Emotional Abuse is Still Abuse; It Destroys Lives

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abusedWhen you hear the word abuse, most people picture physical violence. There is another type of abuse however that goes unreported and most times the person being abused doesn’t realize it. Emotional abuse still counts as abuse even if people don’t realize it.

Here are some characteristics of someone who is emotionally abusive:

1. Humiliation, discounting, judging, negating, degrading, criticizing
a. Sarcasm used to make fun of another
b. Telling someone their opinions and feelings are wrong
c. Telling someone they are too sensitive when they complain about being teased
d. Making fun of or putting down another person in front of others
e. Ridicule of emotions, thoughts, opinions or suggestions

2. Shame, domination, control
a. Treating others like they are a child
b. The abused feels like they need permission to do things
c. Controlling someone else’s spending
d. Treating someone as an inferior
e. Always reminding the other of their shortcomings
f. Belittling accomplishments

3. Unreasonable demands, accusing, blaming, refuses to see own shortcomings
a. Unable to laugh at themselves
b. Have trouble apologizing
c. Call the other names or labels them
d. Very sensitive if someone teases them
e. Blame someone else for their problems or failures

4. Isolation, abandonment, silent treatment, emotional distancing
a. Pouting or withholding affection or attention
b. Use neglect and abandonment as punishment
c. Play the victim to deflect blame
d. No empathy for others

5. Enmeshment and co-dependence
a. Doesn’t protect personal boundaries and respect others’ space
b. Requires continual contact
c. Disrespect requests because they think they know what is best for you

Emotional abuse can be just as damaging, if not more, than physical abuse because it attacks who you are as a person and not just your physical being. Broken bones can easily be repaired, but emotional scars take longer to heal. If you think that many of the above flags pertains to someone in your life and feel you need help, tell someone. Make someone else aware of what is going on so you can get the help you need to begin to heal from the abuse and put and end to it.

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