Listening to a stream of insults is like being hit on the head. And this is not an exaggeration - our brain, as shown by computed tomography, does not differentiate between physical violence and verbal aggression.
“Many people live for years in an environment of verbal violence, but they do not suspect that something is wrong, because insults and humiliation have long become a part of their lives,” says Patricia Evans, verbal abuse expert.
Meanwhile, this type of abuse deals a serious blow to the psyche - our brain experiences verbal aggression as physical violence.
Two more serious consequences of verbal aggression are that constant humiliation erodes our self-esteem and weakens attention, we become distracted and find it difficult to concentrate.
“By calling your words or actions “nonsense”, the aggressor insists that he has the last word.”Verbal aggression is not necessarily harsh swearing, shouting and threats. Condescending remarks and "joking" insults, requests in the form of orders can hurt equally the same . Here are some more examples of verbal aggression to be aware of.
Refusal or silence. As the aggressor reasons: “I have what you need, and I can give or not give it to you. Therefore, I am in control of the situation." Or: “If I do not answer you, I refuse to answer, I can be sure that everything will remain the same. I don't need to ask your opinion. I don’t say no and I don’t say yes. You're on the hook, and I'm not risking anything. "
Counteraction. Acting contrary to your requests and desires, the aggressor is sure: “I make decisions for both of us. You think wrong and I am right. If I make you doubt yourself, it will be easier for me to control you."
Depreciation. Without attaching importance to your words and actions, calling them "nonsense", "delirium", "trifles", the aggressor insists that he should always have the last word. “I can devalue your words and deeds, but I myself am beyond criticism and not accountable to anyone. I make my decision. When you see how insignificant you are, it will be easier for me to control you. "
"Playful" insults. By calling the insults “just” a joke, the aggressor means: “It gives me such joy to see how my words hurt you that I’m not going to stop. I believe that my words should be taken with humor. I can say what I want. I am in control of the situation. "
Rough suppression. Abruptly cutting off the conversation, ignoring your words, the aggressor emphasizes: "I am not obliged to respect your opinion, you are an inadequate person, so I can end the conversation whenever I want, - I decide."
Accusations. By saying that that it is your fault, the aggressor wants to make you think: “It is only your fault why it hurts you so much, and why I talk to you like that and treat you like that, and in general in everything that does not go the way I want, so I do not have to change my behavior."
Condemnation and remarks. By condemning and criticizing, the aggressor gets another opportunity to enslave your will: "When I tell you that you do not think and act like that, I begin to control you."
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
1. Listen to yourself. “If you constantly feel like you’re sitting on pins and needles or suffer from feelings of inferiority (“ I’m always doing things wrong ”), you are being bullied, most likely you are being subjected to verbal aggression,” explains Evans. Listen to the way people talk to you. Do they tell you and decide for you what kind of person you are, what you want in life? No one except ourselves can know and decide what we want, what we think, what we feel. Trust your feelings first of all, rely on them.
2. Stop blaming yourself. “You need to realize that aggression is not your fault, but a mental problem of the one who offends you,” emphasizes Evans. "All they need is total control over you." If someone from your environment blames you for the behavior of the aggressor, do not rush to blame yourself. “I once consulted a woman whose husband had a habit of yelling at her for no reason and her mother thought she was partially responsible for her husband’s insane behavior,” says Evans. "This is an absolutely wrong opinion, and it does great harm to the psyche."
3. Resist. There is no point in explaining and making excuses - instead, start setting boundaries: “I don’t want to hear this,” “Stop right now."
4. Find a support group. It is important to find someone with whom you can discuss the situation, share what is in your heart - this can be someone from your family, friends or a trustworthy therapist.
5. Don't try to change the aggressor. A person is able to change for the better if he really wants to - but you cannot change him by your own efforts. What you can do is treat yourself with respect and take care of your well-being.
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