Relationships between friends can also go sour. So it's important to teach your kids about what they can do about an emotionally abusive friend.
Whenever people talk about abusive relationships, most people think that it only covers the span of romantic relationships. However, even friendships can be emotionally abusive.
What exactly is an abusive relationship?
An abusive relationship is a relationship wherein someone in the relationship hurts the other person. In the case of emotionally abusive relationships, it's not physical harm but emotional harm instead that hurts the other person.
Teaching our kids about abusive relationships and the signs of an abusive relationship is very important since you do not want your kids to be a part of an abusive relationship.
So what are the signs to watch out for?
1. Extreme jealousy
It's normal for friends to feel a hint of jealousy, especially when one of their close friends hangs out with someone else more than them.
However, if the jealousy becomes too extreme in that it already triggers irrational or abusive behavior such as making them feel guilty whenever they don't have time for the other friend.
This is behavior is one of the earliest signs of an abusive relationship, since it will only escalate further if it isn't addressed properly.
2. Trying to isolate them from others
In some cases, an abusive friend might try and cut you off from interacting or being with other people. If your kid feels that a friend is trying to keep them away from their other friends, then that's a sure red flag that shows abusive behavior.
Tell them that it's okay to choose their friends, and if they feel that a friend is doing them more harm than good, then it might be in their best interest to just cut ties with that person rather than struggle with having a friend that's trying to prevent them from being with their other friends.
3. Making them feel bad about themselves
In much worse cases, abusive friends actively try and make their other friends feel bad about themselves so that they can feel better about themselves.
This is a clear sign that they should back off from that person, since that person is toxic, and might just make them feel bad about themselves. During a person's teenage years, they might feel very fragile or helpless, so avoiding people or situations that make them feel bad about themselves or damage their self-esteem is very important.
It might be difficult to cut ties, especially if it's a longtime friend, but for their sake, they should learn to back away from people who are actively trying to hurt them, whether it's physical abuse or emotional abuse.
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