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Verbal Abuse: Handling Emotional Verbal Abuse

Updated on August 21, 2012

Verbal abuse (whether accompanied by physical abuse ) always lead a person to experience emotional turmoil. There are a lot of sites in the internet with helpful tips and ways on how to specifically handle different types of abuse. But I would like to write more on how to handle the emotional effects of verbal abuse.

Here are the emotional effects that people often experienced in abusive situations.


A twenty seven year old young lady shares to me her story. She had experienced molestation by neighboring workers near their house at the age of 5. She recalls how she grew up being angry with the world. As a coping mechanism, she made herself forget the "incident" and went through life with a thick shield and this battlecry, "Leave Me Alone!" Also, she recognized that she was angry with herself. She couldn't understand why she wasn't brave enough to tell her family or anyone of what was happening to her.

Anger is one emotion experienced during abusive situations.


Parents who forget to praise and instead constantly criticize their children often do not realize the emotional effects that goes along with it. A brother in my community experiences depression every so often. As a young professional, he sometimes have to stop and ask himself why he was feeling all these things when life seems to be going well for him. After several sharings, he realized that he still lives in his parents image of him -- someone who couldn't achieve much in life.

Depression due to deep seated feelings of unworthiness or feeling unloved is another emotional effect of verbal abuse.


In Neale Donald Walsh's book on Conversations with God, he writes that there are two emotions from where all other emotions stem from. Love and Fear. When fear starts to sneak in and rests inside you, it paralyzes you without you knowing it. It leads you through other emotions--from guilt (Did I do something wrong?), to hopelessness (Will something good come out of my life?) to worry (Will i be good enough for people to love me?)

I was a very fearful and sensitive child. I didn't handle criticisms well. And I grew up trying to please my parents thinking that if I was being good enough, obedient enough, I'd get their praise and that meant maybe they would love me. I carried this paradigm with me for years. And I experienced all those anger, depression, guilt, hopelessness and fear. I know what it is like to live in the shadow of confusion and drowning in self pity.

Some people's emotional response to verbal abuse is to either be defiant, rebellious and defensive; others become fearful, withdrawn, reclusive.

Don't Hate Yourself For Feeling this Way

Hate was so much a part of it all. I hated feeling that way and so I hated the people who did it to me. And yet, I felt guilty too. Hate and guilt was not a good combination. I recognized now that I didn't have to hate myself for feeling all the emotions I felt. I was not going insane. I did thought I was when I went through all those emotions. At one point, I thought I would wind up in a mental hospital for experiencing roller coaster emotions in a span of days or even from one moment to the next one. I thought I was going crazy! It sure felt like it.

Not judging the feelings was the first step. And then there was that moment when I just felt so tired and exhausted feeling angry, depressed or fearful. I wanted it all to stop. With that, I started on my healing journey. And more light came through. It didn't happen in one instance. But everyday was a discovery of how to heal inside. And if you want it enough, I know you are on your way there.

Here are some things that I did that helped me in my healing journey.

Be Grateful

When you feel very negative and down in the dumps, start by being grateful with who you are, with what you have, and in whatever situation you are in. My best friend Stella, used to do this exercise with me. Before the day would end, she wouldn't let me say good night, not until I was able to tell her one thing that I could be thankful for.

Being grateful brings you into the state of awareness that life may be imperfect, but in its imperfection, you have decided to see its perfection and beauty. My aunt (who happens to be a nun) shared to me in one of our conversations, "I do see the dirt but I choose to see the diamonds." This helped her a lot to view people and circumstances in a positive way.

Use the Power of Choice

We have within us the power to choose. We can start right now to decide that we want a better life. A life that is full of joy and hope and love and peace. If that is what you want, then start using the power of choice. Use it well and use it wisely.

Choose to forgive the self, those who have hurt you, even God (who you may have blame at one time or the other.)

Choose to give as well as receive. Healing can happen when we start giving what we want badly enough. If we want love, then start to give love. If we want generosity, start being generous.

I remember the day I chose to forgive those who have hurt me. It took a bit of time to forgive myself. But when I did, I felt freer and lighter and more at peace with myself and the world.

Surround Yourself with Positive Things

You attract what you constantly focus on. So if you surround yourself with positive people, inspirational music and songs, read books that encourage and uplift, your healing will move on much faster.

Daily Affirmations is a must. Everyday without fail, affirm your worth. Say aloud and believe it with all your heart. "I am special. I am loved. I am beautiful. I am at peace. I am joyful. I am free. I am open to all the good things that life brings me. I am love.

I have kept this picture of young Michelle who is giggling. I look at it to remind me that I have within me the capacity to be happy.

God Loves You

As I am finishing this hub, there are still a hundred things I want to share about my healing. But I know at this point I have to end here. To end and to begin.

To You From Me: I believe now that all of life has a purpose and a reason. I have become a stronger person because of what I have went through. I have found out that if I decide and choose a course of action, in time, I gain mastery in what I want to achieve in my life.

It is not a coincidence that you are reading this words. You have been brought here. And I want you to know that no matter how much ugliness you feel inside or outside of yourself, God sees you with tenderness and so much love. He is ultimately the one person who has held my hand all these years. He has kept me sane when I was about to go insane. And with every breath in me, I want you to know that He is there for you too.

You can choose to be healed from the pains of verbal abuse.  Handling emotional verbal abuse can be a challenging one.  Is it your choice now to let go and move on?  Choose now. And healing will be yours.

Michelle Simtoco


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    • teacherjoe52 profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi ripplemaker.

      From your article you are a very wise young lady,

      I look forward to reading more.

