Verbal abuse comes in many different forms and one that is often the easiest to spot is an abuser’s insults or put-downs. My ex-boyfriend did not hold back, issuing demeaning comments or labels meant to attack specific things about me, my life, or the people in it so that I would feel bad about myself and change my behavior in some way. His words were direct hits either on things I liked about myself or on things I was insecure about. Either way, however, he used his knowledge about me gained through the closeness to me earned early in the relationship to try to hurt me.
Read more on my HealthyPlace bi-weekly blog here: Three Methods Verbal Abusers Use to Insult You
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Your article is excellent in defining the various methods verbal abusers use and I look forward to reading more as you examine each one. The first two are the most common in my life with the sudden explosive rages bringing on a blistering attack of putdowns. The second one is usually used to negate or diminish my love, excitement or interest in some topic, event that he knows nothing about or doesn’t interest him or it may be a subtle jab at my family or my friends or even people I talk about who he doesn’t even know. The last method has occurred when he’s been drinking and one of the most recent ones was at the end of an argument when he said I’d be nothing without him. After more thought about this, I realized I am nothing “with” him, because a truly loving and kind person would not say something like this and he sees me as nothing to say this. This has seemed to break the spell and break the chain of my attachment to him. You’re a fantastic writer. Keep those articles coming, please.
Kristen mine does everything you just mentioned!!! He also puts down everything i like…music, movies, shows, books….you name it!!!! He also is very passive aggressive which is a hallmark N trait. He will pass down put-downs e.g. “People” who like…..”People” who do……Are *****, ****** fill in the blanks with the most cruel condescending things you can think of!!!!
Hi Tracylynn: I can relate to so much of what you wrote here. My thought is that when they use these kinds of putdowns that what they are doing is projecting their own self-loathing onto others by channeling it through these things they see that they can use to try to bring others to their level. I hope you are able to see through it to the truth. Stay strong! -Kristen