Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who was a narcissistic, cunning, pathologically lying, abusive partner? If you have never been involved with a person like this, then you might not know how to recognize them from the start and deal with them.
Because, when you date an abusive person, they may easily fool you with their charm and phony façade until you completely ignore your instincts that your partner is using you, lying to you, demeaning you, controlling you, or abusing you. Even worse, you may think that you are overreacting and going crazy because they are telling you so.
And the abuser can be your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your spouse, your friend, your boss, your coworker… anyone that you find yourself close to that they can influence you. Their goal is to control you and your emotions so that they can have absolute power over you.
So, here are 10 signs of emotional abuse that you should never ignore.
1. BLAMING & ACCUSING
They shift the responsibility for everything that happens, and they blame you for all the problems in the relationship. They say things like, “What’s wrong with you?” “It’s your fault” “Nothing is good for you.”
2. DIVERTING & BLOCKING
They refuse to discuss any problem or issue that affects the relationship. They completely block out any conversation that feels uncomfortable to them. They twist your words and the reality. They also criticize you which always puts you on the defense and makes you lose sight of the original problem.
They deny your experience of their abuse. They tell you that you are overreacting, and you are overly sensitive. They tell you that you are imagining things. They blindfold you and they get you in a situation where you are doubting your own perception of things, even your sanity.
4. GENERAL CRAZY-MAKING
They use all kinds of manipulation, including blaming, distortion, stonewalling, denial, or forgetting, in order to drive you insane. They do this to get you to a point of questioning your ability to think clearly and your reality.
They always “accidentally” forget to do the things that you asked them to. Things that are important to you. They “forget” to make dinner reservations, buy tickets to the movies, pick up the dry cleaning, give you a birthday or anniversary present… By “forgetting” things they are actually saying that they are the ones who are in control.
6. PUNISHMENT BY WITHHOLDING
They ignore you, they refuse to listen to you, or they might even give you the silent treatment. Withholding of communication, approval, affection, love, or their presence is their way of punishing and controlling you.
They contradict you in every way. They oppose and disapprove of your perception, thoughts, and your experiences in general. And it doesn’t matter what you say, they always have a contradicting statement to your words to bring you down.
8. DISPARAGING HUMOR
This is verbal abuse which is often disguised as humor. They will tease, humiliate, and ridicule you with their sarcastic comments about your personality, appearance, and abilities.
They will make fun of you in public because they know that you won’t say a word to them because you want to avoid a public confrontation. And if you do confront them, they’ll tell you that you are too sensitive and that you cannot take a joke.
They fail to follow through plans and they often break their promises. They dismiss and trivialize your hobbies, interests, achievements, and efforts. Every suggestion that you offer to them falls on deaf ears. They are not interested in your needs and desires. They only want to do what feels good for them.
10. CRITICIZING & JUDGING
They are harsh and unfair with their words. They criticize you constantly, telling you that “it’s for your own good”, and they are only trying to “help you.”