5 Signs of Emotional Abuse

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alright hey everybody I know it's been a

while since I've done just a regular

video for you guys thank you for putting

up with all the live streams and

announcements and things like that

recently but I thought I would hop on

and do a video that I've been meaning to

do for a while actually a few weeks ago

you guys may have seen if you're kind of

part of the you know geek nerd cosplay

you know Internet actor sort of spheres

you may have seen that Chloe Dykstra

came out and said a lot of things about

being in a relationship with Chris

Hardwick that she described as being

emotionally abusive and I don't want to

talk about that subject not that subject

but I want to talk about their situation

in particular but that got the gears

turning and it's a really good topic to

talk about emotional abuse I find that a

lot of times the focus is on physical

abuse or sexual abuse which they can all

play together certainly in a problematic

relationship or an abusive relationship

but the emotional abuse aspects of it

are they tend to be a little more

insidious a little more sneaky and

they're things that a lot of people may

find are harder to recognize and they

may feel more like they are responsible

for those things rather than you know if

they're hit sometimes it's easier for

people to recognize that that is not

their fault the emotional abuse side is

a little bit more tricky so I wanted to

talk about just five signs of emotional

abuse these are not the only signs they

may not even be the most common signs

but these are ones that I see often in

my clinical work I do see people who

have been in abusive relationships or

are in abusive relationships I'm not

working explicitly with just those types

of people but I have them come through

my practice and in the past I have

worked in different agencies that deal

with that specifically specifically a

place called the Family Violence center

where I would see people who were in

abusive relationships trying to get help

or resources so some degree of you know

familiarity with this so let's talk

about some of the signs okay so the

first one and that I want to touch on is


so isolation is a huge part of many

different types of abusive relationships


especially emotionally abusive

relationships and isolation is really

just what it sounds like it's trying to

get you away from other people so when

the abuser is in a relationship with

somebody their goal is to make sure that

they are not influenced by other people

so the the abuser will want to

disconnect them from supports or people

on the outside that might be noticing

there's a problem there

so oftentimes this is like family or

close friends that you've had for a long

time the abuser will want to get that

person away from them remove that

influence so that they're not threatened

because if you spend time with your best

friend who you've had forever that can

tell this is a problematic relationship

they might influence you and help you

understand that this is something you

need to get out of same with your family

a lot of times in abusive relationships

family is cut off and it's difficult

because the family will want to respect

to your wishes

to be in the relationship but will also

want to intervene in some way if they

think is problematic and so the abuser

will cut those ties and in this day and

age it can take a lot of different forms

right in the past that was just you know

literally keeping somebody away

physically but now it has a lot more to

do with social media contact and things

like that so maybe requesting that you

block a friend or family member on

Facebook or checking your text to make

sure you're not talking to somebody

there's a lot of different forms of

isolation but isolation is often key in

any type of abusive relationship again

to kind of protect that sphere of

influence and just control that this

abuse a person has over you so isolation

is definitely one main thing to look out

for another sort of form of control and

I'll talk more about control explicitly

here but one thing to look out for

another sign is rules so any

relationship is going to have some

boundaries is going to have some

guidelines you might call them rules

there's going to be things that are okay

to do and not okay to do ideally in a

well-functioning relationship these are

things that are talked about these are

things that are discussed these are

things that are negotiated you know you

talked about them together and you

decide sort of what are your your

boundaries your loose guidelines for the

relationship which is very helpful but

in an emotionally abusive relationship

there are hard and fast rules set in

place and they're not for the purpose of

promoting you know the health of the

relationship and the health of each

individual they're for the purpose of

one person's agenda the abusers agenda

and sometimes they're actually quite

arbitrary sometimes there are rules that

don't really serve a purpose other than

letting this person establish some

control over you so it could be really

random things like you're not allowed to

eat until I've eaten or you're not

allowed to go to the movies without me

you're not allowed to you know eat out

without me you're not allowed to go to

this place or go to that place it can be

very random right it could be things

like setting a curve for you for you or

you have a certain bedtime you have to

be in bed at this time or you have to

get up at this time setting that's just

you know sometimes arbitrary sometimes

very specific for given purpose rules

when I say specific for given purpose it

might be you know you have to go to bed

at this time so that I can go do

whatever or you're not allowed to go out

so that I can make sure you're staying

away from this person whatever it may be

establishing these hard and fast rules

and not giving any leeway on that is

definitely a sign of an abusive

emotionally abusive relationship now I

talked about control a little bit but

control in general is another sign you

want to look out for somebody who is an

abuser in an emotionally abusive

relationship it's going to be wanting to

establish control over the other person

and that can look like a lot of

different ways one thing that I want to

point out though is that it can look

like trying to be nice or chivalrous

sometimes for instance take a scenario

where a person and their abusive partner

are out to dinner the abusive partner

might seem like they're trying to be

very like chivalrous they might order

for them they might say what they're

