How to Deal with a Verbally Abusive Family is sadly a complex problem that many amazing guys and girls have to deal with. Verbal abuse can take many forms such as yelling, extreme criticism, insults, threats of physical violence and name-calling. The devastating effects when living with a verbal abuser include low self-esteem, lack of confidence in your abilities, feelings of shame and a general feeling that you aren’t worthy of being loved. Think of verbally abusive words as toxic psychological daggers that continue to do severe damage to your psyche long after the hurtful comments have been spoken. I’m going to help you survive this psychological nightmare by revealing the 8 ways you can learn how to deal with a verbally abusive family below.
1. Ignore Verbally Abusive Words
I know it's difficult but don’t pay attention to the verbally abusive words. Let them go through one ear and out the other. The worst thing that you can do is believe what your verbal abuser is telling you. If you believe the hurtful comments that are being tossed your way, you will mentally beat yourself up around the clock even when you aren’t near your verbal abuser. If you start believing the negative comments, they will affect many aspects of your life. Ignoring them is essential when you're learning how to deal with a verbally abusive family.
2. Kick Negative Thoughts out
Take control of your thoughts so you are your own best friend. Kick out the negative ones that stem from verbal abuse and replace them with positive statements that boost your self-esteem. Tell yourself that no matter what your verbal abuser says, the truth is that you are beautiful, amazing, intelligent, talented and worthy of love. At first it may be difficult to replace the negative thoughts but it will get easier as you continue to do it.
3. Make a List of Awesomeness
Make a list of all the things you love about yourself and all the things that make you awesome. Look at this list after each episode of verbal abuse and whenever you need an instant mood lift. Reading this list frequently will help you silence that critical inner voice that tells you that you aren’t good enough, pretty enough or thin enough. Add a few items to your list at the end of the day. Hide this list from your verbal abuser because his opinion is the last one that you need.
4. Always Stay Calm
Avoid talking back to your verbal abuser. I know it’s a natural reaction to defend yourself when you hear verbally abusive words thrown at you, but try your best not to respond to anything he says. Trying to retaliate and defend yourself against his hurtful comments will only add fuel to the fire so to speak, and will usually only lengthen the verbal attack. It’s best to take a few deep breaths and control your emotions. Ignore the verbal abuser and walk away.
5. Act Uninterested during the Verbal Attack
Your verbal abuser wants to get a reaction from you at all costs. He disregards the way that you feel and often he gets pleasure from breaking you down emotionally. He will say mean and hurtful things until you react to him. If you want to turn the tables and frustrate him, act uninterested and bored in whatever he says. Never let him see that he affects your emotions by crying, screaming or lashing out with words because that tells him that he is in control of your thoughts and feelings and nothing could be further from the truth.
6. Write in a Journal
A journal is a great way to vent and release anything you feel, like rage, confusion and hurt that you are feeling deep inside. These powerful feelings must be expressed in some way because they can make you miserable when they are bottled up. If you don’t feel like writing, then draw a picture that depicts your emotions. These creative outlets of expression can help you process your feelings.
7. Discuss the Issue
If you think the verbal abuser may change, talk to him about the way his behavior makes you feel when he (insults you, criticizes you, makes sarcastic comments, belittles you). Tell him you are no longer allowing anyone to mistreat you. Tell him how you would like to be treated. Know that many verbal abusers won’t change unless they seek counseling. Unfortunately, even though you see how dysfunctional verbal abuse is, you can’t change your abuser unless he wants to change.
8. Don’t Suffer in Silence
Talk to someone that you can trust like a friend of the family, a relative, teacher or school counselor about the verbal abuse. Ask them if they know of any good ways on how to deal with a verbally abusive family. Have this person talk to your verbal abuser about his behavior. Reach out to someone... you don’t need to go through this alone. Although you could explain to the verbal abuser that his words hurt you until you are blue in the face, he will likely not take your feelings seriously and will probably make you feel worse about this serious issue.
Having to cope with a verbally abusive family is extremely challenging. Learning ways on how to deal with a verbally abusive family can help you become a positive confident person even if you are going through this tough situation. Remember girls, you have a lot of amazing qualities to offer this world. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Do you have any other good ways to cope with verbal abuse?