If you would rather watch/listen than read, you can find the video to this article HERE.
Psychological abuse (also known as mental or emotional abuse) involves a person’s attempts to frighten, control, or isolate you.
There are many, many strategies! We’re going to talk about some of them here. If you want to learn about more tactics, be sure to click the link at the end to get my list of many more! You can’t spot ‘em when they happen if you don’t know they exist!
These tactics are meant to undermine your self-esteem. The abuse is harsh and unrelenting in matters big and small.
* Character assassination. This usually involves the word “always.” You’re always late, wrong, screwing up, disagreeable, and so on. Basically, they say you’re not a good person.
* Patronizing. “Aw, sweetie, I know you try, but this is just beyond your understanding.”
* Public embarrassment. They pick fights, expose your secrets, or make fun of your shortcomings in public.
Control and shame
Trying to make you feel ashamed of your inadequacies is another path to power.
*Threats. Telling you they’ll take the kids and disappear, or saying “There’s no telling what I might do.”
*Monitoring your whereabouts. They want to know where you are all the time and insist that you respond to calls or texts immediately. They might show up just to see if you’re where you’re supposed to be.
*Financial control. They might keep bank accounts in their name only and make you ask for money. You might be expected to account for every penny you spend.
Accusing, blaming, and denial
This behavior comes from an abuser’s insecurities. They want to create a hierarchy in which they’re at the top and you’re at the bottom.
* Jealousy. They accuse you of flirting or cheating on them.
* Gaslighting - Denying something that you know is true is actually true. An abuser might deny that an argument or an agreement happened. They might also tell you that what happened never actually happened. It’s meant to make you question your memory and your sanity.
* Using guilt. They might say something like, “You owe me this. Look at all I’ve done for you,” in an attempt to get their way.
Emotional neglect and isolation
Abusers tend to place their own emotional needs ahead of yours. Many abusers will try to come between you and people who are supportive of you to make you more dependent on them.
* Shutting down communication. They’ll ignore your attempts at conversation in person, by text, or by phone.
* Withholding affection. They won’t touch you, not even to hold your hand or pat you on the shoulder. They may refuse sexual relations to punish you or to get you to do something.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found it helpful!