Some people are in emotionally abusive relationships and they do not realize it. The emotional abusiveness may be is so covert that you might not recognize that it is happening to you. These tactics may be strategically hidden away, yet utilized in order to put you on the crazy train. Others are so obvious, but you could be left feeling so baffled that you lose your ability to respond. How can you spot that you may be the target of these tactics? Here are some situations that you may want to watch for:Silent treatment- your significant other may use this tactic to “punish” you by refusing to speak for several hours, or even days, then suddenly decides that the conflict is over and starts acting like nothing happened.Anger/rage outbursts- your significant other may use this tactic to scare you or anger you in order to derail the original topic from being discussed.Blame shifting- your partner could use this tactic to avoid taking accountability for something. They turn it around on you and all of a sudden it appears as if it is all you fault The other person shifts the blame with “yes, but you did …..”Switching topics (or adding additional topics in order to confuse you)- your partner immediately brings up a different topic and before you know it, you are so bewildered and confused that you don’t know what the topic was about to start with.Targeting you- immediately when you raise a concern, your significant other turns it around on you by stating that you did not word your issue correctly, you didn’t address it at the right time or your voice is not sounding the “right” way. This is the tactic that derails you right off the bat and the conversation is over before it started. There are many more examples of manipulations. So what can you do if you notice that you are actually exposed to some of these tactics? The first part is awareness and recognition that this is happening in your relationship. You can prepare yourself by writing down what you want to talk about. You can ask before hand for a time when the two of you could sit down and talk. Stay focused and do not allow yourself to get derailed by these tactics. You may have to stay persistent and be the one to bring up the topic again. With a yelling partner, you may want to say something like: ”I can tell that you are angry right now. I do want to talk to you about this, so please come back later when we can both talk about this calmly.” Keep stating this until the conversation actually takes place without yelling. For blame shifting or bombarding you with more topics, it still comes down to staying on the topic by stating things like, ”we can talk about your suggested topic at a different time, right now we are discussing X.” Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS specializes in helping individuals and couples heal from infidelity, intimacy anorexia, and sex addiction related issues. Ingela Edwards Counseling serves the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and Sherman area.