How To Stop Emotional Abuse And Communicate Effectively

by Sheri @ Purposeful Habits

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Stop Emotional Abuse So You Can Build Better Relationships

I have a story to share with you today. Something happened this morning that made me reflect rather deeply about myself. I gained a new perspective on emotional abuse.

The weather was freezing out, but I had to take the train to work. I was running late, because I never know what to wear and waste time in front of the mirror trying to decide.

Yup – I’m one of those people.

As I got to the station, the train I was to catch was just pulling away! Gosh, why today?

Well, it was only a 10 minute wait until the next one but when you don’t enjoy the bitter cold it can feel like taking a stroll naked in Antarctica.

I observed a guy in his 30’s, texting intensely on his phone. He kept sighing and tapping his right shoe against the metal pole of the seat in the waiting area.

Never looked up for a single second. He was fixated what he was doing. Frustrated as ever.

We got on the train and funny enough we ended up sitting across from one another. I watched him intently as he dialed a number.

This made me curious and nosy. I was interested in eavesdropping hoping to hear what had gotten him so worked up.

I heard the beep sound – it had gone to voicemail. DRAT!

He spoke into the phone saying these exact words – “I know you still don’t want to talk, it has been two days. I said I was sorry. I was wrong, but you ignoring me is far more painful than what I did to you.”

He hung up the phone, lifted his head and made eye contact with me. His deep green eyes were not only sad and tired, but red and swollen from tears or lack of sleep I assume.

I thought gosh, whoever is doing this to him must be a real a-hole. I don’t approve of psychological punishment.

Why Am I Telling You This?

Well, just like a slap in the face – it hit me. I was guilty. I have done the exact same thing! Maybe even hurt someone the same way as this guy was hurting.

Giving the silent treatment for long duration is a form of emotional abuse. Yes, life is hard. Figuring out the ideal way to deal with issues is not always easy.

Some say it works and is effective. I see it as a bad habit. It is a good weapon of choice because it’s powerful.

A form of inflicting pain without visible bruising.

If you are regularly giving friends, partner, family members this way, you need to stop the emotional abuse.


Reasons People Give The Silent Treatment

  • Deliberately trying to hurt or punish you
  • Want full control of the situation
  • Are avoiding a confrontation


How do you deal with and practice effective communication?

Stop Emotional Abuse And Communicate Effectively

If one or both of you need space, establish that. You need to have patience, which is hard when you are hurt and angry. I am no saint, so exercising patience when I am ticked off is hard!

If someone is purposefully trying to hurt you through the silent treatment and acting out of malice, analyse the situation. Remember, this is emotional abuse and the relationship is unhealthy.

There is a lack of effective communication and you need to decide whether it is a relationship you want to grow or walk away from. This does not only apply to spouses but friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you or make you feel like you don’t matter. You do.

'No problem can be solved by ignoring it. You exist whether someone ignores you or not.'Click To Tweet

5 Ways To Stop Emotional Abuse And Practice Effective Communication

We say one thing, the other person hears something else, and misunderstandings, frustration, and conflicts ensue.

Fortunately, you can learn how to communicate more clearly and effectively.

  • Agree that it’s okay to disagree
  • Actively listen
  • Be present
  • Find your voice
  • Be honest but mindful of the feelings of others

It is important for you to understand the emotion and intentions behind the information.

Practice effective communication Daily

It is a learned skill and the glue that helps you deepen your relationships and connections to others.

Make people feel better after being in your presence.

You and those around you will be more respectful of one another and you will see your relationships flourish. The more I want to better myself, the more life gives me the opportunity to do so by putting me into situations that allow self reflection.

If you think this post will help others, please pin and share the knowledge.

Are you able to convey information to people clearly and simply, in a mature and fair way?

How do you practice effective communication? Please share with me in the comments section below.


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Shane December 19, 2016 - 22:38

Very interesting, I wouldn’t have thought of this as a form of emotional abuse but definitely is. Thank you for bringing to light an important and dangerous topic- awareness is key!

sveeteskapes December 19, 2016 - 16:38

Yes, effective communication is key! I am often guilty of being too straightforward without thinking that it might offend someone.
xx, Kusum

Sarah Harvey December 19, 2016 - 14:17

I love this and completely agree. I always tire of hearing my friends playing games with their partners and even going so far as to log on to someone else’s social media accounts to be able to spy on their partner without their partner knowing they were ‘online’ or read the messages, etc. Not a solution for life-long love.

Indrani December 19, 2016 - 11:27

Good advice. It can be a really difficult situation and most often the battle is your own. “Find your voice’ very vital of the lot.

Blair Villanueva December 19, 2016 - 07:24

Being open to communication is a must for a relationship. In my case, my dada is 5x fold busier than me, and I understand that sometimes he can’t reply to my messages asap but he does read my messages.. that way still he knows whats going on and its a good feeling when we talk 🙂

Miriam Ernst December 18, 2016 - 20:54

I think your advice are great, I personally try to always communicate, tell what I think and not being silent, having him trying to guess what I feel, but also try to listen which is at least as important than speaking one’s mind I think. Good read, very interesting!

Laveena Sengar December 18, 2016 - 20:11

I think it is very important to understand the difference between your actions that might hurt people. This is an insightful post.

The Trophy WifeStyle December 14, 2016 - 03:24

Great advice!!! I have always said if you have your own voice and opinions you will be better off

Garf December 12, 2016 - 14:11

This is a great post. I completely agree that silent treatment is a lot worse hurtful.

Kait Around The Kingdom December 11, 2016 - 18:54

This is a great post for anyone whether they have done this to someone or experienced it!

Carol Cassara December 11, 2016 - 05:14

I have to agree, emotional abuse can be just as painful as physical abuse in relationships. It’s important to communicate well with your partner at all times especially during the tough ones!

