One of the signs of emotional abuse is the use of intimidation. The abuser will use intimidation tactics, but will claim that they are just being passionate or intense. Make no mistake, this behavior is still one of the signs of emotional abuse.
Signs of Emotional Abuse: Intimidation
Have you ever felt so threatened that you could hardly think straight? Have you had questions peppered at you so that you didn’t know the right answer? You felt confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to say. In fact, the faster and more heart-pounding the questions came at you, the more unsure of yourself you became. Your head was spinning, and you couldn’t find the right words to respond.
Dr. David Hawkins, director of the Marriage Recovery Center, wants to shed light on the issue of intimidation in emotional abuse. Recently, he had a conversation with a man who became upset with him. He fired questions at with such intensity that it felt overwhelming. When he confronted him about his way of speaking, he brushed it off, saying he was just passionate and intense. While passion and intensity are not inherently abusive, this kind of behavior crosses a line into intimidation.
Intimidation is when someone abuses their power and control over you. They use their intensity and overwhelm you. If you dare to confront them or ask them to slow down and be kind in their communication, they become even more upset. All that energy and fire is meant to manipulate your mind, leaving you feeling unsafe. It’s as if a gun is pointed at your head, and you’re expected to carry on a conversation under such duress.
Intimidation is not passion. It is not intensity. It is not being quick-witted or firing off questions. While it may involve all these elements, its true purpose is to take control of the situation by overwhelming you. You experience a sense of helplessness and being overpowered. It’s crucial not to mistake this behavior for anything other than what it is.
Do not allow yourself to get caught up in the emotional quicksand that is intimidation. Do not engage in conversations that are not truly conversations but rather attempts to overwhelm and control you. Recognize it for what it is—intimidation and emotional abuse. It is wrong, and you deserve better.
Step away from such toxic interactions and establish healthy boundaries. Refuse to be entangled in conversations that serve to overpower you. Remember, it’s not a genuine dialogue; it’s emotional abuse. Speak out, name it, and acknowledge that it’s intimidation. Recognizing and addressing the problem is the first step toward breaking free from the cycle of abuse.
In conclusion, intimidation is a clear sign of emotional abuse. When someone uses their intensity and overpowering behavior to control and manipulate you, it is important to recognize it for what it is.
Don’t allow yourself to be swept up in emotional quicksand. Have strong boundaries, step away from the situation, and call out the behavior for what it truly is—intimidation, emotional abuse, and wrong. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, kindness, and understanding.
Also read: What is Gaslighting
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.