Perhaps relationships are characterized by being based on an intimate bond between two people, but that doesn’t mean that there is no room for ambiguity in them. This can be clearly reflected when conflicts arise: often dissatisfaction is not expressed directly, but in a passive-aggressive manner, hardly giving any information that can identify what is going on.
But upheavals in a relationship aren’t the only type of negative situations that can be expressed in disguise. Where there is verbal abuse, it can also be so subtle that once transformed into a habit, it is difficult to recognize as such. In other words, they often come to normalize situations of psychological violence. Below we will see exactly how this can happen. this type of verbal aggression that is difficult to recognize.
How do you recognize the types of verbal aggression in the relationship?
Below, we’ll take a look at the main types of verbal aggression in a relationship context and how to identify them.
Knowing how to detect each of them is important, because it makes it possible to detect situations which should not be tolerated and which in the long run can create a relational dynamic characterized by the domination of one person over another.
1. Tease about the other person’s family background
Sometimes a person’s background can be used to try to hurt them, especially if they come from a humble background or associated with the countryside. Thus, small mentions of the fact that the other spent his childhood in a small town without an internet connection, for example, often this only makes sense in the context of an offense.
This kind of subtle verbal aggression aims to disqualify the other in a simple way and without having to argue anything; fundamentally, it is about creating a stigma that can be used at its convenience at the most opportune times, even in front of friends or family.
2. Draw attention to the attractiveness of others
Expressing directly that one feels an attraction to another person is, in many cases, another example of aggression which, while not always verbal, is psychological. Where is the limit on its eligibility? Easy: Unless it has been clearly established beforehand that this type of behavior is allowed, it is.
In fact, the primary purpose of this type of expression of feelings may be to undermine a couple’s self-esteem, because even though it may be attractive to another person, that doesn’t force them to express it openly. What one gets by giving these unwanted opinions is giving a clear message: “after all, you are not that special”.
3. Read the thoughts
This type of verbal aggression involves constantly relapsing into the Strawman error to make fun of the other person. For example, a caricatured version of the motivations of the other can be proposed, Of their ways of thinking and of their fundamental beliefs, not to explain something, but simply to ridicule and put themselves in a situation of power in the face of, for example, a decision that should be made together (for some reason, you are in a couple).
4. Emotional blackmail
Emotional blackmail is a type of subtle verbal aggression that goes beyond words. On the one hand, it serves to expose the idea that the other person is supposed to make special efforts to keep the relationship going, as if only one member of the couple has a duty to keep it together. On the other hand, introduce guilt in the other to use your behavior from their own remorse.
5. Gas lighting
Gaslighting involves deliberately lying so that the other person doubts their own mental abilities. Not only is the truth hidden under the lie, but it also puts the other in a situation of psychological distress, sometimes almost hypochondriac, just in order to be able to manipulate them. Therefore, in order to detect such situations, you have to work on self-esteem and build a realistic self-concept, In addition to having a third opinion.
6. Deliberately ignore
This type of verbal aggression is characterized precisely by selective verbality, that is, speaking only to say certain things, and being silent for the most part, without giving an explanation. In some ways, it can be considered a type of gas lighting, And it is a type of abuse because it does not even offer the possibility of understanding what causes the anger (real or false) of the one who makes it, which reduces all the constructive characteristics and leaves only the negative. .
7. Use the false dichotomy
The false dichotomy allows others to be placed away from the “correct” moral category simply because, on the basis of a totally biased criterion, it can be said to occupy an attitude or an opinion of people who are ethically inadmissible.
An extreme and almost cartoonish version of this would be trying to make the other person feel bad about their eating habits by pointing out that “Hitler was also a vegetarian.” While this is true, it’s something that doesn’t tell us anything about why being a vegetarian is wrong, it just roughly relates to a bit of what we want to ethically move away from. It is such a clumsy manipulation strategy that, in practice, this shows a clear lack of respect and willingness to manipulate.