Verbal abuse can be difficult to detect at times, but it is pretty common in a lot of relationships. A word does not have to be harsh to hurt. Anything said to attempt to control, punish, or manipulate is as much harmful as any physical abuse.
It's easy for you to identify physical abuse because we all know when we've been hit. You don't have to get a second opinion because the bruises are there but with emotional damage the scars are internal. Self esteem does not appear on the outside nor does a broken spirit. Here are some key warning signs:
RESPONDING TO VERBAL ABUSE
If your spouse or the person you are closest to consistently verbally abuses you and dismisses your feelings, you will begin to see yourself as a non-factor, irrelevant, and not worthy of good treatment. When you finally wake up and realize that you are being verbally abused you need to also become aware that you should work on changing your situation. Here are some steps you can take if faced with verbal abuse:
There is never an excuse for abuse.
You should never feel that it is your fault. Communicate to your abuser and let them know how hurtful their words are and discuss with them the fact that it is unacceptable to you. Set boundaries on what you will and will not accept from your abuser.
Seek counseling either together or separately.
Get yourself a support system of family and friends. Let them know what is happening and how you are feeling.
If the verbal abuse escalates to physical abuse, then leave.
Your personal safety is far more important than the relationship.
Do not engage in conflict with your abuser.
If your spouse becomes angry stay calm, walk away and, don't give him/her what they want…a reaction from you.
Take back your power.
If you react to the abuser, then you are rewarding them. You are letting them know they have power over your emotions. Don't allow the abuser to have control over how you feel.
Leave the situation!
If setting boundaries, getting therapy, and refusing to respond to the abuse doesn't work, then it is time to consider walking away. There are times when the best thing you can do for yourself is break all ties with your abuser. Stay in close contact with your support system and focus on learning good coping skills.
View Woman blog
WE EDUCATE AND EMPOWER WOMEN!