Emotional Abuse Behaviors

One of the tricky things about identifying emotional abuse is that it can come out in so many ways, and some of them are incredibly subtle. We’re left feeling bad but then wonder if we’re just being too sensitive or if we’re making a mistake. That’s why it’s important to understand specific emotional abuse behaviors.

(articles listed in alphabetical order)

Constant Criticism: It can be especially difficult to validate the behavior of constant criticism because of claims from our abusers that they’re only trying to help us.

Degradation: This is a particularly toxic kind of abuse that leaves you feeling worthless, no matter what you do.

Enmeshment: Enmeshed parents are parents who can’t see their children as autonomous human beings. To others, they appear to be loving parents, but their excessive intrusiveness in their children’s lives can be devastating.

Guilt: While healthy guilt has its uses, abusers misuse guilt as a way to make us do what they want.

Isolation: Abusers commonly try to keep us away from outsiders, physically and emotionally in childhood and psychologically in adulthood.

Manipulation: Emotional abusers are master manipulators. They know exactly which buttons to push and how to push them.

Obedience: The demand for absolute obedience can be direct or indirect and has far-reaching consequences into adulthood.

They’re Right and I’m Wrong: The authority our parents have over us can make us feel like they’re always right and we’re always wrong.

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