Victims of abuse are not always covered in bruises. Many are not even touched at all. However, the offense is so destructive. Emotional abuse harms the victim psychologically. They get confused and lose their sense of self. This can go on for years, as abuse is easier to deny and justify when there is no physical component. Keep reading because below you will find the description of 4 abusive behaviors that are not physical.

4 abusive behaviors that are not physical

Redecorating your identity, making sense of your trauma, and regaining control of your life can take years. The first step on this journey is to recognize that there is a problem.

Here are four behaviors that constitute abusive behaviors that are not physical:

1. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a psychological tactic in which one of the individuals makes the other question their own perception of reality. They dismiss the victim’s emotions as over-sensitivity and paranoia. They challenge your memories of past events.

They deny, avoid and minimize their problems. They do it all with an unwavering air of confidence and compassion. Soon, the victim begins to doubt his own sanity. Once the gaslighter has dismantled their partner’s perception of reality, they are free to build their own instead.

2. Going out of bounds

This is hard. When your boyfriend shows up at your work with flowers, he’s romantic. So he starts going for other reasons without saying it. Soon, he is appearing in your life unexpectedly several times each week. You start to feel nervous, irritated, and maybe a little invaded of your space. Why does he feel the need to check you all the time? You ask him and he pretends to be injured.

Blames you. He may even accuse you of cheating on him. A partner who does not respect boundaries does not respect you as an individual. They are trying to push you into co-dependency. Don’t let this happen. Protect your limits. Protect yourself.

3. Intricate insults

Those grades are great for someone who isn’t really an academic. “Did you have to stay late at work again? Haha, you know you hardly make any money there, right? ” “Congratulations on your weight loss. Keep it up and you’ll be as pretty as your sister! ”

These insults can be disguised as humor, constructive criticism, or even praise. However, they are designed to make you feel bad. An abusive partner may try to justify these compliments.

They can make you feel like being upset by them is your own fault. “You are too sensitive. You can’t take a joke. ” A partner who makes you feel bad about yourself is abusive – end of story. Find someone to help you build yourself in a loving way, instead.

4. Isolation

We are most vulnerable when we are alone. An abuser knows it. They will try to separate their victim from their support network. When you disconnect from friends and family, you become more dependent on your partner.

This allows them to distort your perceptions, attack your self-esteem, and mold you into the figure they are looking for. Don’t let this happen. Hold on to the people who care about you. Listen to the concerns they have about your partner. Believe in them when they tell you they love you. They want to see you happy and whole.

The scars of mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as injuries from hitting or slapping, but they are often not as obvious. In fact, even among women who have experienced partner violence, half or more report that emotional abuse from the man is causing them the most harm.

Don’t minimize or tolerate abusive behaviors just because they aren’t physical. If you are hurting in an abusive relationship, or if you know someone who is hurting, seek help today.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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