Signs of mental abuse aren’t as easy to notice as you would think. They can be just as devious and twice as serious as other forms of abuse.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I was the victim of various forms of abuse, one of which was mental abuse. For years, I was oblivious to what was happening to me.

The signs of mental abuse, in this case, went right over my head, and thus I suffered through thinking everything was my own fault, but it wasn’t. After years of enduring such hardships, I finally discovered the truth of what was happening, and then I made steps to change my life.

Recognizing the signs of mental abuse

I did change my life, but it took decades to do so. Now, I can help others who may be living in the dark about their suffering. I want to share several signs of mental abuse that mostly get ignored. Here are the true indicators that someone is mistreating you.


Have you ever been in a relationship where it seemed like your feelings were always ignored? Yes, that can seem, to those who aren’t familiar with mental abuse, like your feelings really aren’t important in certain situations.

The truth is, your feelings are important, and those who push your feelings aside practice belittling.

Cruel joking

One of the sneakiest ways that someone emotionally abuses another is by telling cruel jokes, jokes that are designed to take a shot at the other’s self-esteem. Now, the twist with this maneuver is when the joke offends you, the teller will criticize you for being too sensitive or not able to take a joke.

Let me be honest with you. The so-called joke was no joke at all. It was a criticism disguised as a joke in case you were offended. You see how that works? Yeah, it took me a long time to figure this one out for myself.

Guilt trips

Mental abusers, especially when they’re not getting their way, will use guilt trips to turn things around. They will be quite convincing when they attempt to make you feel guilty and you’ve probably not even done anything wrong at that!

You have to be really strong to avoid giving in to the feelings of guilt.

Emotional neglect

There are a few forms of neglect, including the mental kind. One of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is being able to meet each other’s emotional needs, and abusers purposely neglect these needs to gain power.

Pay attention to how much they listen and seem to care about your problems. Abusers will always discount your feelings in exchange for putting the spotlight on their own.


Mental abuse can be seen in the form of manipulation. Manipulation can be seen when one partner convinces the other that they cannot be happy unless the relationship is going well. They also use trigger words to control the mood and direction of the relationship as well.

Manipulation can be subtle or it can also be blatant, depending on whether one partner is starting to notice the abuse or not.

Lack of communication

Communication is the backbone of all relationships. The lack of communication will either kill all feelings or it will firmly place all control in the hands of one or the other partner in the union.

Those who resort to mental abuse will never have the desire to communicate because talking things through often reveals the tactics of the abuser.

Mood swings

Abusers often display rapid changes in mood. This could be a form of a disorder, but in other cases, it can be used to throw the partner off topic.

Have you ever noticed your partner’s mood worsening after you suggest you have a problem with them? Sudden anger is a common way that abusers intimidate the submissive partner in a relationship.


Abusers will also attempt to isolate you from your family and loved ones. The reason they do this is that they don’t want family or loved ones giving their opinions on your relationship.

Keeping you away from other people eliminates an outside support system and leave you vulnerable and dependent upon them.


One remarkable way that abusers work their nasty tactics is by denying things that they previously said. For instance, you may remind your partner that they agreed to go somewhere with you and they could deny they ever made such a promise.

Abusers do this all the time in order to get out of things they don’t want to do or to break promises. Oftentimes, if you press the issue, they will retaliate by calling you sensitive and petty.

Never ignore the signs

If you’ve experienced any of these signs of mental abuse, please consider talking with someone. If your partner or friend is willing to talk about this, then give it a shot! Whatever you feel is important, you must follow through. After all, this is your life and you only get one!

Take care of yourself!



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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Jim Pickens

    What if the abusers are your family

    1. Sherrie

      Abuse within the family is common, and it usually takes a sensitive balance and healthy boundaries. Cutting someone completely from your life is drastic and should only be used as a last resort. Unfortunately, it sometimes has to be done.

      1. Haylz

        What do you mean Sherrie when you say “and it usually takes a sensitive balance and healthy boundaries”?

        1. Sherrie


          What I mean when I referred to “sensitive boundaries is the ability to approach topics of discussion or let them go. You have to be able to choose whether you want to confront situations of just walk away from them because some family members only wish to start fights with you. They understand what makes you angry so it’s important to keep balance in this area. It is sensitive because it can be difficult to decide what to do and not hurt someone in the family. It’s about keeping peace when possible. Healthy boundaries are knowing your standards and not allowing anyone to disrespect these standards you set for yourself. Boundaries say either “yes, I will compromise on this” or “No, I stand behind what I believe and I won’t change my mind.”

          I hope this helps.

    2. Nakea

      then you can talk to them

  2. Deb

    Jim, sometines unfortunately our family is the worst offenders. I know from self experience. I have several family members who are emotional abusers and when I decided to break ties with them, they accused me of being the abusive one. My advice to anyone in this situation is cut off communication and focus on your self healing.

    1. Haylz

      Agree with you Deb. I suffered years of abuse from a Narcissist father and the denial of the rest of my family. Have had to stop having anything to do with some of them and focus on my own wellbeing. You can’t heal when you are embroiled in hurt and abuse.

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