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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5450
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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How do I handle the less obvious signs of emotional abuse:

Customer Question

How do I handle the less obvious signs of 'emotional abuse': cutting me off in conversation consistently, not acknowledging greetings of,"Hello" or or never making eye contact and basically "made" to feel almost like a non person . Attempts at gentle confrontation to find out what I may do to change the situation is met with, " I don't know what you are talking about" and walks away.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Is the person doing this a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, co worker? If it is a relationship, how long have you been together?

Thank you,
Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It is a son in law.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It is a son in law.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information.

It sounds like your son in law may either have a personal issue with you (could the source be your daughter?) or he has a personality disorder.

If you have tried to ask your son in law why he is treating you this way and he won't tell you, you may need to give him time. If you feel he has a legitimate reason to be upset (an incident you had together, etc) then tell him that you feel his behavior is due to the incident and that you are sorry. Let him know you will give him time to sort it out but that you hope you both can eventually get along.

If he has a personality disorder, then it may be a bit more difficult to deal with him. His behavior may be ingrained behavior and much harder to change. People with personality disorders often have little to no insight making it hard to reason with them.

You may want to talk with your daughter (or another family member) to see if she has any insights or is willing to talk with your son in law about his behavior. As the mother in the situation, you deserve more respect. And if there is an issue he has with you, then he should talk to you about it rather than acting in such a way towards you.

If your daughter cannot help, you may have to start ignoring your son in law's behavior. It is hard to do that, but he may be getting a lot out of your reaction to him so by ignoring his behavior, you can stop him from getting something out of what he is doing.

You can also tell him in response to anything he does to hurt you, "I'm sorry you feel that way". That puts what he is doing back on him so he takes responsibility for what he is doing.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5450
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the positive rating, I appreciate it! Hang in there. You are in a difficult situation. If I can help in any way in the future, let me know.

Thanks again,

Kate

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