If you’re feeling trapped by someone, consider these 9 escape strategies

There’s a vast difference between feeling supported by someone and feeling trapped by them.

When you’re feeling trapped, it’s like you’re being held hostage to their demands or expectations, with no room for your own needs or desires.

Escaping this situation isn’t about running away. It’s about finding strategies to regain your own sense of freedom and autonomy, while still respecting the other person’s feelings and boundaries.

In this article, I’m going to share with you nine strategies that can help you get out of feeling trapped by someone. These strategies aren’t about manipulation, but rather about finding a healthy balance in your relationships. Let’s dive in.

1) Identify the source

Identifying the source of your feelings is the first step in any escape plan.

Feeling trapped often stems from a specific person or situation. But sometimes, it’s not as straightforward as it appears on the surface. It could be a combination of multiple factors or even a result of your own subconscious fears or insecurities.

One way to start identifying the source is to take some time for self-reflection. Consider what triggers your feeling of being trapped. Is it a certain person’s actions or words? Or could it be certain situations or environments that make you feel this way?

Understanding the source of your feelings is crucial in crafting an effective escape strategy. Only then can you work on solutions that address the root cause, rather than just alleviating the symptoms.

Remember, this isn’t about blaming others or yourself. It’s about understanding your feelings and reactions better, to ultimately regain control over your life.

2) Establish boundaries

There was a time in my life when I felt incredibly trapped. It was a relationship where I felt like I couldn’t express my needs or desires without facing backlash. It took me a while to realize that the core issue was a lack of personal boundaries.

Boundaries are crucial in any relationship, be it romantic, friendship, or professional. They are the lines we draw to protect our wellbeing and happiness.

In my case, I started by identifying what exactly made me feel trapped. It turned out that constant demands on my time and energy were wearing me down. So, I decided to set some boundaries.

I had a frank discussion with this person about how I was feeling and what changes I needed. I made it clear when I was available and when I needed time for myself.

Establishing boundaries wasn’t easy, and it didn’t happen overnight. There were setbacks and resistance. But gradually, things improved.

Remember, it’s your right to set boundaries that protect your mental and emotional health. And anyone who truly respects you will understand and honor them.

3) Practice clear communication

Clear communication is the foundation of any successful relationship. It’s also a powerful tool to free yourself from feeling trapped.

The key to clear communication is expressing your thoughts, feelings, and needs honestly and directly. It’s about saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that clear, direct communication is associated with better mental health, improved relationships, and greater personal satisfaction.

The next time you feel trapped, try communicating your feelings openly to the person involved. Let them know why you’re feeling this way and what changes could alleviate your distress.

Be assertive but respectful, and remember that your feelings are valid and deserve to be heard.

4) Seek external perspectives

When you’re feeling trapped, it can be easy to become so focused on your situation that you lose sight of the bigger picture.

That’s why seeking external perspectives can be so helpful. Talking to a trusted friend, family member, or professional counselor can provide new insights and help you see things from a different angle.

They might be able to offer advice, share their own experiences, or just provide a listening ear when you need it most. And sometimes, just voicing your thoughts and feelings aloud to someone else can make them seem more manageable.

So don’t hesitate to reach out and seek advice from others. You don’t have to navigate your feelings of entrapment alone.

5) Develop a self-care routine

When you’re feeling trapped, it’s easy to neglect your own needs and wellbeing. That’s why developing a self-care routine is so important.

Self-care isn’t just about pampering yourself, although that can certainly be part of it. It’s about making sure you’re taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health.

This could include things like regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep, and time for relaxation and hobbies. It could also mean seeking professional help like therapy or counseling.

By taking care of yourself, you can boost your resilience and emotional strength, making it easier to handle feelings of entrapment and work towards solutions.

Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish – it’s necessary.

6) Remember your worth

When you’re feeling trapped by someone, it’s easy to start doubting your own worth. But remember, you are important. Your feelings matter. Your desires and dreams matter. You have the right to live a life that feels fulfilling and free.

It can be tough to hold onto this truth, especially if the person you’re feeling trapped by is someone you care about deeply. But just because someone doesn’t recognize your worth, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

You are deserving of respect, of love, of freedom. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Hold on to your self-worth. It’s a light in the darkness, a beacon that will guide you towards the path of liberation. You are more powerful than you know, and you have what it takes to escape this feeling of entrapment.

7) Learn to say no

I’m a natural people pleaser. I used to find it incredibly difficult to say no, even when saying yes was detrimental to my own wellbeing. This habit was one of the major reasons I often found myself feeling trapped.

Saying no is an art. It’s about respecting your own boundaries and needs. It’s about understanding that you can’t be everything to everyone, and that’s okay.

Learning to say no was a game-changer for me. It wasn’t easy at first. I faced backlash and guilt-trips, but with time, I became more comfortable with asserting my needs.

Saying no doesn’t make you selfish or unkind. It makes you human with limitations. And it’s one of the most powerful tools you have to prevent feeling trapped by others.

8) Cultivate a support network

No man is an island. We all need a supportive community to lean on, especially when we’re going through tough times.

If you’re feeling trapped by someone, reach out to your support network. These could be friends, family members, coworkers, or even support groups online or in your local community.

These are the people who understand you, who care about you, and who can provide emotional support and practical advice.

Cultivating a strong support network is not just about having people to turn to in times of crisis. It’s also about having a sense of belonging and a community that uplifts you.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to face your feelings of entrapment alone.

9) Know when to walk away

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the only way to stop feeling trapped is to remove ourselves from the source.

Walking away doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It means you’re strong enough to make a tough decision for your own happiness and wellbeing.

Remember, your peace and mental health are paramount. It’s okay to choose them over a situation or relationship that makes you feel trapped.

Walking away can be painful and challenging, but it can also lead to freedom, growth, and new beginnings. Trust yourself and know that you have the strength to make the right choices for your life.

Final thoughts: Freedom is a state of mind

The journey from feeling trapped to experiencing freedom is not linear, and it’s different for everyone. It’s a process of self-discovery, boundary setting, self-care, and often, difficult decisions.

The American psychologist and philosopher William James once said, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” This holds true when it comes to feelings of entrapment.

Remember, you hold the power to shape your thoughts, emotions, and ultimately your life. It might not always feel that way, but with the right strategies and support, you can break free from your mental shackles.

Whether it’s setting boundaries, seeking help, or making the tough decision to walk away, remember that your ultimate goal is your happiness and peace of mind. You deserve to live a life free from the feeling of being trapped.

Allow yourself the freedom to make choices that serve your wellbeing. As you navigate this journey, may every step lead you closer to the life you envision for yourself.

Picture of Graeme


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