Trigger warning: emotional abuse
As of 1996, there was no consensus about the definition of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse has been defined in a variety of ways by clinicians and researchers.
It alludes to any sort of abuse that is based on the victim’s feelings rather than their identity. It can comprise of anything from verbal abuse and continuous criticism to subtle fear tactics and manipulation.
Emotional abuse can serve a variety of purposes. Aggressing, rejecting, and minimizing are three prevalent patterns of such detrimental conduct.
Rejection includes refusing to hear, refusing to interact, and emotionally retaining as punishment.
There is no commonly-accepted explanation of emotional abuse. It may be seen as similar to the definitions of verbal and mental abuse.
Feeling insulted and wounded or feeling like one is constantly walking on eggshells are some of the signs.
If these words apply to your relationship, you are probably being emotionally abused. A relationship is emotionally abusive whenever there is a trend of abusive behaviours, that wear down a person’s self-esteem and undermine their mental health.
While the most common examples of emotional abuse are generally found in marital relationships, it can occur in any relationship, be it with one’s friends, family members or even one’s co-workers.
When examining your own relationship, remember emotional abuse is often subtle. As a consequence, it can be extremely hard to ascertain.
If you’re experiencing trouble determining whether or not your relationship is emotionally abusive, consider the following factors about how the interactions with your partner/friend/family member make you feel.
If you feel frustrated, confused, misunderstood or anxious all the time, chances are that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Here are a few of the overlooked signs of emotional abuse:
You do things without your intent – Relationships make us outperform on many fronts. We give our best to keep it going, but what if you are made to do things you don’t want to. People guilt you into doing things that aren’t aligned with your values, but you do it anyway under pressure, or out of guilt.
We need to understand not everything done from an emotional place is good. It’s you who has to go through it. So, don’t be easily manipulated. Wait, think, rethink and feel.
Do you actually wish to do it or are you being used? Stop and ask yourself what you want.
Always pushes your buttons – Being with someone makes you open up to them about your weaknesses and strengths. But, do they understand these or do they continue to push your buttons even after you warn them not to?
Do they treat it as a joke rather and make it unbearable for you? It could be any thing, a past experience, joke, work, family member or a personal reference that annoys you and puts you down.
Identifying this, talking about it and restricting it is still in your hand.
P.s. the exit door too.
Things that matter to you don’t matter to them – People who like you care about you by noticing things, big and small, that matter to you. It could be a morning walk, some coffee or a bedtime kiss. But, what if they dismiss the things you care about and even try to steer you away from them?
This will make you vulnerable and develop an emotional dependency on them. You need to observe this carefully because small things can grow deadly. It can lead to a disaster in the relationship and your personality too.
Remember, the right person feels right.
Manipulation is a hobby – For such people, manipulation is like breakfast. They make you feel on edge, manipulate you using your emotions and make you prove your affection towards them.
A common example would be if they say something along the lines of, “If you actually loved me, you would have done this for me instead of putting yourself first.”
Stop them and run away from this kind of a relationship, if you can. This is manipulation.
People who are not abusive understand your comfort zone. They don’t make you do things that make you settle for things. We grow in relationships and if you are not growing, it’s time to move on.
Ladies, gentlemen and everyone in between and beyond, the world has more to offer than toxicity.