What is Verbal Abuse?
Most people assume that if they were being verbally abused they would know about it. After all, verbal abuse often involves yelling, put-downs, name-calling, and belittling behaviors.
Verbal abuse is a type of emotional abuse. It is when someone uses their words to assault, dominate, ridicule, manipulate, and/or degrade another person and negatively impact that person’s psychological health. Verbal abuse is a means of controlling and maintaining power over another person.
Verbal abuse can occur in any type of relationship: romantic relationships, parent-child relationships, family relationships, and co-worker relationships.
Signs of verbal abuse:
Excessively using insults or calling someone names is an example of abusive behavior. If you’ve asked someone to stop calling you a name and they’ve ignored your request, they’re being verbally abusive.
Criticizing and judging
Criticism can be constructive, but it can also be a way for an abuser to damage your self-esteem.
It’s common for verbal abusers to use demeaning, degrading language to chip away at a victim’s self-esteem.
Even if an abuser doesn’t hurt you physically, they can use words to make you fear physical harm. Other types of threats, including threats to fire you, leave you, or embarrass you publicly, are also abuses.
Screaming and yelling may be common, when used in excess, it can be a form of abusive behavior, especially if it happens regularly.
Abusers may misrepresent or lie about past events to make you question your own memory.
A verbal abuser may use manipulative language to pressure a target into doing things they’re not comfortable with.
How to Handle Verbal Abuse?
Call Out Abusive Behavior
The first and most important step to take when you are being verbally abused is to name it out loud.
Use Clear Language to Demand That the Behavior Stop
It may be tempting to speak gently when asking for abuse to stop, especially if you are afraid of repercussions. Your best bet, though, is to be clear and firm in your request.
Don’t Engage with the Abuse
When someone is nasty to us, it’s natural to want to be mean back. This will only serve to escalate verbal abuse, and it will give your abuser a reason to accuse you of being the abusive one. Since you don’t want that, do your best not to engage directly with the abuse.
Set Firm Boundaries
Setting firm boundaries with clear, simple consequences is an important next step when you are dealing with verbal abuse.
What to Do If Verbal Abuse Doesn’t Stop?
Verbal abuse is a legitimate and real form of abuse, so seeking help from a mental health professional like a psychotherapist is a must.
When you start feeling isolated, powerless, or worthless in your relationships, you might want to pay closer attention.
There’s never a good reason for you to feel this way. You deserve respect, love, and care. You can contact me to set up a free consultation and learn about the different ways to ascertain your self-confidence again. Working with two brand new modalities, behavior modification and Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT), Dr. Carla will put you on the right track towards your empowerment.