Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

16 Signs that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship

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16 Signs that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship

I learned that abuse is not always a clear-cut issue (e.g. someone either hits me or doesn’t; either someone puts me down or doesn’t; someone either attempts to control me in very visible ways or doesn’t). Emotional and mental abuse can be difficult to spot. Abusers can be adept at creating emotional instability in a very subtle way.

Listed below are examples of emotionally abusive behaviour:

1) Silent treatment. often won’t tell you why he is ignoring you either.

2) Controlling, makes the rules

3) Jealous, possessive

4) Critical and judgemental

5) Instills fear – has you walking on eggshells. a supportive relationship is supportive, brings out best in you and encourages you. An abusive partner’s insecurities means they like to keep you down so that you do not get too big for your boots. They need to be in control and keep you with low confidence.

6) You feel a lot of self doubt in the relationship, lose confidence, become indecisive and this leads to lowered self esteem.

7) Selfish, narcissistic.all about them and their needs

8) Negative body language – tutting, sighing, rolling eyes.

9) condescending language – why are you doing that? why have you put that there? what made you think that? Constantly undermining you

10) Passive aggressive – subtle non direct ways to thwart you and frustrate you, leave you feeling crazy. They find it difficult to be assertive and direct but will make sure you get the message and feel their disapproval in some way or another.

11) Tease you and then mock you when you get upset – so sensitive. There is no care for your feelings

12) You may start feeling you need permission to do things

13) It’s somehow always your fault, never theirs. Abusers are good at twisting things. Blame shifting occurs frequently

14) Accuse you of things that arent true

15) Implies that you lie

16) Withholding approval, appreciation and affection as punishment

Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde

Very rarely do abusers conform to the stereotypical image of a constantly harsh, nasty or violent person, either in public or in private. More frequently the abuser portrays a perfectly normal and pleasant picture to the outside world (often they have responsible jobs or are respected and important members of the local community or Church) and reserves the abuse for you in the privacy of your own home. Nor are abusers always overtly abusive or cruel, but can display apparent kindness and consideration. This Jeckyll and Hyde tendency of the abuser serves to further confuse the victim, while protecting themselves from any form of suspicion from outsiders. Many victims describe “sudden” changes in mood – one minute nice and the next explosive or hysterical, or one minute happy and the next minute sad. This does not indicate some special “mental problem” but are typical of abusive personalities, and related to other characteristics such as hypersensitivity.

Emotional abuse is incredibly destructive. If you have the slightest suspicion that you are in a relationship with an abusive person seek help as soon as possible. Abusers very rarely change their behaviour. They will slowly chip away at your confidence and self-esteem-don’t give them this power. There abusive behaviour is not your fault.

Mandy X


Get Help:  www.womensaid.org.uk


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