Have you ever witnessed a relationship where one partner derived pleasure from belittling their partner and making them feel miserable? If so, then they have been a victim of psychological abuse. An emotionally abusive or manipulative person will take every opportunity possible to make life difficult.
If a person allows it, emotional abuse can have an adverse effect on their life and mental health. It can erode self-confidence and make them feel unsure and anxious.
If a person has been a victim of emotional abuse, there’s no question that overcoming it can be challenging. Some ways to help them recover and overcome this are found here.
- Understand They Are Not the Issue
If they find themselves in a situation where they are being emotionally abused, it is essential they understand that it is the abuser – not them – that has the problem. Once they can understand they are normal and okay, and they have the problem, it will be easier to give context to their situation.
- Don’t Live in Denial
They can’t live in a state of denial and constantly make excuses for someone who is emotionally abusive. They need to accept they have been a victim of abuse and that the abuse may have had a negative effect on their emotional and mental state.
It’s important to understand that acceptance is a big part of the solution. After they have accepted the problem, then they can put a strategy in place that will help them recover and gain control of the situation.
- Understand what a Healthy Relationship Is
Are they still unsure of whether or not they are in an abusive relationship? That’s understandable and completely normal. There are many people who have difficulties recognizing the signs. This is because they may not know what constitutes abuse, or because they are in a state of denial (mentioned above).
An effective way to determine if they are in an emotionally abusive relationship is to compare it against the qualities of a healthy one. Here are a few of the most common characteristics of a healthy, positive relationship:
- They are able to deal with conflicts with their partner without resorting to despair or threats
- Both partners can share their needs without shame
- Both partners don’t lash out when receiving criticism from one another
- They are able to openly express their feelings
- They can easily say “no” to requests without fear of retribution
If none of the characteristics above describe their relationship, then there is a good chance they are a victim of emotional abuse.
- Set Boundaries
If they are in a long-term relationship with an emotionally abusive partner, it’s crucial that they set boundaries that are never crossed. It’s also important to let the consequences of crossing these boundaries be known.
If they are committed to enforcing the boundaries they have set, they can serve as a very powerful deterrence.
- Seek Professional Help
If they feel extremely lost, and need validation that they aren’t going crazy, then there are several resources available to them.
Regardless of if they plan to leave or remain in the relationship, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This can provide them with the listening ear they need when in an emotionally abusive relationship.
If they are a victim of mental or emotional abuse, they aren’t alone and there is help out there. Be sure that they understand this isn’t their fault and there is help and resources out there to help them.