It’s Your Fault Too, If You Allow It
You are better than this. You do not deserve this. Self-empowerment is crucial.
Your guilt, first of all, is important. It is a driver that sometimes leads you to believe you are doing a loved one a favor by silently acknowledging your feelings and letting them vent.
It’s a mistake. Allowing someone to disrespect you in such a fashion sets a tone that this behavior is not only dismissible but acceptable. It is a message that frequently will not be regarded by the other party as anything other than a weakness on your part.
There are exceptions, of course. Bipolar disorder, for example, is very real. Tourette’s Syndrome is as difficult for the sufferer as those who believe they are a target. According to the Mayo Clinic, Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation. Road rage, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, or other temper tantrums may be signs.
Though the above three disorders are handled medically, that’s not the larger point. What is the point is that you cannot save everyone. If you are a victim of verbal abuse, with or without the fear that such abuse threatens to turn physical, you nonetheless need help as well as the sufferer. If you are engaged in a relationship with someone you believe suffers from one of these disorders, contact a professional and query how best to attain help for your partner.
But be sure to do the same for yourself.
There is a world of difference between a medical disorder and a partner who is simply rude and insulting, but sometimes the thinnest of lines seem to separate the two.
Regardless, the person on the receiving end of insults and curses will frequently allow the other party to continue for the following reasons:
- to avoid a fight
- to try and remain non-confrontational
- to avoid a situation that would potentially provoke a dangerous or injurious response
Consider the last bullet point. This driver, as I referred to it earlier, is self-talk for “I must deserve this abuse.”
Only you know if you do, but even when angry, in an admittedly ideal world two adults should be able to quietly resolve their problems. All too often, I’ve heard examples of such disrespect at supermarkets, sporting events, even my local library. It’s most often the same: In the circumstance of a full-blown argument, one person initially expresses their embarrassment when the other derides them “in public.” The embarrassed person then delivers a comment that triggers more anger, and more invective. And the argument ensues from there as the person bearing the brunt could only take so much.
Whether you remain stoic in the face of an attack, or allow it because you believe you are responsible, is of no matter. You do not deserve this. If you allow it, what ensues is also your fault.
Walk away. Walk out. Shut the door. Don’t engage.
Rage can turn violent. Diffuse it if possible.
Guilt is, in these scenarios, often married to low self-esteem issues on the part of the attacked. As with anything else that ails you, receive help. That help can be from a professional, or even a book. But if you believe self-esteem issues to be the root of your allowing yourself to be attacked, do something.
Again, the larger issue is this: Verbal abuse can turn physical quickly. One or both parties may be irrevocably harmed, mentally and physically, during the dispute. Such behavior leads to abusive relationships if left untreated.
Do what you can to seek help for you both. But please take care of yourself because you matter.
Thank you for reading.
Day One Signs of Verbal Abuse | Day One - Crisis Hotline
Verbal abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse, and harder to identify. If you think you are the victim of verbal…
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Note: My tendency to write about psychological issues is due to my past as a special educator of at-risk children and adults, a substantial college course load in Abnormal Psychology, and being a man who has been through it. I am neither an expert nor currently a professional in this field. If your believe your circumstances to be untenable, please contact the phone number in the above embedded article, or a related professional.