Mind control and emotional abuse both involve intentional manipulation over a period of time. In mind control, techniques such as repetition, humiliation and sleep deprivation are used to shape your beliefs without you knowing it. Emotional abuse, on the other hand, happens when someone tries to destroy your self-esteem with constant insults, criticism, blame, isolation and threats. Designed to degrade, control and humiliate people, mind control and emotional abuse leave their victims feeling scared, guilty and unlovable.
How to Overcome Mind Control
Remove yourself from your abuser. Avoid having any contact with the person or group that uses mind control or other manipulative methods. Screen your calls. Don't talk to them, don't read email or text messages from them, and don't let them be your "friends" on Facebook.
Surround yourself with other people. Many people who break free from mind control experience depression and loneliness. Reconnect with friends and family. Join a support group for those struggling with the same issue.
Trust yourself. If you've been constantly told what to do, think, eat and wear, planning your day may seem overwhelming. Talk with a therapist or a trusted friend, and create a daily, weekly or monthly plan to get you back on track.
Learn to meditate. Aside from relaxing the body and calming the mind, meditation can protect you. If you find yourself in a potential mind-control situation, put yourself in a calm, meditative state to avoid unwelcome influence.
Find your spiritual center. Part of overcoming mind control is to identify your true beliefs and values and to separate them from the belief system advocated by your abuser.
How to Overcome Emotional Abuse
Take care of yourself physically. You will be better able to protect yourself from emotional abuse if you are strong and healthy. Eat healthful foods, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Stay away from alcohol and drugs.
Acknowledge your pain. Whether your emotional abuse took place in your childhood or recently, learning to recognize and express your emotions is the first step to recovery. Pay attention to your emotions so you can address feelings of guilt, shame, anger and low self-esteem when they arise.
Own your power. Emotional abusers persistently chip away at a person's self-esteem until the person loses all sense of worth. Knowing that you have choices and that you have done nothing to deserve this treatment is a powerful step to overcoming emotional abuse. Remember, you are not the problem; the abuse is the problem.
Work on your self-esteem. People who have experienced emotional abuse tend to view themselves negatively. Learn to respect yourself as a good person who deserves to be loved. Counter any negative thoughts by stopping and asking yourself, "Is this true?"
Surround yourself with loving and supportive family and friends. Most emotional abusers use isolation as one of their techniques. Having people around you who truly care for you and provide love and positive feedback helps greatly with the healing process.
Give yourself time. Overcoming emotional abuse doesn't happen overnight. Think of yourself as a survivor, not a victim. You will find that you have the inner strength to move forward to a happier future.
- Kali Munro Resources for Healing; Emotional Abuse: The Most Common Form of Abuse; Kali Munro, M.Ed; 2001
- Dumb Little Man; How to Overcome Emotional Abuse; Evelyn Lim; August 2008
- Kansas State University; Counseling Services; Dysfunctional Families: Recognizing and Overcoming Their Effects: 1997
- End Ritual Abuse; Deep Inner Decisions that Allow Survivors to Heal; Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D.
Robbin McClain has been writing professionally since 1992. She has written about beauty, fashion, health, business and crafts for "American Salon," "Redbook," "Woman's Day" and other publications. McClain holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas.