8 Behaviors That Unmask Abusive People (and how to avoid the trap)

8 Behaviors That Unmask Abusive People (and how to avoid the trap)

abusive peopleLifestyle


He’s your prince charming, or she’s your baby doll, yet you don’t know someone until you’ve been with them for a while. The “honeymoon” phase of any relationship brings out the best in everyone. However, abusive people often hide behind a façade and can make you think they’re the ones you’ve been waiting for your whole life.

How do you go from being so in love and wanting to spend every waking moment together to abuse one another physically and verbally? For some, it’s an altercation or disagreement over a simple matter that brings out the inner monster. However, others watch things change and spiral out of control over time.

These Eight Negative Behaviors Reveal Abusive People

Women are predominantly the victims of abuse, but this is not always the case. According to a study conducted by Mankind Initiative, one in four women will be victims, and one in six men. It’s easy to see that this is a very prevalent issue for men too. Sadly, it’s not easy to spot an abuser, as they look like everyday people.

The real issue is that by the time you spot abusive people, they’ve already entangled you into their web, and you’re doing their bidding. Here are some ways that you can help to spot abusers and save yourself the heartache.




1. Abusive People Are Irritable and Moody

abusive people
It’s hard to gauge their mood because one minute they love you, and the next, you’re the scum of the earth. They blame you whenever things go wrong, and it seems you’re the cause of much drama. They need a scapegoat so that they can rid their guilt.

Someone who is an abuser will do things to hurt you physically and emotionally, and they will apologize for their misdeed later. A genuine relationship is where you tell each other how important you are to one another each day.

If someone is in love with you, they will retain those feelings no matter what happens. When someone picks and chooses the days they have feelings, it’s toxic. You don’t have to walk on eggshells with anyone, so you must love yourself enough to get out.

2. They Have Extreme Jealousy

A little bit of jealousy in a relationship is a good thing. You want your spouse to be eager to fight for you and don’t want anyone else to flirt. However, extreme jealousy takes things to a whole other level.


According to Psychology Today, extreme jealousy is morbid and pathological. It believes that you have possession over a person. Berit Brogaard D.M.Sci., Ph.D. explains in this article that it’s an irrational emotion and comes with mental health concerns.

Someone who is pathologically jealous is dangerous. They will do anything in their power to keep someone from having their partner, even murder. The core of this issue is typically over conceivable sexual unfaithfulness, but it’s usually the one pointing the finger that has the problem.

3. Abusive People Use Gaslighting Tactics

Gaslighting tactics are one of the most preferred methods to use for an emotional abuser. These tricks allow you to mess with someone’s mind, and it’s so subtle they don’t recognize what’s happening. The abusive person can make you doubt yourself, your actions, and even things you’ve said.

Since they can mess up your reality and cause you to believe an alternative version of any issue, they’re dangerous. Eventually, you will stop trusting your judgment and may even think you’re losing your mind. Sadly, they camouflage themselves as a do-gooder, but their false help is going to send you over the edge.

4. An Abusive Person Will Demand You Check In

You go to visit your parents. You’re enjoying a nice dinner with your folks when your phone rings. It’s your spouse; they’re angry because you didn’t check in to let them know you arrived. It’s only been an hour since you left the house, but already the calls are starting to flood in.

Throughout the evening, you can’t enjoy yourself. The calls and texts come every 15 minutes or so. They want to keep tabs on you, even at one point wanting to talk to your mother to verify that you’re with her. They don’t trust you, and making you check in constantly is a way to control you.


While it’s acceptable to tell your partner you’ve arrived safely, it’s never okay for them to control the evening worrying about your whereabouts. This person doesn’t trust you, and it’s not your issue; it’s theirs.

thankful for a new day
5. Their Thinking Is All or Nothing

Someone who thinks in terms of right or wrong misses the small nuances in life. Have you ever heard the saying that it’s their way or the highway? They can’t fathom that someone else might have the answer or an opinion on a matter.

This person likes to control things, and if you challenge them with your views, things can get nasty. This person probably believes that seeing anything in shades of gray is only making excuses. Though this individual appears to live by a high moral compass, it’s only an act.

6. They Use Their Affection as A Weapon

When you don’t behave or do what abusive people want, they will likely withhold affection. They like to punish their victims, and the easiest way to accomplish this is by withholding intimacy and affection. The intimate matters in a relationship should never be used against one another.


Sure, there are times when one party doesn’t feel like romance, but this type of withholding is different. If you don’t do what they want, they will stop speaking, won’t hug you, refuse to say, “I love you,” and might even sleep on the couch. It’s a way of control that you don’t have to subject yourself to.

7. Abusive People Like to Pick Fights

Abusers are particularly good at starting an argument with you for no good reason. They don’t care who wins or loses the fight; they want to provoke you to anger. You may find that you tiptoe around them because you don’t want to start an argument.

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