Let’s imagine that your best friend tells you this. “I have a partner who I love and I know they love me its just that they want me to be better than I am so they yell at me and belittle me in front of others, and I feel really worthless after it happens”. Most good friends would say “they don’t love you this is abuse!” and if it went further and it was physical, we would do just about anything to support them to leave. But psychological abuse is as detrimental and what’s worse we often can’t see it until it’s already done the damage.
Now let’s just change one fact in the above scenario. It’s the friend’s boss or work colleague. Now you probably say it depends. If it is a colleague, we tell them to ignore them or find strategies to deal with it. If it’s their boss we call them an idiot or a jerk and we say you should look for another job or we wonder if there is something else behind it. Maybe they are difficult at work, have dropped the ball and not delivered, perhaps they are not as competent as we first thought. So we start to question our friend. Have they done this, tried that, what lead to it, and we help them to strategise to stay.