Here at Gurl, we talk a lot about emotionally abusive relationships and how there are so many different forms of abuse that you might not even realize. But what happens when the abuse comes from someone in your family? It can be hard to know what to do. At first, you might deny it. I mean, they are your family! How could they be abusing you? Unfortunately, there are many things that parents do that can be seen as abusive behavior, even if it is not intentional. You might not even know you are being emotionally abused for a very long time, but the effects can really stick with you for the rest of your life.
You might think that your parents must know best, because they are your parents! Well, sometimes, parents don’t always know best. Here are some signs that your parents might actually be emotionally abusive. If you think that your parents are behaving this way towards you, it’s important to talk to someone like a school therapist or counselor who can help you, or contact an abuse hotline. Nobody should ever have to deal with emotionally abusive parents, and people will definitely want to help.
They Tell You To Lose WeightParents can be possessive over what their kids look like. If your mom or dad ever tell you you need to lose weight, or change the way you look, it could be a form of emotional abuse. They might be taking out their own securities on you. Unless your weight is affecting your health, it's not good for a parent to tell you to lose weight or change the way you look. If they ever tell you this, be sure to tell them that it is your body, not theirs. Image Source: iStock
They Make You Feel GuiltySometimes you might disappoint your parents. It happens. But if it happens more times than not, your parents might not be treating you fairly. It's hard to feel like you are not good enough, but if your mom punishes you or makes you feel bad about something you can't control, like being sick and having to miss school, it's not healthy. Image Source: iStock
They Invalidate Or Belittle YouIf you try and open up to your parents and they dismiss how you feel, it is a form of emotional abuse. You should be able to openly communicate with your family without them judging you or telling you you are wrong for feeling that way. If they ever try to tell you what you're feeling is wrong, try to talk it out with them, and explain exactly how you're feeling. Image Source: iStock
They Call You NamesYour parents should never call you names. It can be embarrassing and lower your self-confidence. Even if they are calling you "lazy" or "stupid" it is not okay. If they ever use those words against you, you should calmly ask them to stop calling you degrading things. Image Source: iStock
They Don't Say SorryA part of parenting is knowing that when you make mistakes, you need to own up to it. If you mom or dad says something rude to you but they don't apologize, they are giving off the idea that they don't need to apologize, even if they were in the wrong. This can lead to serious emotional scars that will affect you later on in your life. If they ever do something that hurts you, you should ask for an apology right away. Image Source: iStock
They Put Too Many Responsibilities On YouBasic responsibilities, like cleaning your room or taking out the garbage, are normal. But if your parents asks too much of you, it can put too much emotional stress on your life. If your parent is asking you to babysit your younger sibling for the fourth weekend in a row, or keep studying after you have spent hours doing so, it might be time to tell them that you need to have a life outside of your house, so you can grow and socialize. Image Source: iStock
They Neglect YouThere are many forms of abuse. Some abuse can mean your mom or dad not talking to you or taking care of you when you need it. This can be anything from not letting you eat dinner or not helping you buy school supplies. It's important for you to not take advantage of your parents, but it's also important for them to support you. Image Source: iStock
They Hit YouThis goes far beyond emotional abuse. Physical abuse is very serious and very scary, and sometimes it comes along with emotional abuse. If you are ever physically abused by your parents, you should seek help right away from someone you can trust. Image Source: iStock
Are there any signs of abuse that we missed? Tell us in the comments!