Recorded: 10/10/2021 / Published: 4/19/2022
- In this week’s episode of The Krypt we are diving heavily into psychology today in an attempt to help people recognize abusive relationships and get out of them.
- Rules to Love By: ( https://inclusionwoodworks.com )
- Safe, sane, consensual, and informed
- KNKI: Knowledge, No Intolerance, Kindness, Integrity
- “Submission is not about authority and it’s not about obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect.” -Wm. Paul Young
- “How to Recognize the Signs of Mental and Emotional Abuse-S04E10”
- Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Ann Pietrangelo — Updated on December 6, 2018
You probably know many of the more obvious signs of mental and emotional abuse. But when you’re in the midst of it, it can be easy to miss the persistent undercurrent of abusive behavior.
Psychological abuse involves a person’s attempts to frighten, control, or isolate you. It’s in the abuser’s words and actions, as well as their persistence in these behaviors.
The abuser could be your spouse or other romantic partner. They could be your business partner, parent, or a caretaker.
No matter who it is, you don’t deserve it and it’s not your fault. Continue reading to learn more, including how to recognize it and what you can do next.
- 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.
Here are some examples:
- Jealousy. They accuse you of flirting or cheating on them.
- Turning the tables. They say you cause their rage and control issues by being such a pain.
- Denying something you know is true. An abuser will deny that an argument or even an agreement took place. This is called gaslighting. It’s meant to make you question your own memory and 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.
- Goading then blaming. Abusers know just how to upset you. But once the trouble starts, it’s your fault for creating it.
- Denying their abuse. When you complain about their attacks, abusers will deny it, seemingly bewildered at the very thought of it.
- Accusing you of abuse. They say you’re the one who has anger and control issues and they’re the helpless victim.
- Trivializing. When you want to talk about your hurt feelings, they accuse you of overreacting and making mountains out of molehills.
- Saying you have no sense of humor. Abusers make personal jokes about you. If you object, they’ll tell you to lighten up.
- Blaming you for their problems. Whatever’s wrong in their life is all your fault. You’re not supportive enough, didn’t do enough, or stuck your nose where it didn’t belong.
- Destroying and denying. They might crack your cell phone screen or “lose” your car keys, then deny it.
- 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.
They do this by:
- Demanding respect. No perceived slight will go unpunished, and you’re expected to defer to them. But it’s a one-way street.
- Shutting down communication. They’ll ignore your attempts at conversation in person, by text, or by phone.
- Dehumanizing you. They’ll look away when you’re talking or stare at something else when they speak to you.
- Keeping you from socializing. Whenever you have plans to go out, they come up with a distraction or beg you not to go.
- Trying to come between you and your family. They’ll tell family members that you don’t want to see them or make excuses why you can’t attend family functions.
- 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.
- Tuning you out. They’ll wave you off, change the subject, or just plain ignore you when you want to talk about your relationship.
- Actively working to turn others against you. They’ll tell co-workers, friends, and even your family that you’re unstable and prone to hysterics.
- Calling you needy. When you’re really down and out and reach out for support, they’ll tell you you’re too needy or the world can’t stop turning for your little problems.
- Interrupting. You’re on the phone or texting and they get in your face to let you know your attention should be on them.
- Indifference. They see you hurt or crying and do nothing.
- Disputing your feelings. Whatever you feel, they’ll say you’re wrong to feel
- that way or that’s not really what you feel at all.
A codependent relationship is when everything you do is in reaction to your abuser’s behavior. And they need you just as much to boost their own self-esteem. You’ve forgotten how to be any other way. It’s a vicious circle of unhealthy behavior.
You might be codependent if you:
- are unhappy in the relationship, but fear alternatives
- consistently neglect your own needs for the sake of theirs
- ditch friends and sideline your family to please your partner
- frequently seek out your partner’s approval
- critique yourself through your abuser’s eyes, ignoring your own instincts
- make a lot of sacrifices to please the other person, but it’s not reciprocated
- would rather live in the current state of chaos than be alone
- bite your tongue and repress your feelings to keep the peace
- feel responsible and take the blame for something they did
- defend your abuser when others point out what’s happening
- try to “rescue” them from themselves
- feel guilty when you stand up for yourself
- think you deserve this treatment
- believe that nobody else could ever want to be with you
- change your behavior in response to guilt; your abuser says, “I can’t live without you,” so you stay
- Full show notes: https://kuldrinskrypt.com/410
- National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
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