These Signs of Verbal Abuse are Not Obvious, But You Should Not Ignore Them

These Signs of Verbal Abuse are Not Obvious, But You Should Not Ignore Them

07.12.2021 Off By manager_1

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Sometimes, it is very obvious when someone speaks to you verbally and abusive. You feel manipulated, downgraded or belittled. Sometimes it is difficult to discern if the words directed towards you are criticism, unwelcome feedback or actual verbal abuse.

Sarah Regan, a journalist for Well+Good interviewed mental health professionals about verbal abuse. Here are the facts.

What is verbal abuse?

According to Annette Nunez, Ph.D. and LMFT, verbal abuse is about power and submissiveness. It can be as simple as screaming at someone or yelling at them, but it can also include “discrete manipulation or gaslighting” or making someone feel less than they are.

Sometimes it is not clear whether comments or conversations are feedback, criticism or verbal abuse. Nunez advises that you pay attention to repeating patterns, especially if you have already stated that you don’t like it being spoken to that way.

However, she also points out that not all unpleasant discussions or exchanges are verbal abuse. It could be constructive criticism, or a disagreement. Nunez emphasizes that it all comes down to whether or not the person is constantly putting you down and trying to make yourself feel inferior (and not just giving feedback or expressing an opinion with which you disagree).

Signs of verbal abuse that are less obvious

Verbal abuse can come in many forms, some of which are quite sneaky. These are the signs that verbal abuse can take many forms, according to Regan’s interview with experts:

  • Backhanded statements

There are no explosive arguments. Perpetua Neo DClinPsy, a clinical psychologist, told us that there are more subtle forms of verbal abuse. They are calmly said and frame as though they are helping.

  • Threats

Neo says that any threat to safety or your safety of another person should be treated verbally.

  • Gaslighting

Gaslighting is when you hear phrases such as “That didn’t happen” or “You’re being dramatic” (regarding situations which did actually happen). Gaslighting, another form of verbal abuse is when you constantly question someone’s reality in order to get them to do it yourself.

Nunez explained, “That’s how they control you and keep you down and submissive. They make you believe you’re insane and that you’re the worst one in the relationship.”

People can position themselves as “wise saviors” and offer valuable advice to people who don’t know the world as well. Neo clarifies that although this can be expressed in many different ways, the most common is “Words of advice, I noticed that you are [character defect example], and I want you to help me.” Nope.