* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you people say, but this really couldn’t be further from the truth.Verbal abuse is not something that anyone should take lightly, and for good reason.
Verbal abuse in any context can be extremely hurtful, and can often lead to you feeling bad about yourself when there’s absolutely no reason to, or potentially much worse things.
So in this article we’ll be answering how to stop verbal abuse, and remove yourself from the situation. Let’s get started.
It’s important to understand that whatever the context is, if you find yourself upset by what a person says to you, then you shouldn’t be afraid to admit that that person has verbally abused you.
Of course there are different circumstances and variables that can massively change how a person perceives what people say, but feeling upset by a person’s comments is never a good thing, or something that you should have to put up with, so let’s take a look at how to stop verbal abuse altogether.
Remember that your safety is always the number one priority, and if you’re in a scenario that might be unsafe for you then the best option is always to try to defuse the situation, leave, and report it to the authorities, so be sure to take these different methods with a grain of salt.
Call out abusive behavior
It might seem scary, but calling out behavior that’s verbally abusive can be the first step in engaging with an individual that might not even understand that they’re being verbally abusive to you.
Just saying something as simple as ‘that hurts my feelings’ can go a really long way, and can give the person abusing you the reality check that they need that their actions are directly upsetting you.
Remember to keep calm, and try not to match verbal abuse with verbal abuse, otherwise you’ll risk escalating the situation which can lead to scenarios that people are going to upset each other, or can even become potentially dangerous.
The simplest, and most effective way to get someone to stop being verbally abusive to you when it’s over the phone is simply by blocking them.
Sure, this won’t always be the most effective way if you see that person in real life, and can lead to further abuse if this is the case but if you don’t see this person in real life, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with blocking them and never looking back, especially if you tell them what they’re saying is offensive and is upsetting you.
Regardless of who they are, they’re sure to get the hint once you’ve blocked them on whatever platform they’re messaging you on.
But even if you don’t feel like explaining yourself to them, that’s fine. You’re under no obligation to treat this person nicely, after what they’ve said to you, so just blocking a person can sometimes be the most effective strategy.
It might seem obvious, but having the confidence to simply walk away from a person that’s verbally abusing you is key. Especially if you’ve let that person know that their comments are upsetting to you.
Find someone that you can talk to, whether it be a family member, a friend, or something else. Walking away from the situation means no further harm can happen to you, and gives you a chance to evaluate the situation from a different perspective.
Ignoring the person might seem like an odd solution, but not giving the person an audience to respond to their hurtful comments can effectively respond to verbal abuse. Not responding to endless lists of their messages is sure to work too.
Seeing a list of their unanswered messages pile up over messages, or even face to face is a great way of getting across that you’re not interested in what they have to say, nor do you care. Sometimes that can be enough to stop a person from directing their abuse toward you.
Obviously, you should take steps to avoid this person after this, but in the moment keeping your cool and ignoring them can be a difficult but effective way of shutting down their insults.
Without lowering yourself to their level. It’s important to ignore them NOT the situation though, don’t bury what’s happening down within yourself, and report the situation to the authorities, or a close friend or family member.
Contact the authorities
If the person harassing you with abuse doesn’t stop after you’ve blocked them or told them how hurtful their comments are, then you shouldn’t sit back and allow it to happen.
Verbal abuse is illegal, especially when you feel threatened, alarmed, or distressed by the comments someone makes, so reporting this incident to the police is never going to be a bad idea.
Whatever your scenario, your safety is always the number one priority, so even if you’re slightly worried about your wellbeing, contacting the authorities is a priority.
It’s much better to be cautious but safe than to risk your well-being on someone that doesn’t respect you telling them to stop contacting you.
Reporting this to the authorities is as simple as going to your local precinct and filing a police report. A protection order can be placed to keep you safe, and the matter will be out of your hands.
While all of these methods are effective in their regard, it’s important to remember that your safety is always the number one priority here.
Suppose you think that a situation you’re in has become dangerous. In that case, removing yourself from the vicinity of the person and seeking help from a close friend, family member, or the authorities themselves will always be the best option.
Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)
988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.
The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org
Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish
Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)
Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228
American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222
National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255
LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)
The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)
The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)
The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net
International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com
The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.
‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories
- Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists
- GoodTherapy.org: http://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy: https://aamft.org/Directories/Find_a_Therapist.asp
- Emergency: 911
- Hotline: 1-888-353-2273
- YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/
UK & Republic of Ireland
- Emergency: 112 or 999
- Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
- Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
- Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
- Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
- YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/