5 subtle signs of emotional abuse

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1. They do good to you.

The person helps you, even if you did not ask for it, persistently gives advice that you did not want. He undertakes to solve your problems, attracts familiar lawyers, doctors and auto mechanics, looks for work for you, woo his relatives and friends, and so on. Moreover, he does all this very decisively, without consulting with you and without asking whether you, in fact, need his participation.

Another such “benefactor” can give you expensive gifts, buy valuable things. At the same time, he focuses only on his sense of beauty, and not on your preferences – and most often he does not guess with a choice. As a result, you cannot refuse the present and the thing lies idle.

Such gestures look very broad, and it is quite difficult to suspect violence or manipulation in them. But behind the desire to solve your problems and benefit you at all costs, there is often a thirst for control.

A person has certain expectations about how you should live, and with the help of gifts and “support”, he tries to reshape you to fit these expectations.

And it also happens that the “benefactor”, consciously or not, seeks to bind you to himself. After the assistance provided, you begin to feel that you owe him, and it will be inconvenient to refuse to communicate with him or fulfill some request.

So unsolicited help in any form is a violation of boundaries. If you are persistently trying to do “good” that you do not need, thank the person and politely but firmly refuse . And when you yourself really want to help someone, ask first how appropriate it is.

2. Your desires are not taken seriously.

They explain to you very gently and delicately that what you want, you really do not need at all – but you need something completely different. And in every possible way they make it clear that you are an unreasonable creature and do not really understand how you should live, not like your partner, relative, colleagues or friends.

  • “Well, why do you want to move away from your parents ? They will always take care of you here, besides, the metro is nearby, it is convenient to go to work, you don’t have to pay someone else’s uncle for an apartment.”
  • “You don’t need a second degree, extra stress and spending. You won’t work anyway, it’s much better and calmer at home, with children.”

If we are talking about some fateful decisions, they will convince you for a long time, methodically and patiently, masterfully play on your feelings, especially on guilt and various fears and anxieties. Until you give up and allow yourself to be convinced that your desires and needs are unreasonable, and a loved one knows better what you need.

In the most neglected cases, the victim of such manipulations completely loses his own opinion, merges with the abuser.

She agrees with him in everything and looks at the world through his eyes. This kind of emotional abuse is called prospecticide.

Of course, it also happens that a loved one is not going to control you and break your will, but sincerely worries that you can make the wrong choice and get into trouble. But in such a situation, people speak openly, give strong arguments, and the right to choose is still left to you, even if they do not agree with your decision.

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3. You get a lot of praise

  • “You have a great talent, you can achieve a lot. You just need to not be lazy and work hard.”
  • “You will definitely win this competition, otherwise it cannot be.”

At first glance, it sounds quite harmless. And for someone, maybe even motivating . But such statements set a very high bar for a person and make them suffer if something does not work out.

Instead of moving towards your own goals at a comfortable pace, you try to live up to other people’s expectations and are afraid to disappoint your partner, parent or friend.

Therefore, if you want to praise someone, it is better to do without forecasts in the spirit of “With such intelligence, you should earn a lot of money” – and note the successes that a person has already achieved. And if they persistently try to motivate you with the help of such compliments, then try to cut off the expectations and assumptions of other people and focus only on an objective assessment.

4. You are forbidden to show negative emotions.

No one says “Don’t you dare cry!” or “Smile immediately!” But if you are sad or angry, they try very hard to console you. And to prove that your problems are not worth such strong emotions.

  • “Well, why are you so killed over such trifles?”
  • “Don’t be upset! It hasn’t happened to me yet, and nothing, everything worked out.

At first glance, this is just an attempt to cheer you up. But another motive often hides behind it: a person cannot stand other people’s negative emotions and wants to “hush them up” as soon as possible. Maybe he sympathizes with you a lot and your pain hurts him. Or maybe he is just too lazy to mess with you and wants you to be comfortable and satisfied.

This approach is called toxic positivity, and it is not good for mental health. It is important for a person to live their negative emotions , and not to drive them deeper.

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5. They don’t talk to you about unpleasant topics.

Something is bothering you in your partner’s behavior or in your relationship and life, and you want to talk about it. But a person in every possible way shirks conversations that may be unpleasant to him or require some action from him.

He changes the subject, laughs it off, offers to return to the discussion later, or even pretends not to hear, and continues to do his own thing.

This behavior is called visholding , or, more simply, avoidance, evasion. It can be quite unsettling and offending. A person does not seem to refuse to discuss problems, but nothing good comes out of this anyway. And such duality affects the climate in relations not in the best way.

Withholding is hard to resist. If a loved one does this all the time, you should directly tell him that it upsets you. And if this does not give results, contact a family psychologist. Or end the relationship : everyone deserves to have a person nearby who hears him.

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