I Use the Verbal Abuse I Suffered to Better My Relationships

December 16, 2021 Cheryl Wozny

Having healthy relationships is vital for individuals of all ages. Although, victims of verbal abuse may have a hard time finding someone to build a proper connection with. I know that because of the verbal abuse that consumed my past, my personal relationships were not always the best. After years of therapy, I believe my low self-esteem and decision-making skills contributed to the terrible relationship choices of who was in my life. 

3 Ideas for Using Your Experience with Verbal Abuse to Improve Relationships

1. Who You Surround Yourself with Matters 

There is a saying, you are what you eat, and while that is true, you are also a reflection of the people you surround yourself with each day. Unfortunately, the never-ending cycle of bad relationships is constant for many individuals, with them professing that they always attract the wrong person or cannot find anyone decent. As I look back on my life, this was my world for many years. 

I had a failed first marriage, which resulted in an even more disastrous low self-image and self-esteem issues. I was angry and bitter for many years, which created an environment around me that was not ideal. The dates I chose were men who carried the same abusive traits I was familiar with, or, when I found someone worthwhile, I was incredibly mean and angry. This behavior would only drive them away, reinforcing to myself that I was not worth having someone terrific in my life and good people will always leave me. 

After doing some personal growth and a lot of therapy, I can see now how self-centered or selfish people have no place in my life. When I spend time with someone who is self-absorbed in their world and has no considerations for others, I become agitated and do not want to spend time with them. Likewise, if someone I know is consistently negative and complains about everything when we hang out, I want to avoid them at all costs. 

2. Find Your People 

Thankfully, I did have a small, close-knit group of friends to talk to who were in similar situations. Eventually, we all moved on, slowly started healing, and many of us attended therapy regularly. Today, we talk about how our past choices altered our lives back then and how much better things are now for us. 

I am so happy that I can look around now and see who I want to have in my life and who I do not. So I seek out individuals who make me feel good just being in their presence and spending time together. I no longer feel so emotionally drained after visiting friends or family. 

When finding your people, it is critical to remember that quality is better than quantity. You will feel better and more fulfilled with three terrific friends than you would with a dozen acquaintances who are okay to hang out with, but there is no connection. 

3. Turn It Around

Humans are not meant to be solitary mammals. We thrive on personal connections and relationships. Although I have a past riddled with verbal abuse and bad life decisions, I have chosen to turn it around. Today, I prefer people that are good for me. They support my decisions. They encourage my dreams. They cheer me on or lift me up when I need it most. 

Thankfully, today's world is entirely different from my life 20 years ago. And even though it has taken me a long time to recover and slowly build up the kind of relationships that I should have always had, being a victim has helped guide me to this place. 

I know now what I do not want in my life. I can see the traits and behaviors that I want to stay away from, and when someone close to me says something that I do not like or agree with, I can have an honest, open conversation about it. I am slowly turning my life around and am pleased with my results. 

I hope that someday you can look back on your life and see how far you have come. I want you to look at your present and future with a smile and realize that you can build goodness and hope around you, even after coming through the darkness.  

APA Reference
Wozny, C. (2021, December 16). I Use the Verbal Abuse I Suffered to Better My Relationships, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Cheryl Wozny

Cheryl Wozny is a freelance writer and published author of several books, including mental health resources for children titled, Why Is My Mommy So Sad? and Why is My Daddy So Sick? Writing has become her way of healing and helping others. Find Cheryl on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and her blog

Lizanne Corbit
December, 21 2021 at 7:24 pm

Thank you for sharing this beautifully honest and open piece. I love "turn it around"! Who you surround yourself with goes hand in hand with finding your people and they are two things that can be so easy for us to overlook or minimize but they can be so powerful (for better or worse). This is a practice we should all be mindful of. It's amazing how it can elevate our whole lives when we do.

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