I feel we talk about signs of abuse from the victims standpoint but not from the abusers standpoint. In order to stop emotional abuse and recognize when we engage in unhealthy behaviors I made this list.
- Do you react to important people in your life by ignoring them completely and not acknowledging their presence? Especially if they do something you don’t like?
- Do you feel that your partner/friends/family members are the cause of your bad moods or frustration?
- Does your partner/etc “do things the wrong way”?
- Do criticize your partner/etc for being unreliable or a bad person?
- Do you feel you have to constantly overlook your partners flaws in order to be around them?
- Are you frequently accused of being “moody” or “hard to please”?
- Do your partners complain that “nothing they do is good enough?
- Do your partners appear to avoid you when you are angry or upset rather then comfort you?
- Do you negatively comment on their intelligence or appearance? Either in private or in front of others.
- Do you blame them when someone goes wrong?
- Do you ever use phrases like “I could just hit you right now” or “I”m so mad I could punch something”?
- Do you ever punch walls/throw things in front of your partner/etc?
- Do you leave during fights and not inform of where you are going and when you will be back?
- Do you behave the same alone with your partner that you do if you were in front of your friends or in public?
- Have you frequently accused your partner of being too sensitive?
- How often is your partner praised and complimented by yourself?
- Do you think your partner spends too much time with friends and family?
- Do you feel your partners friends and family are trying to drive you apart?
- Do you refuse to actively comfort your partner when they are upset or angry especially if you don’t really understand why they feel the way they do?
- If your partner brings up a behavior that bothers them do you respond by discussing how to change it or do you respond defensively?
- Do you have difficulty apologizing?
All of these things are abuse tactics. Obviously even the healthiest of us will do these sometimes but if any one becomes a regular habit that’s when the problem starts.
Many of these are also symptoms of bpd or Borderline Personality Disorder as well those struggling with mental illness. Proper communication and understanding with your partner or family member is very important. Having a mental illness is not an excuse to be abusive however being mentally ill puts someone at higher risk of being abused. I highly recommend therapy if at all possible although this is just as someone who has been to a ton of it.