We always hear or talk about people who have abusive approaches to other or ourselves and the mental uneasiness it creates. Having an emotionally abusive person around can be very tiring mentally and can also have dangerous outcomes especially if we are sensitive and soft people who are unskilled in getting rid of people from our lives. it is easy to realize when someone is abusive to us but it is way harder to realize if we ourselves are abusive to others, this is very important as we should be conscious not only of our mental health but also of people around us and how we influence them. It can be subtle and unrecognizable as it can be misunderstood as normal disagreement. Here are some points that help us in recognising whether we are emotionally abusive or not.
1. Jokingly insulting people- joking and teasing is a common enjoyment in family and friend circles but such playful put downs can end up crossing lines if our jokes are hurting other and if we still keep up with it even after the other person has evidently shown dislike and we address our insults as just jokes, then we must take care to change our behavior.
2. Dismissing other’s feelings- when we purposefully ignore other’s feelings because we think they deserve it or they have no right to be so upset, can hurt others because in our hectic life it can be very difficult to recognize what other people are going through, just because they are our friends and family, it cannot mean that we know everything about what they are going through. When we tell other person that their feelings are wrong, it can be emotionally abusive as it can lead other person to feel rejection, alienation and depression.
3. Embarassing others- to make someone feel guilty or ashamed or to humiliate someone to whom we feel anger against or feel threatened is abusive. to laugh about past moments in fun and loving way or talking with them is different from going out of our way to humiliate them as a way of punishment or reminder to show that we have an upper hand, also insulting the other person in public can also be adverse to people’s emotional well being.
4. Crossing limits- constantly doing things to get others to react and doing unpredictable things to put them on their toes is also emotional abuse. Instead of finding ways to have spontaneous enjoyment with loved ones emotional abusive people does things that purposefully hurt or irritate them especially in front of other people. This can include making a secret between us public or putting up social media posts that trigger them.
5. Negating other people’s reality- dismissing other person’s experience as imagined or twisting their words against them is an emotional abuse called gas lighting. Continuously trivializing their knowledge and experiences, calling them crazy, accusing them of lying and making decisions for them without their input all are ways of giving importance to our narrative. This habit of disregarding other’s opinions to give ourselves more importance is severe emotional abuse.
6. Using our emotions to get people do what we want- making others feel guilty to get our way going or threatening to leave them if they don’t follow our wishes are manipulative behavior. It can be through shouting, using threats or ultimatums, blaming them for fights we started or using their secrets to turn people against them, all these are our ways of maintaining control over them. This is a serious issue that we must avoid from our character.
7. Withholding emotions- using silence as a way of running away from issues or not expressing affection, validation, love and praise against someone is abusive which is known as silent treatment. Having occasional silence in relationship is only natural but using that silence to manipulate and punish is a way of hurting others. This can include talking about the problem with others except the one involved and placing them on the bad side.
Just like how we take care of our mental health we must also make sure that we are not making others go through a mental hell. Sometimes it can be something we learned as a child and have not known about the ill effects of our behavior have. In such cases it is important to recognize our short comings and solving the issues. Talk with the ones close to you, ask them to be open about your behavior towards them and be open minded to accept our flaws and get on our way to a healthy character. We have just this life so let’s focus on giving happiness.
Posted : 3 months ago