The Importance of Identifying Emotional Abuse

Abuse can happen to each and every one of us in various forms. It can be physical, economical, and psychological. But when it is psychological, identifying it become a serious challenge.

Our interactions are very diverse and dynamic. They involve a lot of different people, with different personalities, levels of awareness, intellect, impulse etc. After all, we are all unique individuals, with distinct backgrounds and heavy burdens which we carry sometimes for our whole lives. But there’s something we all can and should give to one-another, and that is respect. No matter what situation, no matter our temper, no one is allowed to manipulate you, control you and exercise any sort of authority over you.

I am talking about these three elements, as these are usually the main ones that are involved whenever we talk about emotional abuse. The significance of identifying early signs of a person that is abusing us, emotionally, is immense. Sadly, these people can be found among our dating lives, married relationships, friends, family members, and co-workers. As underestimated as you may consider it, this sort of abuse can actually change the structure of our personality too, and it can lead to anxiety, stress, fear, and PTSD. 


VeryWell explains emotional abuse as ‘a way to control another person by using emotions to criticize, embarrass, shame, blame, or otherwise manipulate another person’. They further add that a relationship is emotionally abusive when there is a consistent pattern of abusive words and bullying behaviors that wear down a person’s self-esteem and undermine their mental health.

Here are a few signs that can signal us that there is emotional abuse occurring. In order to avoid that the situation continues, it is important to look closely, and see if any of these describes your relationships.


Signs of Abusive Tactics

They use control and manipulation techniques.

They show unrational and severe Jealosy.

They offer you a whole lot of criticizing.

They use humiliation and sarcasm to ‘conversate’ with you.

They become patronizing.

They try to belittle you and your achievements.

They use Yelling and kicking off things, or throwing things, to keep you fearful.

They like to trigger you a lot.

They call you names.

You experience confusion from their outbursts of rage and unpredictability.

You get blamed for all the situations.

They try to convince you that something is wrong with you.

They deny all of their mistakes or misinterpretations.

You even get blamed for their insecurities.

They will punish you with neglect and silent treatments.

They will shut down all communication.

They will try to isolate you from friends and / or family.

They will withhold their affection, so you can get ‘punished.

They will be completely indifferent to your feelings.

You will notice yourself trying to avoid conflict.

You will notice yourself thinking what can trigger the mindset of your abuser.

You will be lacking time for self-care and alone time.


Why people neglect these signs

We are bound to help the people we love, and even justify them to the maximum. This happens even in cases when they are causing us harm. We tend to think that they may be feeling ill, frustrated, betrayed, lonely or depressed, so we take full responsibility to help them ‘recover’ and forget about ourselves through the process. 


If you feel like any of these or most of these apply to your situation, it is time to trust your instinct and make a decision related to your mental well-being. The advice is to not try and reason with your lover, parent, or friend who is abusing you. These persons can rarely resonate, that is why they leave you overwhelmed and empty after they communicate with you. 

If possible, try to set personal boundaries and gradually disengage from the situation and the person causing the situation. When it comes down to our own mental health, we must become well aware that healing another person is not our responsibility. We can’t possibly wait for them to change, or change them gradually, when it is clear that they do not want to change and that they are blaming you for everything all the time.

Most importantly, if you manage to break ties with these people, please give yourself time to heal. Routines take a lot of time to be changed. The time that used to be filled up by one person, may seem empty for a little while, but that will only be until you get used to another routine. Finding a nice, empathetic therapist or friend at this point to listen to your feelings is crucial. However you may be feeling after making the decision to leave, do congratulate yourself. It requires a whole lot of strength and courage, to break out a cycle of violence, in whatever form that it is manifested in.

Picture: Shutterstock / ID: 1025532766

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