Verbal and Emotional Abuse in Relationships

April 25, 2017

People do not realize they are verbally and emotionally abusive.  It is because their feelings cause them to act in ways that are abusive to others.  Here are some forms of abuse.  If you find yourself in a situation that may be abusive, please seek support.   

 

Domination.:  The person uses threats to get his/her own way.

 

Verbal assaults:  Reprimanding, criticizing, name calling, screaming, excessive blaming, teasing in front of others, and sarcasm are types of verbal abuse.  These communication styles are meant to demean and take power away from the other person.  It serves the purpose of creating self-doubt and diminish the other's self-worth and confidence. 

 

Abusive expectations:  The person makes unreasonable demands and makes his/her needs priority.   

Gaslighting:   The person denies events have happened, changes the memory of conversations, and disregards the other's perceptions.  The person does not validate opposing experiences, which creates a one-dimensional reality and removes any chance of negotiation.

 

Chaos:  The person starts arguments with little provocation and perceives tension when there is no conflict. 

 

Do not endure abusive behaviors.  Just because the abuse is not physical does not mean that you should keep quiet to avoid making things worse.  Verbal and emotional abuse perpetuates isolation, depression, helpless, and hopelessness, which are equivalent to the results of physical abuse.

 

Learn ways to assert yourself, identify healthy relationship behaviors, and set personal limits.

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Natalie A. Ma, PhD

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