Sometimes verbal abuse is so bad that you actually start believing what someone says to you. You begin to think you’re stupid, ugly or fat. You agree that nobody else would ever want to be in a relationship with you. Constantly being criticized and told you aren’t good enough causes you to lose confidence and lowers your self esteem. As a result, you may start to blame yourself for your partner’s abusive behavior.
Remember — emotional abuse is never your fault. In fact, your partner may just be trying to control or manipulate you into staying in the relationship.
Does your partner continuously degrade or belittle you? If you think that just because you aren’t being physically abused nothing is wrong, think again.
Emotional abuse can have devastating consequences on both physical and mental health. While emotional or psychological abuse may be difficult to pinpoint, examples abound.
Here are some characteristics:
• Using economic power to control you
• Threatening to leave
• Making you afraid by using looks, gestures or actions
• Smashing things
• Controlling you through minimizing, denying and blaming
• Making light of the abuse and not taking your concerns about it seriously
• Continually criticizing you, calling you names, shouting at you
• Emotionally degrading you in private, but acting charming in public
• Humiliating you in private or public
• Withholding approval, appreciation or affection as punishment