Verbal abuse, also known as emotional abuse, is a range of words or behaviors used to manipulate, intimidate, and maintain power and control over someone. These includes violence that isn’t directed specifically at people but is used to intimidate, like slamming doors, throwing things, destroying belongings, or harming pets.
These cancerous characteristics are just as serious as other forms of abuse and may damage self-worth and well-being. Every relationship is different, and signs of emotional and verbal abuse may not be obvious from the start of a relationship. Verbally abusive people often seem to be ideal partners, and behaviors may emerge slowly or begin suddenly.
Emotional and verbal abuse can come from partners, caregivers, coworkers, parents, and others. If it’s happening to you, it’s important to remember it’s not your fault.
Isolation and Control
Preventing you from visiting friends and family
Trying to stop you from going to work or school
Controlling who you spend time with
Monitoring your messages
Tracking your phone or car
Demanding passwords to your phone, email, or social media
Controlling your finances
Taking or hiding your keys and wallet
Controlling what you eat and wear
Stopping you from seeing a doctor
Humiliation, Threatening, and Intimidation
Belittling or humiliating you, especially in front of others
Name-calling or constantly criticizing
Threatening to leave you
Threatening to take your children or pets away from you
Threatening to harm your child
Breaking your belongings or throwing things
Driving erratically to scare you or force obedience
Gas-lighting is a type of manipulation that makes you question your sanity, judgments, and memory. You may begin to mistrust yourself and feel as if you’re losing your mind.
An abuser may:
Insist you said or did something you didn’t
Deny an event happened
Question your memory of facts and events
Pretend not to understand you or refuse to listen to you
Deny their earlier promises and statements
Create a Supportive Network
It may be difficult to share with someone about your experience, but having a trustworthy friend or therapist can be calming and helpful while dealing with verbal abuse. They might be able to help you make an exit plan.
Coach Sharon G