It is a fact that emotional abuse isn’t taken as seriously as physical abuse. Why? Because it doesn’t leave proof that is evident to the naked eye. In a lot of cases, the abused doesn’t even know that they are in an abusive relationship.
Emotional abuse affects your mental, and in some cases, physical health as well. The only means of helping yourself out of it is to recognize the form of abuse and take action to get yourself out of the situation.
1. Know your abuser and that you are being abused
As mentioned above, a lot of the times the abused cannot see the fact that he’s being abused. This happens because of a lot of reasons. The most prominent reason being that the abuser gaslights the abused to the point where they start doubting themselves.
To know whether someone is abusing you, make a list of some of their behaviors that trigger negativity in your mind i.e. self-doubt, self-hate, etc. Some examples of such behaviors may be – that they raise their voice when you confront them, or they’re dismissive when you try to tell them how you feel, etc.
Being aware that a certain person in your life is an abuser will be the first step to radically changing your life. After this, every act of manipulation will be evident to you, and you will no longer be in a state of resentment towards yourself.
2. Accepting that you cannot change them
You might have comforted yourself on multiple hurtful occasions by wondering to yourself that, ‘Hey, I can change them. it won’t be like this all the time’. And the next time they hurt you again, the cycle keeps moving forward.
You need to make peace with the fact that they will not change. When you do, this will impact your mental health positively because then you will shift your focus on ways to help yourself get out of the situation you’re in.
3. Limit Interactions with them
If the abuser is someone you can completely cut ties with, doing that is your best option. But if it’s someone you’re related to, maybe a direct family member with whom cutting ties is just not a feasible option – the next best thing is to limit interaction.
Don’t interact with them more than you have to. Don’t ask them for suggestions nor should you share unneeded information with them.
You need to be the least affiliated with them so that their manipulative ways fail to work on you. Instead, talk to them about themselves whenever you are faced with a situation to be with them. When inquired about you, give general statements and do not give any details about what is going on.
4. Being mindful of how you treat yourself
When you have been on the receiving end of an abuser’s attempts – it is natural for you to have damaged self-love practices. Maybe you weren’t listened to which turned into a belief that what you say isn’t valuable or maybe your feelings weren’t validated which made you neglect your feelings.
This is the time to start working on yourself and correcting these behaviors to love yourself the right way. The ways you treat yourself is a benchmark of how others shall treat you. When your relationship with self isn’t full of love and respect – manipulators and abusers catch up on that which makes you an easy target. This is why working on self-love is one of the major ways that will help you easily detect and call out attempts of abuse directed towards you and come out of an abusive situation without feeling unnecessary guilt or doubt.
5. Decide the boundaries and act on them
Without being concern about how it will impact your emotional abuser, you need to prioritize yourself over your relationship with them. You must know that sacrificing a painful relationship now will prove to be much more beneficial in the future.
You need to think with your head and not with your heart while doing so. Act upon the boundaries that you decide on and stick to them. Learn to say no and don’t give in to their attempts of making you feel guilty about it.
6. Confront them
The only power that abusers and manipulators have over is the fact that you won’t call them out. Once you do, you will visibly notice them retreat and shut to figure out what to do next. Once you take this power back, you need to enforce those boundaries and stand strong.
If you’re scared that they might get violent or your physical safety is threatened, moving away and calling for help is the right way to go about it. It takes courage to take a step and your effort of reading this article shows that you’re ready to claim that power. You are a powerful human and an abuser is a coward. Prioritize yourself, your safety, and your mental health and use these techniques to be at a place of love and joy – away from any sort of abuse.