Manipulations, gaslighting, and giving the silent treatment are the obvious signs of psychological abuse that you’re aware of but when you’re in an abusive and toxic Massachusetts relationship, there’s a subtlety to this kind of emotional abuse that cannot be easy to spot.
Emotional abuse is tricky to spot. Many of us are aware of the signs of emotional abuse, but when one is in an emotionally abusive relationship, the signs can nearly be invisible to identify.
Not only manipulation and gaslighting, but insulting, blaming, threatening, and holding affection are all subtle examples of emotional abuse. Emotionally abusive people use these to make their partner lose their self-confidence and freedom. These underhanded tactics make emotionally abusive people gain control over their partner in a relationship.
If someone is emotionally abused, then they are more likely to feel lonely, invalidated, and insecure.
Toxic relationships or abusive relationships are not always toxic or abusive. During the initial days, emotionally abusive people use tactics such as giving gifts and showing affection constantly to make the other person feel vulnerable enough to win their confidence and trust.
Emotional abuse can gradually turn into verbal abuse and even physical abuse. No matter what kind of abuse, the one thing remains common – the language used by the abuser.
In this blog, here are some of the most common phrases that emotionally abusive people use to dominate and control their partners.
Phrases Used By Emotional Abusive People
1. “You’re Too Sensitive”
Emotional abusive people often dismiss your feelings by calling you too sensitive. This form of gaslighting takes away the offending comment and can be effective in making you feel invalidated and ashamed in front of others.
2. “You Can’t Be Pleased”
Emotional abusive people are manipulators. More often than not, they’ll try to point out your weakness as barely disguised insults. For example, they’ll say, “Your place looks cleaner than last time”. Of course, this may leave you feeling confused.
3. “No One’s Got Your Back As I Do”
To an emotional abuser, their key aim is to isolate you from your family and friends. This is often masked as discouragement. Emotionally abusive people will try to say that others don’t have your best interests at heart, not like them. They’ll convince you to spend more time with them and less with your friends.
4. “Why Are You Making It A Big Deal?”
Emotionally abusive people ignore the problem at hand and turn it back to you. An example of this can be; when your partner comes home late without informing you beforehand and when you convey your worries, they’ll accuse you of making it a big deal. This also leaves little room for you to share your feelings as your partner is more likely to invalidate your feelings.
5. “You Don’t Know What You’re Saying”
Again, gaslighting is a type of verbal and emotional abuse that can make you question and second guess your reality. When you accuse your partner of something, they’ll tell you that your memory is incorrect and they’ll present you with their version. After enough manipulation, it becomes second nature to rely on the abuser.
6. “They All Think You’re Crazy”
Once you begin to doubt your views and perception, your emotionally abusive partner will convince you that others think you’re mentally insecure. Of course, this is said to shake your confidence in yourself. This kind of phrasing is dismissive and makes you feel isolated. The more isolated you feel, the less you’ll be willing to leave the abusive relationship.
7. “They Are/Were So Much Better Than You”
Unfortunately, a comparison is another abusive tactic that emotionally abusive people use to control you. Comparing you to their former partners or friends is another way to take away your self-esteem. They are likely to make comments about your looks, smarts, capabilities, or your personality. These comments can steal your confidence and shake your self-esteem.
What Can You Do If Your Partner Uses These Phrases?
There’s not a correct way to deal with an emotionally abusive partner. Everyone is different and so are their tactics. However, if your partner is using the above-mentioned phrases to exert control over you and your relationship, then you can:
1. Trust Your Instincts
If you’re being verbally or emotionally abused long-term, then it can be challenging to tap into your guts. But if your instincts scream Danger! Then don’t ignore it, either! When you feel the anxiety in your gut, a feeling of unease in a situation, then don’t dismiss it. Listen to your instincts before you make a move.
2. Know Your Weaknesses
Your weaknesses are what an emotionally abusive person looks for, first. For example, if your weakness lets you give your partner the benefit of the doubt, then remind yourself that this doesn’t work with abusers. Emotional abusers look for your weakness to control you. Understand your weaknesses and don’t let your partner use them against you.
3. Stop Arguing With Them
You can try many arguments to reason with them but in the end, it’s of no use. To an emotional abuser, your explanations don’t work. If you respond to them, try to use non-combative statements like, “Thank you for sharing this. Maybe you’re correct but I don’t believe so.” Stop arguing with your emotionally abusive partner.
4. Avoid Defending Yourself
It’s best to call a trusted friend, write in your journal, or reach out to your support system than defend yourself. Defending yourself isn’t the right thing to do when there’s nothing you did wrong. The best thing to do is – do nothing. Remember, emotional abusers can and will use anything you say against you. So instead of defending yourself, walk away.
5. Reach Out To Your Support System
When all else fails, the best thing to do is to reach out to your support system. Your support system can be your friends, your family, or even a mental health professional. If you’re looking for a safe space, you should immediately reach out and seek help.
If you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 for assistance in obtaining a restraining order.