Hidden forms of abuse

My daughter posted a link to a list of hidden forms of abuse.  Those behaviors that fall in the category of deniable.  The abuser turns things around and blames the victim.


  1. Gaslighting – This is an intentional war on the mind and emotions of another person.  It is coined from a movie from the 1940s by this name.  https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/gaslight_1940/  Purposely convincing the victim that they are crazy.
  2. An abuser expresses no true emotion – Dispassionate, unfeeling, no connection to their victim.  No appeal to their kindness or better nature because they feel no compassion for their victim.
  3. Pushing boundaries – Often ignoring boundaries completely.  They won’t take ‘NO’ for an answer.  They push and push and push until they get what they want no matter what it cost their victim.  50 shades of Gray is an example of this type of abuse.
  4. Abusers are lovely one minute and lash out the next – Unpredictable behaviors, extreme emotions, or more disturbing looking around to make sure the victim is alone before unleashing their fury. Calculated emotional attack.
  5. Sneaky insults – Back handed compliments, are often thinly veiled insults.  Or the compliment will be followed with a ‘but’.  Example: You did a great job but you were slow getting finished.  The victim hears the trailing criticism much louder than the faint praise.
  6. Abusers usually do not communicate with you – They will talk at you, over you or ignore you but have no interest in actually connecting and communication with you.  Communication requires listening and hearing the other person.  Abusers have no interest in hearing their victims.
  7. Isolation – Loners, introverts, and those without a strong support team are easier to isolate.  Isolation guarantees no witnesses.  No one to contradict the abuser or tell the victim that treatment they are getting is wrong.  Without validation it is difficult to stand up to an emotional abuser.
  8. Abusers often lack maturity – One of the hallmarks of maturity is being able to see another persons point of view.  An abuser does not want to see their victims point of view.
  9. Abusers show jealousy – The abuser is insecure so the slightest behavior that isn’t centered on them brings accusations and a display of jealousy.  Some books portray jealousy as a ‘symbol of love’, I don’t believe it is.  I think jealousy over the slightest thing is more a reflection of no confidence in the part of the person showing the jealousy.

Every person does one or two or three of these some of the time.  When our behaviors are pointed out we try to correct them and be a better friend to the person.  An abuser may be aware of their own behavior and have no desire to change for many reasons their behavior gets them what they want, the are afraid to change, they like the illusion of power when they hurt someone else….the list goes on and on as to why some people won’t change.  Yes, I believe people can change when they are the ones that want to change.  I do not believe you can change someone else when they are quite happy with how they are.  This is why it is the victim that changes the dynamics of a relationship because the abuser is find with the status quo.




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