Dealing With Emotional Abuse: What You Need to Know
Emotional abuse is simply defined as someone being subjected to behavior that may result in psychological trauma. This can include but is certainly not limited to anxiety, chronic depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder. It is estimated that 35% of ALL women who are either currently married or who were married in the past have been subject to emotional abuse. For the sake of comparison, only an estimated 29% of them have actually been physically assaulted.
These are all among the many reasons why learning as much as you can about emotional abuse is so important. This is a problem that you shouldn't have to face and dealing with emotional abuse can improve your life dramatically moving forward. To do so, you will need to keep a few critical things in mind before, during and after this process.
How to Deal With Emotional Abuse
The fact of the matter is that emotional abuse is a tricky subject - both the victim and the perpetrator may not even realize it's happening at first. Because of this, it is essential for you to be able to understand the signs of emotional abuse so that you become aware of this type of situation as quickly as possible.
One of the most obvious signs of emotional or mental abuse is also one of the most hurtful - verbal assault. If your friend, family member or spouse constantly yells at you, if they make abusive demands or they just act like a bully, chances are that you're the victim of emotional abuse.
Sometimes, the signs can be more subtle. Constructive criticism can be a good thing in a relationship, as any relationship involves an equal amount of "give and take" on behalf of both parties. But if you're the subject of constant criticism, or if every little move that you make comes under an incredible amount of scrutiny, the chances are high that you're an emotional abuse victim.
Denial and invalidation is another common sign of emotional abuse. If your partner refuses to acknowledge any victory in your life - regardless of how big or small - this is a major warning sign that something larger might be going on. Shaming and demeaning are other signs that fall into this category.
A few of the other most common signs of emotional abuse include gaslighting, isolating and even emotional blackmail. You're trapped in a situation that isn't positive for anyone involved. It's also unfortunately something of an echo chamber - issues like constant criticism only tend to get worse and worse over time. Luckily, as the old saying goes, "the first step towards recovery is admitting that you have a problem."
If you recognize one or more of the aforementioned signs, you likely have a problem with emotional abuse. Now, it's time to change your life for all time and for the better.
Tips for Dealing With Emotionally Abusive People
When it comes time to actually deal with someone in your life who may be emotionally abusive, the most important thing to do is to recognize the abuse cycle and your position in it. Watch for the warning signs like constant criticism, manipulation, emotional blackmail and more - the sooner you recognize the (and recognize that you have a problem), the sooner you can get yourself on the path to recovery.
You'll also want to change the types of responses that you're giving to the person in question. Remember that most of the time, mental abuse is all about eliciting a very specific response. Changing up that response in an unpredictable way can help free yourself from the cycle.
Also ask yourself a very important question - does the possibility exist that you're being abusive to yourself? Nobody is saying that you've been "asking for" this type of emotional turmoil - but you can accidentally make it worse by giving into the mental abuse you've been taking. Be confident and love yourself - beyond that, nothing else should matter.
Dealing with an emotionally abusive person can be a stressful situation for anyone, which is why you should always try to get support from the incredible people in your life whenever possible. Talk to friends, family members and people in your community that you trust. Let them know what's going on. You'd be surprised by just how many people are willing to help. Likewise, consider seeking a mental health counselor to help deal with your struggles more effectively on an ongoing basis. This is one decision that you'll be absolutely glad you made.
If you enjoyed the article above and are interested in more information on emotional abuse, check out the following books on Audible from Amazon: