Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Blocking and Diverting

Blocking is a form of verbal abuse in which the abuser controls discussion, withholds information, or diverts his or her partner's attention to something else.

Some examples of blocking include:
That's a lot of crap!
Where did you get a crazy idea like that?
Quit your bitching.
This discussion is over.
You think you know everything!

Other times an abuser will block discussion by diverting her attention to something else.

Some examples of blocking by diverting include the following:
This is too complicated for you to understand
I'm tired of your constant complaining!
Just drop it, I don't need this hassle!
I've already explained it to you before!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mean Girls - What They Are and How to Cope

While aggression in teen boys tends to be physical, aggression in teen girls is often expressed in relationships. While adolescent boys use their physical strength as a weapon, adolescent girls use their relationships with their friends as weapons.

Relational aggression can include any and all of the following:
-Gossip - personal information about the victim is shared without her consent.
-Isolation - where a victim is somehow prevented from socializing with her friends.
-Spreading rumors about the victim

Relational aggression is not only hurtful when it is happening, it can also have long-term consequences for the victim of "mean girls'" behavior.

Studies have found that long-term consequences of relational abuse include, but are not limited to: depression, suicide, low self-esteem, loneliness, anxiety, and adjustment problems.

Parents should keep an open communication with their teens about relational abuse.

Some of the signs that your teen may be suffering from "mean girl" behavior include (but certainly are not limited to):
-A sudden disinterest in spending time with friends she once spent time with.
-Avoiding talking about friends she used to talk about openly.
-Isolating herself.
-Drop in self-esteem.
-Skipping school.
-Poor academic performance.

If you think your teen may be experiencing relational abuse, please talk to her about what she is experiencing. It is also wise to alert school officials to the problem and who is involved in victimizing your daughter. School officials are more aware and responsive to this behavior than they were a decade ago.

In order to avoid long-term damage to your daughter's self-esteem, please take her to a counselor or have her see the school counselor. Remind her that she is worthy and beautiful just the way she is.

Please do not ignore relational aggression. Seek help if you think your daughter (or son) is being victimized by her (or his) peers.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Verbal Abuse - Trivializing

Trivializing is where an abusive partner makes light of his or her partner's accomplishments or achievements. Oftentimes, the partner of an abuser may not feel he or she is communicating how significant an accomplishment is due to the abuser's trivialization of it.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Verbal Abuse - Discounting

Discounting is a form of verbal abuse that leaves the partner of a verbal abuser feeling as if his/her feelings, thoughts, and experiences are worthless or don't matter, according to Patricia Evans in her boo Verbally Abusive Relationships.

Some statements that may be considered as discounting include:

-You don't know what you are talking about.
-You twist my words around.
-You are trying to start a fight.
-You are making a mountain out of a molehill.
-You cannot take a joke.
-You see everything in the worst possible way.
-You think you know it all.
-You think you're always right.
-No one asked you.
-Your feelings don't matter.