Have you ever been in a relationship with an abusive person? If yes, you’re completely aware of the problems such relationships bring.
Abusive people are easy to spot, but if you have hard time identifying one, just keep reading. We give you some of the behaviors that will tell you if the person next to you is abusive.
Truth is, emotionally abusive people always hide their true identity. They’re even able to charm everyone, trying to convince people that they’re not abusive.
Luckily, there are a few warning signs. Psychologists have worked really hard to put together the top signs that expose emotionally abusive individuals.
Emotional abuse is a rather serious problem, and it involves “… verbal assault, dominance, control, isolation, ridicule, or the use of intimate knowledge for degradation,” as explained in a study conducted by experts at the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
Top 8 behaviors noticed in emotionally abusive individuals
“The only person that deserves a special place in your life is someone that never made you feel like you were an option in theirs,” Shannon L. Alder
These people can’t control their urge to gaslight others. It’s probably the most obvious sign when it comes to identifying abusers.
If by any chance you didn’t know it, gaslighting is a specific way of emotional abusing, and the abuser tries to make “… you doubt yourself, your intuition, and your reality,” with the only purpose to keep you under control, notes relationship expert Susan Winter.
Gaslighting is a clear sign showing that a certain individual is an emotional abuser, and should be taken seriously.
Not every jealous person is an emotional abuser. But, emotional abusers are easy to spot, as they have extreme explosions of jealousy. They will doubt in everyone and everything.
The sad part comes when these people become jealous of your friends, family, co-workers, and pretty much everyone that comes near you. If you show the slightest attention for a person that is not them, your partner will definitely explode. Sad, right?
3. Constantly checking in
Emotional abusers will always find a way to control you. They will try to locate you at any time of the day, and will also demand that you give them information of your current location, including constant texting and phone calls.
Yes, you will have to provide updates! Emotional abusers will become really, really upset if you go out without asking for a permission or giving them short info before you leave the house.
This is one of the first signs that reveal the dark side of your partner’s behavior.
Emotional abuse is always accompanied by verbal humiliation. Abusers will humiliate you in public, and will also try to make it look as if they were just joking around.
No, they weren’t. You know how jokes sound like, right? Public humiliation has nothing to do with joking. If your partner’s behavior makes you look bad, now is the time to step back and leave them forever.
This behavior is a clear sign of emotional abuse. So, if your partner makes you feel uncomfortable, and doesn’t even notice it, go away!
5. Picking fights
Do you always have to walk on eggshells when your partner is around? If yes, go away. Again. Emotional abusers don’t think twice before picking a fight with you.
Oh, yes, and that’s a fight you will never win. Emotional abusers will always manipulate the argument, and you will end up being guilty.
Believe it or not, abusers always try to make themselves look like victims, and will also demand that you apologize. So sad…
6. Hot and cold behavior
This is the ‘honeymoon phase.’ Abusers do apologize after a round of abuse. But, they will turn into a bloody hell the next day. You know, that nasty ‘hot ’n cold’ treatment.
First, you will feel as if your partner is wishing you the worst, but they will sure try to make up the next day. This behavior is one of the key signs of emotional abusers.
7. Black and white thinking
There’s no middle for these people. You’re either with or against them. The “black and white thinking” is typical for emotional abusers. There are no neutral responses, and they will always be categorized as a hostile behavior.
If you don’t say goo things to them ALL THE TIME, they will think you hate them. Being in a relationship with an abusive person is a real challenge, and it will probably be your most turbulent and confusing relationship ever.
If you can’t reach for a compromise, you could be dealing with an emotional abuser.
8. Withholding affection as a form of punishment
Affection is important for every relationship. But, emotional abusers will use it as a weapon against you. If they don’t like the way you act, you will probably get a cold shoulder.
Abusers always withhold their love and affection from you, and that’s their way of manipulating you. This creates codependency and complacency in you, and you won’t even realize it.
Emotional abusers always twist reality, and that’s how they work. “Being subjected to emotional abuse over time can lead to anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, inhibited sexual desire, chronic pain, or other physical symptoms,” explains licences marriage and family therapist Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT.
Being aware of these behaviors will help you identify an abuser, and getting out of an abusive relationship on time.
Go through these behaviors once again, and if you notice anything similar in your private life, leave. Get out of your abusive relationship, and find a decent support system. This will enhance your healing, and you will be able to live freely again.
Keep this in mind – survivors are never responsible for the abuse in their relationship. Nobody deserves that.