Verbal Abuse

How do you cope with that person who constantly berates you with foul language?

This is the first of a series. The series is based on three 20 minute sessions. The purpose and nature of the sessions are confidential. However, the principles for coping are universal truths.

Before we even begin, please recognize three things:

  1. YOUR well-being is important;
  2. YOUR feelings have value; and
  3. YOUR action plan will empower liberation from victimhood.

Dealing with verbal abuse is not easy. Let’s back up and get an overview of the situation. We can do this by¬†distinguishing the difference between knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

  • What is an intellectual explanation for the person’s abusive behavior?
  • How does that explanation apply to YOUR situation?
  • What do you believe is an appropriate response to this behavior?

The first question gives you knowledge. The second opens up your understanding. The third is where wisdom is discovered. The first is a tool. The second is how you use it. The third is why you use the tool.

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The remainder of this post will focus on the knowledge aspect of verbal abuse.

There is an old story in the bible about a king who wanted to curse Israel. His name was Balak. Balak hired a prophet from the East named Balaam. In the story, we learn why people curse.

1. Verbal abuse is a tactic employed by the weaker party.

  • Do you see yourself as the weaker or stronger party in this situation?
  • In what ways?
  • Recognize you are in a position of strength.

2. Cursing is an attempt to overcome the stronger party.

  • How can you utilize your strength to respond instead of reacting?
  • What is the difference? Think of examples of how you can respond instead of react in your situation.

3. Cursing is designed to drive away the stronger party.

  • We are taught to respond with a blessing. What does that look like?
  • Find something good in that person and then minister to that goodness for the sake of that goodness. What is good about this person?
  • Love the person, not the actions.

Thanksgiving with Forgiveness

The following prayer was revised from Hannah Hurnard, “Simply Faith”.

Thank you for teaching me to welcome everyone and to think lovingly about them. Thank you for helping me to forgive those who hurt me, or seem to neglect me. Thank you for forgiving them not just for the things they say and do, but also for being the sort of people they are. Amen.

Author: A Sojourner's Diary

Dr Timothy Rose is a long-term student of ancient writings seeking practical wisdom for the life journey under the sun.

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