Being robbed is a very invasive and insecure feeling. Besides the invasion of privacy that happened during the incident, you also feel uneasy as to why you were targeted. Was it by chance, was it on purpose because of the material things you have or was it because it was you and someone was out to try and hurt you? These are all good questions, especially when the thief is someone you know.
If a friend, relative or child is taking from you the betrayal you feel is probably very strong, however, you will need to dive into the matter seriously to dissect the reason behind the action. There could be underlying issues as to why someone you are close to is actually stealing from you. It could be resentment, jealousy, a cry for help or maybe they are simply a kleptomaniac.
No matter what the reasoning is behind their thieving ways, you should first confront the person. Now this does not mean to go and accuse them of being a terrible person, ask them if they have seen your missing item or if they accidently took the item – give them a chance to come clean or leave an out if it truly was an accident. Either way, this gentle approach allows them to know that you are on to them and will have a better idea to be on the lookout for further instances.
Peel Back the Layers
Depending on their response, you may want to sit back and be more conscious of what happens when they are near your personal belongings. If they do own up to the fact that they did take your item, it is time to dive into their reasoning. Ask, “Why?” Ask, “Why did you steal from me?” It is possible that they will be unable to explain themselves, but if they are admitting to it, they are probably ready to talk about it. The demons they are dealing with inside are getting to them. Are they jealous of your lifestyle, the things you have? Try and help build them up for who they are, material things should not be the level in which someone is measured by, so make sure you do your part in making this friend or relative feel special. If it is a child, do they resent you, feel you are not giving them enough to satisfy their needs? Maybe try giving your child odd jobs to earn money so they can buy the things they want rather than steal from you. However, do not go too easy on them because they still certainly crossed a line.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
It is okay to want to help someone become a better person, but do not be naive about the situation. Just because they say they will not do it again, it does not mean you should make it easy for them. Keep your guard up with special belongings and keep your eyes peeled when they are around you and your things. Set out expectations on what you expect from the relationship and even more importantly, what you do not expect from them, stealing. If you catch them again in the act, it may be time to sever the relationship or get more professional help if it is a relationship that you cannot easily walk away from. Either way, the person needs to understand you are serious and you will not stand by and allow yourself to be a victim.
Susan Wright is an experienced veterinarian, an electronic dog fence expert, a home owner and a freelance writer. Dr. Wright often shares tips on home security.