1. They want to “cut off” at random.
They tend to have a saturation point when it comes to being social or intimate. They need periodic alone time. For them, it’s a moment to disengage and go back to their comfort zone before opening up more. Connecting with people is a gradual process.
2. They apologize for everything.
They apologize when they’re wrong, they apologize when they’re not, they apologize when they fear they could be. They apologize when they think they could have ever so slightly inconvenienced another person. Basically, people who have been emotionally abused constantly think they are doing something “wrong,” and want to express to you that they do not mean to be upsetting you.
3. They’re prone to overreacting.
This is because their brains are constantly on the lookout for micro-signals that someone is upset with them. Even though they are no longer in any danger, they are still wired to be hyper-aware of every little thing that could possibly go wrong, which perpetuates the cycle of anxiety even more.
4. They have a tough exterior that shields a sensitive soul.
Their toughness is a defense mechanism, one that they had to develop to survive. They come off as very put-together and “strong,” but it’s all to protect their very sensitive emotions, which can sometimes come off as a confusing juxtaposition.
5. They often contradict themselves, are indecisive, or flipflop on ideas.
This is because victims of emotional abuse need have to change their desires quickly, so as to accommodate their abuser’s preferences. If they have their own ideas, that could result in conflict, so they never stick to their opinions strongly.
6. They often attract people they need to heal more than people they can love.
This is a subconscious mechanism that allows them to be back in their abusive relationships, except this time, with a degree of control. They want to heal their partners in the way they couldn’t their abusers.
7. They ultimately make for the very best partners.
People who aren’t inherently sensitive and empathetic are rarely the victims of emotional abuse – they just aren’t open enough to be manipulated. While some may see this as a completely negative thing (and yes, there are many times in which it needs to be kept in check) people who have had their emotions wrecked are ultimately stronger, more self-aware, and grateful for healthy love when it comes.