BlogVerbal Abuse: The Whole Truth

August 31, 2011by Frank Love42

It is often said that verbal abuse can be as bad as physical abuse. And I have certainly never enjoyed being “disrespected” or “disparaged” – especially in front of others. How about you? Are you appalled by the thought of being degraded by your partner, or by watching it happen between two lovers? But consider this: When people “put you down,” they just might be doing you a favor.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about meeting and listening to a presentation by the brilliant Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is. As she discussed “The Work” – her trademark system to help individuals come to peace with all of the truths about themselves so they can be free to find happiness – one participant asked about coming to peace with a history of physical abuse. Afterwards, another woman asked about how “The Work” applies to verbal abuse. Katie answered masterfully, “There is no verbal abuse.”

The audience member seemed puzzled, so Katie asked the woman to verbally abuse her. The woman called her stupid. Katie thought about it for a moment then responded, “You are correct, I can certainly think of things that I have done that could be looked at as stupid.”

In Loving What Is, Katie elaborates on this point:

There is no such thing as verbal abuse. There’s only someone telling me a truth that I don’t want to hear. If I were really able to hear my accuser, I would find my freedom. The “you” you’re identified with doesn’t want to be discovered because that is its death. When someone tells me that I lied, for example, I just go inside to see if they are right. If I can’t find it in a situation that they’ve mentioned, I can find it in some other situation, maybe twenty years ago. And then I can say, “Sweetheart, I am a liar. I see where you’re right about me.” In this we’ve found something in common. They know I am a liar and now I know it.

When I read this, I wrote “wow” in the margin of my book. What a powerful way to approach life and relationships! When someone says something to you that hurts to hear, hear it anyway; soak it up and figure out how you can use that information to improve yourself. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and hurt feelings, capitalize on the opportunity to get to know yourself better, and to accept and embrace the parts of yourself that you don’t like, (which you obviously don’t if having them pointed out upsets you). It is an opportunity for reflection and growth.

Upon further consideration, you might discover that whatever was said about you isn’t really something you want to change at all. It might be something that people usually consider to be negative but that actually serves you well – like selfishness (which I think is not only a good thing, but an impossibility to avoid). Or you may discover that there are things about yourself that you weren’t aware of but want to change, shifts that would make you happier in the long run. It’s only verbal abuse if you let it be; instead, consider it something to be grateful for – insight into the most important person in your life … you.

Either way, knowledge is power. And the more you know about yourself, the easier it will be for you to become a more Powerful Person in a Partnership.

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

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  • Kathryn Madden

    August 31, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Frank, I so appreciate your comments–both your post, and your extended short article. Verbal abuse, much less physical abuse is a hugely detrimental dilemma in our time. You are correct in saying that verbal abuse has many similarities with physical abuse. The criteria are similar and overlap in a number of ways.

    I am curious about your opening statement that “when people put you down, they might actually be doing you [us] a favor.”

    Well, it would take more clarification to know the underlying assumptions behind that statement. I could immediately agree with you, but will not, because I am not clear on the circumstances or the presenting issue. Certainly, when colleagues, or those whom we trust give us feedback, our antennae go up. I always appreciate a colleague who offers me a different perspective.

    So, as you say, perhaps being “put down” can be a revelation of where we need to place our attention.

    I am intuiting, perhaps, that something more may be going on, and that you are reaching out for some collegial counsel. Please don’t stop!!!! Many of us are here to respond.


  • Denise

    September 1, 2011 at 8:06 AM

    At one point in a bad relationship that I was in, I was told that
    I was “crazy” on several occasions. Of course I denied it but deep down I knew that I had certainly acted crazy for whatever reason. One day I had n ephiany, I thought if I m crazy then I must’ve not have been in my “right” mind when I selected him for a mate which gave me the freedom to get out of that relationship. Facing the truth about my behavior helped me to change it permanently. I also would like to add that though “verbal abuse” can be enlightening it is sometimes a manifestation of that persons own issues of needing to feel better about themselves by making you feel less of a person. Again, I would still listen as franklove suggests to learn more about how others view you. Thanks for reading my comment.


