Signs Of Verbal Abuse

When many people hear the word abuse, they think about physical abuse such as hitting, slapping or punching. However verbal abuse is more common than physical abuse, and it can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

One of the main problems with verbal abuse is that many people aren’t aware that they are being verbally abused. Instead they believe that the abuse is a reasonable reaction to their own behaviour, which can destroy their confidence and self-esteem over time.

Here are 10 clear signs of verbal abuse.

1. Withholding information. They don’t express their thoughts or feelings with you, but they expect you to share your feelings with them.

2. They constantly counter your points. They often disagree with your opinion and berate you. For instance if you enjoy a song they will say that the song is bad, and then they will make you feel bad for having a different opinion.

3. They undermine your achievements.

4. They trivialise their hurtful comments. If they hurt you they don’t apologise; instead they say that their comments were just a joke. This can make you question if you are being irrational or overreacting.

5. They frequently point out flaws with your character. You are too emotional, too moody, too loud, etc.

6. They blame you for things that aren’t your fault.

7. They control all of your conversations together. They decide what you talk about, and sometimes they even try to tell you what your opinion is.

8. They call you cruel or hurtful names.

9. They threaten you, such as threatening to end the relationship if you don’t change or do what they want.

10. They frequently use gas lighting to make you feel crazy. You will remind them about something that happened in the past and they will immediately deny that the event ever happened.

Can you think of any other signs of verbal abuse? Let me know with a comment!


  1. Doctor Jonathan · June 3, 2017

    You have provided a pretty comprehensive list. Awareness is the first step to overcoming this serious problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Twentysomething Social Recluse · June 14, 2017

      It is very important to be aware. I’m glad you liked my post, and thank you for reading it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lucidmage · June 4, 2017

    Good list but I feel #1 by itself wouldn’t be a sign of abuse. As someone with a history of thinking “my thoughts & feelings aren’t important”, I would tend to withhold such things either from fear or because I’d believe the other person doesn’t truly care. If this is the only thing a person is doing then they probably just need to be convinced that their opinion is valued & wouldn’t be judged harshly.

    In tandem with your other points however I can see this being part of a controlling personality. It’s interesting to think about why people would do these things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Twentysomething Social Recluse · June 14, 2017

      Very good point – one I hadn’t considered, but it definitely applies to many people.

      Yes it is really interesting… I think quite a lot of people are verbally abuse as they have personal issues (such as insecurity) that make them behave in an abusive way as an attempt to control their partners. But I have no idea really, just guesses!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. joelascott · June 7, 2017

    How about, they constantly raise their voice to you?

    I agree with Doctor Johnson. Awareness is the first step. From there, we must all speak up and speak out against abuse, no matter what form it takes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Twentysomething Social Recluse · June 14, 2017

      That definitely counts! Yes for sure. Awareness is a difficult but important first step. Thank you for reading my post 🙂


  4. keeneshort · June 14, 2017

    This is a helpful list. Thank you for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Twentysomething Social Recluse · August 1, 2017

      I’m glad you found it useful! 🙂


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