Verbal abuse is an act of violence with speech, which can include forcefully criticizing, insulting, or denouncing another person. Any manner a spouse uses words to exert control in a relationship is considered verbal abuse. Verbal abuse is frequently directed at a person's insecurities and weaknesses, but it can take many forms, from outright humiliation to more subtle and manipulative approaches.
Common Signs of Verbal Abuse
The following are the common patterns of verbal abuse to watch out for in a relationship.
Condescension - Condescension is another way of putting you down. Comments from the abuser might be snarky, dismissive, and condescending. It's all to help people feel better about themselves.
Manipulation & Accusation - Manipulation is when someone tries to persuade you to do something without issuing a straight order. Make no mistake about it: it's designed to keep you off-balance and manipulate you. Someone who accuses you of things constantly may be jealous or envious. Or maybe they're the one who's causing the problem. It might make you wonder if you're doing something wrong. An abuser may accuse you of cheating or make confusing and contradictory statements.
Blame - A verbally abusive individual often holds you responsible for their actions. They want you to feel that you are the source of their verbal abuse. They may blame you for their abusive behavior, use your fears and belief to control you or the situation
Isolation and control - It's supposed to make you work harder to earn their attention by refusing to talk to you, look you in the eyes, or even be in the same room with you. One method of exerting control is to cut off contact with others. Few examples are by keeping you from going to see your friends and relatives, attempting to prevent you from attending a job or school, they have control over who you spend your time with and jealous of other people's relationships
Gaslighting - Gaslighting is a form of deception that causes you to doubt your own sanity, judgements, and memories. You may begin to doubt yourself and believe you're going insane. An abuser may do the following: Insist you said or did something you didn't, deny an event happened, question your memory of facts and events, pretend not to understand you or refuse to listen to you, deny their earlier promises and statements
Circular Arguments - It's not uncommon for two people to disagree or dispute about the same issue several times before finding common ground. Abusers, on the other hand, will bring up a same disagreement again and again only to irritate you, never intending to meet in the middle.
Threats - Threats to your life or your body might cause fear. Threats should never be dismissed. There should be no concerns about your safety in a good relationship, even if your partner claims they're joking. When a danger leads you to adjust your behavior or feel on edge, it's extremely crucial to take it seriously. They can also threaten to leave you. They're designed to frighten you into submission.
What to Do When You're Experiencing Verbal Abuse
Trust your instincts if you suspect you're being verbally abused. Keep in mind that there's a potential it'll get worse. Now that you've recognized it, you must select how you're going to address it. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. A lot depends on your own situation.
You can, however, set boundaries. Begin by refusing to engage in irrational debates. Make it clear that you will no longer tolerate or respond to verbal abuse.
Make time for self-care every day, even if it's only for a few minutes. Provide yourself with as much stress alleviation as possible. Remind yourself of your worth and value, and that you deserve to be taken care of. It is never your fault if you are abused.
Make a plan for a safe exit. You may need to end a relationship in order to stay safe, but you may not be ready to take such drastic measures. Instead, set little goals for yourself to reach out and talk to someone about your actions or to seek help in order to establish a sense of safety and control. You can also try to speak with a counselor or join a support group. An outsider's viewpoint might sometimes assist you in seeing things differently and deciding what to do next.