What is meant by emotional abuse? If someone behaves or says something that is meant to make someone feel smaller or control them using negative emotions like making them afraid or humiliated or intimidate them, then this behavior comes under emotional abuse. Using these maneuvers, the abuser tries to make the victim feel smaller and eats away at their sense of self esteem.
Though you may be led to believe this; not all abuse manifests physically. In fact abuse of the emotional kind can lead to physical abuse too but often the abuser will try to manipulate the victim emotionally than physically.
Being emotionally abused is a pain that cannot be seen.
What makes people turn to abusing emotionally? It stems from the fact that they want to control people around them or make them feel insignificant because they themselves lack confidence and their esteem is low.
People who emotionally abuse others will not discriminate on the basis of any factors like gender, race etc. But in a heterosexual relationship with emotional abuse, you will often find that the victim is the woman.
About 40% females may go through this kind of abuse from a spouse or when they are in a close relationship and this carries intrinsically the risk of becoming physically too. Emotional abuse is used to control and manipulate the woman. Since the abused lives in constant terror, they try and change the way they behave to alleviate such behavior. Often men believe that they are stronger and this leads them to such behavior.
Drug and alcohol abuse can also make this behavior worse but is not the reason for emotional abuse though such addictions are used to justify bad behavior.
Such abuse can sometimes be worse than the physical abuse:
Who is likely to become the victim of emotional abuse? Most people do not get into this situation willingly. It is possible for the below given category of people could fall in the emotionally abused category.
People who were abused in their early years and they are likely to accept this behavior as normal.
Then what follows is the abuser transferring his feelings of inadequacy to the abused.
When an abuser realizes that the abused may be trying to break free, then they are likely to spoil the others’ perception of the abused and lead them to believe that the abused is not stable mentally. The outside world will only see another facet of the abuser as he is good at doing this even as he humiliates his victim. You should remember that emotional abuse could be the stepping stone for physical harm. Often such people even kill their victim and themselves.
People who are emotionally abused can become suicidal
Some tactics of the person who emotionally abuses:
- Unreasonable demands and complete time, focus and attention of the victim to such an extent that the victim does not have any privacy or time for themselves.
- Complete control on all the aspects of the victim’s life including clothing, food etc.
- Constant criticism of what the victim does and their inability to satisfy the abuser’s demands. They even talk badly of the abused’s looks.
- Isolating them from all things, people and also anything from the outside world.
- Doubt, envy, possessiveness also leads them to believe and accuse the victim of being involved with others. They may even force the victim to have physical relationship to prove otherwise.
- Using offspring as a tool for manipulation and to maintain control on the victim
- Taking away all the powers to decide on anything away from the victim is another way of abusing them
- Another way they do this is by abusing them with derogatory words, and threats.
- A subtle and hidden way to do this is by disguising it as a way to help the victim but in fact make them feel small and helpless.
- Starting arguments that they feel can exert their dominance on the accused.
- Another way that emotional abuse is carried out is by making the victim feel as they have no sense of worth, this can be done in public to compound the feeling.
- Ridiculing their feelings and experiences will make the victim feel less confident about these things.
- Not talking to the abused and using silence to manipulate the victim is yet another tactic.
- Some of them will use guilt and also play on their values so that they can make the victim feel bad.
- Different and moody reactions to certain situations keeps the abused off balance by making them worry about the reaction.