Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental disorder characterized by an overinflated feeling of self-importance, difficulty or reluctance to empathize with others, and a failure or unwillingness to accept criticism.
One prime example of narcissistic behavior includes constant attention-seeking through boasting about achievements or fishing for compliments from friends or colleagues. Another common trait involves dismissing the feelings or concerns of others in favor of their own interests.
“A girl who travels will need someone that questions her, not too little, and not too much. She’ll need someone to read her, but also really listen to her. Because she’ll want to do the same. She’ll want a person that shares an interest but at the same time stays genuine to who they are. Not drown in a puddle of narcissism. And not drown in a lake of fascination.”
― lauren klarfeld
Understanding these symptoms allows psychology students to recognize signs of manipulation by individuals exhibiting narcissistic traits in various situations — be it in personal relationships, work environments, or even public figures on social media platforms.
The Deceptive Charisma of a Narcissist — Don’t Be Fooled
Narcissists are often experts at making first impressions by exuding an irresistible charm that can leave you fascinated and eager to learn more about them. This initial stage of the relationship, known as “love bombing,” is characterized by excessive affection, praise, and undivided attention toward the target.
“I wonder if the course of narcissism through the ages would have been any different had Narcissus first peered into a cesspool. He probably did.”
― Frank O’Hara, Early Writing
For example, a narcissist might shower you with compliments and gifts or constantly text and call you just to see how you’re doing.
However, it’s important to be aware that this charm is merely a facade used by the narcissist for self-serving purposes. As they thrive on admiration and control over others — particularly within close relationships — maintaining this persona enables them to manipulate your feelings in their favor.
For us aiming to understand the dynamics at play in relationships involving narcissistic manipulation, recognizing early signs like unrelenting charm can help protect potential victims from getting ensnared further into toxic situations that ultimately erode mental well-being.
From Flattery to Fractured Self-Esteem: Inside the Mind of a Narcissist
Love bombing is a manipulative technique commonly used by narcissists to draw their victims into an emotional trap. At the beginning of a relationship, the narcissist will shower their potential partner with excessive attention, affection, and admiration in order to create an intense bond. This may include gifts, constant communication, compliments, and even grand romantic gestures.
“One of the easiest ways to discover if someone is compatible with you is to gauge their emotional intelligence. Are they a kind and sensitive person? Will they be respectful towards your sensitivities? Or, are they emotionally stunted? Remember, we tend to attract narcissistic types who lack empathy.”
― Aletheia Luna
However, love bombing can be deceptive as it appears genuine at first glance; this makes it particularly dangerous for unsuspecting prey. Narcissists are skilled at identifying vulnerable individuals who crave affection or validation — often those who have been mistreated or neglected in past relationships.
What makes love bombing such an insidious manipulation tactic is that it can easily catch victims off-guard since they believe they’ve found a person who truly understands them romantically — providing them with all the right compliments and affirmations when feeling vulnerable or insecure.
How Narcissists Can Warp Your Sense Of Reality?
Gaslighting is an insidious manipulation tactic frequently employed by narcissists to gain control over their partner and undermine their confidence in their own perception of reality.
To put it simply, gaslighting involves a pattern of deception and distortion designed to make the victim doubt their memory and judgment, and ultimately lose trust in themselves.
“Imagine the infant who one day cries and gets fed, and the next day cries and goes hungry. One day smiles and is kissed and hugged. The next day smiles and is ignored. This is what psychologists called ‘preoccupied or unresolved attachment’ with the primary caregiver — usually the mother. There was love one minute and disdain the next. Affection that was given in abundance for no reason and then taken away without cause. The child has no ability to predict or influence the behavior of the parent. The narcissist loves a child only as an extension of herself at first, and then as a loyal subject. So she will tend to the child only when it makes her feel good.”
― Wendy Walker, Emma in the Night
One typical example of gaslighting is when a narcissist purposefully manipulates a situation or twists facts so that they can deny any wrongdoing or shift blame onto the victim.
They use this deceitful technique to impose self-doubt and confusion within their partner’s mind, making them more susceptible to influence and control.
Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to gaslighting can lead victims down a path where they no longer trust themselves or know what is real anymore — experiencing symptoms similar to those found in Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (NVS).
As Psychology students studying interpersonal relationships and mental health disorders like Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), it’s crucial that you recognize these warning signs early on as potential red flags for gaslighting behavior.
The Power of a Narcissist: How They Destroy Your Self-Worth
During the devaluation stage of narcissistic abuse, victims experience a decrease in self-esteem and confidence. Narcissists use various tactics to criticize and diminish their victim’s sense of worthiness, such as constantly pointing out flaws or mistakes, belittling achievements, and making impossible demands.
“Here lies the partner’s salvation: if you, as his intimate, wish to sever your relationship with the narcissist, stop providing him with what he needs. Do not adore, admire, approve, applaud, or confirm anything he does or says. Disagree with his views belittle him, reduce him to size, compare him to others, tell him he is not unique, criticize him, give unsolicited advice, and offer him help. In short, deprive him of the grandiose and fantastic illusions, which holds his personality together.
The narcissist is a delicately attuned piece of equipment. At the first sign of danger to his inflated False Self, he will quit and disappear on you.”
― Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
One common technique used during this stage is “gaslighting,” which involves manipulating the victim’s perception of reality. For example, a narcissist may deny doing something hurtful or blame the victim for misremembering events correctly.
Another tactic used by narcissists during this stage is projection. They will often project their negative traits onto others while denying that they themselves possess them.
It is important for victims of narcissistic abuse to recognize these tactics so that they can begin rebuilding their self-esteem and breaking free from the cycle of emotional abuse.
The Truth About The Silent Treatment: A Tool Of Manipulation?
The silent treatment involves ignoring the victim entirely or avoiding communication with them without any clear explanation.
“See it for what it is and own it, rather than rethink it so you don’t have to deal with the trauma of the abuse. This is the only way to move on — through acceptance.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Narcissists utilize quiet treatment as an act of retribution for not giving them the attention or praise they believe they deserve. Once their wants are not satisfied, they respond by withdrawing totally from the dialogue.
This often leaves their victims questioning what they did wrong and feeling responsible for repairing the relationship.
Research shows that experiencing long-term psychological distress caused by exposure to someone who engages in narcissistic behaviors can lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders.
The Mind Games of a Narcissist: Hoovering Exposed
Hoovering is a powerful tool commonly used by narcissists to lure their victims back into relationships. It involves reaching out to the victim, apologizing profusely, and promising to change for good.
Victims of hoovering should be cautious about falling for this ploy as it is often a temporary tactic used by narcissists until they regain control over their victims once again.
“In the narcissist’s world being accepted or cared for (not to mention loved) is a foreign language. It is meaningless or even repellent. One might recite the most delicate haiku in Japanese and it would still remain utterly meaningless to a non-speaker of Japanese. This does not diminish the value of the haiku or of the Japanese language, needless to say. But it means nothing to the non-speaker.
Narcissists damage and hurt but they do so offhandedly and naturally, as an afterthought…
They are aware of what they are doing to others — but they do not care.”
― Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
For example, if your ex-partner reached out after months of ignoring you, apologized for everything that happened between you two, and told you how much they miss you; there’s a chance that they are trying to Hoover (suck) you back in! Remember: Consistency is key when assessing whether your partner has truly changed or whether this apology was only temporary!
Spotting the Signs: The Secret Ways Narcissists Undermine Your Emotions
Narcissists use a variety of tactics, such as triangulation, projection, blame-shifting, and intimidation to manipulate their victim’s emotions in order to maintain control.
“But both the narcissist and his partner do not really consider each other. Trapped in the moves of an all-consuming dance macabre, they follow the motions morbidly — semiconscious, desensitized, exhausted, and concerned only with survival.”
― Sam Vaknin
Triangulation involves creating drama by involving a third party in a situation, often lying about what they said or did, and then using this fabricated information to control and confuse you.
For instance, if your partner tells you that your friend thinks you’re annoying and doesn’t want to hang out with you anymore, it’s highly likely that they created this story from thin air just to get you worked up.
Children who grow up in dysfunctional families are often subjected to triangulation as well because manipulative parents want them constantly feel anxious and unsure about themselves.
“What if the preacher or father’s saying ‘Someone here’s lost and hopeless’ was tantamount to those Sun-Times horoscopes that are specially designed to be so universally obvious that they always give their horoscope readers that special eerie feeling of particularity and insight, exploiting the psychological fact that most people are narcissistic and prone to the illusion that they and their problems are uniquely special and that if they’re feeling a certain way then surely they’re the only person who is feeling like that.”
― David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
In such scenarios, children may witness one parent criticizing or belittling the other behind their back while insisting that they love them equally at face value.
Projection involves shifting their own negative traits, behaviors, or feelings onto others in an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
For example, a narcissist may accuse their partner of cheating when they are the one who is actually being unfaithful.
“In a narcissist’s world you are not their one and only. You are an extension of that person and last place in their mind, while they secure back up narcissistic supply.”
― Shannon L. Alder
It’s important to recognize projection as a manipulation tactic so that you can protect yourself from its effects. By understanding this behavior, you can learn not to take everything your abuser says at face value and instead see it through the lens of manipulation.
Narcissists often project their own faults and mistakes onto someone else, often the victim of their abuse. For example, if a narcissistic partner forgets an important date such as a birthday or commitment, they might blame their partner for not reminding them or accuse them of being unsupportive.
“Being a control freak is a weakness, not a strength. If you can’t allow others to shine, you’re exhibiting signs of narcissism and showing a lack of self-confidence. It is isolation through ego.”
― Stewart Stafford
This type of emotional manipulation can be very damaging to victims because it creates doubt and confusion about who is at fault in the relationship. Victims may start to question themselves and feel guilty for things that are not their fault.
Narcissists often can take various forms, such as verbal threats, physical aggression, or the manipulation of power dynamics in relationships.
For example, a narcissistic partner may threaten to leave or harm their partner if they do not comply with their demands. They may also use physical force to intimidate their victim into submission. This type of behavior can have long-lasting effects on the victim’s mental health and sense of self-worth.
“When an accusation is thrown at you that does not fit you, when it doesn’t capture what you know to be true about yourself or your behavior, mentally flip it back on your partner. He is likely accusing you of what he is doing or feeling. Accusations can be about the narcissist’s own vulnerabilities and weaknesses (accusing you of being overly ambitious when he is ambitious, criticizing you for being unsuccessful or not making enough money when he is not feeling successful in that space)”
― Ramani Durvasula
It is crucial for individuals who are experiencing intimidation from a narcissistic abuser to seek support from loved ones or professionals trained in dealing with domestic abuse situations.
The Unseen Impact: How Narcissists Use Ghosting to Control
After a period of idealization and love bombing, narcissists tend to devalue their victims and ultimately discard them.
- Discarding: In this tactic, the narcissist orchestrates their own abandonment by creating a situation where the victim feels forced to end the relationship.
- Smear Campaign: Spreading false rumors and lies about the victim to isolate them from others
- Ghosting: Narcissists vanish without a trace, leaving prey befuddled and devastated.
Regardless of whether it’s ghosting or discarding, these tactics allow narcissists to retain power in the relationship by forcing victims to chase after them for closure.
The Dark Psychology of Narcissists: Why Mind Games Thrill Them
Narcissists love to play mind games because they derive pleasure from manipulating and controlling their victims’ emotions.
– To boost their ego: Narcissists need constant validation and attention, and playing mind games allows them to feel powerful and in control.
– To maintain a sense of superiority: By making their victims question themselves, narcissists can reinforce the belief that they are smarter, more capable, and more important than others.
– To avoid intimacy: Mind games allow narcissists to keep an emotional distance from their partners while still maintaining control over them.
– To seek revenge: If a victim challenges or criticizes a narcissist, they may resort to mind games as a form of retaliation.
– To alleviate boredom: Some narcissists enjoy playing with people’s emotions simply for entertainment purposes or out of boredom.
Keep in mind that these reasons are not an excuse for abusive behavior.
The Thrill and Despair of Falling for a Narcissistic Partner
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is like riding an emotional rollercoaster, going from idealization and love bombing to devaluation and criticism, followed by discard and abandonment, only to be reeled back in through hoovering and reconciliation tactics.
“Walter had never liked cats. They’d seemed to him the sociopaths of the pet world, a species domesticated as an evil necessary for the control of rodents and subsequently fetishized the way unhappy countries fetishize their militaries, saluting the uniforms of killers as cat owners stroke their animals’ lovely fur and forgive their claws and fangs. He’d never seen anything in a cat’s face but simpering incuriosity and self-interest; you only had to tease one with a mouse-toy to see where it’s true heart lay…cats were all about using people”
― Jonathan Franzen, Freedom
Devaluation And Criticism
The devaluation stage is the most traumatic and painful phase of a relationship with a narcissist. At this point, their partner has become emotionally attached, and they use criticism to diminish their self-esteem.
Narcissists may complain about small things or even fabricate false accusations to berate their loved ones continually. They make unreasonable demands and withhold affection and intimacy while hurling insults at their partners.
“Narcissistic personality disorder is named for Narcissus, from Greek mythology, who fell in love with his own reflection. Freud used the term to describe persons who were self-absorbed, and psychoanalysts have focused on the narcissist’s need to bolster his or her self-esteem through grandiose fantasy, exaggerated ambition, exhibitionism, and feelings of entitlement.”
― Donald W. Black
It’s essential to recognize these tactics during the devaluation stage of narcissistic abuse because it can take a devastating toll on one’s mental health if left unchecked.
Survivors must understand that it isn’t about them; rather, it is part of a cycle designed by manipulators who want complete control over those around them.
Discard And Abandonment
One of the most devastating stages of a relationship with a narcissist is discarded and abandonment. This occurs when the narcissist has found another source of validation or begins to feel their partner no longer serves them, and they abruptly end the relationship without warning or explanation.
“God judges men from the inside out; men judge men from the outside in. Perhaps to God, an extreme mental patient is doing quite well in going a month without murder, for he fought his chemical imbalance and succeeded; oppositely, perhaps the healthy, able and stable man who has never murdered in his life yet went a lifetime consciously, willingly never loving anyone but himself may then be subject to harsher judgment than the extreme mental patient. It might be so that God will stand for the weak and question the strong.”
― Criss Jami, Healology
Victims of this stage often experience feelings of shock, betrayal, and worthlessness.
Recovering from discard and abandonment can be particularly challenging because it involves emotional trauma that can leave long-lasting effects on mental health.
The fear of being abandoned again may prevent victims from forming new relationships, making it difficult for them to move forward and trust others fully.
Hoovering And Reconciliation
After a narcissist has discarded you, it’s not uncommon for them to make an attempt to come back into your life. This is known as hoovering and can take various forms, such as sending flowers or gifts, reaching out through social media or mutual friends, or even showing up unannounced at your workplace or home.
“Since our technology is really just an extension of ourselves, we don’t have to have contempt for its manipulability in the way we might with actual people. It’s all one big endless loop. We like the mirror and the mirror likes us. To friend a person is merely to include the person in our private hall of flattering mirrors.”
― Jonathan Franzen
However, it’s important to remember that this behavior is part of a cycle of abuse characteristic of narcissistic relationships. The temporary relief from pain should not be grounds for allowing the abuser back in.
Most times when attempts are made at reconciliation by a Narcissist; it’s because they want something from their victims.
The Hidden Vulnerabilities That Make Empaths So Alluring To Narcissists
Empaths, by definition, are individuals who can sense and feel the emotions of others. They tend to be compassionate and caring people who always put the needs of others before their own.
“What I’m primarily saying,’ he says, ‘is that this is a time for knowledge assimilation, not backstabbing. We learned a lesson, you and I. We personally grew. Gratitude for this growth is an appropriate response. Gratitude, and being careful never to make the same mistake twice.”
― George Saunders
Unfortunately, these characteristics make them prime targets for narcissists. Narcissists crave attention, admiration, and control.
Narcissists will often use manipulation tactics such as love bombing — overwhelming their victims with affection — to gain control over empaths.
If you’re an empath caught in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, there are things you can do about it. The most important thing is recognizing that this type of relationship is not healthy or sustainable long-term.
It’s essential to prioritize your own well-being and take steps toward getting out of the situation as soon as possible.
The Secret Epidemic: How Narcissism Is Destroying Our Relationships
Narcissistic manipulation can have a significant impact not only on the victim but also on their relationships with others.
– Lack of trust: Being in a relationship with a narcissist can damage one’s ability to trust others due to constant lies and betrayal.
– Insecurity: Emotional abuse from a narcissist can leave them feeling insecure about themselves, leading to issues within other relationships as well.
– Communication breakdown: Narcissists rarely listen or communicate effectively, causing misunderstandings and arguments in all types of relationships.
– Difficulty forming new connections: After being manipulated by a narcissist, it may be challenging for the victim to form healthy new connections due to fear of being hurt again.
It is essential for victims of narcissistic abuse to seek help in healing from its effects before entering into new relationships.
Minimization in Discrediting Personal Experiences
– The narcissist denies or downplays the abuse: They might say “I never did that” or “You’re exaggerating”.
– The narcissist blames the victim: They might say “You made me do it” or “It’s your fault”.
– The listener minimizes the abuse: They might say “It’s not that bad” or “Other people have it worse”.
– The listener questions the victim’s perception: They might say “Are you sure that really happened?”.
These reactions can be incredibly hurtful and retraumatizing for victims seeking validation for their experiences.
The Role Of Gaslighting Tactics Used by Sects
Gaslighting is a common tool used by cult leaders and other high-control groups to maintain power and control over their followers.
– Leaders may deny or distort objective reality to make followers feel confused, disoriented, or doubt their own perceptions.
– They may use gaslighting to create a false sense of urgency, making it seem like critical events are happening that require the group’s immediate attention or action.
– Members who question authority may be labeled as “disobedient” or “unfaithful,” leading them to doubt themselves and conform to the group’s demands.
– Cults may teach members not to trust outside sources of information, such as friends, family members, or the media.
These tactics can have serious emotional and psychological effects on people who have been subjected to them. Victims may experience confusion, anxiety, depression, and self-doubt; they may even develop symptoms similar to those seen in PTSD.
The Devastating Consequences of Narcissistic Parenting on Kids’ Wellbeing
Growing up with a narcissistic parent can be incredibly confusing and damaging to a child’s mental health. Narcissistic parents often see their children as extensions of themselves, rather than separate individuals with their own needs and desires.
“Never take advice about never taking advice. That is an old vice of men — to dish it out without being able to take it — the blind leading the blind into more blindness.”
― Criss Jami
Children of narcissistic parents have negative shame, anxiety, sadness, and other mental health obstacles that can endure into adolescence. They may feel chronically invalidated or dismissed by their parent’s lack of empathy or understanding.
Unfortunately, the effects of parental narcissism can have long-lasting consequences on an individual’s overall well-being. Studies have shown that adult children of narcissists are more likely to experience difficulties in personal relationships and work-life balance.
In summary, parental narcissism has a profound impact on children’s mental health in both the short- and long-term.
What Role Does Digital Media Play In Enabling And Exacerbating Narcissistic Conduct?
Social media has become a prime platform for narcissists to engage in behavior that promotes and exacerbates their tendencies.
– Social media platforms allow individuals to create an idealized version of themselves, which can fuel the narcissist’s desire for attention and admiration.
– Narcissists use social media to project an image of success and superiority, often at the expense of others.
– The constant validation from likes, comments, and shares on social media further reinforces the narcissist’s sense of grandiosity.
– Social media makes it easier for narcissists to manipulate others by controlling what they see and who they interact with online.
– The anonymity that social media provides allows the narcissist to be more aggressive in their behavior without fear of repercussions.
– Narcissists can use social media as a tool for hoovering — trying to suck victims back into a relationship after discarding them.
Research has found strong links between excessive social media use, self-focused behavior, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and various forms of aggression including bullying.
The Brain Science of Why Some People Choose Tricky Partners?
People who are attracted to manipulative partners often have underlying emotional issues that make them more susceptible to being controlled and abused. Some of these issues may stem from childhood trauma or abuse, such as neglect, abandonment, or physical/sexual abuse.
“Relationships with narcissists are held in place by hope
of a “someday better,” with little evidence to support it will ever arrive.”
― Ramani Durvasula
Another factor that attracts people to manipulative partners is the thrill of the chase — the idea of winning over someone who is challenging or difficult can become addictive.
For example, a partner might try to limit your contact with friends and family members out of jealousy or fear that you will leave them if you spend too much time away from them.
This control tactic isolates you from your support system so that you become more reliant on the abuser’s approval and attention.
It’s essential not to blame yourself if you’ve been in a relationship with a manipulator since doing so would only contribute further damage rather than helping one move forward toward healing.
Stereotypes About Victim Blaming That Challenge Survivors’ Claim To Compensation
Victim blaming is a dangerous myth that undermines survivors’ rights and hinders their ability to get the justice they deserve.
– Myth 1: It’s the victim’s fault for not leaving the abusive relationship.
– Myth 2: Victims of abuse must have done something to provoke their abusers.
– Myth 3: If a survivor doesn’t report abuse immediately, it must not have happened.
– Myth 4: Men can’t be victims of domestic violence.
It’s important to remember that perpetrators are solely responsible for their actions, and no one deserves to suffer from emotional or physical abuse.
Why Do Some People Find It Difficult To Escape Or Quit Relationships With Narcissists?
Leaving a relationship with a narcissist can be incredibly challenging.
– Fear of retaliation or harm from the narcissist
– Feeling obligated to stay because of financial dependence or shared responsibilities such as children
– Believing that the narcissist can change or hoping for their love and approval
– Feeling guilty, ashamed, and responsible for the problems in the relationship due to gaslighting and manipulation tactics employed by the narcissist
– Isolation from friends and family due to the control exerted by the narcissist
– Low self-esteem caused by constant criticism and devaluation by the narcissistic partner
– Difficulty recognizing that they are in an abusive relationship due to the normalization of emotional abuse over time
Overall, leaving a narcissistic relationship takes a lot of guts., support, and resources given how complexly ingrained these patterns may become over time.
When We Stay In Psychologically Harmful Relationships, Both Empathy And Sympathy Lead To Helplessness?
Many victims of narcissistic abuse struggle with the concept of empathy and sympathy, leading to a cycle of victimhood.
– Empathy is when we feel what someone else is feeling, whereas sympathy is simply acknowledging their feelings.
– Narcissists often use empathy as a manipulation tactic to gain control over their victims’ emotions.
– Victims may mistake this false empathy for genuine care and love from the narcissist, keeping them trapped in the toxic relationship.
– Over time, victims may begin to rely on this false sense of caring from the narcissist, leading them to stay in emotionally abusive relationships even when it causes harm to themselves.
– This dependency on false empathy can prevent victims from seeking help or leaving the situation altogether.
Understanding the difference between true and fake empathy can be crucial for getting out of an emotionally abusive relationship with a narcissist.
Soothing Wounds: Rebuilding From Narcissistic Psychological Violence
Recovering from emotional abuse by narcissists is a difficult process that takes time and effort.
– Seek therapy or counseling with a licensed professional who specializes in treating trauma and abuse.
– Practice self-care, such as engaging in activities that bring you joy, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
– Build a support system of trusted friends and family members who can offer emotional support during the healing process.
– To assist manage stress and nervousness, try mindfulness practices like yoga or lengthy breathing routines.
– Set boundaries with the narcissist or cut ties with them entirely if necessary for your own well-being.
– Challenge negative self-talk and beliefs about yourself that may have been instilled by the narcissist’s emotional manipulation.
– Engage in creative outlets such as journaling, painting, or music-making to express emotions in a healthy way.
– Seek support: Don’t underestimate the importance of seeking help from a trusted friend, therapist or family member who understands what you’re going through.
– Believe in yourself: Manipulators often try to make their victims feel inferior by constantly criticizing them.
– Cut ties if necessary: If all else fails, realize that cutting contact may be necessary for your own well-being.
– Don’t fall for their charm: Covert narcissists are often present as charming and likable at first. However, this is a tactic they use to gain control over you.
– Stay grounded in reality: Covert narcissists may gaslight, distort the truth, or make you doubt your own perceptions.
– Focus on yourself: Narcissists thrive on attention and drama.
– Encourage yourself of your successes and talents, regardless of whether the narcissist tried to downplay them.
– Avoid criticizing yourself for continuing in an abusive relationship; quitting is a difficult and time-consuming procedure.
Covert narcissists can cause a lot of emotional pain if left unchecked. Remember that emotional abuse is just as harmful as physical abuse — don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!