6 Signs of Verbal Abuse: Are You a Victim?

· October 24, 2017
Verbal abuse doesn't leave visible signs, but it is just as cruel as physical abuse. Learn about the signs of verbal abuse in this article.

 Words are incredibly powerful. They can lift you up or destroy you, calm you or hurt you. A lot of people forget this. Unfortunately, living with it can cause conflict.

Verbal abuse is a sub-product of conflict, and woman are typically the main victims. The object of verbal abuse is to harm using words, not physical abuse.

Once these words affect thoughts and beliefs, it’s very difficult to identify that you’re a victim of verbal abuse. That’s why we’d like to talk about principal signs that indicate you are indeed suffering from this type of abuse.

Signs of Verbal Abuse

1. It isn’t just about yelling

It’s common to think that to be a victim of verbal abuse, your partner must always be yelling at you. In reality, it’s about a series of behaviors. These behaviors manipulate the victim into doubting their own beliefs, their own memory or sanity.

The aggressor can use threats such as hurting you or a loved one, but it doesn’t always happen. Not acting aggressively doesn’t mean abuse isn’t taking place.

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Even more so, the aggressor can act in an extremely loving way, with which the impact caused can be intensified. The person who suffers the abuse will always have fear the moment the other loses their temper.

2. Your partner makes painful comparisons, blames you for everything and is possessively jealous

couple fighting verbal abuse

A partner who verbally abuses you will constantly be comparing you. Whether it be comparing you with your more beautiful friend or with their own closest friends,  they will always say there is someone better than you.

on some occasions, they’ll do it very subtly. For example, they may point out a celebrity as an example. However, the main characteristic is that you will feel inferior.

They will also blame you for anything, including if it’s something you can’t control. Your partner will criticize your work, your salary, your way of dressing even your body type. You will be simply and constantly reminded of your defects with great exaggeration.

In addition, your partner will always have something negative to say about your friends, especially if they are the opposite sex. They hate that you receive phone calls from any colleague and they despise that you have a social life.

3. You don’t know when you’ve been an object of insults

Everyone thinks it’s easy to know how to recognize when your a victim of verbal abuse. However, the reality is people who suffered this abuse in their childhood don’t acknowledge being a victim again when it happens later in life.

In addition, the abuser may practice this conduct as a prank or joke with which they make you feel bad. It can be a derogatory comment accompanied with a big smile, yet it’s really an attack to your competencies, abilities and values.

It doesn’t matter if on the outside they seem very sweet, what you should ask yourself is how do those “innocent” comments make you feel.

4. You are turning into the abuser of another…

balance of powers verbal abuse


You can continue being a victim, turn into an abuser or both. Basically, the pattern of abuse is hard to break. Unless you recognize that there’s a serious problem and look for help, it’ll be almost impossible to change these series of behaviors.

To be brought up in an environment where the parents aren’t capable of controlling their emotions can be detrimental. For instance, that child may in turn become someone verbally aggressive due to not knowing how to deal with their emotions.

On the other hand, if you accomplished to end relationship in which you suffered verbal abuse, the probability that you’ll abuse your next partner are high.

5. How do you feel?

It’s important that in each level that your relationship advances you ask yourself the following question: “How do I feel?”

This will help you understand if your partner makes you truly happy and encourages you to feel confident about yourself. If you’re suffering verbal abuse, your self-esteem is the first to start collapsing.

The longer you suffer these sort of comments, the easier it will be to start believing the insults and criticism. You can start asking yourself why you feel  afraid or are always sad or nervous in the presence of you partner or when you know you’ll be seeing them..

Read more: 5 Steps to Detect and Defeat Low Self-Esteem

6. Dealing with Verbal Abuse

verbal abuse

It’s a fact that we all have defects and problems. In addition, the discussions and clashing opinions are very common in a relationship.

What isn’t normal and should never be allowed is for that person to:

  • Make you feel inferior. Of course, there are situations and people that are above you, but you should never lose out of sight the difference between humility and negative comments.
  • Cause negative emotions like sadness or depression. If you feel bad all the time and seeing your partner generates more negative emotions than positive ones, it is important that you learn to establish distance.

If you believe that you are a victim of verbal abuse, even if its just a little, it’s important not to ignore the signs. Our recommendation is to seek specialized help such as from a therapist or psychologist.