We all hope for healthy relationships throughout our lives, but that doesn't always happen. Too many people are emotionally abused by parents, siblings, significant others or friends.
It's often subtle, with the victim (and even the abuser) not realizing it's happening.
Emotional abuse is more than having a fight and exchanging words you didn't mean. It can also be more damaging than physical abuse.
According to Psychology Today, "Emotional abuse undercuts a person's foundational self-confidence and love of self and replaces them with confusion about self-worth, value, justice, mercy, and love." Emotional abuse, also called mental or psychological abuse, can be aggressive or passive. It can be tricky to identify in your own relationships, but these questions can help:
Of course, there are other warning signs of emotional abuse and things that the abuser does to the victim, but these questions can help you identify abuse in your relationship. It's also important to note that the "stress of emotional abuse will eventually catch up with you in the form of illness, emotional trauma, depression, or anxiety", according to Live Bold and Bloom.
Being emotionally abused is not OK. If you are in an abusive situation with a friend, family member or significant other, please seek help to find a safe place. Find someone who will help you get out and get help. Professionals are also available to help you - call 1-800-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
It may be difficult to tell someone about what's happening and to take the necessary steps to heal and reverse the effects of emotional abuse, but do not give up. You don't have to suffer alone. You don't have to stay silent. Help is out there - you deserve to live a life without abuse.
Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen