Emotional Abuse. What is it?

Emotional abuse is a behavioural pattern in which the abuser controls, manipulates someone’s feelings, engages in demeaning victim blaming, instills a sense of fear and causes them to live a life of intense internalised humiliation.

In psychological abuse, often called emotional abuse, the abuser can control the victim without the victim becoming aware of it. Unfortunately, the one who is going through the abuse, either fails to see the patterns OR they only realise it when they have gone through an inherent personally shift. 

Unfortunately, a big percentage of abusee become partner pleasers, they go on validating their abused existence. It is times like these when a professional help is the need of the hour. 

A data suggests that around 50% of adults and 11% of youngsters do go through an emotionally abusive relationship, at least once in their lifetime. The percentage is only going up…

Please Note… An isolated occurrence should not be termed as an emotional abuse. Maybe, it is just a fight or release of pent up emotions. 


Emotional abuse doesn’t leave a mark on the physical body

I have seen a lot of people looking surprised and saying BUT there was no physical abuse in this. Society makes some of us believe that abuse is only physical, whereas the truth is far from it. 

In any case, you will know you are being abused, is how it makes you feel. You are in an abusive relationship if you feel you are being constantly slighted, you are unable to express for the fear of retribution, you change your behaviour to suit your partners and you realise you are being stopped from expressing yourself.


Emotional abuser is gender neutral… 

Emotional abuser is gender neutral, just that women have a better sense of seeking help. Men, as I have seen, tend to bottle it up… focussing more of the tangibles like work, money etc.


Who is an emotional abuser?

By the time we realise who an abuser is, the damage has already started. All I can say is that, there is not a strong defined description of an abuser. Anyone is, or can be an abuser. 

A few patterns that may show are… sense of being possessive, hypersensitive, have a strong need for control, which motivates them to wield power in the relationship. 

I have also seen they tend to be an antisocial or, a few of them are awkward in a group dynamic. Their thoughts are rooted in a set pattern, they do not want to explore and expand their horizon. 


What does the abuse do to the abusee?

A patterned abuse can put the abusee in a confused state that they can work through it and make the abuser see the light of the day…

The individual’s reality may become distorted as they internalise the abuse as their own failings. 

People who suffer emotional abuse can experience difficulties such as confusion, fear, difficulty concentrating, stammering, low confidence, nightmares, aches, a racing heart, anxiety, insomnia and social withdrawal.


How does an emotional abuse start? 

A few of the signs of abuse can include…

1/6. Instilling self-doubt and worthlessness.

2/6. They ignore boundaries or invade your privacy.

3/6. Threatening a person’s safety, property, or the loved ones.

4/6. Isolating a person from family, friends and/or acquaintances.

5/6. Frequent sarcasm, “teasing”, “jokes” or “taana” as we call them in India. Delivering constant criticism.

6/6. Extreme jealousy, accusations, and paranoia… Regular ridicule or teasing (e.g., how you dress, how you spend your money, who you spend time with, what you are interested in).


Why do we stay in an abusive relationship? 

That you can help the abuser heal AND a distorted sense of abuse – a guilt factor that you deserve it. Also, maybe you are financially dependent, for children sake and societal pressure. The list is long…


Should one try to work on mending the relationship ?

No harm in trying if you are trying to salvage a relationship BUT somewhere one has to get a sense if this is the ONLY way the abuser sees things. Maybe it is a habit/second skin or maybe they do not see the harm they are creating. Either way emotional abuse is damaging and how much one wants to take it, is the pertinent question. 


How to come out on an abusive relationship?

Most people gather the strength to move out of emotional abusive relation when they can’t see their real self, in the mirror. They get this inner sense that they are falling apart. Moving away from an emotionally abusive can be tough and can hurt ones self worth…

1/3. Make sure you play out the repercussions of the relationship to fall apart. 

2/3. Remove yourself from the abuse framework so that you can think differently.

3/3. Seek help from people you trust along with professional advise. Professional advise can help heal and change patterns.


In the end, all I can say It is alright to get into a relationship that turns out to be abusive. We all have an instinctive need to not be suppressed. Just that, some realise it sooner than others. 

This article is simply indicative in nature. Abuse is different for different people. Please seek professional help, when needed…


Related article…

[1] Save the Marriage. Simple practical tips…

Aashish Nanda

The information provided on this website is intended for general reading purpose ONLY. Please do not use this information to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. Please consult a professional, in case you need any advice...

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap