What Is Emotional Abuse?

Though it may not leave easily identifiable physical evidence in the way that physical abuse does, emotional abuse is nevertheless very real and very harmful. It is defined as any attempt to control a person in an emotional or psychological way. In the larger sense, a relationship can be considered emotionally abusive when one person consistently—whether fully intentional or not—uses abusive, hurtful language and bullying, intimidating behaviors to break down a person’s self-esteem and self-worth and undermine their mental and emotional health.

Lots of different actions can be considered emotional abuse. This includes things like your partner belittling your emotions so as to make them seem silly or inconsequential, forbidding you from hanging out with your friends or barring you from spending time with anyone else at all, or expecting you to drop everything and help them whenever they demand you to. It can also include impossible expectations that can never be met no matter what you do. Or the incessant invalidating of your experience, perceptions, viewpoints, feelings and needs.

Emotional abuse comes with the use of a range of words and non-physical actions that belittle, weaken, manipulate, or frighten you.

Is silent treatment emotional abuse

It’s also emotional abuse when the interactions distort, confuse, influence, or dominate your thoughts and behavior, changing the perception of reality, the sense of who you are, and harming your emotional stability. This type of abuse includes intimidation, coercion, manipulation, harassment, objectification, gaslighting, yelling, swearing, lying, obsessive jealousy, and many other actions that cause mental distress.


Emotional abuse is much more damaging than other types of abuse, in part because it goes under the radar for years and normally doesn’t get repaired. It becomes the norm in a dynamic. It may not be evident how it jeopardizes the life of the abused, but it could be so damaging and debilitating that it could cause the abused to attempt against their own life.

How to know when you are emotionally abused

Do you feel confused?

Do you have problems moving forward with your plans?

When you talk about your goals are they discounted?

Do you constantly feel anxious, depressed, stomach in knots?

If you try to do something this person says, and then you do it, is it always wrong no matter what you do?

Before seeing them again is a part of you dreading the experience?

If you spend time with them are you completely exhausted for a long time from the experience?

If you answer yes to any of these questions you’re most likely being emotionally abuse.

Silence vs. Silent Treatment

There are times in relationships when being silent is acceptable and even productive. For instance, a couple, or even just one partner, may take a thoughtful timeout from a heated argument to cool off or gather their thoughts. What distinguishes this silence from the silent treatment is that the timeout is mindful and there is an assumption or agreement that they will revisit the topic again later.

There are also instances when a victim of abuse is silent as a way to stay safe and keep an already abusive situation from escalating. In these situations, the victim knows that saying something—even if their partner demands it—will only escalate the situation and lead to more abuse.

Is the Silent Treatment Emotional Abuse?

Whether you realise it or not, you are being punished. This is because the ‘silent treatment’, also known as emotional withholding, is actually a form of passive-aggressive abuse.

This happens when your partner refuses to enter into any form of meaningful dialogue with you, regardless of the situation at hand. He becomes emotionally detached and distances himself from you by ignoring your very existence. You are excluded from his life and information is withheld from you, making you feel like an outsider. This type of behaviour is also referred to as ‘stonewalling’ or ‘ostracising’

Is Silent treatment manipulation?

Oh yes indeed it is. Most narcissists use this, in various forms, as their favourite tool. If you are the partner of a narc you will have been selected as a person who is responsive to these bad moods. If you find yourself coaxing the narc our of their mood, apologising when you’re not really sorry and generally feeling upset and stressed by the narcs behaviour then your narc will be delighted. This is what he wants, because soon you will be trying to avoid this treatment by giving the narc what he wants right away without him/her having to state what he wants clearly. This is exactly as the narc desires, because many of the things he wants are childish and all are selfish and he want you to do them without any chance of exposure for him.

stay away from narcs. Get them out of your life. Get therapy to discover why you are attracted to them. Don’t spend your life second guessing their behaviour.

Is silent treatment widely regarded as a form of emotional manipulation

The silent treatment is widely regarded as a form of emotional abuse and even psychological abuse. It is the act of ceasing to initiate or respond to communication with someone else or refusing to acknowledge them altogether. It is also referred to colloquially as the “cold shoulder,” “sulking,” or clinically as ostracism.

In relationships, the silent treatment might manifest when one partner becomes withholding in the middle of an argument and begins refusing to engage in any way to further the discussion.

Why is the silent treatment emotionally abusive?

The “silent treatment” is used to punish those by that’s someone feeling those deserve to be punished even if there were no reasons for it? It can be confusing because I was punished in this manner without justification for it?

This is going to sound very unusual but when this person use “silent treatment to emotionally abuse another in the beginning I questioned that person?

