This one is tricky. Hard to pin down since emotions are so volatile and changing with a thought. How secure you are within yourself makes it harder for someone to abuse you emotionally. This link is one of those annoying ones that you have to click after every paragraph but the signs are important to be aware of to spot those that use emotion to manipulate others. http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/galleries/9-signs-you-are-in-an-emotionally-abusive-relationship.aspx?
- You feel like you are on emotional roller coaster. Another description is you feel like you are walking on egg shells, terrified of the next flair up.
- They isolate you. They don’t want you having contact with friends or family. This may seem very romantic at first that they want you all to themselves but no one can be your everything. Family and friendships need to be maintained. They need other friends too.
- Jealousy….not just of other people but your dreams and goals. They want control over every aspect of your life.
- Arguments escalate quickly and go in directions that have nothing to do with the original argument. Sadly the emotional abuser will also escalate into physical violence.
- They try to keep you off balance and often you feel afraid of them. If your sentence begins, “I have to do ________________or else____________.” This is a red flag. Partners don’t need to punish each other.
- Making you feel small, dismissing your accomplishments, constant criticism, you simply are not enough no matter how much you try they feel a need to keep you down, preferably under their thumb.
- You are doing all you can to keep them happy but there is no effort on their part to do the same for you. Along with this is Peace at all cost, will cost you everything.
- Feeling trapped, they will control your car, your phone, every aspect of your life will be under their control.
- You believe that you are the problem and you deserve this abusive treatment….if you were a better person you would ________________ then I would love you….Hear those words you are in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Two of the main weapons used by an emotional abuser are shame and blame. From my counseling I learned that I have to give my power away to be in this type of emotionally abusive situation. I was stunned. I didn’t know I had any power…What power? An emotionally secure person does not need to control someone else. An emotionally aware person recognizes these traps and changes the situation or walks away. An abuse survivor has difficulty recognizing these as unloving behaviors because often this is all they know. Counseling taught me to recognize each of these. I also learned that I have far more power than I ever dreamed I had. Personal power is part of who we are from the day we are born. We are taught to give it away. Good parenting involves teaching children how to use their personal power to make relationships and the World a better place. Sadly, a lot of parents really mess up. Fortunately, later in life, each of us can choose for ourselves how we use our personal power.