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Emotional And Verbal Abuse Isn't Always LOUD: Subtle Verbal Abuse Is Just As Damaging

Most of us are good at identifying the “in your face verbal abuse” in our lives. There’s no mistaking outright insults, yelling, swearing and other obvious forms of verbal abuse, but it’s much harder to identify the “death by a thousand insect bites” kind of verbal abuse.

In some ways subtle verbal abuse is actually more damaging than> more obvious forms of it. Why? Because subtle verbal abuse is> something you may experience every day, perhaps dozens of times a day. It works its damage beneath the surface affecting the way you think and feel about yourself and about the people using subtle abuse techniques, sometimes even unintentionally.

Purpose of Identifying Subtle Verbal Abuse

The first step in dealing with any kind of verbal abuse is to recognize its existence. You can’t make decisions about what to do about it unless a) you understand that it is occurring, and b) you are able to identify specific behaviors on the part of other people that are abusive in nature. Also once you are able to identify the specifics of verbal abuse, it’s possible to work with the other person to improve the relationship by dealing with specific relationship behaviors that need to be changed.

What You Need To Know

It is exceedingly important that you understand some vital aspects of subtle verbal abuse. Make sure you read and understand the following before continuing.

Something is verbally abusive if it demeans, or sends a message:

  • That the recipient is “less than” what they should be AND is unsolicited.
  • Verbal abuse serves the needs of the sender, and ignores the needs of the recipient.
  • Subtle verbally abusive speech doesn’t necessarily mean the individual is consciously trying to hurt you. Some people habitually speak using subtle verbal abuse. They may do so because they are tired, upset, angry and don’t know how to phrase things in constructive ways.
  • All of us use subtle verbal abuse on occasion. That doesn’t make it acceptable, but it’s important not to over-react.
  • Subtle verbal abuse is about hidden manipulation, where your feelings and behaviors are negatively and indirectly influenced. The words used are not themselves abusive, but the message that lies below the surface is.
  • Subtle abuse is also used to obscure, or hide the issue under discussion, or create one or more of the following:
  1. Confusion
  2. Embarrassment
  3. Intimidation
  4. Anxiety
  • Other strong negative emotions
  • Generally subtle verbal abuse is used to put you off balance so the other person (or you if it’s you using them) can get his or her way or negatively affect how you feel.

Seventeen Subtle Verbal Attack And Abuse Patterns

We've identified seventeen patterns of verbal abuse, and summarized them in our mini-guide, Identifying Subtle Abuse In Your Life. It's available for a nominal charge to download here.

When Words Are Used As Weapons: The Signs of Verbal Abuse By Kathy Bosch - Verbal abuse is finally being recognized as a form of domestic violence and as the behavior that usually precedes physical violence. There has been little support for individuals who are verbally abused because it's not as readily visible as a broken arm, black eye, or bruise. After time, many individuals, usually women, suffer from verbal assaults from their partners. These usually escalate into aggressive acts of physical attacks. Research indicates that more females are becoming verbally aggressive in dating situations, and so it is both women and men who must use caution with their verbal behaviors towards their partners. (Added: 8-May-2014 Hits: 151 )

When Love Hurts: The Emotionally Abused Man By na - Does your relationship with your girlfriend or wife leave you feeling bad about yourself? Do you frequently feel misunderstood, rejected, vilified and devalued in your relationship? Do you feel trapped or stuck? Do you believe it's possible for men to be emotionally abused by women? Believe it. It happens all the time. The stereotype of an abusive relationship is that of a man physically beating a woman. Society has yet to acknowledge the vast number of women who emotionally abuse men. In fact, the men who are being abused oftentimes don't realize that their wife's or girlfriend's behavior is abusive. They use different terms to describe this behavior like nagging, bossy, difficult, strong-willed, tough, harsh, argumentative, "passionate," or aggressive, which they always follow up with some excuse such as, "She had a really tough childhood. She was abused." Lots of people have had less than ideal beginnings, but they don't take it out on others in their adult relationships. (Added: 8-May-2014 Hits: 147 )

Your Verbally Abusive Wife, What Can You Do? By Kellie Holly - Almost every abused man struggles with admitting he has a verbally abusive wife, so they do not seek support as readily as women do. There is hardly any support available specifically for men, gay or straight, if they want to leave an abusive relationship. The simple explanation is that most research on domestic abuse historically focuses on verbally abused women.3 There is not much out there that explains the underlying conflicts in a marriage where verbally abusive women commit the harm, so helping agencies do not know how to reach out to abused men effectively. (Added: 8-May-2014 Hits: 153 )

Verbal abuse: Are you a victim? By Jen Weigel - Have you ever been interrupted in mid-sentence to be told you're "wrong"? Perhaps you're talking to someone and they mock you, or accuse you of not telling the truth. While this might sound like another round of presidential debates, these are actually signs of an emotionally damaging phenomenon known as verbal abuse. (Added: 8-May-2014 Hits: 144 )

Verbal Abuse: How To Save Yourself - Oprah Interview By Annie Gottlieb - Interview with Patricia Evans, and includes a verbal abuse checklist. (Added: 8-May-2014 Hits: 190 )

Signs of Abused Man | Verbal Abuse of Men By na - Many men think or believe, that if they are not being physically harmed by their partner, then they are not being abused. This is far from true. If you are in a relationship which is draining something from you... you might not have recognized that she's eroding your self-esteem and happiness through verbal, mental, emotional and other forms of abuse. The following is a list of ways to tell if you're being abused without being physically touched: (Added: 8-May-2014 Hits: 215 )

Is It Verbal Abuse or Blowing Off Steam? By D. A. Wolf - Maybe he's terse or snappish when you mention an upcoming visit to see your parents. Maybe he makes cutting remarks about your lack of financial knowledge when you raise the issue of the family budget. Maybe he drops a dig about your weight every night before dinner, or your lack of style when you accompany him to a business function. You make excuses for the remarks - he's tired, he's stressed, and after all, he's right - you could do with losing a few pounds or picking your timing better for serious discussions. So which is it - verbal abuse or a grumpy, stressed, or insensitive partner? Where is the fine line between a thoughtless response and verbal abuse? (Added: 8-May-2014 Hits: 163 )

Signs You Are Verbally Abused: By MARIE HARTWELL-WALKER - The first step in dealing with verbal abuse is to recognize that you are on the receiving end. Often verbal abuse can be subtle, since it can involve ongoing putdowns, rather than outright yelling and screaming. This article will help you with the signs of verbal abuse. (Added: 8-May-2014 Hits: 156 )

Depression and Verbal Abuse By Paige Bierma - Does someone close to you constantly insult you or humiliate you? Do you feel like you're always walking on eggshells in an effort to keep that person from blowing up at you? Are you starting to believe the accusations that person levels at you? If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you may be a victim of verbal abuse. This form of abuse, though it may not leave the easily discernible bruises that we associate with its physical equivalent, should not to be taken lightly. Whether perpetrated by a partner, parent, friend, or boss, verbal assaults can be every bit as devastating as physical battering. (Added: 8-May-2014 Hits: 152 )

Emotional Blackmail By n a - Emotional blackmail is carried out verbally for the most part. Check out the list of typical emotional blackmailer behaviours. You can learn what this kind of abuser hopes to gain from you. Also included are some great responses to many attempts at verbal and emotional abuse. (Added: 3-Feb-2006 Hits: 3351 )

An Analysis of The Abuser's Language By n a - I think the key is to understand that the abuser's language is not the same as a normal person. That their "language" does not convey their thoughts and is in fact designed to do just the opposite. Once we understand this we also learn that we can't, and shouldn't want to, speak their language. Please note the disclaimer at the bottom of this article. pop (Added: 3-Feb-2006 Hits: 4613 )

Verbal Abuse Signs By n a - Two checklists are provided that demonstrate verbally abusive behaviour. The second checklist denotes a critical situation for the sufferer of the listed behaviours. These lists are must reads for anyone suspecting abuse in their relationship. pop (Added: 3-Feb-2006 Hits: 7946 )

Related Categories:

  • Anger Management
  • Bullying
  • Domestic Violence
  • Pages Updated On: 21-Sep-2015 - 10:22:34

    Related Categories:

  • Anger Management
  • Bullying
  • Domestic Violence


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