Verbal Abuse is one of the most subtle forms of violence. Its not like a punch in the stomach or face, those at least leave physical marks. Verbal abuse doesn't leave any external evidence. In fact if done crafty enough will even hide in the seemingly behavior of care, comradery, and support. But the underlying meaning is violent and hurtful. So a big part of the skill to master is just learning to Indentify it.
Verbal abuse isn't only in the context of speaking obsenities, teasing and public humiliation. No..those are out in the open occurences that one can recognize immediately and deal with accordingly like walk away from or memorizing a bunch of 'yo mama' liners.
This is reffering to the hidden diplomatic way of inflicting abuse.
Example: (need a more crafty one)
"If you really loved me, then you wouldn't be on the computer all the time"
Question: What is this sentence really expressing? What are the Presuppositions?
They are as follows:
- You don't really love me
- You are on the computer all the time (and that frustrates me)
Most people make the mistake of addressing the bait which is the computer part. "I'm not on the computer all the time!". By not acknowledging the most important presupposition ('You dont really love me') you admit to it. It's weird how human dynamics work. That is why this is such an important skill to master.
Here is the formula behind this type of verbal abuse:
If you really x, then you wouldn't y.
In most cases respond only to the 'x'. The 'y' is there as bait.
Here is an answer that will stop this 'game' in it's tracks.
"When did you start thinking that I don't love you?"
to be continued
The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense ISBN 0735200890
Google:VerbalAbuse Breath Posture