Thursday, December 20, 2007

Verbal Abuse - Countering

Countering is a form of verbal abuse in which an abuser tries to dominate or control his or her partner and/or his or her partner’s reality, experiences, and/or feelings, according to Patricia Evans.

Evans remarks in her book The Verbally Abusive Relationship that when an abuser constantly counters his or her partner, the partner cannot truly know what the abuser thinks or feels.

Countering is a tactic in which an abuser will tell his or her partner that he or she is wrong – that one’s reality, feelings, perceptions, and thoughts – are wrong.

Here are some examples of countering.

Example 1:

Partner: I think the acting in that movie was done really well.

Abuser: How can you say that? The acting was horrible!

Example 2:

Abuser: That doctor didn’t know what he was talking about. I wonder if he even went to medical school.

Partner: You didn’t think he knew what he was talking about? I actually thought he seemed very intelligent about his subject matter.

Abuser: You’re wrong.

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