After it became a pattern, I said, enough, let’s see how they feel if I applied my own “silent treatment to him?” He didn’t like it and he broke that pattern with me. Why? I wasn’t going to have anyone inflict anything at me that he himself could not tolerate.

Are you the Silent One?

Some people who give their partner the silent treatment feel they are justified in doing so because their partner has been physically, emotionally and/or verbally abusive towards them.

For the long term, silence is unlikely to enhance the relationship and it is no guarantee of making the abuse stop. Thus the root cause for why someone feels they have no alternative but to become silent must be addressed, and it is wise to seek the help of a competent professional to help deal with such issues.

Are you the silent one?

How to tell other people that you were emotionally abused

I am sorry but unless the person has been abused in past,your experience will not be understood by normal people.

You will be seen as mad and crazy if you try to explain it with lot of efforts.

Learn from that experience and make sure next time you don’t come into that situation never again.

Remember normal people who have never faced a abuser will be in shock and disbelief and are somewhat ignorant fools(sorry for strong word) who will never even attempt to understand your pain of torture and frustration and in the life of victim the maximum pain doesn’t come from abuse of abuser it comes from the society not understanding the torture the victim went through.

Can someone emotionally abuse themselves?

One of the most unexpected things I found that I had to deal with after getting out from under an emotionally abusive situation was the fact there was no one there anymore to call me names or to remind me I was stupid.

My then-fiancé-and-now-husband was “too nice” to me and it was both a welcome thing and at the same time made me very uncomfortable. He is infinitely patient with me.

I remember very clearly the moment when I realized the depth of my trauma after several emotionally abusive relationships, when I was helping to load a moving truck with my fiancé’s personal items as we were moving in together. I was pulling a handcart with a large plastic tub on it from the back garage, over the lawn and to the truck. When I hit a bump in the lawn, the tub toppled over and spilled everything out over the wet and muddy grass.

I started apologizing profusely to my fiancé now that his things were muddy, but he calmly helped me put the stuff back in the plastic tub, and softly cooed that it was ok, he was not angry with me and he just wanted to make sure I hadn’t hurt myself trying to keep the bin upright.

Try as I might, no amount of my groveling would make him yell at me! I then started saying out loud to myself how stupid I was to try and load that much stuff into the bin in the first place — I should have known I was too weak to handle the handcart with that much loaded.

And then, it was like a lightbulb went on over my head and I realized for the first time what I was doing. I promptly burst into tears and sat down, as I worked through the fact that I had called myself stupid because no one else was. I was so used to being emotionally abused that I couldn’t function normally without it — so I internalized the Voice of my past abusers.


I have had to develop a stronger personal Voice to listen to instead of the abusive one, and while it’s gotten better, every once and a while I still hear that hurtful inner monologue. I imagine that time and continuing to build my self esteem will correct it.

How do you know if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship?

Go through the following list of “red flags”, and if they resonate, I’d encourage you to look into something called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I’ve used the term “she” as, in very general terms, females tend to abuse emotionally where males do it physically, but the list applies equally to either gender and either are just as capable of this abuse.…

Can someone emotionally abused themselves


you will now start to be persuaded to start surrendering control of every aspect of your life. Expect your finances to be managed, your social engagements to be organized on your behalf – and not going in the direction you would like. You are likely to have your interests and hobbies influenced, with the time you spend on each slowly reduced through subtle dissuasion. Your close buddies will be increasingly sidelined and alienated from you, and you will even find yourself increasingly isolated from your family. Career aspirations and life goals will be suppressed and supplanted. Watch how any sense of cooperation from her tails off only to be replaced by increasing obstruction.


this term is derived from the 1940’s film Gaslight where are husband deliberately seeks to make his wife crazy by turning down the gas lamp when she is not looking, but maintaining that nothing has changed. Understandably she starts to doubt her own judgement and sanity – exactly as per his shady intent. In practice you may be exposed to any number of tricks of psychological abuse

How to deal with the Silent Treatment Emotional Abuse

Some victims have noted their abuser becomes notably happier the more worn down and miserable they become. In order to cope, the victim must appreciate that a silent treatment abuser thrives on observing the negative effect they have on their target. Therefore it is necessary to stop “feeding” their desire for control and power.

This means NOT giving them the satisfaction of seeing the negative emotional effects of their immature behaviour. They can derive a great sense of self importance and triumph if you get irate, annoyed, upset, capitulate/apologise, weep or plead with them to talk to you. Whether or not the reason for the cessation of normal communication is known, starve them of these rewards for their unjust behaviour and they will likely eventually tire of engaging in the silent treatment and revert more quickly than usual to their normal demeanour.

Thanks for reading, please share to educate others and don’t forget to like and comment your opinion in the comment section. See you next time and have a blessed day