Emotionally abusive relationship damages your confidence and self-esteem.
Although quite different from physical abuse, emotional one can be more elusive and insidious. In many cases both, the victim and abuser are unaware that it’s happening.
Although the first thing that will come to your mind when thinking of emotional abuse will probably be an abused woman by her male partner, you should know that both, men and women abuse each other equally according to many studies. What’s more, any relationship can involve emotional abuse – between friends, parent and a child, and relatives.
What is exactly emotional abuse? It includes regular threatening, verbal offense, constant criticism, bullying, shaming, intimidation, and manipulation. The abuser controls and dominates the victim. In many cases, the reasons for emotional abuse are the insecurities and childhood wounds of the abuser, or maybe because s/he has been also abused. These people haven’t learned coping mechanisms how to have healthy and positive relationships. On the contrary, they feel fearful, angry, hurt, and powerless.
30 Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship You Can’t Ignore
Female and male abusers usually have high rates of personality disorder like narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. Emotional abuse might not progress into physical abuse, but on the other hand physical abuse is nearly always accompanied and preceded by emotional abuse.
Most victims of emotional abuse have developed coping mechanisms of minimizing and denial to deal with the stress, so they often don’t regard this mistreatment as abusive. However, long-term emotional abuse can lead to serious emotional trauma, like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
30 Signs of Emotional Abuse
1. Abusers put you down, humiliate you, or make fun of you in front of other people.
2. Your ideas, opinions, needs, or suggestions are regularly disregarded or demeaned by them.
3. They use “teasing” or sarcasm to make you feel bad about yourself.
4. Abusers usually deflect their abusive remarks by accusing you of being overly sensitive.
5. Abusers try to treat you and control you as a child.
6. They often reprimand you for your behavior.
7. You often feel like you need permission to go out somewhere or make decisions.
8. Abusers try to control your finances.
9. They trivialize and belittle you, your hopes and dreams, and your accomplishments.
10. Abusers try to make you feel as you are always wrong, and they are right.
11. They give you contemptuous or disapproving looks or body language.
12. Abusers always point out your mistakes, flaws, or shortcomings.
13. Abusers blame or accuse you of things and situations you know aren’t true.
14. They can’t tolerate when others laugh at them, and they are incapable of laughing at themselves.
15. They can’t tolerate any seeming lack of respect.
16. Abusers hardy apologize, and they try to blame others or make excuses for their behavior.
17. They constantly ignore your needs and cross your boundaries.
18. Abusers blame you for their unhappiness, life difficulties, or general problems .
19. They give you unpleasant labels, call you names, or make cutting remarks with very quiet voice.
20. Abusers are mostly distant or emotionally unavailable.
21. They often try to get attention or something they want by pouting or withdrawing
22. Abusers don’t show you compassion or empathy.
23. They avoid taking personal responsibility, but play victim and try to put the blame on you.
24. Abusers use abandonment or neglect to frighten or punish you.
25. They seem to not care or even notice your feelings.
26. They don’t see you as an individual, but as an extension of themselves.
27. Abusers often use intercourse to control and manipulate you.
28. They often tell personal information about you to others.
29. When confronted, abusers deny their emotionally abusive behavior.
30. They make negative remarks or subtle threats to frighten or control you.
Recognizing these signs of emotional abuse is the first step towards regaining power over your own life, end the emotional abuse, and start to heal. If you have been denying, minimizing, or hiding the abuse, this step can be frightening and painful.
The stress from a long-term emotional abuse will throw back at you in the form of emotional trauma, illness, anxiety, or depression. So you mustn’t let it to continue, even if this means you need to put an end of your relationship. You can visit a licensed counselor for abusive relationships to help you eliminate the fears and pain of ending your relationship, and to regain your self-esteem.
Is it possible for an emotional abuser to change? If the abuser recognizes his/her abusive behavior and the caused damaged, and if s/he really want to change, it is possible. Nevertheless, not many of them like to lose the power they feel when emotionally abusing their victim, so the percentage of abusers who like to change is very low.