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The 7 Types of ‘Quiet’ Verbal Abuse That Are Hard To Notice

types quiet verbal abuse hard to notice

3. Silent Treatment.

Silent treatment might not be seen as abuse, but it is indeed another form of emotional abuse. It absolutely is! Ignoring someone completely by hitting them with complete silence is not just an emotionally painful thing to go through, it can also make you doubt yourself and can wreak havoc on your self-esteem.

Ignoring someone and making someone feel as if they don’t matter is nothing short of emotional neglect and emotional indifference. Feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, and low confidence seeps in, and before you know it, you start blaming yourself for everything. You tell yourself that you deserve what’s happening to you, and the way they are treating you is exactly the way you should be treated.

You question yourself, berate yourself and constantly put yourself down, and you keep on punishing yourself like this till the time they come back and behave as if nothing happened. You feel grateful that they are back in your life, and ‘thank your stars’ that they chose to forgive you for your ‘mistakes’. On the other hand, they continue to exploit your lack of self-worth and confidence and make sure that you never believe in yourself ever again.

The 7 Types of 'Quiet' Verbal Abuse That Are Hard To Notice
The 7 Types of 'Quiet' Verbal Abuse That Are Hard To Notice

4. Criticising Everything You Do.

Positive criticism and constructive criticism are good things, as these can help you improve yourself and be better. But being overly critical is not the same thing. Criticizing someone about anything and everything never yields any good results, rather it can make them feel as if they can never do anything right. Endless and excessive criticism always does more harm than good in the long run.

Even though an abuser might say that they just want what’s good for you, criticizing you all the time only has one aim – degrade and humiliate you to the point that you start to lose confidence in yourself. This is one of the most potent forms of verbal abuse which slowly serrates your emotional peace and leaves you on edge all the time.

Because you’re so used to getting insulted and picked apart, you start believing their harsh words, and with time internalize all the horrible things they say to you and about you. You don’t just lose your confidence, you also lose your dignity and slowly drown in a spiral of guilt, shame, and unhealthy self-deprecation.

Related: Abuse Doesn’t Always Leave Bruises And Broken Bones: Why The Inner Damage Is Worse

5. Condescending And Sarcastic Attitude.

If your partner is always behaving haughtily with you and passes sardonic comments about you at the drop of a hat, then don’t take it lightly. Occasional sarcasm is fine, but if it becomes a regular affair where your partner is always mocking you and ridiculing you, then that’s a form of quiet verbal abuse.

When they start insulting you and putting you down in front of others in the name of ‘humor’, that’s unhealthy. If you’re the constant butt of jokes, then that’s a red flag and don’t take it lying down or think that they are simply ‘joking around’. Condescending attitude, constant sarcastic remarks, and ridicule don’t exist in normal, healthy relationships. So, if you are being subjected to this, see it for what it truly is: subtle verbal abuse.

6. Stonewalling.

Stonewalling might not seem like a big deal to the people who engage in it, but the person who is on the opposite side of it knows how horrible it feels.

Stonewalling means refusing to talk to another person, leaving the room, or deliberately ignoring them in the middle of an argument. It is one of the most toxic forms of subtle abuse, and one that can make you feel extremely annoyed, frustrated, and insulted.

Some of the indicators of stonewalling are as follows:

  • Deliberately changing the topic when they don’t want to deal with it.
  • Refusing to answer questions, even if they are logical and justified ones.
  • Ignoring the other person.
  • Behaving in a passive-aggressive manner.
  • Making ad hominem attacks to avoid talking about the actual problem.
  • Leaving the room in the middle of an argument.
  • Declining to accept the fact that they are stonewalling you, rather they will say something like, “I need a break!”.
  • Being indirectly dismissive by gesticulating and closing or rolling their eyes.

Stonewalling can have a major impact on a person’s psyche and is one of the most painful forms of emotional abuse and quiet verbal abuse.

It’s a way of manipulating you into giving up on what you believe in and ignoring your own feelings so that they can feel vindicated. When a person stonewalls you, always remember it’s more about them than you.

Related: Why Narcissists Use Stonewalling As a Nasty and Powerful Defence Mechanism

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Alexandra Hall

Hi there! I am someone who is trying to navigate through life, one day at a time. Writing is my passion and my job, and I am happiest when I am writing. I love reading comic books, watching drama movies, playing with my dogs and generally lazing around. An introvert by nature, you can find me in the farthest corner of the room in every party, playing with the dog and having my own party.View Author posts