What is verbal abuse?
According to Very Well Mind, verbal abuse occurs when someone chooses to emotionally attack another person by their words. This could include things like name-calling, verbal threats, and gaslighting. Demining one another also produces emotional injury to the individual. Someone who emotionally abuses another maintains power and influence over that person.
An article from Very Well Mind also stated that many people are being emotionally abused on a regular basis and are unaware of it. It could happen in a romantic connection, between grandparents, parents, or siblings. Although physical and verbal abuse can coexist. Emotional abuse can be equally as devastating as physical assault. Are our abuser’s words really true about us? Could our abuser be the person you love the most? These are all rational questions asked daily by the victims of verbal abuse.
Types of verbal abuse
There are various types of verbal abuse as underlined by Very Well Mind. Name-calling is the first type of verbal abuse. Abusers may start calling you names, anything detrimental towards your character, however none of them are a fair treatment for another person. They could be critical, sarcastic of you, your behaviour or anything towards you that would make you feel put down by another person. By condemning you and your behaviour, they feel better about themselves. Another type of verbal abuse is joking about something you are vulnerable about. They specifically joke about something you told them in confidence. In public on in private they may cause the person to feel as if they cannot trust those around them. One verbal abuse that is very common is criticism of the victim. They may criticise you, however this would not be constructive criticism but rather an attempt to hurt your feelings. Lastly their tone of voice may shift. They may raise their voice, yell or swear at you when they are frustrated.
Impact of verbal abuse
The book written by Patricia Evans titled “Victory over Verbal Abuse: A Healing Guide To Renewing Your Spirit And Reclaiming Your Life”.Patricia Evans has expressed “Being blamed, defined and deprived can impact anyone’s confidence, expectations and aspirations. She continued to state that if “you have experienced verbal abuse you start to believe the words that your abuser says”. You believe who the abuser says that you are. You think that are in the wrong, you believe that somehow this is your fault and that you deserve to be treated as such. This is how severely verbal abuse can impact on an individual, the way they think and view themselves.
Another book written by Emory Green “Master Of Emotional Abuse”. Emory Green said previously that it is hard to tell the difference between constructive criticism and verbal abuse especially if it is a family member. Those that really know you use a tactic on you that will make you think that they are not capable of hurting you.
How to deal with verbal abuse
According to the domestic Shelters website on how to cope with verbal abuse. They recommend first to acknowledge how you feel so that you can express your emotions towards your abuser. This leads onto the next step to tell your abuser whether it is your partner, parent, that you do not like their verbally abusive comments. Avoid insulting them when they are insulting you because that makes the situation worse. This does not make you any better than them by involving yourself deeper into the issue. Do not accept their apology if you do not think it is good enough for the way they have been treating you. Make sure that they know it is not okay for them to be treating you this way. Even though it may be hard to stand up to your abuser because it may someone you really care about. You cannot heal in a negative environment and need space away from them.
Who to contact when verbally abused
National Helpline is an organisation that deals with domestic abuse as well as verbal abuse. They suggest messaging them on their website and find out what type of support they offer for women in these types of situations. They can also help you to the best of their ability if they know your situation. You can also chat to them live on their Help line team chat between Monday-Friday 3pm- 10 pm. If you are concerned for your safety or if someone may be tracking your phone, they can help to change your settings and ensure your safety from your abuser.
In the end it all comes down to you, whether you may want to share your story. This may inspire and increase victims to share a similar story to yours. We may never know the reasons why some abusers chose to do this; they may have been similarly abused and take it out on others. It is not your responsibility to make your abuser happy and adapt to their expectations. Their comments are not real, and you should think of yourself as a priority to heal in an environment that lifts you up and not otherwise.
Very Well Mind (2022) What Is Verbal Abuse
National Helpline (n.a) How We Can Support You
Evans. P (2011) Victory Over Verbal Abuse: A Healing Guide To Renewing Your Spirit And Reclaiming Your Life
Green. E (2020) Masters of Emotional Blackmail: Understanding And Dealing With Verbal Abuse And Emotional Manipulation. How Manipulators Use Guilt, Fear, Obligation, And Other Tactics To Control People
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