What Is Verbal Abuse

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What is verbal abuse?

Abusers often come across to the public as very nice and charming people. But most of the time, they exert control in the home environment. At home, the two-sided message is “I love you . . . but I don’t.” The twisted expression of the abuser’s love causes others in the home to feel helpless and confused.
  • Verbal abuse includes: humiliation, threats, insults, intimidation, disapproval, and cold affection.

  • Jealousy controls the abuser with a need to isolate the person from friends and family, who are the person’s support system.

  • The abuser oversteps personal privacy boundaries of the people around them.

  • Sometimes, drug and alcohol abuse are present in the situation.

  • Over time, verbal abuse does much damage to the victim’s self-worth, destroying confidence and the well-being of the person.

  • Verbal abuse can rear its ugly head at any time and anywhere. It does not isolate itself within the intimate environment of the family setting. It can extend to the workplace, school, or wherever there is contact with other people.

How may the person living with verbal abuse keep a situation from escalating into violence? First of all, it is the responsibility of the person to maintain personal safety for everyone in the home. Second, try discussing with the abuser the feelings of neglect and being unloved. If met with negative reactions from the abuser, gracefully accept it and hold no grudges. Forcing the issue will only bring resentment and more problems.

If the verbal abuse continues for long periods of time, the victim may become provoked and very angry. This can lead to unacceptable behavior. The person will feel justified in misbehaving, taking on the characteristics of the abuser. It is better to initiate healthy thoughts and actions rather than to act on impulse.

If the person dealing with verbal abuse decides to stay in the relationship, the person must remember to:
  • Practice reflection and learn from past mistakes.
  • Find a support system to uplift one’s self-worth.
  • Acquire the ability to gracefully deal with the abuser’s negative behavior.
  • Counseling should be strongly considered. A counselor can help you understand the abuse and give you practical tips to aid in healing.
The Bible has a lot to say to anyone dealing with verbal abuse.

“I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces” (Psalm 34:4-5).

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you” (1 Peter 5:7).



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