Maple Syrup and Teacups December 10, 2016 - 18:50

I completely agree! The silent treatment is a lot worse and more painful that you think it is, it leaves the other person wondering, at times, what they did wrong and tearing themselves up trying to think. Being straight with someone is far more mature.

Elizabeth December 10, 2016 - 11:04

I agree with this! I have given the silent treatment but now I have started letting that person know I need some time alone and I will let that person know when I am ready to talk. It works way better than leaving that person guessing what’s going to happen.

Ana De-Jesus December 10, 2016 - 10:25

Your right, giving the silent treatment is definitely a form of abuse and its not nice to do that to someone you love. Poor guy.

K Maria Kazi December 10, 2016 - 04:35

This is such an important topic and Im sure a lot of people don’t understand the tension that silent treatment creates. Sometimes its good to step aside to calm down before communicating, but thats different to silent treatment. I’m sure everyone argues sometimes, I know I do, but drawing a line to avoid damage is so important.

Saranda December 10, 2016 - 03:53

This is such a good read! I studied applied psychology as major and I think this is so important, I’m also loving your tips! Thanks for sharing!

Oindrila December 10, 2016 - 02:24

Emotional abuse is a very vital subject. I happen to know someone who has suffered from this. If I feel suffocating being in a relationship, its better to walk out.

Elizabeth O. December 9, 2016 - 23:31

It’s painful when your spouse or SO refuses to talk to you. I value communication very much and I would rather sit for hours and talk things through than to not talk at all. I don’t like inflicting emotional pain on people especially if they mean a lot to me.

Kathy December 9, 2016 - 22:48

This is such great advice. I think this is such an important topic too. I think everyone needs to read through this.

RunningInHeels December 9, 2016 - 22:11

I have to admit, communication isn’t always my strong suit, but in my current relationship I’ve learned so much more about how to deal with issues and actively communicate through them.

dana vento December 9, 2016 - 20:08

This an important topic. I felt so sad every time I heard people being abused. This is a great tips to keep in mind.

Amber December 9, 2016 - 19:55

I try to never give the silent treatment for long. I find talking things out and being honest is the best thing to do to resolve a situation.

Wren December 9, 2016 - 17:38

I have never done the silent treatment. I feel it is important to get my feelings validated and to understand where they are coming from. If I do not know what is going on, I can not fix it. I am a fixer…

Sondra Barker December 9, 2016 - 17:23

Great advice on such an important topic! I think communication is one of the most important things in every day life and communicating properly can be difficult for some people.

Jennifer L Johnson December 9, 2016 - 16:39

I have done the same thing!!! It is so easy to fall into bad habits and not even realize it.

Christina Aliperti December 9, 2016 - 16:15

Very well written post. Some people don’t even realize that these things are a form of abuse. They don’t understand the effect their emotional abuse has.

Liz Mays December 9, 2016 - 15:16

I do think it’s a good idea to think about how your words and actions can affect others. It seems like open communication solves a lot of problems.

Emma white December 9, 2016 - 14:45

i don’t think people realise the damage emotional abuse can do to people. I had years of it from my ex partner and speak daily with others who are going through it and supporting them the best I can

everythingcurvyandchic December 9, 2016 - 00:28

Great write up! I often give the silent treatment because I hate confrontation.

Holly December 8, 2016 - 23:44

Emotional abuse is indeed way worse than physical. I do have a tendency to go temporarily silent on a situation sometimes though. A lot of times (for me) it’s more about stepping away so I can think on it rationally before reacting. I used to know a woman that told me her ex-husband would go silent for weeks at a time on her though like she didn’t even exist. She said that was worse than any fight. I couldn’t imagine that. I grew up in such a tell-you-exactly-how-you-feel kind of family. 🙁

Amy Jones December 8, 2016 - 23:17

Our words have more power than we usually think they do. Let’s use them to build up positivity, not destroy it!

Sarah-Louise Bailey December 8, 2016 - 20:13

I think It is a girl’s loudest cry, you can always tell if a girl is really hurt if she starts ignoring you. But this is an unhealthy practice for the woman and the relationship. She should always tell what is inside of her and it will benefit her and the relationship as well.

Chloe December 8, 2016 - 18:02

I had an ex boyfriend who would completely cut me off EVERY time we had an argument. Block my number, delete me from Facebook…the whole works. This would happen every few weeks. It was incredibly draining and then he would go out partying whist I would sit at home in a wreck. He was the epitome of an emotional abuser. Never again. I’m so grateful my new partner would never dream of doing that to me.

Saidah December 8, 2016 - 15:41

It’s amazing how much power is in our words. We can use the to cut deep or build people up.

Tara Pittman December 8, 2016 - 15:24

I think emotional abuse hurts way more than physical. I have been on the receiving way too much.

Athena December 8, 2016 - 14:12

Many people do not communicate effectively and not every form of communication works for everyone. It is a fine line that can be difficult to navigate.

kimmieklewis December 8, 2016 - 14:07

Emotional abuse is a very important subject and all of us go through at sometime in their lives. Thanks for shining a light on it

Nicole Glover- Mommy Share Space December 8, 2016 - 11:22

Such a key word, communication! Relationships take great work by each party involved, and sometimes we do disappoint each other. But without using words it leaves little to no room for each person involved to clearly see the path to the next stage in that relationship. Silent treatment only creates pain, doing nothing to solve the situation.

MegOhKay December 8, 2016 - 10:26

I think this is vert pertinent as so many people go to the silent treatment because ‘it doesn’t hurt anyone.’ Well, now we know that it does. I also realized while reading that I don’t think I’ve given anyone the silent treatment as I’m a ‘talk-it-out’ type of person. I just hope I’m able to discover whatever other transgressions I have committed in order to fix them for the future.

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