One can define emotional abuse as “any behavior that affects the psychology of an individual by overpowering him/ her”. In other words, emotional abuse can systematically wear away the victim’s self-confidence, sense of self-trust, trust in their own perceptions, and self-concept. Though this can occur to anybody, the most common victims of emotional abuse are children and women. There are different types of emotional abuse that include neglecting/ rejecting, isolating, abusive expectations, ignoring, denying, exploiting, aggression, invalidation and unpredictable behaviors. At times, this form of abuse can be accompanied by physical or sexual abuse as well. Read through the following lines to know about the signs and symptoms of emotional abuse.
Warning Symptoms Of Emotional Abuse
An abuser is known to constantly criticize his/her partner and make unreasonable demands. Such a person demands constant attention from your side and expects you to spend all your free time with him/ her. No matter how much you give, in terms of love, care and understanding, it is never enough for an abuser.
An abuser will address you by various names and is always at the verge of accusing, blaming, threatening and giving orders. One can find such a person with a judgmental attitude of “I know best”.
Deliberately starting an argument for no reason is another symptom of emotional abuse. Such a person will be in a constant conflict either with you or with others. He/she might treat you well in front of others, but will change back to a different person when both of you are alone, and vice versa.
An emotional abuser gets into a habit of denying your perception, memory, sanity, and personal needs, especially when the need is greatest. He/she does this with the intention of hurting, punishing or humiliating you. Such a person refuses to listen or communicate and rejects the occurrence of certain events or conversations. Eventually, you tend to lose confidence in yourself and are forced to question your most powerful survival tool: your own mind.
An emotional abuser manipulates the relationship in such a way that only his/ her feelings and opinions count. Such a person demands his own way and goes to the extent of hurting you in order to achieve it. He/ she has less interest in your personal standards or beliefs, and can force you or persuade you to do things against your own will.
In order to get what he/she wants, an abuser will emotionally blackmail you by playing with your fear, guilt, compassion and/ or religious values. In order to control you, he/ she can even go to the extent of threatening to end your relationship and give you the “cold shoulder”.
If you complain about yourself being hurt by something he/ she did or said, an emotional abuser will invalidate your statement by saying “you are too sensitive” or “that shouldn’t hurt you”. He/ she can also turn the situation around; by saying, “you also hurt me sometimes. I just don’t say anything because I understand”. Such a person ignores or fails to accept the reality, just to create his/ her own false reality.
A person who abuses others emotionally is constantly in search of flaws with you and makes fun of you in front of others, or in private. Such a person will call you by different abusive names and berate, belittle, criticize and/ or threaten you frequently.