As a clinical psychotherapist, I see many clients that have emotional challenges. Believe it or not, many of us may find ourselves carrying the invisible bruising of emotional abuse. The unseen scars of mental, emotional, and psychological abuse are real. As the old saying goes, “Hurt people, hurt people!” If you are nurturing invisible emotional wounds from unresolved childhood issues, there is a strong possibility that you are and Emotional Bully.
One of my clients who often emotionally abused her husband suggested, “The devil made me do it!” After 15 years of marriage, she hasn’t discovered that she is the problem. My response was simple, “The devil didn’t make you do anything, you are an emotional bully!”
Anger + Resent = Victim
Anger is a “secondary” emotion. That means there are “primary” emotions hiding beneath the anger. Primary emotions are: fear, envy, jealousy, rejection, unworthiness, sadness, hurt, etc.
When we refuse to address the primary emotions, we become resentful. Oftentimes the feelings of resent are directed toward our loved ones.
Victim + Retaliation = Emotional Bully
Life is hard. Oftentimes things never really go the way we planned. Failures are inevitable and how we handle those moments of growth will determine how successful we are in our relationships, careers, and personal lives.
When we have unresolved emotional issues, resentment builds and the people in our lives suffer. Once we become resentful, we begin to play the victim card. Once we feel victimized, we begin to retaliate. Does this cycle sound familiar?
If you are not sure if emotional bullying applies to you, take the Quick Quiz!
Quick Quiz - Answer YES or NO
1) Do you hurl names at your significant other?
2) Do you say the same thing over and over and over?
3) Do you berate or put down your significant other?
4) Do you blame your spouse or partner for your failures?
5) Do you stalk your partner on social media?
6) Are you jealous of your partner’s friendships or social media friends?
7) Are you passive aggressive?
If you answered “YES” to any of the stated questions, there is a strong possibility that you are an Emotional Bully!
Here’s what you can do. 3 Quick Tips to fix emotional bullying for a healthier relationship.
1) Apologize. Suck it up, get over it, and stop being a bully. Emotional bullying is a choice. An intentional decision to STOP needs to be the first step toward change.
2) Communicate. Express your primary emotions and be honest with yourself; then, take the necessary steps to have the hard conversation with your partner.
3) Therapy. Individual counseling will assist in helping you work through your unresolved emotional challenges. Additionally, Couples counseling is perfect for rebuilding trust and setting an effective strategy for healing in your relationship.