10 Signs Your Partner Is Using Therapy Speak To Emotionally Abuse You

Run in the other direction!
10 Signs Your Partner Is Using Therapy Speak To Emotionally Abuse You

Just days ago, Keke Palmer’s baby daddy came under the radar for shaming her for what she wore to Usher’s concert and went as far as saying that as the man of the family, he wouldn’t want the mother of his kids to show her “booty cheeks to please others”. And now, Jonah Hill has enraged the internet for his controlling behaviour. Jonah Hill recently came under the radar after his ex-girlfriend, surfer and lawyer in the making, Sarah Brady went public with accusations of emotional abuse against the actor. The surfer took to social media to share screenshots of messages from the actor who gave her a list of things he expects her to do and not do in order to continue their romantic relationship while claiming that these are his “boundaries” for a romantic partnership. And the dos and don’t were more about controlling what the surfer does in her personal life instead of healthy boundaries as one would expect.

Soon after Sarah Brady made allegations of emotional abuse against Jonah Hill, women on Twitter opened up about their experiences with partners who used therapy speak to manipulate them and control them. What Keke Palmer’s baby daddy did was evidently an attempt to shame her and control her, what Jonah Hill did was use terms like “setting boundaries” to control someone else. The reasons? The boundaries that the actor refers to are ideally healthy boundaries that one sets to protect themselves. A healthy boundary is not something that is meant to dictate how your partner is supposed to behave. Essentially, the actor simply gave Sarah Brady rules that she must follow in order to be with him which concluded with an ultimatum that failing to follow the rules would be the end of the relationship. Are you also wondering if your partner is actually “setting boundaries” or simply using therapy speak to control you? Here are some signs to look out for.

Also Read: How To Recognise Emotional Abuse? 8 Warning Signs To Look Out For

But Wait, What Is Therapy Speak?

Therapy speak refers to formal terms for human behaviour or traits that are usually used in therapy. For example, words like ‘gaslighting’, ‘setting boundaries’, ‘toxic behaviour’, ‘trigger’ and ‘self-care’. These aren’t terms that we normally use but rather terms that clinically used to describe certain traits, habits or behaviours.

Signs Your Partner Using Weaponized Therapy Speak To Control You

1. Are Their Boundaries Healthy Or Toxic? Ideally, their boundaries should be about someone else’s behaviour towards them. For example, if they tell you to give them space when they feel overwhelmed by emotions or not touch them when they’re angry. That’s a healthy boundary. But if their boundaries are how you should behave, that’s definitely not a healthy boundary. The biggest example being Jonah Hill wanted Sarab Brady to dress according to him, post pictures as per his choice and make friends that he is comfortable with, all under the guise of “setting boundaries”. Essentially, he was setting boundaries for her, not himself.

Also Read: Twitter Unanimously Agrees Jonah Hill Used Therapy Language To Manipulate Ex-Girlfriend Sarah Brady

2. Are They Triggered By Your Personal Choices? If that’s the case, they’re simply using therapy speak to control you. For example, if your partner claims that they get angry and lose control when another man stands in close proximity to you or if you smile and talk to someone else because they want to be the only person making you smile and it “triggers” their anxiety or anger, they’re simply using it an excuse to control you.

3. Are They Demeaning You? The biggest sign that your partner is using therapy speak to manipulate you is that they demean you when setting boundaries. For example, Jonah Hill told Sarah Brady, his then-girlfriend who happens to be a surfer, to stop posting “sexual pictures” of herself, and have “boundaryless inappropriate friendships with men” and with “unstable women” which questions the character of the surfers and demeans her.

4. Are They Using Ultimatums With You? Jonah Hill gave Sarah Brady an ultimatum that if she does not follow the “boundaries” that he is setting, it will be the end of their relationship. While it is important to respect boundaries, the idea in itself means that boundaries are something to be respected, not followed. In other words, boundaries are meant to be something one does to not hurt the other person. Boundaries are different from “rules” that dictate how one should behave failing which, the relationship ends.


5. Are They Trying To Change You After Claiming To Love You For Who You Are? Jonah Hill dated Sarah Brady knowing full well that she is a surfer and often posts bikini pictures, is friends with men, and surfs with them and models. And then, the second things started getting serious, he wanted to change who she is and mould her into someone he wants her to be.

6. Do They Want You To Be Submissive? Jonah Hill’s texts highlight that he wanted to dictate who Sarah Brady shares friendships with, who she hangs our with, what work she does and what she posts on HER social media profile among other things. If your partner wants you to submit to them and do as they please they want a puppet, not a partner.

7. Do They Expect You To Apologise For Who You Are? In other texts shared by Sarah, Jonah can be seen asking the surfer to “take accountability” for being who she is. Erm, if your partner blames you for being who you are and for having a career that they do not like, run in the other direction!

8. Are They Expecting Respect After Disrespecting You? Jonah expected his surfer girlfriend to respect him after he attacked her for being a surfer and being friends with the other gender and surfing with them. After questioning her character, the actor wanted her to “respect him”. How? FYI, if your partner is behaving like that, you might want to dump them RN!

9. Are They Gaslighting You With Therapy Speak? Jonah Hill made his girlfriend take down pictures that he did not like and when she pointed out that what he’s referring to as a “thong” is not a thong, the actor lashed out at her and attempted to guilt trip her by saying that there are a lot of other pictures and he’s not even going that far. Sure, thank you for the favour, sir!

Also Read: We Can’t Eliminate Violence Against Women Unless We Recognise And Talk About Emotional Abuse

10. Do They Find Nothing Wrong With Jonah Hill’s Behaviour? If your partner thinks that there is nothing wrong with Jonah’s behaviour and relates to him, you need to drop them like a hot potato and make a run for it.

There’s no doubt that the actor consciously attempted to try and control his ex-girlfriend and surfer Sarah Brady and we’re glad she went public with the texts to highlight everything that is wrong with what he said.

Why Is It Easy To Ignore Red Flags In Love And Relationships Rather Than Address Them?

Janvi Manchanda

​​She uses her pen to slice through patriarchy. She could be Geet one day, Wednesday Addams next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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