We have forgotten that Emotional abuse is abuse too.

When defining abuse, the emotional, financial and psychological aspects of an individual’s life are not left out. However, we have all forgotten this fact, only focusing on physical abuse. we have forgotten the fact that physical abuse often stems from emotional abuse and today, i am here to remind of you of this fact.

Emotional abuse is as much harmful to the well-being of a human being as physical abuse and in my opinion, it is more prevalent and reprising than physical abuse because of two reasons including:

  1. Many people are unaware of the fact that they are being abused because there is no violent and aggressive behaviour involved in emotional abuse in most cases.
  2. People overlook emotional abuse because they think it is the normal behaviour of the abuser to a certain degree.

However, this has also led people to their early graves when it comes to depression. now, we are going to look at certain behaviour that we overlook and deem as normal when it is not.

  1. Verbal abuse

Using bad language on people especially children is quite common in the world we live in. In Africa, this trait is almost seen as an effective way of disciplining or confronting someone for their wrong deeds. i have often heard parents, especially mothers hail insults at their children calling them dogs, rats and hyenas when the children had made an offence. sadly, these parents did not realize that they were emotional abusing their children each day they insulted. Obviously it hurts to be called a dog or rat and being called that every day will definitely be a thing that constantly upset you. Children often spend time wondering why there parents would call them such belittling names and in the long run begin to question their parents’ love for them. If they grow up with the notion that they are not loved then that is another challenge to deal with because self-pity, low confidence and self-esteem and lack of self image and acceptance will catch up with them.

I have heard other parents constantly refer to their children as dull and useless. They say you are what you thin of and if a child begins to believe your words then you have destroyed that child’s life. surely verbal abuse is not an effective way of setting one in the right path or settling disputes because words spoken to people carry a lot of weight and have the power to manifest in their lives immediately or even when they are all grown up. i o not know about other continents but this kind of emotional abuse is highly prevalent in Africa and it is high time we reconsidered and found other ways of reprimanding children or settling disputes with others.

  1. Unnamed relationships

In a world where the love of men has waxed cold, we have been bombarded with relationships that have no names. Of course, the world may give them names to define them but they remain nameless when it comes to the standard and moral way of establishing relationships. The issue of friends with benefits and ‘no strings attached relationship’ cause me heartache because many people have ended up being attached to toxic strings because often times one between the two people involved in such relationships ends up being emotionally abused when they eventually fall in love and wish for something more. You may agree to be in a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship but what happens when you start catching feelings? You will expect the other person to feel the way you feel about them and you will want them to meet certain expectations which they will eventually not be able to fulfill because the two of you are on different levels of the relationship beam. As such, yours is pain, heartache and thinking too much. You will become emotionally bound to thinking about these people and no matter how you hurt, you will stay in the hope that one day they will see you and reciprocate your feelings but such a time never comes; it only leads to more pain, stress, depression and even death by suicide or by disease.

In the same vein, people should not only engage in naming relationships but also living up to the standards of the named relationship. If you declare that you are just friends, kindly stick to the rules of friendships. Do not cross or let someone cross those boundaries because there are consequences to that. If caution is not taken, one may end up falling for the other while the other person may not have the courage to take responsibility for awakening love in the other person. This may led to emotional abuse of the one who has fallen in love.

I understand thee are people who may not want to emotionally abuse other people on purpose but our decision in life may cause us to be abusers, witnesses and victims of emotional abuse and thus, we must take precautions by doing the right things-things that are morally right.

3. Emotional Blackmail

Whether deliberate or unintentional, we have all emotionally blackmailed someone to do something for us. this is a selfish behaviour because we do not put the other people’s opinions, feelings, principles and values in mind. For example, it is very common for boys/men to ask girls/women for sex to prove their love and denial to this request is tantamount to breakup. This is very bad behaviour. secondly, there are those who take advantage of the relationship they have with others to constantly blackmail them to do things for them, even when these things are illegal or immoral. This is an act of abuse of the people you are blackmailing and you are affecting their emotional well-being as well as their mental stability.

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