Forms Of Verbal Abuse in Relationships

Forms Of Verbal Abuse in Relationships

To put it in a simplistic manner, verbal abuse is basically the use of words to take control of, or to play with someone’s emotions. This type of abuse can take a variety of forms and can often be difficult to recognize especially if it has been and ongoing thing in a person’s life.

When verbal abuse starts early in someone’s life, the person may start considering it as something completely normal and they may therefore, not do anything about it.This type of abuse is one that almost everyone has at least at one point in their life experienced.

And there is not much that people can do to avoid it.

Verbal abuse is also not necessarily inflicted by others

It may very well be your own inner voice that abuses you verbally. So, every time your inner voice starts to put you down, recognize this as a form of abuse and try to put an end to it.

Different forms of verbal abuse

Many people think that verbal abuse only involves yelling and shouting or the use of foul language. However, that is not always the case.

Sure, yelling, shouting and shallow language are obvious forms of verbal abuse, but many people are victims of verbal abuse that involves the use of low toned arguments and this type of verbal abuse is therefore very difficult to recognize.

Here are some of the different forms of verbal abuse

  • Threatening

This is a type of verbal abuse where the abuser wants to take control of the victim’s actions by using a tone that demands compliance from the victim.

An example of this type of abuse is the use of phrases such as ‘ do this, or else be prepared for the consequences’  or even ‘don’t blame me for what happens next’.

  • Gaslighting


Gaslighting is a type of abuse that will make the victim question themselves about their sense of reality.

The person who gaslights another will make the victim believe that they are imagining things. Terms such as ‘you’re absolutely wrong’ or ‘it wasn’t me, you must have seen someone else’ are common in such scenarios.

  • Withholding

In this form of treatment, the abuser holds back information in any discussion or argument.

The abuser will not interact and engage in the conversation as they should. Silent treatment is a common example.

  • Criticizing

Criticism is often difficult to handle as it is, even more so, when it becomes abusive.

Sometimes people use criticism as a form of demeaning people and can be very painful to handle, especially if it is done in public.

  • Name calling

The abuser may start calling you names as part of their strategy to verbally abuse you. They may do it in a way that suggests that they might be joking.

But, please identify this form of behavior and suppress this form of treatment as soon as it starts and know that such shaming is not tolerable.

What are the effects of verbal abuse?

Verbal abuse can have extremely damaging effects on the victim.

Any person who experiences this form of abuse can go into depression. Victims may lose confidence in themselves. This damaged self esteem can lead to the victim questioning their judgments and they may eventually become needlessly self-critical.

People who tolerate this form of abuse should learn to recognize it and when possible, put an end to it.

It is also important to accept the fact that seeking help not necessarily professional in such matters is nothing to feel ashamed about. Talking to someone who can help you understand the situation in a better manner will always prove to be beneficial. It is important to realize that abuse in any form must always be condemned.

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