There are emotional abuse signs everywhere in our society. In fact, we are likely abused multiple times each and every day in a majority of our relationships and interactions. Most of the time, when we think of emotional abuse, we think of our romantic relationships such as marriage or common-law relationships; sometimes we think of the relationships we have with our parents, but the truth is emotional abuse is rampant.
Psychological, Verbal & emotional Abuse signs
Psychological, verbal and emotional abuse signs are the most easily recognized and the list of examples is very lengthy and likely not complete.
Another person acts like a false martyr
Another person behaves hyper-defensively all the time
Another person behaves hyper-reactively all the time
Another person behaves is a reckless, dangerous way so he/she gets hurt often
Another person constantly sabotaging their own immune system so he/she is sick all the time
Another person uses false self-guilt to manipulate and coerce you
Being ungracious when receiving gifts and kind gestures
Belittling a person
Bringing up old issues
Certain mannerisms, such as snapping fingers in someone’s face
Coming home drunk or stoned
Degrading another person
Deliberately creating a mess for someone else to clean up
Demanding an accounting of a person’s time and routine
Denying or taking away responsibilities or privileges
Disbelieving a person
Dismissing one’s ideas and opinions
Egging a person on, challenging a person to engaging a person in physical violence
Expecting a person to conform to a role
Failing to keep commitments
Friendship or support of people who are abusive
Giving the “silent treatment”
Having a double standard for another person
Having pictures that indicate hate or violence against another’s gender
Inappropriate expression of jealousy
Insisting on always getting your own way
Isolation (physical or emotional)
Laughing in a person’s face
Making fun of appearance or ability
Making one feel inferior, not ‘good enough’, worthless
Making someone do illegal things
Making someone drop charges
Making someone feel crazy or stupid
Making someone feel guilty
Manipulating a person
Minimizing a person’s work or contribution
Neglecting a person
Never really forgiving, holding grudges
Not coming home
Overpowering another’s emotions
Pressuring a person
Pressuring a person to stay while drugs or alcohol are being abused
Punishing a person by not sharing in household chores
Put-downs disguised as jokes
Putting a person on a pedestal
Real or suggested involvement with other persons
Refusing to deal with issues
Refusing to do things with or for another person
Refusing to talk and listen
Repeatedly pointing out mistakes (real or perceived)
Ridiculing a person
Ridiculing food preferences
Saying one thing, meaning another
Staying focused on the negative (fundamental attribution error)
Taking advantage of fears
Telling jokes that belittle or indicate hatred toward the other’s genders or the other’s sexual orientation
Threatening a person with the loss of immigration status
Threatening suicide unless...
Threatening to get drunk or stoned unless
Threatening to unjustly report a person to the authorities
A lesser known category of emotional abuse signs involves the experience of childbirth, reproduction and pregnancy.
Blaming her because the infant is the "wrong" sex
Demanding sex soon after childbirth
Denial the child is his
Denying her access to her newborn child
Forcing her to have an abortion
Not supporting her or helping out after she comes home with the baby
Refusing sex on the grounds that her pregnant body is ugly
Refusing to allow her to breast-feed
Refusing to allow or forcing her to use contraception
Refusing to support her during the birth
Refusing to support her during the pregnancy
Suggesting or promoting pregnancy pacts
Sulking or making her feel bad for time spent with the baby
employment-based emotional abuse signs
Emotional abuse signs in the career and employment realm are magnified because of fear of economic instability if one takes a defensive stance.
Accolades and gratitude are offered in a forced way
Being berated for being inaccessible while on vacation
Being disrespected in alternative work arrangements
Being reminded you can be fired
Company policies are not evenly enforced
Constantly being told you are lucky to have a job
Constantly complaining about your right to vacation time
Exploitation of time and talents without receiving agreed upon compensation
False emergencies and being assigned useless make work projects when you are on vacation
Gossip and lies
Important problems are trivialized
Jumping to conclusions about you
Lots of yelling, screaming, cursing
Making assumptions about you
Objects are physically thrown at you
Performance reviews are misused to force hidden agendas
Refusing to listen to pertinent information
Remembering your mistakes
Significant lack of resources needed to do work
Stolen work credit
You’re not invited to relevant meetings, projects and gatherings (deliberate exclusion)
emotional abuse signs in social or public settings
Emotional abuse signs are obvious in social or public settings, but so few step in to help and often times victims will work hard to pretend there is no problem.
