Does your partner emotionally abuse you? Emotional abuse is often a sign of narcissistic abuse and can be subtle and difficult to recognize. But this type of abuse can erode your feelings of self-worth and chip away at the happiness you deserve. How can you recognize the signs of narcissistic abuse so you can take steps to protect yourself?
An abusive person shows their tendency for violence in many ways. They may punch walls, kick the dog, break down doors, or show other violent behavior. Some forms of violence, however, are less obvious. Emotional violence can be just as dangerous and destructive. Below are some basic indicators of narcissistic and emotional abuse.
How to Recognize Narcissistic Abuse
Emotional and narcissistic abuse often manifest in these ways:
1 – Isolation. Sometimes, a person in a relationship can become possessive. A possessive person tells you they care about your safety, and that their possessive behavior proves that they love you. Taken to the extreme, possessiveness causes you to isolate yourself from the people you know and love. The goal of isolation is to control you by breaking down your emotional will to resist.
Isolation is employed by cult leaders to prevent their followers from having contact with outsiders, including their family and friends. Similarly, narcissists try to isolate their partners in order to deprive them of social support, thereby weakening their defenses and making them more dependent on the narcissist.
Additionally, the desire to isolate could be caused by a partner’s insecurity. They may project that insecurity onto you by trying to control everything you do, who you meet, and where you go. They may try to make you feel guilty for enjoying yourself or making friends. However, it’s important to remember not to cater to this excessive insecurity because it’s dysfunctional and you will lose yourself in the process.
2 – Verbal abuse. Regular verbal attacks on your character and value destroys your self-esteem. Continuous verbal assaults may cause you to put aside your most important ideals and beliefs.
Verbal abuse is characterized by critical or humiliating remarks about you as a person. If your partner continuously puts you down and makes you feel unworthy of self-respect, this is a warning sign that something is definitely wrong. Verbal abuse may escalate into sexual or physical abuse if you avoid taking action to protect yourself.
It’s also one of the biggest indicators of narcissistic abuse. When a narcissist becomes abusive, it’s likely you will start having errors in thinking because of the constant verbal abuse.
You might never feel like you can get a word in and that you’re never really heard. Your comments are likely to be ignored or invalidated.
3 – Financial abuse. Unless you’re financially independent, you don’t want to leave your finances vulnerable to a partner with abusive tendencies. They may deny you access to funds, refuse to allow you to work outside the home or spend money irresponsibly and blame the financial struggles on you.
What to Do
If you’re the victim of continuous emotional abuse within your relationship, the most important steps are to recognize the abuse and know that it is wrong. This can be a challenge for anyone who has been emotionally bullied over a period of time.
You are worthy of respect, and you can live a life that is free from the emotional abuse of your partner. Think honestly about your relationship and ask yourself these questions: