Why Verbal Abuse can be just as Damaging as Mental Abuse

The pen is mightier than the sword.

Verbal abuse is sometimes as damaging as mental abuse is an interesting statement. It would appear to me that verbal abuse goes hand-in-hand with mental abuse. The truth of the matter is that verbal abuse is sometimes as damaging as physical abuse.

When a child is entrusted to our care there is a burden placed on us. We are supposed to provide food, shelter, love, education, and protect them. When a child is treated with words of kindness, there is no limit to what they can accomplish, but when a child is treated with harsh words the child is suddenly less able to achieve their full potential.

Each human is entitled to be treated with respect and verbal abuse directly impacts an individual’s ability to be respected. The problem with verbal abuse is that there are no visible signs of its existence. Instead, we must rely on hearing the abuse take place.

Victims of verbal abuse come in all sizes, from all social classes, from all age groups, from both genders, and from all cultures. Verbal abuse is not discriminatory; the abuser simply needs to feel they are in danger to begin the tirade.

Verbal abuse is insidious in today’s world and it has immense consequences. The abused begins to feel they are less entitled to be afforded the simplest rights of human kindness and decency.

All verbally abused individuals carry unseen scars with them. If you are told you are dumb, you can earn a doctorate degree and still believe that you are dumb. If you are told you are fat you could loose 60 pounds and be thin, but you still believe you are fat.

The Abused Child

The child who faces continuous verbal abuse begins to take on a decidedly low profile when in the presence of the abuser. Their ability to interact with others is hampered, and when a loud noise or a raised voice occurs in their presence, they cringe.

The Abused Woman

The woman who is verbally abused believes she is not entitled to be an equal in the relationship. She begins to doubt her decisions and fears being proven wrong, although she has been programmed to think that she is always wrong or at fault. Unfortunately, this can impact the relationship she has with others, especially her children.

The Abused Man

The man who is verbally abused believes he is less capable than other men. He begins to doubt that he is able to achieve even the simplest of tasks. Sadly, the verbally abused male may begin to take out his aggression on others.

What can I do?

A kind word may never make up for verbal abuse, but it is a starting place. If you know someone who is being verbally abused, try to say something kind or complimentary to them whenever possible. Be careful not to over-do-it though, as the abused will see through that and will doubt their self-worth even more.

Try to find time for them to spend away from their abuser. Engage them in something fun or help them learn something new to give them more self-esteem.

Most importantly, be supportive.