How to Deal With Emotionally Abusive Parents? - Abusive Parent Signs​

Written by: Arooj Paulus – B. Sc (Psychology)

Last updated date : January 19 , 2023

Abuse can be in any form, whether it is bodily or mental. Hurting someone’s feelings can have adverse effects on their mental health. Any person who hurts you in any way is abusive. Whether it’s your friend or family. Parents can be abusive too. Emotionally abusive parents can leave a scar on their children that may last a lifetime. To handle this problem let us discuss below how to deal with emotionally abusive parents and know the abusive parent signs.

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Chapter 1:

What Is Emotional Abuse?

The use of emotions to criticize, humiliate, shame, blame, or somehow influence another person is known as emotional abuse. Any person or a relationship is abusive if they hurt you bodily or mentally. An abusive parent might use hurtful words or actions that damage a person’s sense of self-worth and threaten their wellbeing. They put mental tension on their kids to get their tasks done. It could involve fear, shame, and loneliness. For instance, calling names, punishing a kid badly, picking on them constantly, making them feel unimportant, and neglecting or ignoring them are all examples of abuse.

One of the most difficult types of abuse is mental. We often ignore it because we cannot see it directly. It may be highly misleading or quiet and deceptive. In any case, it lowers the victim’s self-esteem and causes them to doubt their views of the world. The victim eventually feels stuck. Such children frequently feel hurt, so they also think about quitting or cutting off the ties with their parents. And the cycle of abuse continues to damage mental health.

Such actions might damage the growing minds of children and create severe changes in their personalities. To find it and fix it, though, is quite challenging. But this article will help you to identify the emotionally abusive parent signs, their effects, and how to deal with them.

Chapter 2:

Emotionally Abusive Parent Signs

If the person who is causing you distress is your parent, you can find the following emotionally abusive signs in them.

  1. If your parents are moody. And they often mistreat you according to their mood.
  2. If they have a biased attitude towards you. Such as they praise your sibling for the same thing but do not appreciate your efforts and achievements.
  3. They do not value your feelings and often hurt them. Such as, if a child feels sad, an abusive parent may tell them that they are causing unneeded drama or talk about the child with others. Or call names such as saddest, coward, cry baby, or drama.
  4. If your parent is passive-aggressive. Such as they oftentimes give you a silent treatment. Or you can see aggression towards you in their tone of voice.
  5. If your parent frequently asks you to meet their needs.
  6. Emotionally abusive parents also make you feel guilty. Such as they frequently make you realize that they have sacrificed so much for you.
  7. If they are there physically, but they are not there emotionally. Such as they provide your financial needs but do not provide you emotional warmth. Kids need their parent’s warmth and support. An abusive parent may be busy with work and scold you if you ask for their warmth or support.
  8. If they overly interfere in your life and want to control your life. Taking privacy and freedom is also abuse. Such as a harsh parent can check your phone and chats.
  9. They may blame their actions upon you. This could result in self-blame and guilt. Such as a parent scolding you that you make a mistake that is why they treat you this way.
  10. You have negative feelings towards your parent such as fear or aggression toward them most of the time.

Chapter 3:

How to Deal With Emotionally Abusive Parents?

People who had emotional abuse in childhood may suffer for the rest of their lives and even into adulthood. It may have an impact on their capacity to establish lifelong connections, hinder their emotional growth, cause childhood trauma, despair, and unstable behavior, keep them apart from other family members, or cause mental issues. When they reach adulthood, emotionally abused youngsters are eager to leave their families and spend the rest of their life hating their parents.

Here are some ways you may deal with emotionally abusive parents if you see the aforementioned warning signs.

1. Assess the Abuse Pattern

Identify emotional abuse as the first sign of your parents’ unhealthy attitude. Following that, identify their cycle of abuse. For instance, if they are in financial trouble at the end of the month, they can become angry and yell at you. Keep your interactions with them to a limit in such times. When they start a discussion, stay polite and attempt to leave the room if you think they are about to start verbally attacking you.

2. Adjust Your Response

We advise you to divert your attention since emotional abuse is harmful to your mental health. You might want to lash out or weep when you are scolded without cause but avoid doing so. Your health might be significantly impacted if you react poorly to it. Walk out of the room instead, and attempt to calm down and focus on your breath. Breathe deeply and picture a serene scene in your mind.

3. Note That It Is Not Your Fault

Know that it is not your fault, even if your parents keep blaming their life’s problems on you. No matter what people say or do, you are not liable for their acts. Abuse is a result of their internal conflicts with themselves. Do not make yourself guilty for their actions.

4. Talk to Them

Communication is the key in any relationship. You can’t change a person’s nature but you can try to talk to your parent if you see them in good mood. Speak up and let them know how their emotional abuse makes you feel and how difficult it is to deal with. Tell them how their attitude affects your physical and emotional health, and request them to change for your healing. Such conversations can be difficult but they are necessary.

5. Maintain a Safe Distance from Them

It is important to keep your boundaries and restrict your contact with them if things do not change even after talking to them. To limit the contact you can try to keep yourself occupied with interesting activities.

6. Consult an Elder or Expert

Try speaking with an older person or a teacher, or seek therapy, if nothing else appears to be helping. They might not be able to change the circumstances for you, but they might be able to help you develop constructive coping skills or give you advice on how to look after your physical and emotional health in this situation.

Chapter 4:

Call to Action

You can further read, “Cutting off Toxic Family. Is It Okay Cutting off Toxic Parents?”, or read “Domestic Abuse – Domestic and Family Violence” at Epsychonline. So that you know how to deal with a toxic family. Prioritize your mental health. In addition, you can start a course, “Low Self-Esteem” as an emotionally abusive parent can make you doubt yourself and lower your self-esteem. We hope to be a help to you. Join right away!

"Structured and engaging course" Joan

69 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount