8 Ways Someone Can be Verbally Abusive

8 Ways Someone Can be Verbally Abusive

Loving relationships require healthy and honest communication between you and your partner. Anything other than this form of communication is not okay and unacceptable. You should never put up with feeling belittled or incompetent by your partner.
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Loving relationships require healthy and honest communication between you and your partner. Anything other than this form of communication is not okay and unacceptable. You should never put up with feeling belittled or incompetent by your partner.
I know we are not perfect and sometimes we may communicate in a way that is not loving towards our partner or others, but if this form of communication is reoccurring and happening often, then this is a red flag and it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship. Let's take a look at 8 ways of verbal abuse:

1. Name-Calling

Name-calling is easily recognized as verbal abuse, but it doesn't mean you should stand for it. Dr. John Gottman, a psychological researcher on marriages states the severity of name-calling, "So are hostile humor, name-calling, mimicking, and body language such as eye-rolling and sneering. In whatever form, contempt is poisonous to a relationship because it conveys disgust and superiority, especially moral, ethical, or characterological."[1]
Calling others names is a callous way of showing superiority over others. This is a huge red flag because it means your partner does not view you as an equal and name-calling should be stopped immediately. When your partner says, "You are mean." they are attacking your character and not the action in which they feel you are being.
Instead say, "I feel like you're being mean."

2. Manipulation/ Ultimatums

Do you feel your partner is controlling?
Is your partner pushing you to do things you are not comfortable with?
Does your partner make you feel guilty?
These are questions you should ask yourself if you feel your partner is being manipulative. Someone could use manipulation by making you feel guilty for your actions. They could manipulate you by making you feel like you're a bad person if you do not do what they ask. For instance: "If you do not do this, it means you do not love me."
If you are not comfortable doing something or don't believe it's right, your partner should respect your decision (barring your decisions are made with good intentions and not harmful to others).
Manipulations are also made into forms of ultimatums. Do you really want to be with someone who is unwilling to compromise? Compromise is a huge part of being in a successful and loving relationship.
Listen to your partner's concerns and listen to what they have to say, but do not feel as if you have to give in to an ultimatum.

3. Criticism

Constructive criticism on occasion is okay if it's communicated in a loving way. Being honest and creating an environment where both can speak freely is important. However, your partner should not speak in a way that belittles you or makes you feel you are not enough. For example, "Why aren't you good at massages? Now my back hurts and I can't sleep!"
Even if the result is not what your partner wanted, you should never be criticized for trying your best and doing something with good intentions. Acts of kindness should be never be deemed as bad. Another form of criticism is demeaning comments by your partner. For instance:
"You women are always crying"
"You're not enough"

4. Threats

This form of verbal abuse can be easier to spot compared to other forms. Do not let someone threaten you to do something that they want. You must be able to stand up for yourself and not condone this behavior. Stating what you want and don't want in a relationship is important because you are creating healthy boundaries.
Shouting or being yelled at on a regular basis is also not a form of healthy communication and can be intertwined when threats are present. I know at times this may not be easy (especially in the moment), but both parties should try their hardest to remain calm during a conversation or disagreement.
If you or your partner cannot remain calm, it's okay to ask to step away and rejoin the conversation with both parties are calm.

5. Blaming

Everybody should be accountable for their actions. If your partner is constantly putting blame on you for their actions, how are they supposed to realize what they're doing? This could include blaming you for something you didn't even do. It takes two people to make a relationship work. It takes both parties to be responsible and accountable for their own actions. If you did mess up, it's okay to say you're sorry, but do not apologize for something you did not do. When someone is blaming others, it means they are not taking responsibility for themselves.
Relationships require constant work and effort from yourself and your partner.

6. Accusations

Accusations can be generated from jealousy, anger, and negative emotions. Accusing someone that they cheated or accusing them of doing something on purpose is not healthy and a form of verbal abuse. For example:
"Why didn't you call?"
"You were with that guy weren't you!?"
If your partner is inquiring about something, they must be able to communicate in a mature way. Relationships are built on a foundation of trust. If your partner is accusing you, do you think they trust you? If so, trust comes from within, and it is not your job to force that, but you may be able to help them through reassurance.

7. The Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is used to regain power in the relationship and not a healthy form of communication. There is nothing wrong with saying to your partner, "I am angry and I need some time to calm down before I can talk again." If they say this, you do need to respect their decision and give them space. However, ignoring someone on purpose is not healthy and a way for that person to gain power over you. The reason being, when someone is purposefully ignoring you, there is a chance you give in and tend to feel awful and thus give up your power by begging to speak with them. Don't be fooled by this childish behavior. Mature people should be able to talk in a constructive, calm, and healthy manner. If you see your partner doing this you can say, " I understand you are upset, but I do not appreciate the silent treatment."

8. Gaslighting

Gaslighting includes ignoring the other person's feelings and considered verbal abuse. Someone who uses this technique often makes you feel like your feelings are wrong and you begin to question whether you are right or not. This is not healthy. Your feelings should be validated. A respectful partner will listen to your feelings and not undermine them or you. People being gaslighted are often apologizing for something they didn't do. For instance:
"Why are you so sensitive?"


Bottom Line: You deserve love. You deserve to be treated with respect while giving respect and love to others. You are important and you are enough. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

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