Today I’m going to talk about coping with verbal abuse, how you can deal with it as it’s happening in an appropriate and calm way. This is something I have had to deal with daily for several years, it’s not always easy brushing it off, in fact sometimes it does get the better of me so this post is as much for me as it is you.
- Don’t engage with them. They are probably doing it to get a rise out of you, don’t respond and they will probably get bored, if you engage with them it will likely get worse and agitate you much more.
- Smile and walk away. If possible just force a smile a leave the room/area, no you shouldn’t have to leave but it’s better that way rather than receiving an onslaught of verbal warfare.
- Don’t stoop to their level. It won’t make you feel better, at least not for very long and as I said before, it will agitate the situation more. They are in the wrong and if there are witnesses then they’ve only hurt themselves really.
- Write about it. Or draw, whatever helps you process creatively. It’s totally fine to be upset, angry or confused when someone’s verbally abusive, it’s natural even. It’s important that you process those feelings in a healthy way, for example; I always feel much better after writing about it when it happens to me, whether that’s in a private journal or online blog. Find your emotional processor and use it when the verbal assault occurs.
- Tell someone. Don’t be embarrassed or scared to tell someone, everyone needs support sometimes, especially when dealing with any kind of abuse. Whether it’s your friend, colleague, parent or even a stranger online, make sure you can talk someone about what’s going on and maybe get some help in stopping it.
In the event that the abuse becomes more than just words, becoming violent or aggressive in nature, you must tell someone who can help – an authority figure of some kind. It doesn’t matter if you’re a little girl, boy or fully grown adult, abuse happens to anyone and everyone in some way shape or form, there are plenty of people and organisations that will not judge you or discriminate you.
Below I’m going to list some of the signs of abuse – verbal and emotional, If you are experiencing more than 1 or 2 things on the list then you should talk to someone and talk through the behaviour with them so that something can be done if necessary.
- Humiliating or embarrassing you. Whether that’s in private or in public.
- Guilt tripping.
- Threatening suicide as a response to leaving them.
- Using money or status to control or dominate.
- Possessive behaviour.
- Withdrawal of affection and over the top affection.
- Extreme moodiness. Often having to ‘walk on eggshells’ around them out of fear.
- Placing all the blame on your shoulders. Even if it has nothing to do with you.
- Undermining you publicly.
- Using excuses to treat you badly.
- Conveniently forgetting about previous arguments or abusive behaviour.
There are many different signs of abuse, they can appear quickly and be obvious but they can also sneak into the relationship and go unnoticed for some time, often until someone outside points out the behaviour. These signs apply to different types of relationships, whether it’s your romantic partner, brother, sister, parent or peer.. Anyone can be affected.
Abusers are master manipulators and will try to make you believe it is your fault they are treating you this way, that you deserve it or they are trying to help you. None of that is the case and you shouldn’t ever believe them.
If you believe you are in some kind of abusive relationship then leave, seriously. Don’t try and fix it, break it off and cut the toxicity out of your life. It will be hard and painful but it’s important that you are in healthy relationships, with people that make you happy and nurture you as a person.
Don’t let it get worse. Please.
I hope this has helped you or someone you know in need. If you need more advice and support on the issue then contact your local advice centre or abuse helpline, you can find these online by searching your town or cities name with the words ‘domestic abuse hotline’ or ‘domestic abuse help and advice’.
The Echo. x