Abuse of any kind, coming from anyone should be intolerable. As opposed to physical abuse; the consequences of which are visible to everyone, emotional abuse tends to go unnoticed. There is an equally good chance of you being either on the receiving or the delivering end when it comes to emotional abuse. To make matters worse, you might be oblivious to the situation. It has a detrimental influence on your personality; as it eats away at your self-respect and poise bit by bit. It is one thing to be unaware of the issue, but many people knowingly allow themselves to be tortured emotionally in the name of love. Don’t let yourself be manipulated. We need to understand that love does require great sacrifice, but it should never be in the form of your self-worth.
Never say mean words out of anger. Your anger will pass. But your mean words can scar a person for life. So use kind words or be silent.
Here are a few warning signs that you need to acknowledge as emotional abuse;
1. Public Shaming
Not that it’s acceptable to degrade someone in private; but it’s even worse to do it publicly; especially if it’s coming from your partner. Its one thing to point out your mistakes or short comings but to insult you for them is entirely wrong and disrespectful. The damage it does to your personality intensifies with an increase in audience. The outcomes may include low self-esteem, distancing yourself from people, depression and a lot more.
2. The constant disapproval
Nothing you ever do is good enough for them; even when it does not involve them. They will find flaws in everything and make them up where they find none. This unhealthy habit of your partner makes you question everything you do, even when you’re doing it right. Even if you try doing things differently, they’d still find faults in your ways. It is impossible to please such a person, and in the pursuit of their approval, one often loses their sense of self-worth.
3. Insults disguised as jokes
Even though it is important to be able to laugh at yourself and take a joke as it is; you need to draw the line somewhere. It’s wrong to allow anyone; be it your partner, to degrade you using humour. Without them even realizing, the cruelty of their jokes has a negative effect on your personality.
4. Relentless control
A control freak would try to control everything and won’t stop at anything. Even if something does not pertain to them, they’d still try to control it. Being in control gives them a certain sense of domination, which they would impose on you as well, thereby even trying to control the things that you do. Putting up with such a person can be suffocating. They rob you of your freedom to do stuff your way and personal growth is impeded as well.
5. Demoralizing attitude
No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. We need to go easy on ourselves and on others instead of constantly judging and embarrassing each other. The beauty of a relationship is in the fact that despite all your flaws, your partner chooses to see the best in you. Additionally, they help you overcome your flaws. If your partner keeps nitpicking with no intention of helping you find a way to better yourself, it serves as a major blow to your self-esteem. Constant criticism never helps anyone.
A partner that fails to acknowledge your sentiments fails to provide emotional satiety. Their disinterest leads you to believe that your feelings don’t really matter and maybe they are right in ignoring them. However, this indifference is not only damaging to the relationship but to you as well; since it makes you feel unimportant.
They act in a manner that comes off as threatening and you don’t feel safe around them. This again is a means of proving dominance over you. They fail to realize that a healthy relationship is free of such a need of superiority and you both are equals. Insecurities lead to the development of fear, hence they tend to be the most important among the warning signs. When you start fearing your partner, you fail to act according to your will and lose a sense of self.
There shouldn’t even be such a thing as retribution in a relationship. There is no room for it. Just because you do something wrong doesn’t mean you ought to be subjected to punishment. If your partner chooses to punish you by cutting you off or doing things to make you feel guilty, then it’s not fair to you. Imposing guilt on someone causes them to question their morality, even though mistakes are inevitable.
9. Lack of support
As a couple, you two need to push each other to achieve great heights. No matter how unrealistic or crazy the dream be, never question it, just be supportive. If they fail to show support, and instead ridicule whatever it is that you may be striving for, it kind of effects your struggle as well. Because when the person that means the most to you demeans your struggle, you can’t help but fall prey to doubts as well.
10. Disrespecting the privacy of your relationship
What happens between two people should remain between them, rather than becoming public knowledge. This is something that is implied and does not even need to be said. When your partner fails to keep matters private, especially without your consent, it creates a feeling of ill will between you two. Furthermore, you feel exposed, embarrassed and the fact that they fail to acknowledge your opinion again lowers your confidence.
11. Questioning your judgment
A person who fails to acknowledge that you are more than capable of making your own decisions doesn’t have much regard for you either. They don’t respect you as they should. Since they think you cannot judge what is in your best interest, they try to undermine you by telling you what to do. This sort of a relationship inculcates doubt in a person regarding their own abilities.
12. Unjustified blaming
Anything that goes wrong will always be your fault. It could be pertaining to the relationship, work or any number of things, even if you have no part to play in it, you will be blamed. It becomes a very demanding task to keep justifying yourself all the time.
They tend to be very touchy when the subject under discussion pertains to them. They fail to laugh at themselves and are very easily offended. One has to be very careful with their words around them, as you never know what could upset them. This always keeps you in a very difficult position having to weigh each and everything before saying it.
14. Lack of space
Just because you’re in a relationship does not mean you constantly have to be together or never do anything on your own. Some people don’t understand that everyone needs their space and it is acceptable to have a life outside the relationship as well. In fact, it helps keep things in balance. If your partner is the needy type, they will always have issues with you doing things without them or with other people. They try to keep you to themselves alone which can be very suffocating.
15. Imposition of inferiority
They never let go of a chance to belittle you and constantly remind you that they’re doing you a favour by choosing to be in a relationship with you even though you’re not worthy of them. This sort of behaviour inculcates a feeling of inferiority in you.
16. They are bent on always being right
If your partner never accepts any of their mistakes, and always place you in the wrong, you might have some serious thinking to do. They always have to be right, while you’re always wrong even when you’re right. This creates feelings of disregard for them.
They are always threatening you to do things the way they want you to do them. Sometimes, their threats are cloaked while other times they’re not so subtle and you’re always subdued.
18. Financial restraints
In their need to control you, they can go as far as managing the finances so that they know exactly what you’re doing. Since they control the finance, your hands are tied and you have to submit to their control.
You can never have a moment of peace, no matter what you do or where you go. They are always keeping tabs on you, trying to keep in check who you meet and what you do. This is not only annoying but also shows that they don’t trust you which is why they’re constantly checking up on you.
20. False accusations
Dealing with people who have trust issues can be very difficult. They’re always putting you on the line to prove yourself to them and despite that, they’re always accusing you of something or the other, even when you haven’t done anything.
These are among the many signs that exist, it is difficult to point them all out. But it is to be noted that whenever you feel that your partner is exhibiting any of these signs, you need to seek help. Emotionally abusive people generally have a need to prove their dominance over you, by making you feel inferior, making you bend over backwards proving your feelings to them and what not. Even when they are in the wrong they will find a way to turn it around on you. They will always blame you for anything that goes wrong.
We choose to ignore such signs since we are so attached to that person, and the relationship means so much to us that we can’t risk losing it. But it is important to look out for yourself and do the right thing no matter how difficult it is for you.
People outside the relationship can be a great asset in determining any emotionally abusive tendencies. They should point them out and urge the respective people to seek proper help before the abuse no longer remains just emotional.