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What is the definition of "emotional abuse"?

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Quick Answer

Emotional abuse is the use of non-physical means to humiliate, coerce and manipulate another human being such that the person being targeted is subjugated by their abuser and left feeling inferior. Emotional abuse is often verbal in nature, but any abusive act short of physical fighting is considered emotional abuse.

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What is the definition of "emotional abuse"?
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Full Answer

For example, isolating and excluding the target is a form of emotional abuse, especially if the target feels humiliated and is denied resources by the exclusion. Another non-verbal method of emotional abuse is acting in an intentionally terrifying manner. Verbal methods of emotional abuse include chronic and aggressive criticism, lying, slander, demeaning or insulting the target, and insinuating that the target will be abandoned or refused necessities if they do not comply with the abuser.

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