Something we don’t talk enough about is emotional abuse. Recently, Kanye West has been making public posts on social media, airing out his personal business with his wife, Kim Kardashian. In some of his posts, Kanye appears to be fighting for his marriage by showing off gifts and publicly professing his love for Kim. While most think this is cute or funny, this is a sign of emotional abuse – and it is not fun to experience it. Read on for more signs of emotional abuse and how to spot it in your relationship.
What is emotional abuse?
Emotional abuse is the attempt to control, frighten, or isolate someone using emotions. For example, if your partner repeatedly threatens to harm a family member, that is a sign of emotional abuse. Yet, that isn’t the only way emotional abuse is perpetrated. That brings the question: what are some other signs of emotional abuse?
1. Picking fights
No one likes arguing, but for some, they live for it. You might have had a discussion with a partner about something small (such as cleaning the dishes or taking out the trash) that turned into an argument. If you or your partner find yourselves constantly arguing over small stuff with no resolution or comprise in sight, you are in an emotionally abusive relationship and need to leave immediately! Furthermore, if you and your partner are picking fights to embarrass each other, leave after the first argument.
2. Avoiding certain situations/conversations
Sometimes, there are things that we don’t want to deal with – communicating your feelings to your partner is not one of them. While some reasonably need time to process their thoughts, extended avoidance of certain conversations and situations in a relationship can be a sign of emotional abuse. Especially if your partner is dismissive of your feelings. After your first encounter with a dismissive partner, drop them like a bad habit and move on to better!
3. Loss of confidence/self-esteem
Nothing sucks the life out of you faster than having low self-esteem. It sucks even more when your partner reaffirms and relishes in your lack of confidence. Feeling worthless is something we all hate feeling, so why have a partner who makes you feel like that? If your partner enjoys tearing you down, leave the relationship and cut them off pronto!
4. Social withdrawal
Social withdrawal looks like avoiding your friends when you’re at your fave hangout spot or your family at a cookout. It can also look like taking several social media breaks under the guise of your partner’s intents. If your partner tries to isolate you from socializing with the people you love, you are in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Depression is one of the biggest signs of emotional abuse. The longer you’re with a toxic partner, the less energy you’ll have for yourself and other ventures. If you find yourself feeling constantly overwhelmed while with your partner, make yourself like queso and dip!
This sign is normally not taken seriously, but it should be. Affection and attention-seeking is a sign that your partner is (purposely) not catering to your emotional needs. Affection or attention-seeking looks like acting out to get your partner’s attention. It can also look like dressing, acting, or talking a certain way to be more appealing to your partner. Although this is common in relationships, you don’t have to anticipate affection/attention from just your partner if you show these signs.
Emotional abuse is something to take seriously, especially as more people are experiencing it. Keep in mind, emotional abuse is not reserved for relationships. Parents, friends, and even jobs can be emotionally abusive. If you have experienced emotional abuse, reach out to a therapist, EAV (emotional abuse victims) group, friends, or family for help. If you’re coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship, take time to heal, make boundaries, and find to take care of yourself.