The Connection Between Verbal Abuse And Anxiety that no one talks about

Studies link verbal abuse, alongside other psychological and emotional abuse with anxiety and other mental health issues. 

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words they’ll destroy me.  – Cassandra Giovanni

You might be in a toxic relationship where your partner has been verbally abusing you for a long time and you have simply shrugged it off or worse still you weren’t even aware of it as abuse.

Does your partner tell you things that you find humiliating? 

Does your parent yell at you for trivial matters? 

Does every conversation with your partner leave you feeling worthless?

Do your friends call you names? 

Is your partner often too critical about you? 

Verbal abuse, among other forms of abuse, like sexual abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse, is quite difficult to discern. The reason being it’s subtlety. 

Many instances of verbal abuse are nonchalantly avoided because reacting to verbal abuse seems too far fetched to people. We rationalize verbal abuse like “It’s natural to have word fights then and now in a relationship.” Verbal abuse from parents is often encouraged, like “Yelling and screaming at children is a necessary means to discipline them.” Name-calling among friends is most often an example of fun and playfulness. But what we fail to notice is that we are indirectly perpetuating verbal abuse.

Verbal abuse: When words can kill. 

verbal abuse

Verbal abuse is a form of interpersonal violence. It is a specific type of psychological abuse. It is prevalent in various types of interpersonal relationships – say between children and parents, between romantic partners, between co-workers, between married couples or between other fellow human beings. 

Verbal abuse is the use of derogatory or negative language as a means to humiliate, belittle, criticize and demean a person. Verbal abuse is always meant to manipulate, threaten, harass, embarrass, insult and exercise control on the victim. 

It triggers anguish, distress, pain, and feelings of worthlessness in the person to whom it is directed. 

The tendency to abuse someone verbally mostly stems out of passive aggression that a person has been suppressing for long. There is a sense of relief, a subtle sadistic pleasure that an abuser draws out of putting other people in a miserable state of feeling. Often a verbal abuser will laugh at dark jokes they throw at you, even when it has visibly hurt you. 

Therefore, it’s not always mandatory for verbal abuse to be overt, direct, loaded with active aggression. It can also be insidious, masked and expressed with feigned concern which makes it difficult to be identified. 

“You must take care of the blob of fat growing on your stomach. Just making a suggestion, you see. Staying fit helps.” This statement, for example, sound innocent on the surface but has underlying aggression to it. The first line was clearly meant to downgrade you. It was not meant to display concern for you.

A verbal abuser uses varied and multifaceted tactics to inflict the hardest blow on the victim. Sometimes they will use these techniques with the combination of other lethal techniques to completely destroy the victim. 

Mentioned here are 9 common patterns of verbal abuse used to manipulate their victims: 

1. Demeaning comments 

verbal abuse 2

Demeaning comments are specifically meant to attack your race, gender, background, community, lifestyle, personality, etc. It could be any statement meant to make you feel insufficient, insignificant or worthless about yourself. 

For example: You are such a pussy.” “Are all women cry babies, like you?”


2. Criticism

Criticisms, when healthy are welcomed from time to time. They help you in self- improvement.
But when these criticisms get consistently irrelevant and gradually lowers your self-esteem, it is no more healthy.

For example: “Are you sure you will be able to do this project? Given how naive you are, I don’t think you can.”


3. Threats

Threats seem to be easy to identify. But they will often be disguised in such a manner that you will question your own accountability. “Was I really not at fault?” or think “I deserve that.”

Threats can be personal, professional or otherwise and is always a consequence of failure to put up with the demands of the abuser. It is directly meant to induce fear in the victim.

Transforming Criticism into Wishes: A Recipe for Successful Conflict

Transforming Criticism into Wishes A Recipe for Successful Conflict

Are you irked by criticism? Learn how to triumph over criticisms and transform them into your desired wishes.

In the heat of an argument, it’s far easier to say what we don’t want than what we do.

Stan Tatkin, the founder of the psychobiological approach to couple therapy, proposes that people are better built for war than love. Sometimes it seems that way.

We say, “Stop being so sad,” instead of, “I wish you would tell me what’s making you sad.”

Or, “You’re always neglecting me!” instead of, “I feel really lonely and need your attention.”

The problem with expressing needs in a negative way is it comes off like criticism.

Despite what some people say, there is no such thing as constructive criticism. Criticism triggers a person to become defensive and protect themselves from an attack, which blocks the resolution of a conflict.

