Everyone talks about physical abuse, things like rape, beatings, and all that. Am not saying that it's a bad thing, but I think the same emphasis should be on emotional abuse too.

Emotional abuse:

Emotional abuse is so common in our societies, it has been normalized. But in reality, just like physical abuse, emotional abuse highly affects the mental health of the victims.

The abuser could be your parent, friend, partner, classmate, co-worker; just anybody. Emotional abuse comes in so many ways. And here are some of them according to the healthline.com

Name-calling. They’ll blatantly call you “stupid,” “a loser,” or words too awful to repeat here.

Derogatory “pet names.” This is just more name-calling in not-so-subtle disguise. “My little knuckle dragger” or “My chubby pumpkin” aren’t terms of endearment.

Character assassination. This usually involves the word “always.” You’re always late, wrong, screwing up, disagreeable, and so on. Basically, they say you’re not a good person.

Yelling. Yelling, screaming, and swearing are meant to intimidate and make you feel small and inconsequential. It might be accompanied by fist-pounding or throwing things.

Patronizing. “Aw, sweetie, I know you try, but this is just beyond your understanding.”
Public embarrassment. They pick fights, expose your secrets, or make fun of your shortcomings in public.

Dismissiveness. You tell them about something that’s important to you and they say it’s nothing. Body language like eye-rolling, smirking, headshaking, and sighing help convey the same message.

“Joking.” The jokes might have a grain of truth to them or be a complete fabrication. Either way, they make you look foolish.

Sarcasm. Often just a dig in disguise. When you object, they claim to have been teasing and tell you to stop taking everything so seriously.

Insults of your appearance. They tell you, just before you go out, that your hair is ugly or your outfit is clownish.

Belittling your accomplishments. Your abuser might tell you that your achievements mean nothing, or they may even claim responsibility for your success.

Put-downs of your interests. They might tell you that your hobby is a childish waste of time or you’re out of your league when you play sports. Really, it’s that they’d rather you not participate in activities without them.

Pushing your buttons. Once your abuser knows about something that annoys you, they’ll bring it up or do it every chance they get.

Threats. Telling you they’ll take the kids and disappear, or saying “There’s no telling what I might do.”

Monitoring your whereabouts. They want to know where you are all the time and insist that you respond to calls or texts immediately. They might show up just to see if you’re where you’re supposed to be.

Digital spying. They might check your internet history, emails, texts, and call log. They might even demand your passwords.

Unilateral decision-making. They might close a joint bank account, cancel your doctor’s appointment, or speak with your boss without asking.

Financial control. They might keep bank accounts in their name only and make you ask for money. You might be expected to account for every penny you spend.

Lecturing. Belaboring your errors with long monologues makes it clear they think you’re beneath them.

Direct orders. From “Get my dinner on the table now” to “Stop taking the pill,” orders are expected to be followed despite your plans to the contrary.

Outbursts. You were told to cancel that outing with your friend or put the car in the garage, but didn’t, so now you have to put up with a red-faced tirade about how uncooperative you are.

Treating you like a child. They tell you what to wear, what and how much to eat, or which friends you can see.

Feigned helplessness. They may say they don’t know how to do something. Sometimes it’s easier to do it yourself than to explain it. They know this and take advantage of it.

Unpredictability. They’ll explode with rage out of nowhere, suddenly shower you with affection, or become dark and moody at the drop of a hat to keep you walking on eggshells.

They walk out. In a social situation, stomping out of the room leaves you holding the bag. At home, it’s a tool to keep the problem unresolved.

Using others. Abusers may tell you that “everybody” thinks you’re crazy or “they all say” you’re wrong.

Jealousy. They accuse you of flirting or cheating on them.

Turning the tables. They say you cause their rage and control issues by being such a pain.

Denying something you know is true. An abuser will deny that an argument or even an agreement took place. This is called gaslighting. It’s meant to make you question your own memory and sanity.

Using guilt. They might say something like, “You owe me this. Look at all I’ve done for you,” in an attempt to get their way.

Goading then blaming. Abusers know just how to upset you. But once the trouble starts, it’s your fault for creating it.

Denying their abuse. When you complain about their attacks, abusers will deny it, seemingly bewildered at the very thought of it.

Accusing you of abuse. They say you’re the one who has anger and control issues and they’re the helpless victim.

Trivializing. When you want to talk about your hurt feelings, they accuse you of overreacting and making mountains out of molehills.

Saying you have no sense of humor. Abusers make personal jokes about you. If you object, they’ll tell you to lighten up.

Blaming you for their problems. Whatever’s wrong in their life is all your fault. You’re not supportive enough, didn’t do enough, or stuck your nose where it didn’t belong.

Destroying and denying. They might crack your cell phone screen or “lose” your car keys, then deny it.

Demanding respect. No perceived slight will go unpunished, and you’re expected to defer to them. But it’s a one-way street.

Shutting down communication. They’ll ignore your attempts at conversation in person, by text, or by phone.

Dehumanizing you. They’ll look away when you’re talking or stare at something else when they speak to you.

Keeping you from socializing. Whenever you have plans to go out, they come up with a distraction or beg you not to go.

Trying to come between you and your family. They’ll tell family members that you don’t want to see them or make excuses why you can’t attend family functions.

Withholding affection. They won’t touch you, not even to hold your hand or pat you on the shoulder. They may refuse sexual relations to punish you or to get you to do something.

Tuning you out. They’ll wave you off, change the subject, or just plain ignore you when you want to talk about your relationship.

Actively working to turn others against you. They’ll tell co-workers, friends, and even your family that you’re unstable and prone to hysterics.

Calling you needy. When you’re really down and out and reach out for support, they’ll tell you you’re too needy or the world can’t stop turning for your little problems.

Interrupting. You’re on the phone or texting and they get in your face to let you know your attention should be on them.

Indifference. They see you hurt or crying and do nothing.

Disputing your feelings. Whatever you feel, they’ll say you’re wrong to feel that way or that’s not really what you feel at all.



Emotional Abuse