  • SAMUEL Nii Tettey

    September 1, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Frank, I find Byron Katie’s accession, and your acceptance of it, on verbal abuse very strange and ostrich like conduct. The mere fact that I have been “stupid” in the past does not make me stupid forever. The reformation of character starts the moment I realise my stupidity and start taking steps to correct those character flaws that led to the “stupid act”. It is easy to accept physical abuse because the scares of physical abuse are obvious. Scars of verbal abuse are hidden but very devastating. A number of partners in a relationship are suffering verbal abuse which goes on to affect their emotional well-being. The denial of verbal abuse is like telling the victim of verbal abuse that he/she is not emotionally mature and therefore cannot handle the verbal abuse. I simply cannot help but to disagree.


  • F H Staley

    September 1, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Verbal abuse is a good thing? S~U~R~E~L~Y you jest . . .


  • Elisheva Rabinowitz

    September 1, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    This approach is different?? If you are a healthy person and have a strong sense of self I think you can “hear what the person is say” and decide for yourself if they are correct; HOWEVER, many people do not have have a healthy sense of self that they can “look at the “verbal abuse” objectively”. Also, the situation was a contrived situation of calling her “stupid”. If I told you constantly, “You are stupid, dump, idiot, know one else wants you, you never get it right…” it’s hard to keep challenging these ideas. In addition, if you were told these negative things as a child, then they are ingrained into you. These negative thoughts are your first thoughts. You can learn to change these ideas with help and knowledge that you are not “stupid…” or you can learn to reframe it, such as “you might make a mistake, but that does not necessarily make you stupid…” We decide how to interpret a situation/person’s statements, but I’d rather encourage my clients to find people who can be supportive, caring and loving (I realize that might not always be possible). Thank you, Elisheva


  • Sileah Grant

    September 1, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    I believe that when a person directs a putdown towared someone, the fact is, they are talking about they they feel about their selves and with this I do believe thay are doing me a favor by telling me how they really are. When someone talks about someone to me I just think how they will talk about me so this favor doing really applies:)
    Posted by


  • Andre Griggs

    September 1, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this blog; it was quite interesting and all so true.


  • CW

    September 1, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    I disagree with Katie. While there may be a true “insight” about your character made by another. It can be delivered with respect or disrespect. It depends on the “sender’s” motivation. Disrespect emotion can result in abuse.

    I do appreciate her response to the criticism, though. What a wonderful way to diffuse a “critical” situation.


  • SAMUEL Nii Tettey

    September 2, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Elisheva, I think we are not talking about “verbal abuse” in a formal relationship. Imagine your spouse constantly at you with those means words, “stupid”, “dumb” “an idiot” and this goes on and on. I just cannot imagine what is going to happen to the relationship. No matter how emotionally mature one is, no matter how well assured one is, there may be a reaction in the long run. A casual encounter may not affect one as a continuous verbal abuse. Word are not just words. They create and paint and set nations on the war path.


  • Cynthia Castle RN

    September 2, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    )n 08-26-2011 I was assaulted by the police at my front door because they misunderstood our plea for help through my sister. We were unclothed when I answered the door shocked to find three policemen threatening my nakedness with tazing if I did not shut up.

    They would not let us call our lawyer. They violated our home looking for an illegal substance to explain behaviors they couldn’t understand. A messenger was sent during my distress that he would, (rib breaker) would be burried in paper work for three years if he didnt stop hurting my ribs through my cuffed nakedness.

    In my anger I finally told the fat something to get off of me and stop hurting or face three years of paperwork. I was later given the message to transform in love and tell my story. I am Libertia.


  • Anne Golembeski, MS, LMHC

    September 2, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    I appreciate this article and philosophy where the recipient of the message is adequately mature and educated.

    I don’t see how this holds true for the person who is the adult child of addicts and was told she/he was stupid their entire life.


  • John Romig Johnson, Ph.D., NCPsyA.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    I like the post, but I believe verbal abuse is very different from honest feedback. Not that a “put down” can’t be an important insight producing moment, but what about the motivation of the verbal abuser?


  • Linda Diaz

    September 2, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    My opinion is Your Crazy! Never No Way and get away from people that do it to you!