It doesn’t matter how much trust and intimacy there is in a relationship, it’s still nearly impossible for someone to listen to a personal attack without becoming defensive. This is true even for very happy couples.

As witnessed in Dr. Gottman’s Love Lab, on the rare occasion that one happily coupled partner began a complaint with criticism, the other partner became defensive.

For conflict conversations to succeed, you must state your feelings as neutrally as possible and transform any complaint about your partner into a positive need.

Doing this for your partner is the equivalent of creating an instructional guide to winning and keeping your heart.

It is important to note that the negative emotions that lead us to blame or criticize are often signposts of what we value most.

Think of a negative emotion as a clue to your hidden wish. When you express that hidden desire directly, you’re more likely to make that wish come true.

For example, hidden underneath anger may be feelings of loneliness. When you become aware of that loneliness, you can ask your partner for the things you need to feel more connected.

In the weekly State of the Union meeting, Dr. Gottman has discovered that partners need to ATTUNE to each other before problem solving.

After witnessing thousands of couples fighting, he discovered that the Masters of relationships did one powerful thing: they transformed their criticisms into wishes.

This is the second “T” in Dr. Gottman’s ATTUNE conflict resolution model for couples.


The courageousness of wishes

Blaming our partner or hiding our feelings by criticizing is easy. Speaking our feelings and fears requires a willingness to be vulnerable.

Often this vulnerability is mistaken as a sign of weakness, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Vulnerability is courageous.

It’s a willingness to drop your shield and expose the unguarded underbelly of your fears, doubts, and insecurities.

Because of this discomfort, many of us avoid being truly vulnerable with our partners. I know I have done this in the past and sometimes still do.

But as I have come to learn, owning my fears and insecurities and then naming them in my relationships is actually a strength.

As Brené Brown puts it, “Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage.” It also determines the depth of the emotional connection in our relationship.

Often with couples I work with, there are barriers to being vulnerable with their partners.

For example, Kris and Christina found it really difficult to focus on the wishes behind their criticism. They were fighting over when to have a child.

Christina was ready to make the leap into parenthood, but Kris was not sure it was the right time.

Christina would get angry and leave the room when they would have a fight. This hit Kris’s raw spot and pissed him off.

In their State of the Union conversation, all he wanted to say was, “You are such a baby. You interrupt me and then walk out of the room, which makes me feel like the bad guy. No wonder I don’t want to have a baby!”

But by owning his feelings and taking notes during their conflict conversation, he was able to turn his criticism into a wish:

“I want to be able to speak with you about how I feel about having a baby right now without you leaving the room or getting upset with me before I’m done talking.”

When Christina had the floor she also made adjustments. Instead of saying, “You’re out of control. Whenever we disagree, you turn into a bully.

4 Negative Behaviors That May Be Making You Sick

Many health experts won’t tell you that married couples can actually prevent the common cold and seasonal flu by reducing the negative behaviors in their marriage.

During the winter months when runny noses, coughs, and fevers are all too common, we’re reminded to wash our hands, avoid contact with sick people, and get a flu shot. Another preventative measure you can take is to increase your positive behaviors toward your spouse.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, who studied married couples’ antibody response to an influenza vaccine, found that people in satisfying marriages had stronger immunity to flu viruses. Researcher Greta Hysi at the University of Tirana in Albania reviewed 40 studies on the effects of marriage on health. She found that higher levels of negativity which contribute to marital dissatisfaction also directly impact a couple’s physical health.

Hysi’s research also included a review of Dr. Gottman’s Love Lab studies, which found higher white blood cell counts in couples that were happily married. This finding is similar to that of Drs. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser and and Ronald Glaser at Ohio State University, who found natural killer cells are more effective in fighting off disease in happily married couples.

Finally, researchers Lois Verbrugge and James House of the University of Michigan found an unhappy marriage can increase your chances of getting sick by 35% and even shorten your life by an average of four to eight years!

According to Dr. Gottman, “working briefly on your marriage every day will do more for your health and longevity than working out at a health club.”

The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse

When negative behaviors are allowed to run loose in a marriage, they put both the emotional and physical health of the couple at risk.

Dr. Gottman calls the four most dangerous behaviors in a relationship the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” The term is adopted from the Book of Revelation in the New Testament of the Bible where a prophecy reveals the horsemen as signs leading to the end of the world.

1. Criticism

It happens daily. Dave and Lisa are caught in cycle of criticism, which is aimed at a person’s character instead of their behavior. It is most often packaged in “you always” or “you never” statements.

Lisa bought Dave a new watch for his birthday. She thought he’d like it. He didn’t.