going to be drinking they might make all

the decisions and rather than trying to

be nice and whatever that's actually a

form of control they're trying to make

sure they do this they're trying to make

sure they do that and they're trying to

take the other person's control out of

the scenario it's not that they're

opening the door for them it's that

they're giving them permission to get

out right so there's some subtle

differences there and when you find that

any pushback against that is met with


the person says actually no they try to

quiet them down they try to silence them

they try to say no no no I let me do

this right so when you try to push back

a little bit and have your own free will

if there's resistance against that and

there's some you know nastiness or

whatever happens that's a sign that

there's actually just control going on

and it's not whatever other thing we

want to call it you know chivalrous is

the term I'm coming up with but there

may be a better term for it I think it's

kind of [ __ ] either way but you know

there's definitely a difference between

somebody making an effort to try to be

you know cool and and make decisions

because they want to show that they have

the capability to do so rather than

making decisions because they don't want

the other person to make decisions so

control is another thing to watch out

for the fourth one is guilt and shaming

this is a big part in any type of

abusive relationship especially with

emotionally abusive relationships it's a

type of control and manipulation that

happens where the person who is the

abuser will try to turn things around

onto the person who is being abused

for instance in like a physically

abusive relationship a lot of times if

they hit them they'll say you know how I

get why did you say that you know I get

like this this is your fault I told you

not to talk about that

otherwise I'd blow my top and very

similarly that happens in emotionally

abusive relationships right you know

somebody might try to guilt them or

shame them than being the other person

by saying something like you know what

if you don't stop talking this person

I'm gonna kill myself because I can't

handle you

you know embarrassing us like that or

you know you know how I get I can't

control myself

and if you don't pay attention to me in

these areas or you don't do what I say I

don't know maybe I'll maybe I'm gonna

leave because I can't take it

you know threats and things like that

that turn it back on the other person

now of course there's a lot of layers to

this right in terms of does the person

have mental health issues do they both

have mental health issues something like

for instance borderline personality

disorder can certainly have sort of

explosive moments of anger or of kind of

lapses in judgment often times there is

that sort of tit-for-tat like getting

back at somebody element to it but we're

talking about sort of a persistent

characteristic of the relationship and

something that again when you try to

push back against it there's resistance

there so often you're going to see this

guilt and shaming the person who is

being emotionally abused will think for

a very long time that this is their

fault that you know they're screwing

things up that they're going to lose

this person and if they don't comply

with these rules it's going to be their

fault for for not knowing the terms of

the relationship and ruining things

which you know from the outside can

really sound like ridiculous like of

course that's not the case but when

you're in it when you're in sort of that

I of the storm it's really really really

hard to get that perspective which goes

back to the isolation thing right that's

why they want to keep you isolated

because when you get any sort of outside

input sometimes it's clear as day like

oh my god of course this isn't my fault

of course this is abusive but that's a

risk that they don't want to take so the

isolation occurs all right so we have

isolation rules control guilt and

shaming and the last one I will say is

constant checking this falls you know

under similar categories to the other

ones but so constant checking meaning

checking your phone checking to see who

you've messaged online calling to see

where you're at this is another one of

those that can seem like it's somebody

being concerned about the relationship

or trying to be loving right hi honey

what are you doing that's good but if

it's hi honey what are you doing hey

what are you doing you didn't answer

what are you doing where are you when

are you coming home etc etc that becomes

possibly abusive right that pattern of

needing to know where somebody is to

keep checks on them to keep tabs on them

that's something that very very very

often comes up it and sneaks up in one

of those ways where it seems like it's

something good but you realize this

person actually is trying to control my

behavior by checking on it like I said

this can happen through social media you

know with your phone physically like

tracking your location on your phone you

know they may say oh well everybody does

this and I want to see where you're at

but really they're trying to keep tabs

on you to make sure they know exactly

where you are at any point in time to

make you feel like if you're not there

you did something wrong like you're the

one being suspicious like you're the one

being unfaithful or something like that

because you're not where

should be at a given time right so be

wary of that constant checking and those

are just five of the things that I think

that people should look out for with

regard to abusive emotionally abusive

relationships so attempts to isolate you

setting up rules very very hard and fast

rules that are sometimes just arbitrary

without any real purpose aside from

control attempts to control your

behavior by doing things for you or not

allowing you to do certain things guilt

shaming turning things around on you to

make you feel guilty and then constant

checking and keeping tabs on you if you

have anything else that you'd like to

add anything from your personal

experience or things that you've seen in

others things that you think are

indicative of you know problematic

relationships or emotionally abusive

relationships please do share them in

the comments you know I do know a bit

about this but I've certainly haven't

covered everything there is to cover

here so if I miss anything or there's

anything that you would like to add

definitely share it in the comments and

of course as always let me know if

there's a certain topic thats related to

this or not that you'd like me to cover

in a video just like this thanks guys