Signs of Emotional Abuse: How to React if you’re Being Abused


Signs of Emotional Abuse

Sometimes you don’t even realize you are being abused and sometimes it’s so obvious that the only question is “why do I take this?”. If you can clearly read the signs of emotional abuse, then it’s time to take action and protect yourself.

If you are not sure whether you’re being abused or not, you should know that in most cases abusers want to control other people. They are possessive and can use any form of abuse to gain control. Here are the symptoms that will help you know if you are being abused along with some advice on tackling such situations.

Verbal abuse

How it looks

A verbal abuse could take many forms and shapes. In some cases, the actions of the abuser may be very obvious, while in other cases the abuse could be very subtle.

Verbal abuse could manifest itself as ordering, swearing, lying, calling names, criticizing, blaming, etc.

Some abuses are not so direct. They could be in the form of communication that is inappropriate and hurtful, such as sarcasm, offensive joking, or making unpleasant statements without being overly aggressive. The other person feels confused and in time begins to question his own reactions, the self-esteem declines and becomes full of doubt.

What to do

There are several choices when it comes to responding to abuse. What’s important is, to be careful not to escalate the abuse. When you take a firm stand in an abusive relationship, it could lead to the abuser believing that they are losing control and they could respond with even more aggression.

First, when confronting a verbal abuse, it is important not to become confused. Don’t explain yourself or try to make sense because the abuser’s point is not to have a reasonable argument, but to gain control over you and make you do what they want. Simply be concise and draw a line explaining that you won’t take the bullying. “Stop it” and “Don’t do that” are simple, but effective sentences.

If the abuser is using direct abusing such as calling names or swearing, then explain that you will not put up with that kind of behavior. Remember that they can’t gain control over a person that is not willing to obey them, so simply leave the room or don’t take seriously the abuse, joke about it, or end the conversation. This is a mind game and no one can control your mind if you don’t let them.


How it looks

There are many kinds of control abusers and they have one thing in common, gaining some sort of power over their victims. When a person wants to control you, they’ll find a way to justify their needs and reactions. That is why often controlling persons don’t even realize they abuse because they always have an answer for their actions that seems somehow logical to them. They will force you to do what they want, and if you don’t obey, they might start threatening you, insult you, or argue with. Other might not be so vocal and use the passive-aggressive method. Their “punishment” for your disobedience can be silent, but you will feel guilty. All that is a part of abusive behavior.

What to do

Like previously mentioned, use simple answers to end their attempt of controlling you such as “I won’t do that” and “stop trying to tell me what to do”. It is important for both involved to know where the boundary is and not let the abuse go deeper. If the abuse is silent, then explain to them that their games end there and have no effect on you, but hold your lines and don’t back down.


How it looks

Jealousy and possessiveness go hand to hand in many cases, and they are both forms of emotional abuse. If your partner is always suspicious about something, it can be frustrating and make you restless. Jealousy is the feeling when a person thinks that their partner likes someone or something more than them.

If not controlled, this can turn into possessiveness, which will lead to completely occupying the life of the abused person. The abuser will control who he or she can hang out with, talk to, have in their friend circle. Such partner may forbid you from having profiles on social networks, and even going out in public by yourself.

What to do

Possessiveness is a serious problem. Usually, the abuser doesn’t realize he’s possessive and that is why you need to talk to them and point that out. If talks don’t help and the abuse continues with the same or different abusive behavior, then you should try explaining that you will not continue being possessed like an object. Point out that you are a person with feelings and need to be treated like one.

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