When most people think of an abusive person, they think of someone who is physically abusive, such as the man who beats his wife & children. Some may also think of a verbally abusive person, too. There is so much more to abuse than these two methods, however! Narcissists often use the following tactics, so it’s wise to be aware of them.
Forcing a person to do something they don’t want to do is abuse. This can include anything, such as following unreasonable rules, looking a certain way or even performing sexual acts. The forcing can be accomplished in many ways, like withholding money, using intimidation, guilt or shaming or simply telling the victim there is no choice in this matter.
An extremely possessive & jealous romantic partner is being abusive. Almost everyone has a little bit of possessiveness & jealousy in them, & that is normal. Being upset someone flirted with your spouse is bound to bring out that jealous streak. What is not normal in that situation is if someone becomes enraged at their spouse, accusing them of having an affair with the person who flirted with them or even resorting to physical violence. When your partner’s jealousy makes you afraid to speak with anyone your partner doesn’t approve of, this is a sign that their behavior is abusive.
Giving no privacy is abusive. Unless you have given someone a valid reason not to trust you, such as if you cheated on your spouse, there is no good reason for you not to have privacy in your relationships. It’s healthy for each person in a relationship, any relationship, to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Each person should be able to trust that the other person won’t snoop through their emails, phone, purse, etc. Snooping makes a person feel guilty & paranoid about everything, even when they have no reason to feel that way. It’s a miserable way to live!
Isolation is abuse. If the other person you’re in a relationship with tries to keep you from seeing your friends & family, this is a huge red flag! Abusers of all kinds like to isolate their victims as a means of being able to control them. Isolation limits the information, help & support a victim can receive, which makes them easier to abuse.
Intimidation is also abuse. My ex husband used to punch walls sometimes when he was angry with me. He even told me that I was lucky he hit the wall instead of me, because that was what he wanted to do. Intimidation also can come in the form of someone telling you that they’ll tell everyone you know private things about you & that no one will want anything to do with you after they know those things.
Keeping you from accessing any money is abusive. Naturally parents don’t allow their children to access their bank accounts, but they also don’t restrict their children from working. They also don’t expect their children to give them most of their paycheck for rent. A spouse that refuses to add your name to bank accounts or credit cards, or prevents you from working is also being abusive.
Using religion to force you to behave as they want is abusive. Spiritual abuse seems to be on the rise. It can come from those in the church, spouses & even parents. Spiritual abuse is when someone tries to manipulate your behavior by twisting Scripture around to justify their abusing you or manipulating you into doing what they want. This is one more reason I believe it’s wise to have plenty of knowledge of the Bible. People who spiritually abuse can be quite convincing with what they have to say. The best way to combat this is to have knowledge of the Bible & a relationship with God.
Just remember, Dear Reader, anyone who shows these behaviors is being abusive. Don’t tell yourself it’s no big deal, it doesn’t mean anything or any other excuses. These behaviors are abusive & you have every right to protect yourself!