Being rude to a person’s friends or relatives
Censoring a person’s mail
Change of personality with others
Controlling what a person does
Controlling what a person reads
Controlling where a person goes
Controlling whom a person sees
Controlling whom a person talks to
Dictating a person’s behavior
Dictating a person’s mode of dress
Failing to pass on messages
Habitually choosing friends, activities or work rather than being with a person
Insisting on accompanying a person into the doctor's office
Interfering with a person’s family or friends
Making a "scene" in public
Making a person account for himself or herself
Not allowing a person access to family or friends
Not giving a person space or privacy
Putting down or ignoring a person in public
Treating a person like a servant
emotional abuse signs involving children
Emotional abuse signs surrounding our children are a touchy subject because most likely believe it is none of our business.
Assaulting a person in front of the children
Embarrassing a person in front of the children
Initiating false child-abuse charges against a person
Making a person stay at home with the children
Not sharing responsibility for the children
Putting down a person’s parenting ability
Teaching children to abuse the other parent through name calling, hitting, etc.
Threatening to abduct the children or telling a person he or she will never get custody
emotional abuse signs during separation or divorce
Emotional abuse signs during separation and divorce can be particularly heinous.
Buying the children's affection with expensive gifts
Denying the other parent access to the children
Failing to supply a valid phone number and being inaccessible much or all of the time
Not showing up on time to pick up children or not having them back on time
Pumping children for information about the other parent's new relationships.
Telling children the other parent is responsible for breaking up the family
Using children to transport messages to the other parent
emotional abuse signs in the home environment
A person's home should be a haven of comfort, familiarity, safety and security, but emotional abuse signs in this environment often tell a different story.
Locking her in or out
Mowing over her garden
Throwing objects or food
Throwing or destroying her possessions
emotional abuse signs in & around vehicles
Few people would say that emotional abuse signs related to vehicles are a form of abuse, but they are very much so.
Behaving in an aggressive or excessively frustrated manner towards other drivers
Chasing or hitting another person with a vehicle
Deliberate tail gating
Driving recklessly, pounding the steering wheel
Driving too fast
Driving while intoxicated
Forcing another person into a vehicle
Grabbing the steering wheel while another person’s driving
Hitting another person while he or she is driving
Killing or injuring another person in a deliberate accident
Prohibiting another person from using a vehicle by tampering with the engine, taking the keys, etc.
Pushing or pulling another person out of a vehicle when it's in still or in motion
Putting your foot over another person’s foot on the gas pedal
Refusing a person a ride home from an agreed upon destination
Threatening to kill another person by driving into an oncoming car, etc.
sexual abuse signs
(not emotional abuse signs, but still very important)
Emotional abuse signs related to sexuality are in many people's eyes are the worst of the worst and there is no question on this, in my opinion.
Accusations of affair
Any unwanted sexual contact
Criticizing another person’s sexual ability
Degrading another person’s body parts
Displaying pornography that makes another person feel uncomfortable
Forcing another person to have sex
Forcing another person to have sex with animals
Forcing another person to have sex with others
Forcing another person to view pictures of the sexual exploitation of the other gender
Forcing sex after childbirth or surgery
Forcing sex when another person’s sick
Hounding another person to have sex
Knowingly transmitting sexual diseases
Pinching, slapping, grabbing or poking sexual organs and body parts
Pressuring another person to pose for pornographic photos
Purposely not washing and expecting sex
Sexual name calling
Telling sexual jokes that are uncomfortable for another person to hear
Treating another person as a sex object
Unwanted fondling in public
Using sex as the basis or solution for an argument
Uttering threats to obtain sex
religious abuse signs
(emotional abuse signs are often a large part of religious abuse)
The emotional abuse signs related to religious abuse should not be ignored or glossed over. They can be very troublesome and often involve many other types of abuse.