  • Andrea Jones

    September 2, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    I agree partly with the article because when someone puts you down it does hurt if it is something that you struggle with (i.e. no personality, bad breath or body oder, being over weight or not attractive). But then there are times that people are just tring to mean and I guess it is their right to do so, but there are some things that people can’t change like being grumpy, slow or even being a bitch that is just who they are and they accept it, so yes that is very healthy to stay in reality. I just try to remember to treat people the way I want to be treated and hope to make it through the day.


  • Eva Rider

    September 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    I agree with you, John. I think verbal abuse calls attention to the motivation of the abuser, albeit perhaps unconsciously. Ultimately kindness is the key and construction criticism and honesty are trustworthy tools and much easier to digest for the one receiving it.


  • Barbara Sellers

    September 2, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    While your “Verbal Abuse: The Whole Truth” article merits some serious consideration,
    such “helpful remarks” (if that is what you decide to call them) should NEVER be said to another person in public places or in front of others. If the true purpose of such remarks is to provide helpful feedback to help a person become a better person, then there is no reason why it cannot be done in private. Studies show that one of the top five needs of most men is “honor and respect.” So one of the fastest ways to lose the love of a man (or a woman, as far as I am concerned) is to provide such negative personal “helpful feedback” (if that’s what you want to call it) in public places. There are proper ways, times and places for such communication to take place. For example, when a person is feeling down already because they had a bad day, it is NOT the time to beat that person down any more. A kind, sensitive and thoughtful person who knows anything about love, honor and respect would never do that. The part of your article that I agree with is that we could become better people by learning to listen to and accept helpful negative feedback, if it is coming from someone who knows us, presented to us at the right time, in a loving way, when we are in a private environment. There is a right time, place and way for such helpful communication to take place. If such remarks are
    offered in public places by someone who does not know you well, that person is simply rude, mean and disrespectful, and I would probably tell that person to go to hell and I would avoid all contact in the future.


  • Kathryn Madden

    September 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    John, I appreciate your distinction between “put down” and verbal abuse. And Eva’s point about kindness is so true. Isn’t it so much easier for us, or our clients to hear us when there is an honest and, I would add, authentic relationship that gives us the ground to make an observation about the other.


  • Linda Diaz

    September 3, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    YEAH Barbara I agree!


  • Ms. Lilithe Magdalene

    September 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Thank for this, Jim! Have skimmed the first few paragraphs. AM looking forward to reading.


  • Heather Kramer Almquist, MA, CT, NCP

    September 5, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Ohhhh dear. Well intended, I’m sure, but frankly wreckless. And I can appreciate the whole “being open to what someone else is offering to teach you” thing. But to suggest that “there is no verbal abuse” crosses a line. People who live in verbally abusive relationships already tend to internalize what their abusers say about them… why on earth would we want to give them one more reason to accept this nonsense? I’ve found that it already takes a tremendous amount of work just to convince people that the abuse is unacceptable and untrue.


  • Sharon Karson

    September 6, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    It is a rare person who can turn verbal abuse into a positive. As far as I’m concerned, the only favor a verbally abusive person does is to warn the person to delete them from their life as quickly as possible.


  • Jackie Joens

    September 6, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    I had a client last week who came in saying her husband called her a fat, f___king, c___t, b___ch in front of their children. I don’t care how much positive spin you put on something like this…there was no truth nor anything helpful or positive in this message. Not only was the verbal abuse hurtful to her, it was to her children as well. This attitude just gives abusers more power to manipulate and control. I couldn’t disagree with anything more!

    In the case of true abuse, everything changes. Heather is right – why give them more reason to believe the garbage spewed from their abuser?!


  • Sallie D'Agostino Pisaturo

    September 6, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    This message can be quite dangerous for those who already doubt themselves. To be gauged by the projecting of the person showing his/her insecurity in a destructive manner is an unwise step leading to further abuse. I would bet that you have not been the victim of verbal abuse. There are so many safer ways to grow.


  • Kimberlee Anthony

    September 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Frank, you are an idiot and should be more responsible abt what you put your name on. Your a retard for not distinguishing that emotional abuse is delivered verbally. Ever heard of the phrase you get more flies with honey than vinegar?!?!

