Verbal abuse is derogatory language with the intent to humiliate, hurt, and/or undermine. It robs the other person of their dignity and sense of security.
Mostly, verbal abuse occurs in anger; sometimes it occurs with cold calculation (in which case, the abuser is much more of a threat to another’s well-being and that relationship should be terminated immediately.)
I’m going to address the former situation: Where abuse occurs in anger, when self-control is lost, and the person is remorseful afterward.
The tips I’m going to give apply to both the person doing the abusing, and the person being abused, because ending abuse while remaining in the relationship is actually a collaborative effort.
There’s a lot out there about how to talk to your kids, especially about difficult topics like drugs and sex. But what might be of greater value to your relationship and to their development is if you become a better listener.
Here are some tips.
I think most parents have had this experience: You’re out somewhere and your child (toddler, teenager, anywhere in between) is behaving in a way that you find embarrassing, and that you hope is not reflective of your parenting. But you feel the shame anyway, and the judgment of others, and you wonder: Is this my fault? Is my child my reflection?
Wikipedia had a great definition of psychological manipulation. Here it is: “Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics.” (Thanks, Wikipedia!) I’d add that manipulation always benefits the manipulator, though he or she might be adept at making you believe otherwise.
Everyone twists things to their own advantage sometimes. But if you’re chronically manipulated by someone in your life, I’ve got some suggestions for you.
In a healthy relationship, fights are going to happen. (Often, a complete absence of fights is a sign partners have become irrevocably disconnected.) So the goal isn’t to eradicate all fights; it’s to make sure you’re fighting well.
What I mean is, a good fight is one that’s productive: grievances are aired, resentments are released, both parties ultimately feel understood, and the least possible emotional damage was inflicted. A bad fight is–well, the opposite of that.
If you’ve been having bad fights, this is a great post to read with your partner. If you can agree to the ground rules in here (and maybe even put them on the fridge or somewhere you can reference them), that can start turn things around. So here goes!
It’s not an easy thing to do, especially if your parents never modeled it for you or if you’re in relationships where you tend to feel devalued. But assertiveness is a skill you can learn, no matter how old you are. Here’s how to start.
Once you’ve been burned (especially if it’s by a parent in your early life), it can be hard to open up again. In some cases, with some people, you really shouldn’t open up. But how do you know who you should trust, and who you shouldn’t? And how can you learn to trust yourself to make that determination?
We all have occasional run-ins with the disagreeable and the unreasonable. But what if it’s become a chronic facet of life? Here are some thoughts on how to handle your relationships (and yourself)!
This was a question that came up on my Facebook author page among some mothers who’d read my book, “Don’t Try to Find Me.” Yes, my novel represents a very particular case but the desire to protect your kids is pretty universal.
Do all teens require online monitoring? How do you monitor? And what do you do with what you find out?
This post was inspired by a client of mine who was talking for years (literally) about ending a relationship, and she finally pulled the trigger. (Go, you! and you know who you are!) If you’re having trouble breaking up with someone, here’s how to get it done.