Excessive spending for religion
Interpreting religion your way
Mocking another person’s beliefs
Preventing another person from attending church
Requiring sex acts or drug use as religious acts
Using church position to pressure for sex or favors
Using another person, then demanding forgiveness
Using religion to justify abuse or dominance
financial, economic or material abuse signs
(emotional abuse signs underlie most issues in this category)
Canceling another person's insurance
Forging another person's name
Giving another false receipts or accounting of finances
Insisting on perfectly even distribution of expenses by tracking all receipts
Keeping family finances a secret
Not paying fair share of bills
Not spending money on special occasions'
Pressuring another to take full responsibility for finances
Pressuring or controlling another person's working conditions
Preventing another person from taking a job
Sabotaging another person's efforts to attain economic freedom
Spending money foolishly or beyond means
Spending on addictions, gambling, sexual services
Taking another person's money
physical abuse signs
(also, not emotional abuse signs, but still very important)
Emotional abuse in is a major part of physical abuse.
Any unwanted physical contact
Breaking another person’s bones
Cutting or burning another person
Denying or restricting another person food or drink
Force-feeding another person
Hiding or withholding necessary medication
Hitting her with objects or whipping another person
Ignoring another person's illness or injury
Intimidating another person
Kicking, punching or pinching another
Knifing or shooting another person
Pressuring or tricking another person into alcohol or drug abuse
Pulling or pushing another person
Restraining another person in any way
Slapping, hitting or shaking another person
Spitting on another person
Standing too close to another person
Threatening to kill or injure another person
Throwing her or throwing things at another person
Urinating on another person
ritual abuse signs
(emotional abuse signs are often a large part of ritual abuse)
Most of us don't really consider ritual abuse when we think of abuse in general, but it's a large problem in society, none the less.
Forcing another person to participate in rituals
Forcing another person to witness rituals
Ritualized animal sacrifices
Suggesting or promoting suicide or suicide pacts
Why are We So Troubled as a Society?
A major part of the problem seems to be that we live in a society of induced helplessness and blame. We do not take responsibility for ourselves and we need to be able to blame others for all of our mistakes and problems. We have to because blaming ourselves would only make the pile higher of things for which we already hate ourselves.
It seems, we no longer have have emotional control and as a result we let the natural human tendency known as fundamental attribution error (the tendency to see everything through a negative filter) run amuck.
Because so many of us see so many things through this negative filter, we feel bad a lot of the time. And because we feel so bad, we want others to feel bad as well. There is a saying that "misery loves company." The result is that the list of emotional abuse signs grows long indeed.
Emotional wellness is completely out of balance in today's society. If you think you are the victim of emotional abuse, you probably are, but chances are you are also victimizing someone in your life as well.
Unfortunately, the problem is not going to go away anytime soon. We are so driven to get out from under the blinding glare of blame that we don't even realize how abusive we are behaving.
Chronic disease is a huge part of the problem too. We have let our immune systems get so weak over the years with bad food and stressful lifestyles that we have depleted our bodies to the point of being under constant attack and now so many of us are so sick that we have become true burdens on society.
We are miserable and we are taking it out on everyone around us. We have Chronic Depression and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia and every other ailment known to man. We feel like crap all the time so we see nothing wrong with making other people's lives miserable too. In many cases, we miss the very serious emotional abuse signs happening all around us.
Signs of Emotional Abuse are Everywhere
The abuse is everywhere. There are emotional abuse signs in family relationships. The abuse flows in all directions in this setting. She is abusing him; he is abusing her; they are abusing their children; the children are abusing the parents. Home-based abuse shoots in as many directions as there are points on a compass.
There are emotional abuse signs at work; there is emotional abuse in the community; there are emotional abuse signs in churches; there is emotional abuse in politics; and there are emotional abuse signs in all our school environments. You can't escape from all the emotional abuse and other types of abuse all over our society.
It truly is the ultimate wellness challenge to be solved. Emotional wellness or emotional well-being is achievable; though, it will take significant effort.
Just like any other wellness category, it will take serious critical thinking skills and problem solving skills to fix the mess. You may not believe that it can be fixed, but I still believe there is hope. An excellent starting point is a smile and the simple words, "I am truly sorry, please forgive me."
We all have bad days, bad weeks, bad months, even bad years and bad decades. But, it is not the next guy's fault. It is our own fault. And we can choose to solve all our wellness challenges so that the emotional abuse signs in our world can be reduced. Get started dealing with the emotional abuse in your life by calling these resource numbers to get more information.
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