I debated whether or where to post this. A book caught my eye yesterday. Though most of it doesn't pertain, one chapter, "Patterns of Abuse", was very applicable to my experiences and some other experiences I've read. The book is The Emotionally Abusive Relationship
by Beverly Engel.
In the book, Engel lists several types of emotional abuse, and gives an example of each. Some excerpts:
DOMINATION... Domineering behavior includes ordering a [person] around; monitoring time and activities; restricting resources (finances, telephone); restricting social activities...
The list continues from there.
VERBAL ASSAULTS... Verbal assault includes berating, belittling, criticizing, humiliating, name-calling, screaming, threatening, excessive blaming, shaming, using sarcasm in a cutting way, or expressing disgust toward the person....
ABUSIVE EXPECTATIONS... A [person] with abusive expectations can never be pleased because there is always something more you could have done.
EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL... one of the most powerful forms of manipulation. It occurs when one [person] either consciously or unconsciously coerces the other into doing what he wants by playing on [the other person's] fear, guilt, or compassion...these are often quite subtle.
Several spousal examples are mentioned. I'm rearranging them slightly for church: a pastor may jokingly suggest that a saint better start acting like he enjoys service more if he doesn't want to get left out of activities. Someone may say it would be difficult to find a new church where the pastor is willing to accept a "move-in". Or someone may remind a member of how dangerous it is out there in the world, with so much sin and all.
The following are warning signs that you are being emotionally blackmailed:
Your [church/pastor] asks you to:
choose between something you want to do and them/him.
make you feel like you are selfish or a bad person if you do something [they don't] want you to do.
give up something or someone as a way of proving your love for [him/them].
threatens [to kick you out, stand you up, sit you out of church] if you don't change.
Other things the book mentions are drastic mood swings, sudden emotional outbursts for no apparent reason, inconsistent responses, constant or continual conflict with others, a need for arguments (including deliberately starting arguments or creating chaos), using humiliation, criticism, gossiping or lying about someone in order to discredit them, or telling the person that their concerns are "all in their heads" or simply their imagination.
Above all that, a person who:
secretly hopes bad things will happen to the other person
gets satisfaction from knowing something bad happened to the other person
attempts to MAKE bad things happen to the other person
or causes the other person to doubt themselves or question...