Signs of emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is not always obvious, which can make it difficult to identify. Even in cases where psychological abuse is more visible, emotionally abusive people go to great lengths to manipulate victims and make the effects of their abuse appear less. They often go so far as to deny that any abuse ever occurred.
Emotional abuse begins slowly and occurs over time. Signs and symptoms are difficult to recognize when behavior and words are normalized or reduced. For this reason, it may take time for someone to realize that emotional abuse has occurred. Take the time to figure out what to do to navigate safely away from the situation. Seek help from professionals, friends, and family.”
When examining the relationship, it may be helpful to focus on how the behaviors make you feel. Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, and you should never tolerate any form of abuse be it emotional abuse, narcissistic abuse, verbal abuse or otherwise. Some examples of emotional abuse include:
Abusers often use accusations to manipulate victims into behaving a certain way. Being accused of bad behavior can put you on the defensive, even if you did nothing wrong. For example, the abuser could accuse you of cheating, suggest that you neglect responsibilities, or say that you would act differently if you cared about them.
Emotional abuse often includes implicit or overt threats. These threats can create an environment of fear and be used to manipulate you into behaving in a certain way. The abuser can make threats of violence towards you or your loved one. They may use threats in other ways as well, such as threatening to fire you or saying they’ll report it to the authorities (even if you didn’t do anything wrong).
Shame / Humiliation
The abuser often attempts to insult or humiliate the victims in public and private. This can include lecturing about shortcomings, public outbursts, or even spreading outright lies. For example, the abuser may falsely claim that other people have said your behavior was embarrassing.
sarcasm and sarcasm
Insults and insults are common tactics of emotional abuse. Abusive people can make obscene comments or use offensive nicknames. When this behavior is encountered, the abuser will often insist that it was sarcastic or just joking. They may even underestimate you for being too sensitive and being offended.
While some forms of criticism can be part of a healthy relationship, emotional abusers use it to hurt their victims and devalue them. You may be subjected to constant criticism or harsh criticism. While constructive criticism can help you improve, offensive criticism can make you feel worthless.
Emotional abusers may try to make their victims feel unimportant or insignificant. It is common for them to dismiss achievements or take credit for successes. They may also insult your hobbies or interests, or use condescending language to belittle you.
control / manipulation
It is very normal for the abuser to try to control their victims. Dominant behavior can include digital spying (especially on social media) and constant surveillance and important decision making can give abusers more power in the relationship. These methods often isolate you, making it difficult to get out of an abusive relationship.