What Is Psychological Abuse?

Countless individuals all over the world are now suffering from psychological abuse. What is psychological abuse anyway?

Psychological abuse is defined as a systematic use of hateful manipulation by means of non-physical acts against a child, an adult, or even a partner.

Also referred to as emotional abuse, these abusive actions may include threatening one’s psychological or even physical health and their loved ones, acting to isolate or undermine their victim, and controlling the victim’s freedom.

Psychological abuse may take place before sexual, physical, or other types of abuse. However, these can all happen at the same time, and even if this happens by itself, there will be a long-term damage to the mental health of the victim.

Broken bones and frequent bruising are common signs of physical abuse, but when it comes to emotional abuse, this leaves no physical and visible marks, but the emotional damages can be too devastating.

Emotional abuse is now more common in marriage, dating, and relationships. These can also occur in relationships between family, friends, and co-workers.

Some are left stuck or trapped in a manipulative and emotionally abusive relationship, but many still manage to have the courage to get out of the trap.

Signs You Are in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Psychological or emotional abuse in relationships is sometimes difficult to detect.

If you feel that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, you better stop and take time to think and assess your relationship with your loved one, your partner or your friend and know how they make you feel.

Keep in mind that no one deserves to be abused, whether physically or emotionally. You also deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.

The following are signs that you might be in an emotionally abusive relationship:

Displays Unrealistic Expectations

An emotionally abusive individual possesses unrealistic expectations. These might include:

  • Expecting you to give up everything just to meet their needs.
  • Criticizing you if you can’t complete the tasks according to their expectations or standards.
  • Making unreasonable demands.
  • Demanding you to name exact times and dates when talking about things and events that upset you.

Invalidates You

An emotionally abusive person invalidates you and does the following unpleasant acts:

  • Dismissing, distorting or undermining your reality or your perceptions.
  • Accusing you of being crazy, too emotional or too sensitive.
  • Trying to define how you feel and refuse to accept your own feelings.
  • Refusing to accept or acknowledging your ideas and opinions.
  • Accusing you of being materialistic, needy and selfish when you express your needs and wants expecting that you should not have any of these.

Uses Emotional Blackmail

A psychological or emotionally abusive person makes use of emotional blackmail, such as:

  • Humiliate you in public and in private.
  • Manipulate and control you by making you feel bad and guilty.
  • Use your values, compassion and your fears in controlling you or the situation.
  • Deny that event took place and lie about it.
  • Punish you by means of withholding affection  or giving you the cold and silent treatment.

Acts Superior

Emotionally abusive individual acts are so entitled and superior. Some manifestations are:

  • Blaming you always for your shortcomings and mistakes.
  • Telling you that you have illogical, stupid and irrelevant thoughts, values and ideas.
  • Doubting all the things that you do or say.
  • Treating you like you’re inferior.
  • Making jokes at your expense.

Creates Chaos

A person is said to be emotionally abusive if:

  • He is very argumentative and always starts arguing just for the sake of arguing.
  • He behaves unpredictably and erratically to the extent that you seem like you’re walking on eggshells.
  • He makes contradictory and confusing statements.
  • He often displays sudden mood changes and emotional outbursts.

Controls and Isolates You

If you are isolated and controlled, then you are with a psychologically abusive person. He also does the following negative acts to hurt you and make you suffer, such as:

  • Criticizes or makes fun of you or your friends and loved ones.
  • Accuses you of being jealous or cheating in the relationship.
  • Controls who you spend time with or who you see.
  • Treats you like a property or possession
  • Monitor you digitally including social media, emails and text messages.

Different Types of Psychological or Emotional Abuse

Psychological or emotional abuse comes in different forms, such as:

  • Criticism
  • Constantly opposing and arguing
  • Possessiveness
  • Refusing to participate and work on the relationship
  • Blaming or shaming
  • Gaslighting
  • Silent and cold treatment
  • Verbal abuse and name-calling
  • Withholding attention and affection

Helpful Ways to Deal with Psychological or Emotional Abuse

The very first thing to do to deal with emotional abuse is to recognize the abuse. The moment you acknowledge the emotional abuse successfully, identify the aspect of such abuse, it is highly imperative to acknowledge the problems once and for all.

You need to be honest with your experiences so you can start to take control of your life once again. The following are helpful ways and strategies to reclaim your life:

  • Practice Self-Love. In terms of physical and mental health, you need to practice self-care and make yourself a priority. Don’t consume all your time and effort pleasing the one that abuses you emotionally. You need to take care of yourself and your needs. Take actions and do things that can help you think positively. Self-care and self-love is a way to deal with emotional abuse effectively.
  • Set Boundaries. Be firm in telling an abusive individual that they can no longer shout at you, be rude to you and insult you. You need to set boundaries but never communicate boundaries that you don’t intend to keep. Tell the abusive person that if he crosses the boundary, the conversation is over.
  • Avoid Blaming Yourself. Having been in an emotionally abusive relationship for quite some time now doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. You’re not the problem either, so stop blaming yourself and focus on healing and moving on.

If you are emotionally abused, realize that you cannot fix them at once despite your efforts. But you can always choose to get out of the trap and live happily and peacefully because you deserve it.

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