Emotional abuse, unlike physical abuse, can be difficult to notice. Even the ones who are on the receiving end might not be aware of it. There is also a good chance the person doing it might be unknown of the results of his actions. While emotional abuse is elusive, it can be more harmful than physical abuse. Physical abuse is limited and the wounds are external, which can be healed in time. However, emotional abuse can cripple the thought process and make us lose our confidence. The effect of emotional abuse can stay with us for a long time, which will continue to haunt us and might require psychotherapy to recover from it.
Emotional abuse can happen between friends, romantic partners, and every other form of relationship. The abuser acts or speaks in such a manner, which causes the emotional scar. This is mostly due to the abusers themselves still suffering from the childhood traumas and issues.
Here are few signs to know when you are abusing or being abused:
1. Humiliation and Judgment
If you do not feel emotionally content in front of someone and suspect that the person is abusive towards you, you are probably right. Look for the obvious signs. If you are constantly humiliated and criticized by someone, no matter how close they are to you, in front of others, then you are being abused. Well, there is a thin line for friendly mockery and downright abusing. These kinds of people will easily deny your complaints and instead accuse you of being too weak to handle a joke or sarcasm. These kinds of people will always ignore your feelings, thoughts or suggestions, even if the topic of discussion falls under your niche.
2. Domination and Guilt Trip
Abusers are usually dominating. They like to be in charge and generally try and take control of matters, regardless of their capabilities. If you feel like you are being constantly treated like a child in terms of behavior and always feel inferior to someone that is a sign of being emotionally abused. These signs are mostly seen in romantic relationships. If you always feel dominant towards your partner and you have to take permissions for every little thing in your life, you are obviously being abused. These people might not even say anything, but their contemptuous looks and behavior at your slightest of mistakes will make you feel enormous guilt.
These people are often, what I like to call, blamers. They blame you for everything. They have no conscience on accepting their mistakes and blunders. Also, you will never hear them apologize, no matter how big of an issue is. They will always find a way to turn it around on you. Somehow it will always be you not being able to meet their demands and expectations. In addition to that, they will not be able to handle and tolerate any insults, even if just sarcastic, thrown at them. On the contrary, they will have no problem continuously violating your personal boundaries.
4. Abandonment and Neglect
Emotional abusers, much like physical abusers, are always so keen on punishing you. But, unlike their violent counterparts, they choose the emotional route. They often choose to neglect or withdraw affection as punishment. Maybe they have still not recovered from their “abandonment issues” of the past, but they will never admit to their faulty actions and find ways to abandon you. They want you to crawl back them and seldom notice or care about your feelings towards them. Most of the time they will pretend to be uninterested, leaving you even more confused and tortured.
Emotional abusers will treat you like a child. They will try to be involved in every aspect of your life, like telling you where to go, what to do, when to sleep and so on. They will continuously interfere in your personal matters deny your requests. They might think that they are doing what’s best for you. But, this illusion will leave you the victim. They might be unaware about these actions. Especially in romantic relationships, one of the two turns out to be way too possessive and will want your world to revolve around them.