“Don’t be so lazy!!”
“What’s wrong with you?”
These types of phrases frequently come out of people’s mouths every day. So, is there really anything wrong with saying them? I mean, we have all said some of these things ourselves – or at the very least have had these thoughts.
But is it verbal abuse?
You might think it’s obvious if you’re being a victim of a verbally abusive relationship. It may be to some people, but others may not recognize it.
For example, if you grew up with parents who talked to you (and each other) respectfully, then you will probably be able to spot verbal abuse a mile away. I’m like that. I don’t even like if someone slightly raises their voice to me. I will politely call them out on it and ask them to calm down. However, if you grew up in a family where there was a lot of yelling, fighting and screaming, then you might not be able to recognize verbal abuse when you see it.
Why would that be? It’s because that pattern of communication is “normal” to you. It’s your comfort zone. It’s what you grew up with, so it’s all you know. But just because it’s familiar to you, that doesn’t make it right. Verbal abuse is NEVER justified in any situation.
Let’s start off by looking at some general characteristics of verbal abuse.
What is Verbal Abuse?
Verbal abuse can basically be described as any communication event that causes emotional damage to at least one person. If this pattern continues, it has the power to seriously damage the victim’s self-esteem and self-worth. They may even begin to believe that what the abuser says about them is true.