Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Verbal Abuse - Undermining

Trigger warning: This post contains details of the things verbal abusers may say and do. This post may trigger memories of verbal abuse.

Underming is a tactic verbal abusers utilize to dampen his partner's enthusiasm, happiness, or excitement.

Undermining includes anything a partner uses to dampen your excitement. Some examples might include the following phrases:
-Who cares?
-That's stupid.
-Nobody asked you.
-Who asked for your opinion?
-Who are you trying to impress?
-What makes you think you're so smart?
-You'll never make it.
-It's over your head.

In her book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Patricia Evans even describes a situation in which every time one woman sat down to study, her partner took on a very concerned look and asked if she was OK. Over time, the woman became very anxious about studying, something she had originally been very enthusiastic about.

When you are constantly undermined, the verbal abuser tears at your self-esteem by making you feel as if your opinions, thoughts, and feelings don't matter.

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