    I was in an abusive relationship with a man who KNEW what I was self consious and anxious abt, and would use that when I didnt do something that he wanted me to do to make me feel worse abt myself, so that he could be the only person who REAlly knew and REALLy cared. This went on for years. He emotionally and verbally abused me for years, and one day he left and I realized how much better it was for me and my children when he was gone.I started drinking ALOT to numb the pain and turn down the background noise of what I perceived as a failed marrage. He would call me a drunk, and tell me I needed to “just snap out of my depression, and stop being a baby”. In the past I always let him come back when he left, but this time I decided that the situation would never change, he had to stay gone if I was going to get better.

    I got divorced from him, and once I started dating again he told me that he hopes the person Im seeing treats me better than he did. He admitted that he had been abusive to me. We have joint custody, but I have primary custody because he is not patient enough the have 50% custody of our three children so they see him for about 12 hrs per week. I have gotten strong enough to put the fear of god in him, and I do beleive he is remorseful about our familial situation, so he has become easier to work with as time passes. I still hear about his outbursts and his fits of anger. He is a very big man, and he uses his physical presence to intimidate our children into telling him things he wants to know abt me, or make them do something he wants them to do, they have a fractured relationship at best with him, but they are learning how to deal with. I have to coach my children through their interactions with their father, but Ive gotten strong enough to be able to remove the emotion from it. But everytime I do it, I feel upset at myself because I didnt want that kind of father for my kids.

    The reason the abuse happened is because I was verbally abused by my foster parents as a child, so when I first met him when I was 18, it was still bad by todays standards, but not as bad as what I came from. I really beleive God is looking out for me and got me out of my own mess.

    YOU CANNOT TELL PEOPLE VERBAL ABUSE IS NOT REAL. IT IS VERY REAL. If you take on a role of counciling people and providing advise, and you care at all about your credibility with your readers, you will retract that statement and article. NO SHOULD accept mean, negative or degrading comments from anyone. The first time you allow the, to do that, you give them permission to treat you badly, and it will just snowball from there. Love yourself first, trust your gut feeling about a person, and be real with yourself. At the end of the day you have to look at yourself in the mirror, be sure you can live with the person staring back at you.

    I love you all


  • Safowah

    September 6, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Interesting – I’m still digesting the article and the subsequent comments. While I agree that constructive feedback from a partner is IMPERATIVE for personal growth, I’ve benefitted from following the a set of questions I saw years ago when giving or receiving feedback: 1) Is it true? Is what I’m saying to my mate or whomever something that’s based in fact? 2) Is it kind? Have I tried to deliver the feedback in a way that could be accepted openly; and 3) Is it necessary? Everything I may WANT to say from an emotional standpoint may not be NECESSARY in that particular situation? How does it fit?

    Happy relating!


  • Laurie Dulle

    September 6, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    This subject is a tough one. I have used the view put forth in Frank Love’s article to begin to address how a person who is receiving verbal abuse can recognize the abuse and begin to deal with it. I’ve worked with domestic violence in a community agency for the past 4 years. I spend most of my time convincing women they are victim’s of abuse even if it’s “only” verbal abuse. I see that women in abusive relationships have two choices: Increase their ability to advocate for themselves or leave the relationship. I wish they could leave but often they can’t. So I begin to teach them that what the person says doesn’t necessarily have to be true. I start with absurdities and get them to realize there is a space between what the other person says and what they have to believe. I’ve had some success with this approach to helping women start to distance themselves from the abuse and learn to take better care of themselves.

    I would never use the approach to put the blame on the receiver of verbal abuse in a relationship.


  • HeatherStar

    September 6, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I have to totally Disagree!! Words are Life! If words can be encouraging from one person to the next; how can we really say that they can not be abusive?? In the article it was acknowledged that physical abuse exists! But there is no such thing as “verbal abuse”?? Most everyone has a hand, but when it’s placed on another to hurt them, it’s physical abuse. Most everyone has a voice (sign language, written, etc.)and when it’s used to hurt someone it’s abuse, plain a simple. Yes, use that information to remove yourself from being hurt over and over again; if you can! You may not know to go!!

