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Examples of emotional abuse (part 2)

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

This blog post is part 2 of various types of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is a relevant and pressing topic. Emotional abuse can be often hidden, yet pervasive, and inflicting harm on individuals. This blog post aims to provide examples of damaging types of emotional abuse which often can be hard to recognize.

women looking down experiencing emotional abuse

Creating dependency

"You can't survive without me; you're too weak and helpless."

Unfair unrealistic comparison to others

"Why can't you be more like [someone else]? They're so much better than you."

women comparing to others types of emotional abuse

Disregarding your needs

"You are being selfish, needy, or materialistic if you express your wants or


Exploiting insecurities

"No one else will find you attractive with those flaws."

sad dog vulnrable to exploitation for his imperfections

Forcing compliance

"If you don't do what I say, I'll make your life miserable."


"I just care about you so much; that's why I need to know where you are all the time."

"I can't help it if I feel insecure; you must be doing something to make me doubt you."

"Jealousy is just my way of showing how much I love you and want to protect what we have."

"I get upset because I want you all to myself; it's a sign of how much you mean to me."

drone in the sky like controlling behavior during emotional abuse


"You don't need to spend time with them; I'm the only one who truly understands you."

"Your friends and family don't really get you like I do; they're just holding you back. I understand you better"

candle isolated in the dark is like person who emotionally abuses isolates the victim

Unrealistic requests/expectations

"You should prioritize my needs over everything else; nothing else should matter."

"We should be spending every moment together; it's the least you can do for our relationship."

"No matter how much you give, it's never enough; I'm always left dissatisfied."

"If you don't complete tasks the way I want, you're just not trying hard enough."

"Your opinions should align with mine; there's no room for disagreement in this relationship."

"When something upsets you, I need exact dates and times, or I won't take it seriously."

Acting superior

"Your opinions, ideas, values, and thoughts make no sense."

"I have to talk down to you because you clearly can't grasp things the way I do."

"I'm just being sarcastic; if you can't handle it, that's your problem."

"I'm always right, I know what's best, and frankly, I'm smarter than you. Just accept it."

man acting superior

In conclusion, this exploration of various types of emotional abuse underscores the complex and pervasive nature of this harmful behavior within relationships. Recognizing these subtle yet damaging dynamics is the first step towards fostering empathy, support, and healthier and more respectful connections. Click here to read the part 1 of this blog post.

If you or someone you know is navigating the complexities of emotional abuse, as a psychologist, I provide therapy online and in person in Eindhoven (Veldhoven), Netherlands for those experiencing emotional abuse and also for those committing it. Let's continue this important conversation together.

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