“I don’t need a watch,” he said. “I use my phone to check the time.”
“You need to check your phone more often. You’re always late to everything. I thought the watch would help.”

“I don’t like watches. I haven’t worn a watch in years. Where have you been? I always have to spell things out for you.”

Dave and Lisa would welcome an occasional critique or complaint from each other instead of constant criticism. This pattern of finding fault causes the victim to feel hurt, rejected, or attacked. They’ve made a habit of calling out each other’s mistakes. In some relationships only one partner engages in criticism. Whether it’s one or both, this negative focus on each other’s flaws and failures paves the way for much darker horsemen.


2. Contempt

Jordyn is mean. When she speaks to Rafael, it’s often with disrespect and ridicule.

“You want me to make you dinner? You are so lazy. You expect me to feed you and clean up after you. You come home and turn on the TV and don’t even acknowledge me. You can pick up after yourself.”

Contempt can also be expressed by body language such as eye-rolling.

Contempt is cultivated by long-standing negative thoughts about one’s partner. Frequent criticism serves as evidence that contempt may soon rear its ugly head. The contemptuous spouse feels superior to their partner and openly expresses it in words and actions that leave their spouse feeling despised and worthless.


3. Defensiveness

Austin and Chris blame each other for most of their problems.

Austin: “We got a late notice on our phone bill. You forgot to pay it again.”

Chris: “I didn’t get the statement. You didn’t put it with the bills.”

Austin: “You know we get a monthly phone bill. If you didn’t see it, you need to look for it. I put it on the desk!”

Live And Let Be!

When you are fulfilled… when you are confident… when you love yourself and when you have faith…

The world becomes seamless, time is no longer a measure… only what you feel and know in your guts is all there is for you to make the decisions you make. Only what you see within you is evident enough for your choices even if it all falls apart or brings you down, you would still accept it and embrace it as the steps on the pathway into solace!

When you grow consciously heartfelt and become controversially connected with your deepest desires, when you chose to express and never oppress, when you stay quiet and marvel, when you sigh out loud silently and when you are patiently hurried… you are whole! Affirmations and attention no longer alluring nor feed your ego, they are fairly disturbing for your inner essence of peace. They interfere with you being and contradict with what you know is the truth. They shake your well earned confidence and defy your identity and mischievously intend to hustle you into needing people around and having to please those people who will in turn keep feeding your ego with affirmation and attention and distract you for staying whole with your soul. You start looping in the vacuum of others who do not even acknowledge you are here! You forget that your strength is from within you and for you.

Nothing empowers you better than consciously displaying your vulnerability, admitting your drowsiness and embracing your faultiness… it is by far the utmost practice which blatantly grows muscles in your guts, cultivates your gumption and brashly enlightens your intuition… it engenders so much of you around you that you are no longer forsaken… no one will be able to ever again bring you to fight! For you fighting is awfully futile! It is absurdly too small for your ability live and let be…




You have your way. I have my way – Mind Talk

[su_quote]You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. – ― Friedrich Nietzsche[/su_quote]

I completely agree with Friedrich Nietzsche, what he said is the truth. Most of us spend so much of our time trying to convince the other person that our way is the right way when it is just our way.

We all move through life looking through our own lens. In fact it is said that we don’t see the world the way it is. We see it the way we are, individually. So if we see the world only from our own perspective, then how can we practice tolerance of people who often don’t resemble anything familiar to our own set of understandings or beliefs? By not judging.

Judgment is simply intolerance of the way something or someone appears. It is putting our own set of values and conditions upon another. And when we do that we judge ourselves at the same time. When you judge someone, you are saying that they don’t look or behave exactly like the way you have been conditioned to believe they should.

Before being critical of someone or something, pause and remind yourself that . when you judge others, you judge yourself. There are many ways in this world. There is a way that works for you and respect the ways of others.

–  PennyTung


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Sometimes we let someone else’s words take over our lives

Sometimes we let someone else's words take over our lives

Sometimes we let someone else’s words take over our lives. If someone tells us our shirt is ugly, some of us would never wear it again. If someone tells us our teeth are
crooked. some of us would never smile fully again.If someone tell us the way we spoke was weird, some of us would never speak again. We’d change and we’d hide to please them.because we want to fit in. But fitting in is cliche and
overrated. Be who you truly are,beeanse that is originality.
And originally will always work for you.

Never let judgmental words sink into you.
Be comfortable in your own skin , with who you are. 
People will say, let them say 🙂