7 Obvious Signs Of An Emotionally Manipulative Relationship

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Emotional warfare is one of the most elusive types of manipulation because it causes no scars on the outside. The pain is on the inside.

But research has found that emotional pain can be just as damaging as physical one because it impacts how we think about ourselves. It has a direct impact on our self-esteem. So what are the signs of emotional abuse you should watch for?

Expressions Of Love Are Withheld As Punishment

closeup of woman crying
Karolina Grabowska / Pexels
Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

As soon as love in any form becomes a bartering chip, you should start examining your relationship closely. Love is something that most people desire and on a basic human level don’t want to take from others.

If someone is willing to gamble what love they are receiving and cause you suffering as a means to their ends, you could be headed for stormy seas.

Don’t try and raise the stakes and fight fire with fire.

In these situations there is no real way to fight back without becoming a terrible person. As long as you fight them you are participant in their games. Talk to them and inform others of potential trouble. The most efficient and clean way to ‘win’ is to leave.

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They Use Personal Information Against You

There is a difference between being cheeky and rude. If you find yourself justifying their actions instead of letting it go that is a bad indicator. Why are you not getting mad at them for betraying your trust?

We tell our lovers and partners many things in confidence. We strive to find people that nurture our true selves, parts of ourselves we aren’t comfortable sharing.

The more freely information flows between people in a relationship the better. Knowing that they don’t respect or value your secrets is a definite warning sign.

They Always Use Guilt to Control You

Your partner should never need to hurt you to help you. They will justify their actions by poking holes in your character and reasoning.

Truth doesn’t have to be justified or tear down competing ideas. There is always a way to explain or reason with someone without cruelty and judgement.

They Actively Work to Separate You From Your Friends and Family

This is a major and unmistakable sign of malicious intent. The only reasons someone doesn’t want you to access your support structure are not healthy and not in your best interests.

Regardless of whether or not your people like your partner, or your partner doesn’t like them is a fickle and petty reason to try to disrespect and tear down a relationship you value.

Nothing You Do Is Good Enough

This can manifest in a lot of ways. If you find yourself going out of your way to impress or please them, only to be tore down or ignored, then you would be smart to question their motives.

It is normal and common for partners to try to improve one another, but it’s a completely different thing if they’re belittling who you are and constantly trying to make you improve.

They Need to be In Control of Everything

Emotional abusers are often the controlling kind. They are only ever happy and comfortable if they are in control of everything in your relationship, from what you drive, to where you go, to how much money you’re allowed to have.

This control causes you to devalue yourself and feel like you can’t live without them.

They Spy and Invade Your Privacy

Here’s a fact: not everything in your relationship needs to be shared. Period. You have a right to privacy with your messages, with your text messages, your emails, your browser history – everything.

Spying and invading your privacy is absolutely a kind of emotional abuse and needs to be recognized as such.

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Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives