Tips for Dealing With Emotional Abuse

If you’re being mentally and emotionally abused, trust your instincts. Know that it isn’t right and you don’t have to live this way.

You probably know many of the more obvious signs of mental and emotional abuse. But when you’re in the midst of it, it can be easy to miss the persistent undercurrent of abusive behavior.

Psychological abuse involves a person’s attempts to frighten, control, or isolate you. It’s in the abuser’s words and actions, as well as their persistence in these behaviors.

The abuser could be your spouse or other romantic partner. They could be your business partner, parent, or a caretaker.

The first step in dealing with an emotionally abusive relationship is to recognize the abuse. If you were able to identify any aspect of emotional abuse in your relationship, it is important to acknowledge that first and foremost.

By being honest about what you are experiencing, you can begin to take control of your life again. Here are seven more strategies for reclaiming your life that you can put into practice today, according to Verywell - a website providing health and wellness information by health professionals..

Make Yourself a Priority

When it comes to your mental and physical health, you need to make yourself a priority. Stop worrying about pleasing the person abusing you. Take care of your needs. Do something that will help you think positively and affirm who you are.

Also, be sure to get an appropriate amount of rest and eat healthy meals. 

Establish Boundaries

Firmly tell the abusive person that they may no longer yell at you, call you names, insult you, be rude to you, and so on. Then, tell them what will happen if they choose to engage in this behavior.

For instance, tell them that if they call you names or insult you, the conversation will be over and you will leave the room. The key is to follow through on your boundaries.

Stop Blaming Yourself

If you have been in an emotionally abusive relationship for any amount of time, you may believe that there is something severely wrong with you. But you are not the problem. To abuse is to make a choice. So stop blaming yourself for something you have no control over.

Realize You Can't Fix Them

Despite your best efforts, you will never be able to change an emotionally abusive person by doing something different or by being different. An abusive person makes a choice to behave abusively.

Avoid Engaging

Do not engage with an abusive person. In other words, if an abuser tries to start an argument with you, begins insulting you, demands things from you or rages with jealousy, do not try to make explanations, soothe their feelings, or make apologies for things you did not do.

Simply walk away from the situation if you can. Engaging with an abuser only sets you up for more abuse and heartache. No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to make things right in their eyes.

Build a Support Network

Although it can be tough to tell someone what you are going through, speaking up can help. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or even a counselor about what you are experiencing. Take time away from the abusive person as much as possible and spend time with people who love and support you.

This network of healthy friends and confidantes will help you feel less lonely and isolated. They also can speak truth into your life and help you put things into perspective.

Work on an Exit Plan

If your partner, friend, or family member has no intention of changing or working on their poor choices, you will not be able to remain in the abusive relationship forever. It will eventually take a toll on you both mentally and physically.

Depending on your situation, you may need to take steps to end the relationship. Each situation is different. So, discuss your thoughts and ideas with a trusted friend, family member, or counselor. Emotional abuse can have serious long-term effects, but it can also be a precursor to physical abuse and violence.

Remember too, that abuse often escalates when the person being abused makes a decision to leave. So, be sure you have a safety plan in place should the abuse get worse. Healing from emotional abuse takes time. Taking care of yourself, reaching out to your supportive loved ones, and talking to a therapist can help.