    And if you do know to go and go, you find refuge and the person there asks what’s going on what’s the matter….and you reply i was being verbally abused and i didn’t want to take it any more. So, should that person respond, go back, there is no such thing as verbal abuse, we can’t help you. Go and assess what’s being said to you and turn into a positive. And the abused person says, they curse me, and threaten me, what kind of positive can i make of that? so should the “helper” then say, did they do anything physical? Because there is a such thing a physical abuse and if not, just think about it and realize it’s only to help you and move on……….REALLY???

    Abuse is the improper usage or treatment for a bad purpose, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. To use words as defined is Verbal Abuse! It’s never OK to cover up this kind of thing (saying there is no such thing a verbal abuse) it hinders growth and as someone else mentioned, it gives power to the abuser and sometimes in a way that the abuser gets physical. Hurt people hurt and get off by the reactions of their victim, and if the victim is not acting, but internalizing and not even articulating that the words hurt them, can have the abuser feel like his tactic isn’t working and use more drastic measures.

    I know this was an extremely long reply, but i just can’t believe that the statement “there’s no such thing as verbal abuse” can be stated and agreed with in these days and times. The enemy is having a good time with this one!!!! We can’t let this be the standard, when you know better you do better, be informed!! VERBAL ABUSE IS REAL!!


  • Leta

    September 7, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Frank, as I read the above comments, I see that I am not alone in my thoughts about this blog. In my opinion verbal abuse from a mate should not be taken as a favor at all. When a mate verbally abuses, they are abusing their privilege to provide constructive criticism. Verbal abuse is the abuser’s opinion and everyone is entitled to just that. A mate who loves you knows how to give you constructive criticism and knows how to state the facts when tough love is needed. We are all adults, and most adults do not need to be told the obvious. If we are lazy, fat, smelly, whatever the case may be, we already know and don’t necessarily need someone to yell, scream, or speak it repeatedly.


  • June

    September 10, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Thank you Frank for having the courage to write this truth.
    I found your article by searching for “when is verbal/emotional abuse not verbal/emotional abuse? I knew that so often when truth is presented with no intention to attack, control or inflict harm the person who hears those words often “freak out” and react with accusations of verbal/emotional abuse……and what is interesting they then do use words and manner with intention to attack, control and inflict harm to the messenger. This tells me they do not want to hear truth, see truth or speak truth. Apparently, they are not ready to grow up and take responsibility for their own health, happiness and wellbeing…their choice.


  • Daniel Keeran, MSW

    September 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Anger can be a problem in any relationship including internet forums.


  • Lorraine Kecker

    September 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    both articles are valid … an abusive relationship is an abusive relationship — the key is what you do with the learning, and frankly, getting out is the best the medicine if therapy doesn’t work… categorizing abuse, like there is some abuse that is okay and other abuse that is not so-okay is just plain crap… abuse in any form is NOT OKAY, especially in what is supposed to be a loving relationship…

    think about Corinthians …
    4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails.

    loving someone with authenticity by its nature negates abuse; therefore if there is abuse, there is not real love…

    I have heard that some cultures have no word for ‘guilt’, instead they recognize that they have caused harm or pain to someone and make the concious commitment to ‘not do that again’ and continue forward from that point, having learned from the experience…

    we are all flawed vessels and we hurt one another — recognizing the hurt and not repeating it is love…. repeating it — while claiming love — is abuse…


  • Kathe Skinner

    September 14, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    As a coach and therapist, I am surprised at the lack of vision demonstrated by the “there is no such thing as verbal abuse” perspective. Lots of assumptions are being made, if I’m reading this correctly, the approach outlined disregards people who do not speak up for themselves. People who have been abused for a significant amount of time, usually from childhood on, agree with their abusers. We all learn how to survive in any given situation, and, if you’re a child (especially one without inborn resilience) you believe the abusive words, even as they are not true. For example, a child may be called “fat” when this is not true; and so the child grows with an unreasonable effort at being thin, forever “conditioned” at avoiding being “fat”. Finding your voice and acknowledging, agreeing, with an “abuser” is fine if the person doing the growth through self-acknowledgement has the ego-strength to pull it off. That said, lots of psychic damage can be done to someone with PTSD (which is often how victims of verbal abuse can be diagnosed).


