Witnessing verbal abuse of someone you know or love can be a difficult situation to process. Watching a friend or family member face abuse can create feelings of fear or anger in yourself while the victim is oblivious or minimizes the abuse. So what can you do if you see the mistreatment of one of your loved ones?
Verbal Abuse in Relationships
You do not have to be in an abusive relationship to experience verbal abuse. There can be many situations where an individual is subjected to verbal abuse from strangers. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you think. These random incidents are not okay, but it can be hard to deal with them when they come up. It can be in the form of personal insults, name-calling, or other belittling comments.
When you face the onslaughts of verbal abuse, it can be hard to find your voice amid the chaos and stress. It can be especially complex when it happens in gatherings of family members. Verbal abuse in family situations can make many people feel awkward and unsure how to deal with the abuser and the victim.
For some victims of verbal abuse, like myself, speaking out helps the healing process. Telling your story of verbal abuse is not only therapeutic, but it can give you back your power. Finding your voice can be a vital aspect of moving forward. Unfortunately, not everyone is receptive to hearing your story; and some individuals may go so far as to try and silence you with victim shaming when you talk about the verbal abuse.
When you are facing verbal abuse regularly, there may be a question of physical abuse following it. The term "abuse with bodily harm" has been coined, and while that is true, it is not always the case. In my experience, those who are verbally abusive may not be physically abusive, but there can be the threat of escalation.
Verbal abuse happens within many dynamics, even if it is not talked about regularly. One specific area of verbal abuse that is not often readily apparent involves men who suffer verbal abuse. However, just because there might not be a lot of pertinent case numbers or stories in the news about this does not mean this issue doesn't exist. For many men, dealing with verbal abuse is a common, problematic reality in their lives.
Verbal abuse in friendships happens more than we think. After all, friends are not the first people that come to mind when you think of verbal abuse. If you are facing any signs of verbal abuse from a close friend, you are not alone.
Verbal abuse in work relationships happens regularly. After all, haven't you heard the cliche that employees leave bosses, not jobs? In many situations, this is quite true, especially when the person you report to is verbally abusive in the workplace. Unfortunately, I was the victim of verbal abuse at work on more than one occasion. Thankfully, I was able to pick up the pieces of my shattered ego and leave for a better career path.
For some individuals like myself, the introduction of verbal abuse begins growing up at home. Many times, parents can be a child's first experience with demeaning comments, insults, or even regular bullying.
I’m Cheryl Wozny and I am excited to join the team at HealthyPlace on the "Verbal Abuse in Relationships" blog. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to share with you my background experiences along with all of the tools I have gained through years of therapy and self-exploration.