Verbal abuse is when harmful words are selfishly used to attack, threaten, bully, label or curse another person for the purpose of gaining power and control. On the other hand, love does not make someone afraid, controlled or manipulated. Although not an excuse, the person who uses malicious words may lack the skills to communicate feeling hurt or misunderstood. Each of us has been given the responsibility for the power of our words. If you are ever in a situation where you are being verbally battered, consider the following:
The saying is true, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” . . . unless name calling comes from a trusted loved one or we start to believe the words are true. It grieves me to hear how people work to build trusting, loving relationships but then tear it down in a moment of a heated argument. This can be like plowing a field, planting seeds, cultivating a crop but then burning it down with one match lit by destructive speech. Allow these ideas to help you protect yourself and others from the cruelty and power of verbal abuse.
Beth Holloway, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Rosario Counseling & Associates and has more than 12 years’ experience in the mental health field. She specializes in counseling individuals and couples who have experienced all types of losses including abuse, domestic strife, and trauma. She enjoys leading group therapy classes about Divorce Recovery, Spiritual Enrichment, Couples and Parent/Child Relationships, Grief Processing and Depression Recovery. Beth has had the privilege of traveling all over the United States and to more than 10 foreign countries. She is learning about people from diverse cultures and ethnic groups.
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