Dealing With Emotional Abuse
Dealing with emotional abuse can be mentally and physically exhausting. Emotional abuse is a form of intimidation and manipulation. An abuser will subtly gain control over you by using embarrassment, blame, and criticism. This type of abuse just doesn’t occur in relationships and marriages, it can happen between family and friends as well. Men and women can be victims of emotional abuse. Knowing the signs of emotional abuse can help stop and prevent it.
15 Signs of Emotional Abuse
- Constant Feeling of Walking on Eggshells- The abuser will make you feel timid and afraid to upset them.
- Nitpicking- You can’t do anything right in the eyes of your abuser.
- Humiliation- They will make you the punch line of a joke in private or public even though it makes you uncomfortable. They will also blatantly disrespect you.
- Accusations- Accuses you of lying, cheating, and not caring about them.
- Dismissiveness- You tell them that something is bothering you and they tell you that it is no big deal.
- Stop You From Being Around Family and Friends- An abuser will keep you from family and friends because this will disrupt your support system.
- Forcing You to Spend All Your Time With Them- The abuser will make you believe that you do not need anyone else and that they are all you need.
- Sarcasm- An abuser will use sarcasm to belittle your emotions and concerns.
- Gaslighting- Denying that an event took place in order to make you doubt yourself.
- Criticism- The abuser will talk down to you, your family, or your friends.
- Dehumanizing- They treat you like a possession.
- Violation of Privacy- Constantly checking your phone, social media, etc.
- Controlling- Preventing you from leaving the house by taking your keys and wallet.
- Withholding Trust and Affection- Does not believe anything you say and will not show affection as a form of punishment.
- Guilt- Making you feel guilty for bettering yourself or for wanting to leave them.
Tips on Dealing with an Emotional Abuser
Now that you know what emotional abuse is and how to identify it, here are some ways to make you mentally strong and get away from your abuser.
- Put You First- Your mental and physical health is important during this time. It is impossible to please an abuser so do not try.
- Build a Sound Foundation- Tell your family and friends about the abuse. Let them know that you want to leave your abuser and need assistance.
- You Are Not the Problem- Don’t blame yourself for the way an abuser treats you. It is one hundred percent their fault. Remember, no one deserves to be abused.
- Avoidance- Avoid your abuser at all costs. If you live with them, keep the interactions to a minimum.
- Set and Keep Your Boundaries- Let the abuser know that you will not tolerate them when they are being abusive. Let them know that name-calling, accusations, controlling behavior, and all other forms of abuse will not be tolerated.
- Do Not Conform to Your Abuser Needs- Do not change yourself to accommodate your abuser. There is absolutely nothing you can do to please them.
- No Arguing- Don’t argue with an abuser because things can turn violently quickly. Stick to your boundaries and have little to no interactions with them.
- Don’t Try to Understand– There is no logical reason for an abuser’s behavior. They may tell you that you deserve the abuse. This is very far from the truth. No one deserves any form of abuse.
If you need assistance with abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline.