On episode 6 of the current season of "The Bachelorette," bachelorette Becca Kufrin finally found some sense in her and sent home the 30-year-old sales trainer from Orlando, Florida, Chris Randone. After watching him unfold from this vulnerable, sweet man to an emotionally abusive gaslighter in the making, I was inspired to talk about some actions he took towards Becca in "The Bachelorette" this season and use them to talk about some warning signs of emotional abuse.
1. They Make You Feel Like You Owe Them Something.
In this season of "The Bachelorette," Becca and Chris's romances went from Cloud 9 to back on the ground in less than 2 weeks. After Chris and Becca's first date, he was on Cloud 9 and over-the-moon happy with the progress he was making with Becca. In fact, he was so confident that in the cocktail party (an event where the suitors are allowed to "steal" the bachelorette and chat with them, which is important to those who didn't get one-on-one time or who just need to catch up with the bachelorette) he decided he'd just let Becca come to him. When this didn't happen, Chris decided to rant to the men about how he was so upset at Becca that he feels she doesn't like him anymore and went on to talk about how he might as well leave right now. After Becca hears of this behavior from the other men, she asks Chris to talk to her, and immediately he says that "she owes him" 50,000 kisses. Confused, she asks him why and pretends he has no idea that was even said when she tells him what the other men reported to her. This is a clear sign of emotional abuse, as nobody in a relationship owes anyone anything—not a single thing.
2. The Abuser Will Take You Out Of Social Situations That Don't Include Them.
In an episode from last season's "The Bachelor," contestant Krystal Nielsen went on a group date with bachelor Arie and the other girls. The girls and Arie were split up into teams, and the winning team would get the cocktail party just for them, as opposed to every girl on the group date, if they won. Krystal was on the winning team, but after Arie realized that determining the fate of their relationship progression with him based on bowling skills was not fair, he decided to go back as planned and allow all the girls to attend the cocktail party. All the girls were okay with this except Krystal, who, after calling Arie a liar who can't be trusted, decided to go up to her room and not attend the cocktail party. Arie, feeling bad about Krystal, even though he did nothing wrong, left the cocktail party to talk it over with Krystal and apologize, which left the other women confused and angry at Krystal. Often in these types of situations, the other person will feel like they did something wrong when really the abuser is the one who's wrong. If someone makes you feel bad for something that isn't your fault or that the other person shouldn't be upset about, please run as fast as you can.
3. They Will Use Threats To Make Them Feel Powerful.
Twenty-eight-year-old luxury real estate agent Chad Johnson has a long list of things that he's done to people in the Bachelor franchise, but we're going to be focusing on one key point today. Chad first appeared on JoJo Fletcher's season of "The Bachelorette" and after multiple threats of violence and punching doors to get rid of his irrational anger, the crew of "The Bachelorette" had to hire a bodyguard so others felt safe around him. Chad was also kicked off the third season of "Bachelor in Paradise" because of his irrational behavior. People like Chad will get upset when they don't get what they want, whether or not they deserve it, and will threaten physically or verbally until they finally hear what they want to hear.
4. They Will Lead You On.
It's pretty clear who comes onto "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" for love and who comes onto the show for fame, but for Bachelorette Ashley Hebert, there may be one man who didn't always show his true colors. Twenty-eight-year-old divorced dad Bentley Williams would put on a facade while with Ashley, but then go over to the confessional cam and talk about how he never liked her, how he's not her type and would rather swim in urine than plan a wedding with her. He still continued to be in a relationship with her knowing that he didn't feel the same way, and even continued to lead her on when other guys warned Ashley that he wasn't here for the right intentions. He eventually broke up with her.
If you see the warning signs of these people in someone around you in your life, know that you are not alone. Escape them as quickly as you can, and if emotional abuse turns into physical abuse, call the police and get into a safe spot. For a list of anonymous hotlines, you can visit this link to see a variety of different resources.