Verbal abuse is the most common of all the abuses. In the early 90s I met an author, Pat Evans, who has written a series of seven books on verbally abusive relationships. She has sold more than 700,000 books.
That means there are nearly a million people who have been concerned enough about verbal abuse to buy her books. Hopefully, the majority of them have been able to do something about their reactions to verbal abuse and influenced those in a positive manner who were abusing them.
Verbal abuse is anything that makes you uncomfortable whether it is as overt as someone yelling at you or as subtle as someone being passive aggressive.
When someone you care about, whether it is your parents, siblings, teachers, friends or relatives speak in any manner which makes you uncomfortable, it is verbal abuse.
They might not think they are being abusive. They might think they are just talking loudly or trying to make a point. But it is truly abusive if it makes you uncomfortable.
Changing how someone talks to you requires work on your part. We can never expect someone else to change, unless we are willing to change. If we are willing to put up with the abuse, what would inspire the abuser to stop?
The fact is most abusers were abused themselves. It is a learned behavior and therefore it is one that can be changed. I don’t believe anyone wants to inflict pain on someone they love when they are conscious enough to understand what they are doing. Most often it begins as a defense mechanism and the more uncomfortable they are the more overt the verbal abuse becomes.
I once told my boyfriend that verbal abuse often hurts more than physical abuse because you can’t see the wound and it never heals.
It is more difficult to forgive repeated abuse and each incident causes more of a distance between the abuser and the one they are abusing.