Society often talks about physical abuse; I guess because it is something visual and easy to identify. However, they pay little or no attention to mental abuse; in this case, mental abuse is more complex and challenging to locate. From my point of view, most of us have been victims of mental abuse, either coming from our parents, friends, and family. In this article, we will explore specific aspects of mental abuse.
Mental abuse directly manipulates someone’s emotions; it negatively controls other people’s points of view, behavior, beliefs, and more. And yes, let’s focus on NEGATIVELY CONTROLLING. I want to clarify this point since a friend of mine asked me about the effect of manipulation, in which I responded that there is positive manipulation and negative manipulation. The difficulty lies in identifying which one is positive or negative.
Here are some forms of mental abuse that we should keep in mind:
- Invalidating your emotions: When we feel deep, some people can misinterpret it as if we are over-reactive when in reality, we own our feelings and how we are feeling at the moment. If a person invalidates how you think, either if you are feeling a positive or negative emotion, that is mental abuse, and you should remove yourself from that situation.
- Making you have to constantly prove yourself: Just imagining how tiring it is to continually confirm that you are worthy of love, affection, and someone else’s time. When we talk about this, think about fighting your identity; you know who you are and what you are capable of, but that person does not understand your potential. That is their problem, not yours, and that is harming your mental health.
- Belittling your achievements: have you ever felt so proud of yourself that you wanted to share the good news with others? But instead of living that moment with you, they want to transfer that joy of accomplishment to their moment of achievement, or they tell you that other people are doing better than you. Well, that hurts and is deftly negatively impacting your life. Remove that person.
- Shaming and embarrassing you in public: this is a hard one. I told my parents they could do whatever they wanted with me whenever I did something wrong but in private. I have witnessed mistreatment of different kinds, and I feel a connection with the person somehow. Is it like why another human being thinks that they have the authority to embarrass you or to point out your mistake in a way that will make you feel inferior or worthless? That is not love; that is mental abuse.
- Withholding love and affection as a way of controlling your behavior: I already said it, and I keep saying it, know your worth. Receiving love just when it is beneficial for others is not a healthy habit. When a person controls you based on the amount of love they give you, they are negatively manipulating you and abusing your mental state of mind. Just know that love comes from a place of well-being. Love is an easy natural thing to do; if it is complicated, it is not love.
- Making you feel responsible for their emotions: first of all, nobody is in charge of anybody’s emotions. We as an individual are the one in control of how we feel and how we react to specific circumstances. It is also a complex topic because people quickly blame other people when their emotions get hurt. But like I said, the critical point is identifying when a person uses our feelings to negatively manipulate us, take advantage of us, and use us as they wish.
You probably could identify some of these approaches coming from your parents, friends, and family members. We have to keep in mind that some individuals lack education in terms of mental health topics. During this time, mental health has been in the shadows of psychology and social norms. Therefore, many people do not possess the necessary knowledge to understand when they are mentally abusing someone.
It is your job to make a difference with this information; and teach your parents, friends, and family about mental abuse. We have to bring awareness to our less-educated community, especially our parents. They did not have the privilege to experience early life in the way we are experiencing it now. The point is to get to a mutual understanding of mental abuse, how to stop it, and how to prevent it.
If I tell you that the best way to avoid being mentally abused is to let it go and move on or remove those people out of your life, I will be a bad adviser. First, if you identify yourself in this situation, you need to know that you are not alone. Millions of people are and were in the same position. However, Our Garden is here to help you through the entire process of detachment. But we must understand that this is an individual decision, and self-development is an option you must repeatedly choose until it becomes your reality.
Most of the time, we underestimate the mind and its power. We offend, use and humiliate people who we love only to satisfy our ego. We break people, we destroy their lives, and we pretend that nothing has happened. But enough is enough, and now is the time to take control of our mental health.
If you feel identified with this topic, comment below, and soon I will post an article about detachment, therefore staying connected, and if you have not subscribed to Our Garden, this is a perfect time.