10 Common Patterns Of Verbal Abuse To Watch Out For

8. Withholding

Sometimes refusing to talk can also be a form of verbal abuse too. They will give you the silent treatment, refuse to receive your calls, refuse to look at you or even sit in the same room. This is called withholding and is used to make you put an effort to get your partner’s attention. You will be completely ignored for no apparent reason.


  • You want to watch a romantic movie, but your partner only wants to see the new action thriller. When you disagree, they will refuse to go and leave the house. They won’t talk to you until you make amends.

9. Gaslighting

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One of the most familiar patterns of verbal abuse, gaslighting is a manipulative and discreet strategy that is employed systematically. It will make you question your own thoughts and emotions. You will be compelled to apologize for mistakes that you didn’t even commit. You will feel isolated and become highly dependent on your abusive partner.


  • “Are you crazy? When did that happen? You’re imagining things.”
  • “Do you have to be so sensitive to everything all the time?”

10. Circular Arguments

Your abusive partner will keep arguing with you about the same issues and the arguments will go around in circles without reaching a meaningful conclusion. You will end up feeling tired and exhausted. You will wonder what issues to avoid when talking to your abuser just to escape another episode of the same argument over and over again.


  • Your partner keeps talking about getting married, even though you told them you are not ready.
  • Every time you are late for work, your ability to be responsible and discipline is questioned.


What can you do?

No. There is no one-size-fits-all answer here. Just follow your instincts, if you are unsure about whether you are being verbally abused or not. These patterns mentioned above will help you identify verbal abuse. But you will need to decide how you will cope with it.

As this is a very personal issue,it will require a personalized solution. If you are keen on reasoning with your abusive partner, then it won’t work. They will only find faults in your reasons and will lead to more arguments. You cannot control how they will behave and you are not responsible for it either.

  • Start by creating boundaries to protect yourself.
  • Do not engage in unnecessary arguments. Simply stop responding to abuse.
  • Stop interacting with them as much as possible. Avoid them whenever you need to.
  • Finally, when you feel like it, leave. Break it up and cut all contacts with them when you are ready.
  • You can also join a support group or speak with a counselor for some other perspective on your situation.

It may take some time for you to get yourself out of an abusive relationship. Once you start the healing process, make sure you are surrounded by caring and supportive family members & friends. But most of all, have a positive outlook on life and have the strength to move forward and create a better life for yourself.

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Theo Harrison
Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.