Does your partner degrade or belittle you? Publish details about you or your relationship online? If you think that just because you aren’t being physically abused then nothing is wrong, think again. Ever since the April 2010 article You Carry the Cure In Your Own Heart, I have been interested in how emotional abuse can have devastating consequences on both physical and mental health. This subject has created more feedback than just about anything on the site. Where do you start to look for help?
While emotional or psychological abuse may be difficult to pinpoint, examples abound. Here are some characteristics:
- Using money as a lever to control you
- Making you afraid of consequences by using looks, gestures or actions
- Distorted self-image, they can fool themselves too
- Controlling by minimizing, denying and blaming
- Making light of their behaviour and not taking your concerns about it seriously
- Regularly criticizing you, calling you names, shouting at you, using sarcasm
- Unpredictable, putting you down or humiliating you in private, but acting charming in public, or fluctuating between the two
- Cultivating a caring persona with others important to them, in other words, two-faced.
- Withholding approval, appreciation or affection as punishment.