As a reminder, October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
I gave a talk the other week, 3 Key Shifts to Transform Your Life (and Business).
Afterwards, a woman told me that even though she knew her husband was narcissistic and controlling, she didn’t know that she was actually experiencing domestic abuse until she heard my talk.
She was married 21 years before she realized it. I was married 18 years before I knew it.
The tactics of power and control can sneak up on you just like it did to that woman and me.
You can get sucked in unknowingly, and not only in intimate partner relationships, but also with many other people, including abusive coaches, which I also experienced after I escaped from my husband.
It’s important to know these signs, and learn to set healthy boundaries.
Look for these behavior patterns in others. Notice how you FEEL, and don’t ignore that feeling. Don’t believe them when they tell you that “You’re too sensitive.”
- Be sure to join me for live Facebook training every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Pacific/ 1:00 p.m. Eastern in the Love is Kind Group
Sign #1: Emotional Abuse Tactics
Sometimes emotional abuse maybe referred to as psychological abuse, verbal abuse, or gas lighting. They are variations of a theme.
- Putting you down—you’re insulted and belittled. Often treated like a child, or like you’re stupid. “You don’t know how to do anything right.” “You’re too sensitive.”
- They make you feel bad about yourself—“Why don’t you dress up!” “Stop eating so much; you’ll get fat like a cow.” “No one will ever love you.”
- They call you insulting names—“Stupid ” “B…tch!” “Idiot!”
- They play mind games with you—They may tell you that you don’t remember it correctly. That your memory is wrong. That he didn’t really say that. You start to doubt yourself.
- They make you think you’re crazy, by doing those mind games.
- They humiliate you—in front of others or by yourself. “You may love your daughter, but you’re a terrible mother.” (I was told this one for years.)
- They make you feel guilty—“You are always going out with your friends leaving me alone.”
- They give you the silent treatment—and often you have no clue why all of a sudden they are shunning you.
Sign #2: Isolation Tactics
This one is really tricky and often hard to see.
- They control what you do, where you go, and who you see and talk to. They will target your friends and family making excuses and insulting your family and friends, and create guilt trips to make it difficult for you to see them. This is huge because they are distancing you from your support system. Then you become weaker in defending and protecting your rights, beliefs and desires.
- They control your time and what you read, including on your computer. They’ll tell you “not to leave the house just yet.” You hang around waiting for them, then they change their mind. Also, clear your computer history everyday.
- They limit your involvement outside the relationship. You may want to go to an event, or visit your friends for a luncheon or for a day, but they make it difficult. You’ll tend to give in so not to make him upset. If you are “giving in” to make them happy and keep “peace” this is a red flag for an abusive relationship.
- They use jealousy or “loving you too much” to justify their actions. They’ll say things like, “I love you so much. I want to be with you all the time.” It may sound loving until you no longer are able to see your friends and family, or only infrequently.
To realize if you’ve experienced or are experiencing any of these behaviors, you need awareness, which I hope you’ve gotten in this article. Look out for more to articles to come.
They do these behaviors often under the guise that they love you so much, or that if you loved them so much, you wouldn’t question their requests.
Listen to your body. Your body is going to know what feels uncomfortable. Don’t doubt yourself.
They will try to convince you—use mind games—that you’re wrong, or what you thought isn’t true. You will doubt yourself so much that you are forced to believe him. It’s extremely difficult to leave an abuser without outside help. This is another reason they isolate you from others.
Reach out to someone supportive instead of feeling you need to figure it out by yourself, or that you have to “tough it out.” This is not a way to live a life.
Watch yourself making excuses for their behavior, so that you justify their behavior not only to others, but to yourself. This is a huge red flag.
I experienced every single one of these tactics during my relationship.
But I want you to know, you can create a great life. After a 25 year abusive relationship that I had to escape, I created an amazing life, and I am now with the most loving and kind man. They are many wonderful men out there but you won’t know where they are until you’ve learned the skills to reclaim yourself.
If you are ready to move forward in your life, even if you feel scared, and don’t have a clue, then take this BONUS quiz:
In just 4 minutes you’ll discover clarity of where you’re at and where you want to be. I’m here to guide and support you on your journey to creating a joyful life that you deserve.
You deserve to be treated with kindness.
Women’s Transformational Leader