Relatricks: Relationship “tricks” regarding emotional abuse. Do you feel judged, devalued or ridiculed in your relationship? Are you called names, and then that abuse is minimized and denied? This is emotional abuse, and you can learn to set healthy boundaries from Dr. David B. Hawkins.
Emotional Abuse Explained
I want to talk to you about an incredibly serious topic, and it’s the topic of emotional abuse. What is emotional abuse anyway? You know, we’re very reluctant to use the word “abuse” in relationships. Nobody wants to hear, “You’re being abusive to me,” or “I feel abused.” It seems to be a line that nobody wants to cross. We don’t want to use the word “abuse,” but it happens. And I want to tell you that abuse is anything, any behavior, action that is taken against you that devalues you in any way. Yeah, that’s a broad definition, but we were never meant to be devalued. We are of infinite value. We’re children of God. So, what is emotional abuse?
Recognizing Emotional Abuse
Oftentimes, emotional abuse is very insidious. We can’t say, “Aha, there it is, there it is, there it is.” But I’m going to give you a couple of markers that tell you what emotional abuse is and what happens. It happens when someone says to you, “You’re crazy,” labels you, judges you. That’s abusive. When someone tells you what you’re thinking or what you’re feeling, that’s abusive. Only you can tell yourself what you are feeling and what you’re thinking. When someone rewrites history, saying, “I didn’t say that,” or “You used to say that,” blaming and rewriting history, labeling, judging, those are all forms of emotional abuse. And they can drive you crazy.
The Impact of Emotional Abuse
Pretty soon, what happens is you begin to question yourself. Not only do you feel devalued, but you wonder, “Is it me? Is it them? What’s going on here?” So, what’s the relay trick here? The relay trick is that I want you to affirm and acknowledge within yourself that you know what abuse is. You can say, “You know what, this really is abusive. I’m feeling devalued. I am feeling devalued, and thus, that is abusive to me. And so, I must then, having that feeling, I must then put an end to something.”
So, of course, another part of the relay trick is setting a boundary. Often times, we need to say to someone, or we just say to our mate, “Please don’t label me. Please don’t tell me what I’m thinking. Please don’t tell me what I’m feeling. I’m not going to allow you to do that. I’m going to say stop. Please don’t tell me what I did or what I didn’t do. That doesn’t feel good to me, and I’m going to have you stop that.” Again, we are to be valued, and the relay trick is we’re going to put boundaries around anything that feels abusive.
Trust Your Feelings and Set Boundaries
You know, another guideline for you is, if it feels abusive, it probably is. You don’t have to put up with that. Put a boundary around it. You’re of value.
Emotional abuse is a deeply damaging form of mistreatment that can occur within relationships. While it may not always be immediately recognizable, there are clear signs that can help identify emotional abuse. Understanding what emotional abuse looks like is essential for those who may be experiencing it or for those who want to support someone who is going through such a situation.
Emotional abuse is characterized by behaviors that devalue an individual, causing them to question their worth and sanity. This type of abuse can take various forms, including labels, judgments, and attempts to control one’s thoughts and emotions. When someone constantly tells you that you’re crazy, judges you, or tries to dictate what you should be thinking or feeling, it is considered emotional abuse.
One particularly insidious aspect of emotional abuse is the rewriting of history. Abusers may deny previous statements, manipulate events, or blame the victim for things they did not do. These tactics are meant to exert control and undermine the victim’s sense of reality. Over time, the victim may start to doubt their own perceptions, leading to confusion and self-doubt.
It is important to recognize and acknowledge emotional abuse when it occurs. Trusting your instincts and feelings is crucial. If something feels abusive, it probably is. No one should have to tolerate mistreatment or devaluation in any relationship. You are valuable, and your well-being should be a top priority.
Establishing boundaries is a powerful tool in combating emotional abuse. Communicating with the abuser and firmly expressing that their behavior is not acceptable is an important step. Clearly stating, “Please don’t label me,” or “Please don’t tell me what I’m thinking or feeling,” sets a boundary that protects your emotional well-being.
Remember, you have the right to establish boundaries and protect yourself. By recognizing the signs, trusting your feelings, and setting clear boundaries, you can take steps towards healing and reclaiming your self-worth.
In conclusion, emotional abuse is a serious issue that affects many individuals in relationships. It is important to understand what it entails and to recognize the signs. Emotional abuse is characterized by behaviors that devalue and manipulate, leading to feelings of confusion and self-doubt. Trusting your instincts and acknowledging your worth is essential in combating emotional abuse. By setting boundaries and refusing to tolerate mistreatment, you can prioritize your emotional well-being and work towards healing and a healthier future. Remember, you deserve to be valued and respected in all relationships.
Also read: Relationship with a Female Narcissist
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.