From radio and TV to parents, educators and employers, society is filled with verbal and emotional abuse. As author Patricia Evans points out in her book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, the old adage about sticks and stones isn't always true. Just as physical abuse is wounding the to body, verbal abuse is deeply wounding to the soul. 21 Telltale Signs Your Husband Is Having An Affair
If you grew up in a verbally and/or emotionally abusive family, you might not realize when you are being abusive and when you are being abused. Behind verbal and emotional abuse is always a desire to control the other person — to have power over the other's feelings and actions.
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Verbal abuse can include:
- Being irritable, impatient and argumentative;
- Blaming anger, unpredictable anger, hostility, explosiveness, jealousy;
- Blaming the other for the abuser's behavior;
- Demanding, ordering; and/or
- Being critical and judgmental.
Verbal abuse is also emotionally abusive, but emotional abuse may not look verbally abusive. Often emotional abuse is more subtle and covert than overt verbal abuse.
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Emotional abuse can include:
- Lack of empathy;
- Withholding and withdrawing;
- Defining another with seeming kindness (ex: "Honey, You're just a bad driver.");
- Discounting another's feelings and opinions;
- Being nice to others but not to a partner;
- Being competitive;
- Acting like the victim; and/or
- Quick come-backs or joking put-downs.
It is vitally important for people at the other end of verbal or emotional abuse to understand that you do not cause an abuser to be abusive, and that there is no excuse or justification for any form of abuse.
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