Whether you suspect that you are in an abusive relationship or worry that a loved one might be involved in one, it is essential to be able to recognize it. All relationships are unique, which is why there are no clear-cut criteria that define an abusive relationship. However, the tactics of abuse are well-known, be it an emotionally abusive relationship or a physically abusive one.
It is important to understand what the signs of an abusive relationship are so that you can take action to protect yourself, your loved ones, and begin the healing process. Read on to find out exactly why being able to recognize an abusive relationship when it happening is so important.
1. Signs of an Abusive Relationship
It is crucial to recognize the red flags of an abusive relationship cycle so that you can remove yourself from it. Abusive relationships are exploitative, violent, often illegal, and have a lasting toll on the sufferer’s physical, mental, and emotional health. In order to recognize that yourself or a loved one is in an abusive relationship, either with a partner or a family member, look out for these red flags:
- Possessiveness: Is someone close to you trying to prevent you from spending time or communicating with other people?
- Control: Is someone close to you trying to gain control over your personal relationships, your free time, your finances, or what you eat?
- Threats: Does the person make threats of violence, bullying, isolation, or humiliation, even if they are not explicit?
- Gaslighting: Does the person attempt to frame abusive behavior as something that is your fault, or try to discuss your faults whenever you try to flag up abusive behavior?
- Manipulation: Does the person try to manipulate you into doing things that you do not want to do or are perhaps not who you are?
- Violence: Has the person ever inflicted physical or sexual violence upon you?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, you may be in an abusive relationship and should seek help immediately.
2. How to Respond to an Abuse Relationship
Whether you find yourself in a physically, mentally, or verbally abusive relationship, seeking help is key. You may feel isolated, but there are always options for assistance. You can call a local abusive relationship hotline to get advice, legal support, and shelter.
You can reach out to friends and family and inform them of your situation. What is clear is that you need to step away from the source of the abuse in order to begin healing. An abusive partner or family member does not need to be tolerated for any reason.
3. Recognition is the Start of the Healing Process
If you are a victim of violent, mental, or narcissistic abuse, recognition of that abuse will help you with the healing process. Although you owe your abuser nothing, you may be comforted with the thought that recognizing the abuse and escaping the relationship can help you heal and move beyond it. Such examples of this healing are everywhere.
For example, you can learn more about how celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, who themselves are icons of female strength, have confronted their own abusers and moved on to live happier lives as a result. Recognizing abuse when it is happening is the beginning of a better chapter in your life.
More Tips for Better Mental Health in 2021
Knowing how to recognize an abusive relationship is essential for better mental health in 2021. For more guidance and tips on better mental health in the year ahead, make sure to read our dedicated Lifestyle section for free guidance and insights.