Nothing is more detrimental to your confidence and self-esteem than to being in an emotionally abusive relationship. Unlike physical abuse, which translates into dramatic and violent explosions, emotional abuse can be more insidious and difficult to assess.
In some cases, neither the perpetrator nor the victim are fully aware that this is occurring. You might think that the most obvious scenario of emotional abuse is an intimate relationship in which a man is the aggressor and the woman is the victim.
However, many studies show that men and women abuse one another at equal levels. In fact, psychological abuse can occur in any relationship – between parents and children, with friends, and in close proximity.
So what is psychological abuse? These are verbal attacks, threats, harassment and constant criticism, as well as more subtle tactics such as bullying, shame and manipulation.
Emotional abuse is used to control and dominate the other, and very often it occurs because the abuser has childhood injuries and insecurities that he has not healed.
He did not learn healthy coping mechanisms or how to have positive and healthy relationships. Instead, he feels angry, wounded, fearful and helpless.
Male and female aggressors often exhibit personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
Often the victim of abuse does not consider mistreatment as abusive. It develops mechanisms of adaptation, denial and minimization to cope with stress.
But the effects of long-term psychological abuse can lead to serious emotional trauma to the victim, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you do not know how to recognize this behavior, here are 30 signs of psychological abuse:
1) The abuser humiliates you, devalues you or makes fun of you in front of other people.
2) It lowers you regularly or ignores your opinions, ideas, suggestions or needs.
3) He uses sarcasm or “mockery” to make you feel uncomfortable or make you think you’re worthless.
4) He accuses you of being “too sensitive” to minimize his abusive remarks.
4) He’s trying to control you and treat you like a child.
5) It corrects you or punishes you for your behavior.
6) You think you need his permission to make decisions or go out.
7) He’s trying to control your finances and know how you spend your money.
8) It denigrates you and devalues your achievements, your hopes and your dreams.
9) It makes you feel that he is always right and that you are always wrong.
10) It carries on you a disapproving or derogating look or his body language is threatening.
11) It regularly underlines your faults, errors or shortcomings.
12) He accuses you of things that are not true.
13) He has an inability to laugh at himself and does not tolerate others laughing at him.
14) He is intolerant to any apparent lack of respect.
15) He invents excuses to justify his behavior, rejects blame on others, but usually has difficulty in asking forgiveness.
16) On several occasions, it has exceeded the limits and ignored your needs.
17) He blames you for his problems, his difficulties in life or his misfortunes.
18) It gives you unflattering nicknames, puts you unpleasant labels or makes sharp remarks at all times.
19) He’s emotionally distant, or emotionally unavailable most of the time.
20) He uses the embroidery or deprivation to attract attention or get what he wants.
21) It does not show empathy or compassion for you.
22) He plays the victim and tries to disconcert you rather than take responsibility.
23) He disengages or uses the threat of abandonment to punish you or frighten you.
24) He doesn’t seem to care about your feelings.
26) He sees you as an extension of himself rather than as an individual in his own right.
27) He uses sex as a way to manipulate and control.
28) It communicates personal information about you to other people.
29) He minimizes or denies his emotionally abusive behaviors when confronted.
30) It makes subtle threats or negative remarks with the intention of scaring you or controlling you.