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Overcoming Emotional Abuse: Tips On How To Heal

The tribes in the Solomon Islands don’t cut trees to get rid of them. They surround it; they curse it; they let the negative energy dissipate, and eventually, the tree dies. If words and emotions can kill trees, they can kill us too. Therefore, the adage ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ is unreal!

Words (said or unsaid) have a twisted way of burrowing deep under our skin, eating at our self-esteem until we’re left with nothing. Emotional abuse is a serious concern that often gets swept under the rug because it’s not ‘physical.’ No one can tell when your heart’s bleeding and your self-confidence is shattering.

Before you become flesh and bones of emotional abuse, here are some tips on how you can heal. Remember, you’re your guardian angel; only you can save yourself.

Acknowledge Your Suffering:

Most people don’t even realize they’re being emotionally abused because it’s so subtle. It starts with put-downs, name-calling, and verbal attacks that make you question yourself.

You mask it with excuses like ‘they were having a bad day’ or ‘they didn’t mean it.’ You justify the hurtful words and actions. You cover them with the oh-so-famous ‘I’m okay’ until you start to believe in yourself. And that’s when the real damage begins.

Acknowledging that you’re a victim of emotional abuse is the first step in healing. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a necessary one.

Reach Out for Help:

Although you may not like to open up about your relationships, reaching out for help is essential. There are therapists and counselors for different types of abuse; you don’t have to suffer in silence. Talk to someone who can help you see the situation more clearly and work on ways to improve it. Your therapist would also be a great sounding board to help you decide your future.

Be real, be vulnerable and be honest about what you’re dealing with. Men, especially, are socially conditioned to believe they must be ‘tough’ and deal with their problems independently. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Regardless of your gender, if you’re suffering, seek help.

Group therapy, although not as personal, can also be beneficial. You’ll find that you’re not alone in your struggle, and sharing your experiences with others can be cathartic.

Educate Yourself:

Most people can tell they are hurting without comprehending the why and how of it. Take some time out to educate yourself about emotional abuse – read books, talk to people who have been in abusive relationships, and look for helpful articles online.

Why is the abuser doing this? Is it a personality disorder? What are the early signs of emotional abuse? How can I protect myself from further damage? The sooner you find answers, the sooner you can work on the solution. Maybe once you know what gives power to the abuser, you can take that power away. It’ll be your first stepping stone – a giant leap.

Set Boundaries:

You may have been taught that it’s best to turn the other cheek or not make waves, but that’s not the case regarding emotional abuse. You need to set boundaries with your abuser. If they’re constantly putting you down, tell them to stop. If they say things that make you feel bad about yourself, walk away! It could be about how they don’t like your clothes, your friends, or how you talk. It could also be more severe, like making fun of your weight and telling you that you’ll never amount to anything because you’re not good enough. The sooner you put your foot down, the better. Otherwise, your new normal will be one of self-doubt and insecurity.

Build A Support System:

Isolation and loneliness are two of abusers’ best weapons. They work to cut you off from friends and family so that you’re more dependent on them. Just fueling their ego with how much ‘power’ they have over you.

But you can snatch that power by building your support system. Spend more time with those who make you feel good about yourself, who lift you instead of tearing you down. They could be your friends, co-workers, and family members. The main agenda is that they make you feel good about yourself.

It’s also important to have people in your life who will believe you if you ever decide to speak up about the abuse. These people will be your rock, sounding board, and cheerleaders.

Focus on Healing Yourself:

Sadly, many victims secretly blame themselves for the emotional abuse. They think that the abuse would stop if they were just a little better or tried a little harder. Before all else, you must realize that the way someone treats you has nothing to do with you!

The abuse is a reflection of the abuser, not of you. It has everything to do with their insecurities, anger, and need for control. 

So, focus on healing yourself. Work on building your self-esteem and your confidence. How about taking up a new hobby or activity that makes you feel good? Or, maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the guts to try. Now’s your chance! Don’t stop living your life just because you’ve lost control of it.

Realize Constituents of a Healthy Relationship:

When emotional abuse (or any kind, for that matter) pertains in a relationship, it gradually becomes the new normal. Constant arguments, passive-aggressive belittling, and walking on eggshells become second nature. You start to think that this is just how relationships are. But it’s not. A healthy relationship survives conflicts with mutual respect, understanding, and communication. If you’re not getting that from your current relationship, it’s time to move on. If you are too in love and believe your partner may still be hiding inside the abuser, try couple’s therapy. It might just be the saving grace for your relationship.

Conclusion:

Research shows that 50 to 80 percent of adults may experience emotional abuse at some point in their lives. It’s not restricted to marital or romantic relationships either. Your parents, siblings, friends, and even your boss could be emotionally abusive.

You can overcome emotional abuse with the tips provided above. However, to prevent your emotional stability from slipping into someone else’s control, you’ll have to regain a sense of control in your life. You can do it! Don’t let the world tell you otherwise!

Read more interesting articles at Health Surgeon

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