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You’d think it would be simple to know that you’re being mistreated in relationships. Right?
Only it’s not.
And it can be a real kick in the teeth when it suddenly becomes obvious.
In fact it’s shocking. Because let’s face it, you’ve been living as though it’s normal to be treated badly.
But emotional abuse or being mistreated can begin in small ways that you hardly notice. Until one day dear ones, you have a serious problem on your hands.
So here’s seven signs that show you where things are not okay in your world, even if you thought they were!
1. Belittling and mean comments
There’s a big difference between a little fun or joke between you and out and out humiliation. If you’re constantly being put down, and made to feel less than, it’s not funny. And if you’re told “It was a joke” ask for an explanation. It might be awkward, but it will be honest.
Belittling comments cloaked as a joke are not only disrespectful, they’re hurtful and emotionally wounding. And the pain can eat away at your self worth.
2. Controlling behavior
I was involved with someone who was insanely jealous and it was scary. He would freak out if someone looked at me in the street, because it was clearly my fault.
Be cautious of anyone who wants to control your every movement or who insists they know where you are and what you’re doing 24/7. This isn’t caring…this is control.
We can’t always see what’s best for us when we’re invested in a relationship and it’s the easiest thing in the world for a manipulator to convince you to give up something of yourself, so their self-centered interests can be served.
It’s a hard cycle to break. Once they discover that you’ll make excuses for their behavior, and accept being mistreated and taken advantage of, they’ll repeat the violations until you put a complete stop to it.
4. Constant unreliability
If a relationship is constantly under attack through dishonesty, or an unwillingness to follow through on what has been agreed then it’s in serious trouble. It leaves you mentally and emotionally drained.
Remember, people with integrity don’t just make promises. They keep them. Mutual reliability is an important quality for trust in any relationship.
5. Negative atmosphere
It’s virtually impossible for you to be experiencing anything positive from a relationship filled with negativity. It’s not healthy.
And being around someone who is constantly angry, unhappy or critical should be a huge red flag. This kind of hostility will always leave you feeling unsafe.
If you reach a point where it feels like you’re walking on eggshells, beware. Emotionally abusive people try to exert their power by encouraging you to feel badly about everything you do.
They’re incapable of taking responsibility for their feelings and actions towards you, so the next best thing is to make everything your fault.
Don’t fall for it.
7. Fear or intimidation
If you’ve learned to stop bringing up issues, stop being involved with others and stop asking for what you need, because the emotional cost is too great, this is not just being mistreated, this is emotional abuse at it’s worst.
Making yourself small, blaming yourself and wondering what you did to deserve this treatment from someone you love is all part of the toxic cycle. You should never feel powerless in a relationship…that’s not love that’s imprisonment.
It might be one of the hardest decisions you’ve ever faced, but letting go of toxic people and relationships is a major step towards greater happiness. Try to remember what you deserve.
And while losing people is never easy, the one thing that is worse than losing people is losing yourself.
Only you can decide if it’s time to save yourself and move on.
But remember: You are amazing. You are worth spending time with. And those who don’t honor you or who abuse the privilege of being with you, don’t get to have access to your fabulousness anymore. Full stop!
Encourage one another.