For some time now, our understanding of what violence is has shifted from the rigidity of the past to include many behaviors that are not based on physical aggression. Insults and verbal assaults in general, for example, are also considered types of violence. In fact, they are among the most common.
This is why it is very important to ask ourselves if we know how to deal with interactions with verbal abusers, Those people who systematically and sometimes almost unconsciously use words to undermine the sense of the dignity of others.
What are verbal abusers like?
There is no demographic or socio-economic profile of verbal abusers, but certain styles of behavior define them. For example, a low resistance to frustration and impulsiveness, Which makes them, among other things, bad after reasoning in a debate or discussion.
Emotions related to anger or contempt take the reins of the type of speech they use to explain their point of view, so the only aspect of the content of their message that they care about is what matters most to them. of little value to the person to whom they are addressed. their verbal assaults.
too much they are relatively incompetent at understanding arguments others; if they feel bad, they act like they haven’t heard them. Not because they are not smart, but because of their strong emotional involvement in discussions, however minimal. In addition, they try to make the other accomplices in the disqualifications, mixing them with humor to ridicule the other.
Verbal abusers are very numerous, as the use of insults and derogatory labels is relatively permitted in many contexts.
Symbolic and emotional disqualifications
Another aspect of verbal aggression is that it has even more indirect and subtle allies. They correspond to symbolic and emotional attacks, which although they are non-verbal, they work through code which conveys ideas and can therefore cause harm or discomfort.
Recognizing cases of symbolic nonverbal disqualifications can be a challenge in some cases, as the scope of the interpretation is wider, but in any case it should be clear that this is not something that can be admitted.
Any attack on us that does not happen physically, but through symbols and words, it has an effect on us; even though no matter or energy is seen flowing in our direction as if we were being kicked, that does not mean that insults and bad words are less real. Part of assertiveness is ensuring her own dignity, and if verbal abusers compromise her, she needs to be confronted … but not in any way.
How to turn off a verbal abuser
When someone uses a term used to disqualify (either an insult or a word used to belittle our opinion, such as “little” or “toddler”) and we understand that is an unusual tone It is important to send the message that this particular behavior has clear consequences from this very moment.
Therefore, instead of worrying about refuting the content and arguments used by the other, we should draw attention to verbal aggression and do not allow the dialogue to continue to flow until the other person recognizes their mistake and apologizes. As important as the other’s argument may seem, it should be ignored until an apology is obtained.
This blockage of the conversation arises as an incident for which the responsibility is on the other to violate the rules of good communication. This way you are forced to choose between an option that this will cause him to relinquish much of his position of fictitious superiority or one in which he shows his inability to maintain a dialogue without incurring a very basic fault against which young children are educated.
In case of recurrence
When verbal abusers get disqualified over and over again, we have to keep our reaction the same; the dialogue is stopped as many times as necessary focus all of your attention on verbal aggression.
When the apologies don’t come
In the case where the verbal abuser refuses to admit his mistake and does not apologize, it is more effective to make him pay for it as well. How? ‘Or’ What? Continuing to the end the logic of blocking the communication that we had followed until now: physically leave this place. This action will be an explicit and visible manifestation by all the failures of the communication attempts of the verbal aggressor.
If we stay put but refuse to speak to that person, the impact of this measure is less because it goes unnoticed until we are challenged to say something.
- Evans, P. (2009). The verbally abusive relationship. Adams Media