If He Does These 7 Things, He's Silently Abusing You

Abuse isn't always obvious.

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By Maria Hakki

Abuse of someone is a cruel and violent treatment of them. Emotional abuse, specifically, usually stands for loud shouting or screaming, or complaining. But often it goes much more quietly. It’s extremely discrete, to the point where it’s pretty hard to be recognized.

Specialists call such unobvious domestic violence “quiet abuse”.

This is a verbal form of abuse that we express through talking or through silence. It is a common problem among people who aren’t even coupled up. Actually, you may have even noticed it with buddies, coworkers, or relatives. And the symptoms are sometimes difficult for us to see.


If he does these 7 things, he's silently abusing you:

1. He's rude in a normal voice

Insulting at a normal noise level is also a way of abusing your partner emotionally. Giving offensive nicknames to a friend or a partner is a pure form of emotional violence. Such type of emotional abuse might come from a colleague or your boss as well. So, you should pay attention to this not only when it comes to your romantic relationship.


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2. He exhibits mean behavior

If your partner calls you “fatty”, then claims they’re just jerking you around and you’ve been overreacting, it’s a red flag! An emotionally abusive partner might call you too sensitive and mask it as a joke. And this is to make you feel guilty when complaining about something they’ve done.

Such behavior is a form of verbal abuse seen in romantic relationships and the working environment. It can seriously influence the positive attitude you have about yourself. You shouldn’t accept it at all if it’s putting you down.

3. He makes you feel guilty

The so-called guilt tripping is another form of emotional violence. This is an abusive manipulation that aims to make you do something for someone. No matter you might be feeling uncomfortable and mainly due to the fact you feel guilty.


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4. He ignores you

Avoiding contact and engagement with you, when you disagree with your partner or friend is another signal. You could be a victim of stonewalling or be given the cold shoulder. In fact, this kind of behavior can be the worst form of silent emotional violence.

5. He won't listen to you

If your partner or your friend doesn’t listen when you’re talking to them it means you have a problem with your relationship. Usually, this is a form of silent emotional abuse that could make you feel unappreciated. If this happens there’s no doubt you’re being abused and disrespected.

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6. He treats you disrespectfully

Your partner might treat you badly or disrespectfully through their actions and yet blame you for taking it too seriously. As we mentioned before in such a situation a silent emotional abuser could try to excuse their behavior. They could blame you for being too sensitive.

7. He humiliates you

Sometimes, it’s really difficult to actually understand how they manage to humiliate you that much. Usually, the strongest indicator that there is a problem is that when you are around them you feel bad about yourself.

This type of emotional abuse is more destructive compared to obvious violence. The reason is simple. Silent abuse is harder to recognize and this means we might not be able to take measures on time. Another problem is that even if we do we could be blamed to be overreacting.

We perceive shouting as an act of direct aggression and reactions against it come naturally.


But when we fall victim to silent abuse, we could decide it’s us who are seeing the situation as falsely offensive and it’s us again who has actually provoked it. This is why you may feel guilty trying to bring up the way that you feel against a partner who uses silent abuse against you, too.

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Maria Hakki is a writer and translator. She has been featured in I Heart Intelligence, Australian National Review, and more.