Emotional bullying also known as psychological abuse is a type of exploitation and intimidation that targets a person’s emotions. This involves manipulation, blaming, verbal attacks, and humiliation. Emotional bullies use indirect forms to intimidate their victims like putdowns, infantilization isolation, and name-calling. According to the self healing institute, recent trends involve bullies using cyber-bullying, text messaging, instant messaging as forms of abuse resulting from technological innovations. Bullies are normally weak individuals who develop an overwhelming desire to dominate and be in control, to compensate for their own vulnerability. This manifests in three ways physically, spiritual and emotional. In a marriage, bullies chose their spouse or lovers as victims of whom they exert full control.
Types of Emotional Bullies
There are three types of emotional bullies. The first type is the Rage Bully who include spouses that control their partners through fear and physical intimidation. The second type is the Name Calling Bully. These are spouses that use insecurity to control their partners by attacking their self-confidence and esteem. The third type is the Passive Aggressive Bully. These use their partner’s mistakes to intimidate them. They keep reminding their partners of mistakes done in the past using them to create guilt. Bullies ensure dominance over their victims by use of intimidation, controlling situations, withholding basic needs such as sex, money, food, etc.
Signs of Emotional Bullying in a Marriage
Emotional bullying occurs in a marriage when a spouse uses threats and intimidation continuously. They use insults and call their spouse names; continually using cursing terms and yell without an appropriate cause. Bullies isolate and humiliate their spouses in public, withhold important information from them and become excessively co-dependent. Some spouses also go to the extent of denying their wrong deeds and instead blame their partners for a mistake they have committed.
Avoiding Emotional Bullying
Emotional bullies are individuals who are weak and vulnerable. To them, bullying is a way of being in charge hence masking their vulnerability. Educate yourself on the role of the bully and victim in the cycle. Have a strong belief in yourself, building your self-esteem and stand up to or ignore the bully. The emotional bully’s behaviour is a symptom of an illness rather than a personal attack.
Create a safe haven by asking for support from friends, relatives. Seek professional help for both the bully and yourself. Protect yourself by setting boundaries and highlighting issues in a calm environment. Standing up to the bully is the best option as it makes aids in the realization that there is a problem and makes them become willing to seek help for it. It is easy for one to become a target and thereafter a victim of a bully especially in a relationship.
A bully’s acts normally creep up to the victim and in most cases, majority realize very late that they are victims. It is therefore important to be on the lookout for the signs of a bully to break the cycle before it begins.