You may protect yourself from the virus during lockdown but expose yourself to the kind of emotional abuse that can slowly drain the life out of you.
As the global pandemic rages on, self-isolation is believed to be the best way to protect yourself from the virus. When the person you've lock yourself in your home with is toxic for your mental health, you may protect yourself from the virus but expose yourself to the kind of emotional abuse that can slowly drain the life out of you.
With the isolation in place and the stress levels being high, the chances of your partner getting more aggressive emotionally may also increase. Here are some tell-tale signs to watch out for:
Does your partner make you question anything you say? Do they subtly point a finger at you when anything goes wrong and hint that it may be your fault? Does your partner say one thing but their actions speak differently? Does your partner, instead of comforting you, slowly tells you that you are wrong? Well, you may be being gaslighted without even being aware of it.
According to Psychology Today, gaslighting is the technique partners use to assert dominance over the other partner in a sly manner. The victim, in this case, does not even know they are being manipulated and that is why it works brilliantly for the abuser. Be mindful of such acts, especially as you are packed in close quarters with someone who may emotionally manipulate you.
One of the cheap tricks that emotional abusers often engage in is using humor as a disguise for saying hurtful things. They crack a joke at you that is mean, hurtful, and sharp, and when you object, they shake it off as a joke. In fact, they may even turn the blame on you and say you can't even take a joke sportingly.
According to the Huffington Post, emotional abusers often use this method to put down their victims. During isolation, the use of such tricks may intensify and you need to be wary of your partner's behavior.
In one of the most commonly used techniques used by an emotional abuser, they tend to be emotionally hot and cold alternatingly to keep you on an emotional edge. According to Independent, it is a telltale sign of emotional abuse. In this case, your partner would be extremely affectionate, loving, and caring in one moment and extremely cold and distant in the other.
They would constantly oscillate between these emotional extremes making you unsure about how to act. This behavior can make you question yourself if there's something that you may be doing wrong. But, in fact, it is the abuser's technique to keep you agitated and under their toxic dominion.
In an article on the Huffington Post, withholding affection was identified as one of the ways in which emotional abusers take advantage of their victims. During the isolation period, as both the partners feel the stress of being cut off from society, it is important that they care about each other be affectionate with each other. But an emotional abuser would take advantage of this situation and put the victim under more duress.
Their inclination to dominate will grow and the first thing they might do is to take away their affection for you. This may make you feel guilty for something that you haven't even done. And you may spend the isolation period suffering alone.
This can be seen as an extreme form of emotional abuse where your partner may threaten to humiliate you, embarrass you, and ridicule you openly and without hesitation.
Psychcentral showed that threats of this nature are often used by abusers to get their own way and to dominate their partners. These threats may actually intensify during periods of isolation as their eagerness to dominate you may surpass all shame. Be on the lookout for such signs because emotional abuse is the last thing you want during this already charged emotional time.