How do you know if this is emotional abuse? How do you know if you are being abused emotionally? You know from the inside out. Look closely at these three tell-tale signs of emotional abuse and let your awareness of your inner experience, relative to each, permeate your entire being. 1) Being Called to the Carpet Emotional abusers have a very unique way of calling out their disappointments. They do it by calling you to the carpet, where you crawl with your tail between you legs and your stomach in a knot. Your mind is all consumed in how you are going to appease and please them that you may not even have time to address their expressed concerns. All you know is: it's time to make this one go away, if you can. Most likely, you can't. 2) The Absence of "Emotional Safety" Your sense of emotional safety is simply not alive relative to this person. You feel guarded, maybe even awkward at times, certainly not fluid by any stretch. This is in complete contrast to how you experience yourself when you're aware of your sense of "emotional safety." I've coined this term to connote a very specific emotional ease and security that is clearly absent in abusive relationships, as well as in encounters with bullies and control freaks. (The latter term is not a clinical term.) 3) The Boa Constrictor Inner Strangulation This is the biggest tell-tale sign of emotional abuse. You know this ONLY from the inside out. Here's what it feels like: a boa constrictor is wrapped around the entire length of your spine. And with each passing moment, you experience your in breath constrict and your out breath almost non-existent. Need I say any more. When you encounter the boa constrictor, you are not yourself for crying out loud. You may cut off from your very essence, simply to stay alive. Now I know if you know emotional abuse or have had the occasion to frequent with a control freak, then you can relate to this inner world as I have painted in these very words. If my picture is utterly foreign, count your blessings as you have not encountered the signs of emotional abuse. If, on the other hand, this article is resonating and you are keenly aware of that inner experience of: a) being called to the carpet; b) the absence of "emotional safety" and c) the boa constrictor inner strangulation, then you are lucky because you know the signs of emotional abuse. And you can now avoid becoming a part of the abuse dynamic.