Signs of verbal abuse in relationships
Women and men can be verbal abusers.: The following recurring thoughts indicate mental or emotional abuse.
“Sandy has no right to do that.”
“I’d better keep this private to avoid being criticized again.”
“I can never do anything right with Chris.”
“I can’t stand it when Erin does that to me.”
Emotional abuse can take the form of:
Provocative behavior with opposite sex
Humiliation and put-downs
Refusal to communicate
Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice
“I love you but…”
“If you don’t shape up, I will…”
Domination and control
Withdrawal of affection
A common form of emotional abuse is that ‘I love you, but…” That sounds so sweet, yet it is both a continue criticism and a threat. It indicates, “I love you now, but if you don’t stop such-and such in long run, that love is of short duration.”
All abuse takes a toll on self-esteem. The abused person starts feeling helpless and possibly even hopeless.
In addition, most emotional abusers are adept at convincing the victim that the abuse is is always due to his or her fault. Somehow, the victim is always blamed for what happened.