20 early signs of psychological abuse in a relationship

Psychological abuse in a relationship is harmful to trust and self-esteem, and sometimes abuse may be overlooked. Unlike physical violence that causes physical pain and leaves visible marks, the signs of psychological abuse are not so obvious.

Research shows that this violence is as detrimental as physical violence. The study that followed 846 children at risk over a 14-year period shows that the most common violence is the psychological threat to safety.

Psychological violence is also harmful because it affects what we think of ourselves. It comes in the form of actions, attitude and words that are meant to belittle and humiliate. It is used as a form of control that often makes the victim feel confused, helpless and frightened.

Any abuse directly attacks self-esteem, and you may be surprised to learn that several studies show that psychological abuse occurs as much in men as it does in women. It can happen in any relationship.



  • They humiliate you constantly in the presence of other people.
  • They give you the impression of never doing anything good.
  • They tell average, inappropriate and degrading jokes.
  • They want to control everything, including your actions.
  • They constantly remind you of your weaknesses and failures.
  • They do not value your feelings and often tell you that you are wrong and that you are too sensitive.
  • They cast a disapproving and disdainful look that gives you a sense of fear of being alone with them.
  • They retain expressions of affection and intimacy as a form of punishment.
  • They belittle your dreams and accomplishments.
  • They tell your intimate moments and your secrets to others against your will.
  • They do not think you are able to know what is best for you.
  • They make you at fault for their problems, their mood and their general dissatisfaction.
  • They can not laugh at themselves, and they are extremely sensitive when others laugh or laugh at them.
  • They make you feel guilty when you want to see your friends, or do something fun without them.
  • They make you feel that you are not good enough for them and that you should feel happy to be with them.
  • They are always right even when they are wrong.
  • They make subtle threats that are disguised in the form of a proposal to help you.
  • They control the finances to control your actions and how you spend the money.
  • They call you or send you messages constantly to check who you are with and what you are doing when you are not together.
  • They accuse you of things that are not true, to force you to prove your love.

This list is not exhaustive. But when we have the impression that we can not be ourselves and that we are constantly in fear of doing or saying the wrong thing; we should evaluate whether it is a relationship of emotional abuse.

Emotionally abusive people are conditioned to give us the impression that they are superior and that we do not deserve them. They give us the impression that we deserve to be treated this way and that we are fortunate to be in a relationship with them.

It’s not our fault. We must not blame ourselves. There is probably little to do to change the behavior or improve the relationship. Recognize her for what she is, abuse.

The stress of a relationship of emotional abuse can manifest itself in the form of illness, depression and even long-term emotional trauma. That’s why it’s important to start by recognizing the behavior and asking for help. Acknowledging behavior can be difficult because we are so attached to the relationship that we do not want to think about ending it.

Since it is difficult to see from within a relationship, as a friend, we should look for these signs in the relationships of those we love. It is sometimes necessary to have an outside eye to identify psychological abuse behaviors. Proceed with caution, as this can be a difficult conversation to have.

If you start to notice the signs of a relationship with this violence, whether you or someone you love, seek the help of a professional. This is not because the relationship is not yet violent, it will not degenerate and you should have a clear understanding of the situation of someone trained to help others stay safe.

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