People who unfortunately had to face abuse in their lives are not always covered in visible bruises. Many of these victims are never even touched at all by their abusers. However, the offense is just as destructive. Emotional abuse damages the victim on a psychological level. These people become confused, and they lose the sense of their own value. A troubled state of living like this can last for years, since abuse is easier to deny and justify when there is no physical component involved.
Rediscovering their own identity, overcoming their trauma, and regaining control of their life can take great effort and time. The first step in this difficult, yet necessary journey is acknowledging that there is a problem.
Here are four types of behavior that manifest an emotional abuse:
Gaslighting is a cunning and manipulative psychological strategy in which one partner causes the other to question his or her own perception of reality. A gaslighter will dismiss its victim’s emotions as paranoia and over-sensitivity. They challenge their memories of past events. They deny, avoid, and minimize their own problems. They do this all with an unwavering air of confidence and compassion. Not realizing, soon the victim of gaslighting begins to doubt their very sanity. Once the gaslighter has completely wrecked the victim’s own perception of reality, they are free to impose their own in its place.
Stay away from these people!
2.Pushing Your Boundaries
Now, this is a tricky one. When your boyfriend shows up at your work with a bunch of flowers, it feels nice and romantic. Next, your SO starts dropping by unannounced for other reasons as well. Pretty soon, you see the guy popping into your life unexpectedly several times a week. You begin to feel tensed, irritated, and perhaps a little violated. Why does he feel the need to check in on you all the time? The question is quite normal to arise and once you bring it up with him, he acts hurt. He guilt trips you. He may even accuse you of being unfaithful. Know that a partner who shows no respect for your boundaries does not respect you as an individual either. Such a person is only trying to push you into a state of co-dependence. Never let this happen. Protect your boundaries that exist to protect you.
Those grades are great, for a person who is not quite an academic. So, you had to stay late at work again?
Ha-ha, you are aware that you barely a living there, right?
Well, congratulations on your weight loss. Just keep it up and you’ll end up being as pretty as your sister!
Insults like these may be disguised as humor, constructive criticism, or even compliments on a surface level. However, they are actually constructed to break you down. An abuser may even try justifying these backhanded “compliments”. They may make you feel as though being upset about them is your own fault. You’re the one who is too sensitive. You can’t even take a joke.
Getting straight to the point: a partner who makes you feel bad about yourself is abusive – end of story!You should find one who empowers you instead. You well deserve one.
People are at most vulnerable when they are alone. And a vile abuser is well aware of this. Those abusers will try to separate their victim from the people who support that person. When you disconnect from your family and friends, you become more dependent and clingy on your partner. This gives them the perfect opportunity to twist your perception of reality, shake your self-esteem, and mold you into the docile nobody they need you to be. DO NOT allow this to happen! Stay close to all the people who truly care for you. Pay attention to their concerns and remarks about your partner. Trust them when they tell you they truly love you. These people want to see you happy and content at all times.
“The scars from mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as wounds from punches or slaps but are often not as obvious. In fact, even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man’s emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm,” explained author Lundy Bancroft in his 2002 book Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.
Do not minimize or tolerate any abusive behavior just because it lacks physical manifestation. If you are involved in an abusive relationship, or if you know someone who is, be sure to look for help today.