Emotional Abuse

Taylen Richey

What Is Emotional Abuse?

Abuse is any behavior that is designed to control and subjugate another human being through the use of fear, humiliation, intimidation, guilt, coercion, manipulation etc. Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as repeated disapproval or even the refusal to ever be pleased.
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Signs You May Be Getting Emotionally Abused:

  • Monitors what you're doing all the time
  • Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful all the time
  • Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family
  • Tries to stop you from going to work or school
  • Gets angry in a way that is frightening to you
  • Controls how you spend your money
  • Humiliates you in front of others
  • Threatens to hurt you or people you care about
  • Threatens to harm himself or herself when upset with you
  • Says things like, "If I can't have you then no one can."
  • Decides things for you that you should decide (like what to wear or eat)
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Types of Emotional Abuse

Abusive Expectations
  • The other person places unreasonable demands on you and wants you to put everything else aside to tend to their needs.
  • It could be a demand for constant attention, or a requirement that you spend all your free time with the person.
  • But no matter how much you give, it's never enough.
  • You are subjected to constant criticism, and you are constantly berated because you don't fulfill all this person's needs.

Aggression

  • Aggressive forms of abuse include name-calling, accusing, blaming, threatening, and ordering. Aggressing behaviors are generally direct and obvious.

Constant Chaos

  • The other person may deliberately start arguments and be in constant conflict with others.
  • The person may be "addicted to drama" since it creates excitement.

Dominating

  • Someone wants to control your every action. They have to have their own way, and will resort to threats to get it.

Emotional Blackmail

  • The other person plays on your fear, guilt, compassion, values, or other "hot buttons" to get what they want.

Verbal Assaults

  • Berating, belittling, criticizing, name calling, screaming, threatening

  • Excessive blaming, and using sarcasm and humiliation.

  • Blowing your flaws out of proportion and making fun of you in front of others. Over time, this type of abuse erodes your sense of self confidence and self-worth.

Is Emotional Abuse Only Name Calling?

No... Emotional abuse includes non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking.
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Family Emotional Abuse

Statistics and Facts

  • 1 in 14 children have been emotionally abused from age 1-16
  • In a study of 1,000 women 15 years of age or older, 36% had experienced emotional abuse while growing up
  • 43% had experienced some form of abuse as children or adolescents
  • 39% reported experiencing emotional abuse in a relationship in the past five years

Example

Emotional abuse, like other types of abuse, tends to take the form of a cycle. In a relationship, this cycle starts when one partner emotionally abuses the other, typically to show dominance. The abuser then feels guilt, but not about what he (or she) has done, but more over the consequences of his actions. The abuser then makes up excuses for his own behavior to avoid taking responsibility over what has happened.

Who Can Be A Victim of Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse can happen to anyone at any time in their lives. Children, teens and adults all experience emotional abuse. And emotional abuse can have devastating consequences on relationships and all those involved. Just because there is no physical mark doesn't mean the abuse isn't real and isn't a problem or even a crime in some countries.