In the previous part, we learned about what is emotional abuse and the contexts where it can happen. In the current one, we’ll be looking at the four types of emotional abuse (there are more); you can use this information to see if you are the victim of one.
Gaslighting is a means of psychological manipulation that blurs the line between reality and imagination: the victim of gaslighting starts questioning his/her beliefs despite the presence of evidence supporting the same, thus being unable to tell the difference between truth and lie. Perpetrators intend to have this effect: gaslighting is an act done with complete awareness of what is being done. The victim is rendered helpless, and completely dependent on the gaslighter: beliefs the gaslighter affirms are true, while those which the gaslighter denies soon come to be false. Happy Ho organizes best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR area in India.
You know you’ve been ghosted when someone you deeply care about, whom you thought deeply cared about you as well, just completely disappears one fine day. Sadly, ghosting is common these days, and most perpetrators do not realise the effects these actions have. Ghosting leaves the victim feeling used, disrespected, and disposable. It leaves the victim confused, unsure of what has happened, and lacking closure.
Benching is very different from ghosting, in that the perpetrator doesn’t just up and leave, but instead is hot and cold. This can often feel worse than ghosting does, because the victim gets extremely confused by all the mixed signals. One second, the benchee is at the receiving end of all the love and affection in the world; the next, he/she finds him/herself alone. The worst part is, the benchee never gets closure- the perpetrator will never own up to what he/she is doing.
A love bomber is one who emotionally abuses an individual, and when the victim has almost been pushed too far, the perpetrator begins to shower the victim with love, affection and praise. This results in the victim being pulled back into the sticky web of abuse.
All four types of emotional abuse employ similar strategies, the effect of which is to leave the victim with a shaky sense of right versus wrong, a bruised self-esteem, and complete dependence on the perpetrator for validation. They are as follows:
- Opposing: The abuser opposes or isn’t in agreeance with anything the victim says. He/she would say no to most things, won’t listen to the victim, and treats him or her like an adversary; this makes having a healthy conversation next to impossible.
- Blocking: The abuser may switch topics, accuse the victim, or use words to shut the victim down.
- Discounting and belittling: The abuser minimises the victims’ feelings, thoughts or experiences, as if to say that these do not matter, or are wrong all together.
- Undermining and Interrupting: The abuser interrupts the victim when he/she is making a point and will use words that directly or indirectly undermines the victim’s self-esteem and confidence. Essentially the abuser is saying “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” making the victim feel small and robbing them of respect.
- Denying: The abuser denies the happening of arguments, agreements, promises made, and words said, including any prior abuse. This is done with such tactic, that often the victim begins questioning their own reality.
In the next part, we’ll be looking at the consequences of emotional abuse, why some people abuse others, why it is difficult to leave an abusive relationship and some more facets of the issue at hand!