vulnerable women are open to receiving warnings about “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” These suspects aren’t always obvious to the casual observer, but when mature people have seen and spent time with the person and they pick up a caution or “red flag” in their spirit, they can warn the lady that she is about to be ensnared.
Here is a lesson to learn: When dating, find someone to be accountable to. Psychological hijacking may not just give a broken heart; it may end a life prematurely as well.
Mentoring and accountability may save your life!