Mental bullies are also known as emotional bullies by means of subtle verbal, psychological or emotional abuse, excluding the overt physical aggressiveness. The bullies can come in different shapes or sizes and use tactics that are just as numerous. It is impossible to identify a mental bully by appearances only.
The purpose of mental bullying is believed to control others by subtle or blatant, verbal and non-verbal communications. Nonverbals include the common ‘silent treatment’ given in interpersonal relationships.
Many partners are unaware the silent treatment is actually a manipulative, mind game behavior by omission used to gain control in relationships.
Other tactics include intimidation, insults, insinuations, criticism, accusations, leading questions, threats and surprisingly, even belittling in the form of humor!
Comedian Tracy Morgan’s jokes are not funny
- “If my son was gay, I’d stab him!”
- “You are going to the store for me, aren’t you?”
- “I’m not talking to you because you made me mad.”
- “What did you do all day, sit on your a–?”
Mental bullies are hard to detect; they could be a petite husband or a burly wife, possibly even a family member, friend or employer. Size, shape and relationship have no relevance when it comes to mental bullying.
Additionally, the older bullies are skilled at honing in on effective strategies as they have more experience with what works and with whom it works on.
Usually, victims in relationships with the mental bully become brainwashed and change their behaviors to avoid promoting anger in the partner. They feel they are walking on eggshells to avoid starting an argument. When confronted, anger puts mental bullies at risk for becoming physically abusive if they feel they are losing control.
Do you find yourself being emotionally controlled by someone else? Are you the victim of a mental bully?
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