  • G

    September 15, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    This philosophy assumes that the lesson brought with the person displaying abusive behavior is in the words specifically. And, that doesn’t seem logical. The lesson could be that you can’t let what others say bother you. It could be a lesson in how to deal with verbally violent people. The lesson could have more to do with the context of the situation. Or any number of things.

    And, then there’s the fact that a person’s actions are about her/him more than any other potential targets or recipients.

    The other challenge here is equating randomly abusive language or behavior with an abusive relationship. In the case of the later, this advice is dangerous and unhealthy.

    And, finally, words are powerful. With a single utterance, they can damage reputations, careers, relationships, organizations, stock markets, etc.


  • […] are often comments that inspire me to continue the conversation. In response to a recent blog about verbal abuse, Jim Accetta, an accomplished coach and speaker, seemed to suggest that there was more to this […]


  • Katharina

    November 20, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    If somebody is verbally abusing you, who would it be? Your mother, your father, your sibling or Husband/Wife?
    The verbal abuse is usually from a person who is important to you.
    Only these people can actually get to you with words!
    If somebody at work does it the whole time, then the therapists really has to look where it usually happens, because somebody who is safe everywhere else, would not get intimidated by an abusive co-worker.
    It has to do with self-esteem, and the self worth, you get at home.


  • C

    November 21, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    What bullshit. I started crying just reading this.

    This Katie person has no idea what she’s talking about. That’s anger management, not abuse advice. Her method is based on a self confidence and balanced perspective that’s not possible for someone who’s abused.Who cares what a stranger says? I could get cussed into next week and laugh in their face. But a close family member says two words and I fall to pieces. It’s intensely personal.

    Verbal abuse isn’t some outside attack. It’s an insidious poison that grows in a relationship where neither is secure. It’s when someone who knows you, really, really knows you, can pinpoint exactly where you’re weak and injured and attack that point ruthlessly. People can’t come to terms and assimilate that in a more positive light because there’s nothing left to assimilate it into. It destroys from within.

    Shame on you for supporting this nonsense. You’re condemning the naive to a life of submissive misery and the abusers to a pipe dream of entitlement.


  • Eban

    November 24, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    There is too such a thing as verbal abuse, and it is repeatedly pointing out the half-truth or whole-lie (e.g., you are a worthless piece of shit or you can’t do anything right) to someone in a mean, degrading way to maintain control or a sense of superiority over someone. Namecalling is also verbal abuse. Frank Love, would you respond to an employer or romantic partner calling you “nigger” by hearing him or her out and searching inside yourself to identify the part of that statement that is true about you?


  • Soak M.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I think this perspective is interesting…although, perhaps only those who has a strong self esteem would be able to have enough ego strength to take things in this perspective. Still, an interesting thought 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


  • Steven G.

    November 26, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Frank, I’m not surprised people are upset about this message and resisting it. We spend our entire lives being trained not to allow others to see that we are small, weak, irrational, defenseless, incompetent, impotent, etc., and not to admit those traits to ourselves. The reality is that we are all of those and more–that is the human condition. If I already know that I’m sometimes petty and stupid, why argue about it when I’m accused of it? Of course I’m petty and stupid. I acknowledge it and still feel good about myself. Does the person pointing it out feel better for having pointed it out? Really? And what would it hurt if they did?

    That said, picking on poorly integrated people with the intent to destroy them is abusive. Pointing out weaknesses in a caring way to help them grow is not. That so many people find any reminders of their imperfection abusive indicates how little emphasis society puts on achieving personal mastery. I’m not blaming people for their sensitivity–I’m sensitive myself, so I know how important it is for sensitive people to do the work to protect themselves from others’ emotional onslaughts. The quickest and most effective way to do that is not to change others but to realize that you are just you, not some ideal image of you that you might wish you were. You have to drop some of your narcissism.


  • Elizabeth

    December 12, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    I like the concept, but do think that witnessed as a child “verbal abuse” is deprecating and demolishes your self worth, so one must initially heal and then look at the concept you suggest, which I do consider to be quite a powerful tool to master, verbal abuse is not just WHAT is said but HOW it is said and by WHOM.
    Thank you for your insight.


  • […] from other people in your life, it’s worth considering what they have to say. After all, all feedback is valuable. But remember that they have their own motivations, and ultimately you must determine […]


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