Unlike Physical abuse, Emotional/Psychological abuse, may be harder to discern. Most people are not even aware that they are being abused. Emotional/psychological abuse occurs when a person preys on another person’s emotions by manipulating or using demeaning words on the other person, making them feel useless, worthless and capable of developing a feeling of low self-esteem.
Emotional/psychological abuse can happen in friendships, relationships, marriages, organizations (company/management and employees), and between parents and children. Women can abuse their men just as men do their women.
According to liveboldandbloom.com, emotional/psychological abuse “involves a regular pattern of verbal offense, threatening, bullying, and constant criticism, as well as more subtle tactics like intimidation, shaming and manipulation.
Emotional abuse is used to control and subjugate another person, and quite often it occurs because the abuser has childhood wounds and insecurities they have not dealt with- perhaps as a result of being abused themselves.”
The abusers, because they have unresolved issues from their past and do not know what other ways to express themselves, other than through anger and pain, hurt the people around them and do not see their actions as being abusive.
If you do not know what love is, you will not be able to give/show love. You cannot give what you do not have.
Emotional/Psychological abuse may not necessarily lead to physical abuse. However, physical abuse always leads to emotional/psychological abuse.
Ever wondered why a physically abused partner gives excuses for the abuser’s actions? They do so because they have been manipulated to think that the beating is normal and that they deserve to be beaten.
There have been cases of women who said it was their fault they got beaten, and they go back begging even after being hospitalized as a result of the beating, or they are surprised their partner did not beat them as predicted. Being beaten becomes an expectation.
There is a case of a lady who said she broke up with her boyfriend because she did not think he was man enough. She tried to get him to beat her by intentionally provoking him several times but he never did, so she termed him weak.
Wonder why the examples are about women only? That’s usually the side we hear about most of the time.
Most men who are being abused by their partners do not want to admit or are not even aware that they are being abused.
Awareness comes when the realization that something is amiss hits.
How do you know you are being abused emotionally/psychologically?
According to liveboldandbloom.com, below are signs that you are being psychologically/emotionally abused (including the behaviors of the abusers);
- They humiliate you, put you down, or make fun of you in front of other people.
- They regularly demean or disregard your opinions, ideas, suggestions, or needs.
- They use sarcasm or “teasing” to put you down or make you feel bad about yourself.
- They accuse you of being “too sensitive” in order to deflect their abusive remarks.
- They correct or chastise you in public for your behavior.
- They try to control you, your finances and how you spend money.
- They belittle and trivialize you, your accomplishments, or your hopes and dreams.
- They try to make you feel as though they are always right, and you are always wrong.
- They regularly point out your flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings.
- They give you disapproving or contemptuous looks or body language.
- They accuse or blame you for things you know are not true.
- They are intolerant of any seeming lack of respect.
- They make excuses for their behavior, try to blame others, and have difficulty apologizing.
- The repeatedly cross your boundaries and ignore your requests..
- They call you names, give you unpleasant labels, or make cutting remarks under their breath.
- They are emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable most of the time and do not seem to care about your feelings.
- They play the victim and try to deflect blame to you rather than taking responsibility.
- They view you as an extension of themselves rather than as an individual.
- They share personal information about you with others.
- They invalidate or deny their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted.
- They make subtle threats or negative remarks with the intent to frighten or control you.
From the story in the first article, Seun is a victim of psychological/emotional abuse.
The above list will help you determine if you are a victim or have been a victim or are an abuser, and it is not exhaustive.
It now becomes crucial to answer the question, “How do you deal with physical and psychological/emotional abuse?”
To be continued…