Defining Emotional abuse

September 7, 2017

Are you being subjected to Emotional Abuse? Physical abuse is relatively clearly defined, an aggressive form of physical contact with the intent to control and/or harm another without their consent. Emotional abuse can be more subtle. Gossip is an indirect form of emotional abuse. Sarcasm can be a more subtle form of direct abuse (C'mon get over it. I was just joking"). Over the course of a relationship the lines can get blurred. An example would be being made to feel responsible for another's emotional reactivity. ("I told you I need dinner on the table when I walk in the YOU'VE made me mad!"). Put downs, demeaning statements, ridicule, sarcasm, criticism are all signs of emotional abuse. These behaviours are meant to maintain emotional control over another as well as boost the false sense of positive worth for the perpetrator. Remember you are not responsible for another's emotions. You do however, have a right to your own emotional wellness. If the warnings signs are there, get help, find a support, and find a helping professional in your community. 

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Courtenay Office

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Rod Chant Counselling Services in Campbell River and Courtenay at:


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Rod Chant is a registered clinical counsellor with the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors