How to deal with verbal abuse

How to deal with verbal abuse
verb abuse heading

You’ve probably heard the phrase “verbal abuse” before, but you may not be sure what it means. It’s important to know that verbal abuse is a form of bullying and it can be just as damaging as physical or emotional abuse.

It can take many different forms, including name-calling, blaming, threatening and making fun of someone in front of others. Verbal abuse can make you feel worthless and powerless—even if you’re a strong person who knows better than to let cruel words get to you. Like other forms of bullying, verbal abuse can cause lasting damage if left unchecked for too long.

The good news is that there are things you can do to stop verbal abuse from controlling your life or affecting your self-esteem in negative ways. These include learning how to handle criticism professionally without getting angry at those who criticize us unfairly; developing strategies for dealing with people who are verbally abusive towards us (whether they’re coworkers or family members); learning effective ways for coping with stress—and finding healthy outlets for releasing anger rather than bottling it up inside ourselves until we explode!

Don’t get furious

How to deal with verbal abuse

  • Don’t get furious. You may feel like it’s easy to respond with anger or harsh words of your own, but this will only escalate the situation and make matters worse.
  • Don’t respond with physical violence. The last thing you want to do is retaliate against someone who is physically harming you, whether through hitting or pushing or any other physical behaviour. Once someone has crossed this line, it’s time for an immediate call to law enforcement (911), medical attention (if needed), and if possible, legal action against your abuser.
  • Do not respond at all if possible. If you can avoid responding at all—whether verbally or otherwise—that’s always best!

Remain Calm If Possible

How to deal with verbal abuse

  • Remain calm if possible. The person who is dishing out the verbal abuse may not even realize they’re doing it, so just remaining calm and rational can help defuse the situation.
  • Take a step back from the situation. Sometimes, we get so caught up in what’s going on that we don’t realize how hurtful it can be to hear someone speak badly about ourselves or our work. It’s okay to take a moment for yourself so you can remove yourself from the situation for a bit and gather your thoughts before responding appropriately.

do not bring yourself down

How to deal with verbal abuse

  • Don’t try to change yourself.
  • Do not let the abuser tell you that it is your fault.
  • Don’t blame yourself or be hard on yourself.
  • Don’t take criticism personally and be afraid to get help if necessary, even if it feels shameful at first.
  • Don’t let abuse go on for too long; seek support from friends or family members as soon as possible if abuse occurs frequently in your relationship

Refusing to engage

How to deal with verbal abuse

  • Refusing to engage. The simplest and most basic way to deal with verbal abuse is by not engaging in it. When someone tries to pick a fight, or is just verbally attacking you for no reason, don’t take the bait! Keep your cool, stay calm, and don’t respond—whether that means listening silently or simply walking away from the situation.
  • Not showing emotions. Most of us can’t help but get upset when our feelings are hurt by another person’s words; after all, we’re human beings! But one thing that makes verbal abuse so damaging is how much it hurts our self-esteem and sense of worth as people. So rather than letting those negative feelings fester inside of you (and possibly contribute even more damage), try focusing on something else instead—like an activity you enjoy doing alone or time spent with friends who make you feel good about yourself—until those negative thoughts go away naturally on their own accord.
  • Not worrying about what others think or say about me/you/us/them/etcetera because they do not matter at all when compared against my own personal happiness and mental health.”

Set Firm Boundaries

How to deal with verbal abuse

The first step is to set firm boundaries for yourself. This means letting people know that your time and space are valuable, and that you will not allow others to waste them. In other words, you have the right to say no when someone asks you for something—whether it’s money or help with a project—and people need to respect this. If they don’t, then they’re being verbally abusive by making demands on your time while devaluing and disrespecting it.

Set boundaries with loved ones as well as strangers: if someone yells at you or makes demands without respecting your own needs, tell them firmly but politely that what they’re asking isn’t okay with you and why (for example: “I can’t be there right now because I’m busy” or “I don’t think it’s appropriate for people who aren’t on our team”). They might get upset at first; if so, repeat what you said calmly until they stop yelling back at you

Walk Away

How to deal with verbal abuse

You should consider walking away from an abuser if you can. This is a difficult step to take, but it may be the best way of protecting yourself and your loved ones until your partner is ready for help.

  • Don’t try to reason with them. An abusive person wants power and control over others, not empathy or understanding. Knowing this will help you avoid feeling guilty about walking away from them when they’re being abusive.
  • Let them know how their behavior is affecting you. If they are verbally abusive toward others, let them know how their words affect others as well as yourself; they might just need some encouragement before they realize what they are doing wrong!

End the Relationship If Possible

How to deal with verbal abuse

If you can, try to end the relationship. If you’re in a relationship with someone who is verbally abusive, that may be difficult.

If the person is your partner or spouse, ending the relationship may not be up to you—but if it is possible for you to leave, consider doing so. If both of you are verbally abusing each other and aren’t happy in your relationship, it’s better for everyone involved if one person leaves instead of both staying and continuing an unhealthy pattern.

If ending the relationship isn’t an option right now (for example: if leaving would put you at risk), take steps to protect yourself from harm by setting firm boundaries on what behavior will not be tolerated from this person going forward. For example: “I will no longer tolerate being treated like this.”

Seek Help

How to deal with verbal abuse

If you are dealing with verbal abuse, it is important that you seek help. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help from your friends, family or a professional therapist. There are many ways of getting support:

  • Talk to your friends and family about what’s going on in your relationship. It can be hard to talk about something like this, but they might have some good ideas and ways they can help out.
  • Get some extra support from a professional therapist who has experience helping people deal with verbal abuse in relationships. Your doctor may be able to refer you to someone who specializes in therapy for victims of domestic violence or other forms of relationship abuse (although not all professionals who specialize in these issues will have training specifically focused on verbal abuse). You could also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-(800) 799-SAFE(7233), which provides free 24/7 crisis intervention services via phone or online chat; if there’s no local hotline available where you live then try calling them anyway—they may still provide valuable advice even if it isn’t immediately related to locating local resources specific to your needs! On top of everything else it offers as part of its mission statement “helping victims,” this organization also offers many different types

of counselling services ranging from individual counselling sessions all the way up through group therapy sessions held weekly over several months’ time span.”

Wrapping up

  • Talk to your friends or family about what’s happening.
  • Seek professional help from a therapist.
  • Talk to a support group for people who’ve been through similar experiences and are ready to help you cope with your situation.

Don’t be ashamed of seeking help—it can be difficult, but if you don’t get the help you need, it will only get worse!


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