So first off, what is emotional abuse? “It involves a regular pattern of verbal offense, threatening, bullying, and constant criticism, as well as more subtle tactics like intimidation, shaming and manipulation. Emotional abuse is used to control and subjugate the other person, and quite often it occurs because the abuser has childhood wounds and insecurities they haven’t dealt with — perhaps as a result of being abused themselves. They didn’t learn healthy coping mechanisms or how to have positive, healthy relationships. Instead, they feel angry, hurt, fearful and powerless” (via live bold and bloom). Here is a list of potential warning signs:
1. They regularly point out your flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings.
2. They accuse or blame you of things you know aren’t true.
3. They make excuses for their behavior, try to blame others, and have difficulty apologizing.
4. They blame you for their problems, life difficulties, or unhappiness.
5. They are emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable most of the time.
6. They play the victim and try to deflect blame to you rather than taking personal responsibility.
7. They disengage or use neglect or abandonment to punish or frighten you.
8. They resort to pouting or withdrawal to get attention or attain what they want. (via live bold and bloom)
While this is not an all-inclusive list, it does include some major red flags. If you, your spouse or someone you know is engaging in any of the above behavior it would be wise to consult a trusted friend or professional. We weren’t created for abuse and aren’t meant to deal with it alone. A story kept in secret never heals.
I'm a Christian counselor who loves to help people get to the root of their current problems so they can live from a place of authenticity and freedom!