The signs of physical abuse are easy to identify, but the signs of emotional abuse are usually harder to spot. Victims in Florida who are in a marriage should understand what some signs of emotional abuse are so they can get help before things get even worse and perhaps lead to divorce.
Psychology Today discusses that emotional abuse is hard to recognize because the signs can be very subtle. Small acts build up and slowly degrade the victim’s self-esteem and confidence. An abuser often is loving and affectionate in between episodes, and this makes it easy for the victim to forget.
There are certain traits that help one identify abusers. They are typically impatient, self-centered, unforgiving, unreasonable, insensitive, suspicious and jealous. Their own insecurities create the need to dominate and control, and they often lack empathy. As a controlling measure, some abusers will isolate their victims from people close to them.
Psych Central discusses some of the signs associated with emotional abuse. These include:
- Irrational rage – rage not associated with a good reason
- Stonewalling – nonverbal form of abuse that includes cutting off communication
- Twisting – the abuser twists facts to blame the victim
- Minimizing accomplishments – this includes belittling, mocking and ignoring accomplishments
- Emotional withholding – communicating anger by withholding affection and love
Emotional abusers usually use two main tactics, gaslighting and projection, to cause harm. The goal of gaslighting is to create self-doubt and confusion in the victim, and projection shifts blame on to the victim. All forms of abuse play into the victim’s fears of unworthiness, lovability, abandonment and rejection.