Verbal abuse can occur in various settings. Its consequences are far reaching as it leads to low self-esteem, fear, and shame. It may involve personal attacks, yelling or threats delivered in an overt or subtle manner. It is associated with various stressful situations and consequently, it also occurs in such workplace situations where stress levels are elevated. In workplaces, it may be difficult to report or deal with verbal abuse.
Such type of abuse tends to impact negatively other people as well as the entire workplace. In various types of relationships, there is a variety of issues that arise. There are conflicts that can escalate and lead to verbal abuse. These types of exchanges can then lead to physical conflicts as well. When there is an inability to resolve conflict behaviors can become aggressive.
Verbal abuse usually precedes physical abuse. Women who experience verbal abuse also tend to experience sexual abuse in childhood.
As a consequence of verbal abuse victims experience anger, stress, anxiety and may also become depressed. When their personalities clash or skills at resolving conflicts are insufficient, emotions may become overwhelming, leading further to more intensity and frustration. Verbal abuse then becomes the expression of these unresolved emotions. Verbal abuse also tends to be associated with the sense of power and control. Those who engage feel threatened fearing that this is the only way they can hold on to the relationship.
Verbal abuse can be directed for various reasons. Most commonly it is to gain attention or gain control. It is exacerbated by stress, powerlessness, and fear. Those who are the victims of verbal abuse often tend to avoid conflicts, have less self-confidence or are passive.
The environment where there is more distress and loss of control also contributes to engaging in alcohol consumption that further alleviates conflicts and engaging in verbal abuse.
Those who become aggressive and verbally threaten others often later engage in physical violence as well. Aggressive behavior most often escalates and becomes also physically abusive. At times, such behavior can be associated with various psychological problems.
When children witness or fall victim to verbal aggression they may develop an antisocial personality or later engage in alcohol abuse. Factors such as violence are also triggered by those with antisocial personality or violent family history. These setting often create domestic violence conflicts. It is quite common that disruptive environments where there is little self-control lead to antisocial disorders, where conflicts become the norm.
Those with antisocial personalities tend to be more threatening and intimidating. They tend to be impulsive, although their actions are more goal orientated. Once they are satisfied that they maintained control they may change their behavior. There are various circumstances where stress can escalate and lead to domestic violence situations. Even those with no personality disorders may be prone to losing control.
Verbal abuse can just as damaging as physical abuse. Verbal abuse is destructive due to the effects of put-downs or belittling others that involve loss of confidence and other emotional problems. Verbal abuse can be perpetrated through various forms of disrespect, ridicule or expression of anger.