We’ve been given lists and lists of what an emotionally abusive person does (i.e. yelling, teasing, blaming, accusing, etc.) to another but who pays attention to any of that if you don’t think it would apply to you or anyone you know. Also, long lists of things don’t have any effect on people unless the list is given a simple label and you’re given a definition or meaning of the label.
Therefore, it should be known that all the things that go into the list of what emotional abusers do to another should be labeled “Undue Influence” and part of the strategy of an Emotional Abuser is to use “undue influence” continuously onto another as a way of applying pressure to make them do what they want them to do. In an emotionally abusive situation this pressure never stops! Once they’ve achieved one thing from you, the victim, they’ll just go on to another thing that they’re going to pressure you to do and then onto another.
More precisely….“Undue influence” is defined as being “improper influence that deprives a person of freedom of choice or substitute another’s choice or desire for the person’s own.” (Dictionary.com)
“Undue Influence” can be applied to anyone and at anytime.
Imagine this scenario…..
An estranged husband can become abusive in a custody fight. If he’s continuously threatening to seek full custody of the couple’s only child every time the estranged wife doesn’t give in to his demands, this is abusive. Not realizing she is being manipulated, and because the ex knows she doesn’t have the same financial resources as he does, he also knows that the estranged wife will feel pressured to give in to his demands, which she does. She doesn’t want to lose her child in the fight. Knowing he won unfairly won’t matter to him…he just wanted to hurt her and he did.
In an emotionally abusive situation, “undue influence” is a three-fold process:
- The abuser must know the victim well enough so they know how their victim can be effectively and efficiently coerced, manipulated, bribed, or threatened.
- Enough pressure must be applied to break down the victim and force them, seemingly, independently, choose to do exactly what the abuser wants them to do, without the victim being aware of what they are doing.
- The victim can be given no time to reflect on what is happening to them or around them.
Knowing what concerns their victims and what would cause them undue stress or emotional pain, emotionally abusive people know exactly how to keep their victims tap dancing to constant demands, causing fatigue, while applying stress factors, such as unreasonable, unexpected and immediate deadlines. This assures them that the victim is kept preoccupied, is given no rest from the threats or coercion, and feels that there is pressure to act immediately by complying to any and all requests that they are making or there will be dire consequences, as they have already been told, through veiled threats.
Emotional abuse is about the severity of these passive aggressive actions taken against them and how the emotionally abusive person delivers these blows to the psyche that dictates the degree or level of emotional abuse the victim is undergoing. These blows, varying in strength and stress, have a debilitating impact on their victims, and allow the Emotional Abuser the opportunity to gain power and control upon the victims.
IN AN EMOTIONAL ABUSE SITUATION…
CONTINUOUS PRESSURE = UNDUE INFLUENCE