Responding to emotional abuse

Dealing with emotional abuse isn’t always an option though, particularly in severe cases or in intimate relationships.

Abusers don’t stop emotional abuse on their own and it is up to the victims and those around them to help stop the emotional abuse. Although a victim may feel “beaten up” by the emotional abuser and may feel like they are nothing without him or her, the victim still can still stand up to the abuser and assert their own power.

Stopping the emotional abuse takes courage. Use these techniques when stopping emotional abuse:

  • Regain control of the situation by acting confident and looking the abuser in the eye.

  • Speak in a calm, clear voice and state a reasonable expectation such as, “Stop teasing me. I want you to treat me with dignity and respect.”

  • Act out of rationality, with responses that will help the situation, and not out of emotion.

  • Practice being more assertive in other situations, so you can be more assertive when being emotionally abused.