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Friday, January 7, 2011

Emotionally Abusive Relationships - Common Behaviors and Tactics Abusers Use

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There is currently not a single, clear-cut definition of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is instead defined by a set or combination of traits, acts or behaviors that are designed to control and dominate another human being through the use of fear, guilt, intimidation, humiliation or manipulation.
It is important to remember that a single incident does not constitute abuse. Abuse is a pattern of behavior that occurs over time. It is repetitive, sustained and usually progressive.
Emotional abuse is silent, insidious and extremely dangerous to the victim. It slowly and systematically wears away at the victim's soul. It erodes self-worth, confidence, trust, faith and the ability to have confidence in one's own perceptions.
Emotional abuse is also harmful to a person's physical health. Typically people in abusive relationships don't eat or sleep properly and can suffer from stress-related conditions such as chronic fatigue, anxiety attacks, depression, high blood pressure, peptic ulcers, poor immune function, migraines, alcoholism and smoking-related respiratory aliments.
Here is an extensive list with brief notes about common behaviors and tactics abusers use to control and manipulate his/her partner. It is important to understand that you don't have to experience ALL of these to be abused. ANY of these behaviors, either alone or in combination, which are part of a "repeated pattern", are abusive!
> Extreme jealousy: not only of other men/women but of friends, family, work and even children 
> Emotional withholding: will not share his/her feelings and is not aware, receptive or sensitive to yours, the silent treatment
> Lack of intimacy: doesn't hold your hand or cuddle
> Verbal abuse: insults, yelling, name-calling, shame, sarcasm, or threats
> Humiliation: public criticism, reminding you of embarrassing moments
> Threats: verbal threats such as "you will be sorry", physical threats such as throwing or breaking things > Lies: including withholding information, telling half-truths or rearranging the facts
> Mixed messages: tell you he/she loves you, but treats you badly
> Dependence: threats of loss of financial security, or tries to convince you that you are no good without him, nobody else will want you  
> Blame: says it's your fault when he/she mistreats you, says you are responsible for how he/she feels
>Secret-keeping: acts differently in public than in private 
>Physical violence: slapping, punching, kicking, grabbing, pinching, pushing, biting, choking

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