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12 Effective Ways to Defend Yourself From Verbal Abuse

April 13, 2015


Verbal abuse can harm the emotional health of the victim. If you think you may be a victim of verbal abuse, please take the necessary step to protect yourself. Verbal abuse may make you feel powerless. However, remember, it is possible to defend yourself from verbal abuse.

The most important thing to remember is that you have the full right to protect yourself if someone is abusing you, threatening you, or not allowing you to live the life you deserve.

Willingness: Once you recognize that you are being verbally and emotionally abused, you need to develop the willingness to change your situation and protect yourself. Remember, you are not doing anything wrong by protecting yourself. You are not doing anything wrong with your loved one; you are just defending yourself and that is your fundamental right.

Here are 12 Steps to Defend From Verbal Abuse:

1. Try to minimize your reaction to the abuse while in front of your abuser. Your reaction satisfies them and that is what they want. They want to intimidate you.

2. Do not get into their trap, do not surrender to them and give them more power to demean you by reacting or answering when they are abusing.

3. Remember, you shouldn’t have to listen to the abusive comments. Listening to abusers when they attack you can cause more damage to your mental health and self-esteem. 

4. Do not try to prove you're right, this will give your abuser more reasons to prove you wrong.  This could harm your self-esteem and might leave new scars on your mind.

5. Instead, let them know how your behavior makes you feel when they calm down and are ready to listen to you. Talk only if it is safe to talk and there isn’t any possibility of another attack by them.

Use sentences starting with ‘I’ like the sentences below,

“I feel hurt by your words.”

“I felt your remarks humiliating.”

“I felt discouraged by your frequent negative comments.”

6. Practice being assertive; do not react angrily. The assertion is the way to express anger positively and let the other person know how you feel, firmly and clearly.

7. Set boundaries. Let them know, what kind of behavior you will tolerate and what you would like to avoid in future. They might trick you in words suggesting that you are absolutely wrong. However, remember that if you feel hurt, you have the right to reject the behavior which is making you feel sad, hurt, or embarrassed. Nobody else has the right to control or manipulate you.

8. Physical abuse leaves injuries on the body while verbal abuse leaves scars on the mind. If you are facing emotional abuse since long time, it’s quite possible that you might have scars and pain about what happened. Work on healing them.

Walk away from the abuser if you feel fear of any physical threat.

9. Create a safety plan for yourself. What actions will you take to keep yourself safe?

10. Build support for yourself. Talk about abuse with your friends or with a 7 Cups listener. Supportive friends can help you heal your wound and having a supportive circle is great for your self-esteem.

The important thing to remember while seeking support from friends or neighbors is that, make sure, they are not manipulative or abusive.

11. If you feel that the abuse you are facing is hard to handle anymore and is turning threatening for you, seek professional help like counseling for yourself.

12. Get help! Connect with a licensed therapist or contact the available emergency services in your local community. Get support & help. 

Remember we the 7 Cups of Tea team of listeners are with you, are here to support you, talk to us. Don’t suffer silently anymore. Speak Up!

Written By 7 Cups Listener, CaringSmiles20

Tags:anxietyemotional abuseget supportverbalabuse