Self-esteem and emotional abuse go hand in hand if you are involved in an abusive relationship.
Even though emotional abuse does not leave physical scars on a person, it has a major impact on your self-esteem.
Any form of abuse is a game to gain control over your partner, but emotional abuse in its purest form is a direct attack on your self-esteem. The object is to break you down totally so that you can be manipulated more easily.
Unfortunately, our self-esteem tends to be based on external factors such as our weight, income and like-ability.
These factors are the easiest to attack verbally; “you are fat”, “you need to get an increase” and “none of my friends like you”.
Yes, I heard these all, and more.
My question is this…
Who suffers from lower self-esteem; the abuser or the person being emotionally abused?
Does your abuser pile on the emotional abuse to make them feel better about themselves, or do you accept the abuse because you feel you deserve it?
Low self-esteem often leads you to behave in a manner which almost makes your thoughts turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.
If both partner’s suffer from low-self esteem, then there is no option other than chaos within your relationship.
The abuser as well as the abused then could become co-dependent on each other, and that is a whole other story.
If your abuser suffers from low self-esteem, their behavior will tend to be destructive to themselves or to those around them.
If you suffer from low-self esteem you will tend to suppress your feelings and will keep everything internalized. The biggest mistake you will make is to not speak up or take action against your abuser.
If your abuser has a low self-esteem, then
- don’t get into arguments with them; you will end up arguing for hours and not achieving anything.
- don’t try and “fix” what you think may be wrong with them,
- don’t feel obliged to stay in the relationship.
If you struggle with low self-esteem, then I believe there is only one option and that is to talk about the abuse to someone; friends, family or a therapist.
Once you have walked away from your relationship, you need to start working on boosting your self-esteem or else you will find yourself falling into many destructive relationships.
A few ways to do this are…
- repeat positive affirmations about yourself on a daily basis; it may seem a little stupid, but hearing yourself say that you don’t deserve to be treated badly by anyone, makes a huge difference in your outlook on life,
- set boundaries and stick to them. If you do become involved with someone after being emotionally abused, your boundaries need to be sacrosanct. The second a boundary is violated, act decisively, even if it means walking away again,
- build a support group and use them when needed.
Don’t just use external factors to determine your self-worth; you are more than just a physical being.