      God bless you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have lived through and struggled with similar situation my whole life

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      miranda, I thank you for dropping by to leave a comment here. Your words touched me deeply. I send you loving prayers as you continue in your journey to total healing. May joy be yours. God bless you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi This article has been so helpful to me. I have went through a lot of emotional and verbal abuse from my father andfinally accepting what happen and moving on has changed the way I think. Has changed every relationship in my life and I thank you deeply for your help

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for this sensitively written article...I have found it very helpful.

      It's hard to handle the emotions when the other person chooses not to recognize how they affect you with their words, even gestures.

      Thanks or sharing!

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Very inspirational. I understand the feelings and emotions. Glad you found the strength, courage and happiness to continue and improve your life's journey. May each day get better and better. Voted and rated.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I find this hub very inspirational.

    • Shil1978 profile image


      9 years ago

      A lot of thought went into this hub. Wise, beautifully crafted, presented, just a wonderful hub from every aspect. Well done RP :)

    • Word Scribe profile image

      Word Scribe 

      9 years ago

      Hello. My name is Word Scribe on here, and I can definitely relate to this and many other hubs about abuse, depression, etc. Thanx for writing such a powerful and wonderful hub. One of mine is about suicide, which I constantly tried throughout my life, until I began the path to self healing and self love. But it's not an easy road, though. But eventually, I'll get through it.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi mulberry, that meant a lot--reading your sharing. It reminds me that I am not alone in this journey. That there are a lot of hurting children inside of us. And yet we do have the power to change things and love and forgiveness is the key to healing. Thank you for sharing as I hug little mulberry and skip along life's road to joy. Hugs... :-)

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      10 years ago

      I was probably in my late twenties when I figured out how much control I had over my happiness. It is a choice, and yes, forgiveness is a very important part of this. I love the picture of you as a chld. I can recall looking at a similar picture of myself and thinking "where is that happy little child, what has happened to her, who has hurt her, and why would I let her down?" ...then I wanted to protect her and give her all the things she dreamed were possible. That helped a lot. Wonderful hub; it's filled with some very wise and loving words!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Thank you Shibashake for being with me in this journey. We do have the power to change our lives starting with our perceptions :-) Be blessed.

      Thank you for noticing that helena. I hope the love I share is more powerful than the negativity we might experience in our lives. :-) I only wish the best for everyone.

    • helenathegreat profile image


      10 years ago from Manhattan

      ripplemaker, I am so glad to see your hub and all of the positive reactions to it! Some people can be very close-minded about this type of thing, but hopefully with more exposure to the power of positive thinking (through hubs like yours), more people will be less afraid of it.

    • shibashake profile image


      10 years ago

      Glad I came across your hubs. I went through something similar with my mom when I was growing up. As you say, we have the power to change our own perceptions of ourselves and our lives. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Dori, affirmations can work wonders. :-) Thanks for reading this one.

    • fortunerep profile image

      Dori S Matte 

      10 years ago from Hillsborough

      That was great, That is a great verse to recite every day. I love it.


    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Thank you frogyfish... the healing journey was a long and painful one but it was worth it. Your heart sees through the words...I thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • frogyfish profile image


      10 years ago from Central United States of America

      Beautifully strange that it was not coincidence for me to read your words. And wise statements to read, with your encouragement because YOU have been through a distinct healing process. Thanks for sharing this hub, I'm sure there are many ripples even now......

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi JadedPoet, I love your honesty. I thank you for that. I find delight in the knowing that you explore various forms of spirituality and find one that resonates with your soul to help you in your healing journey. I feel that is very important. I smile at God being a She or a He or maybe both. You know, I don't have any problems with that. May you find the joy and peace in the journey. Much love and light to you my dear friend... :-)

    • JadedPoet profile image


      10 years ago from Chillicothe MO

      Generally, some very good advice. Well written and well presented, your hub was enlightening and entertaining, in a positive way. Personally, I do not do the G-d thing. My diety is female, as I am, because I feel She understands better. I have found that exploring various forms of spirituality helped me greatly, in finding one that resonates with my soul, and in turns helped with much of the healing I needed. I still have a long way to go, I am just doing what I can to make the journey more pleasant.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi laughingmom, I can't recall now where I got that photo. This hub was written around two years ago (my earlier days on hubpages.) Thank you for your kind words. You have also been a blessing to me too. :-)

      Hi Teresa, oh I like that, the more I learn to be compassionate with myself, the more I learn to be compassionate to others. :-) May we all learn to be that. Hope all is well with you right now...

      Hi Alana, blessings be upon you too. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Alana Obe profile image

      Alana Obe 

      10 years ago from My mind...

      Ripple! excellent as usual, thank you so much for this hub


    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      10 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Bless you, dear Ripples, you always have the compassion to spend time on the details that can make understanding who we are so problematic.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      10 years ago

      See, I told you you were one of those angels in disguise!

      I'd like to ask where you got the picture of Jesus kissing the little girl while she is praying. That's a very powerful picture.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      xxxx13, oh my heart aches as I feel your pain. I remember I thought of that too..death just to end it all. But please, please know that it is possible to move on as I have. I may not know your personal story but someone does care and what they say is not true. You are a special and wonderful person. And God loves you. I send you now a special prayer...

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i get verbally abused everyday & it hurts me so ways more than the abusers think. i think of death every single day of my life.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi mayhmong. we do tend to blame ourselves esp. when we feel we need to please others and we fail. I'm glad you are finding the beauty in you as you care about others as well. Thanks for sharing! :-)

    • mayhmong profile image


      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for clearing that up!

      I grew up wanting attention or some sort of praise from my parents by being obedient and always cleaning the house. No one seems to care until I left and moved out on my own. hehe

      But It's still hard to deal with the pain of verbal abuse, especially coming from the boss. I kept blaming myself for making anyone unhappy. But I come to realized that it's not my job to please everyone all the time. I later found out that he talks the same way to his wife. C'mon now, just because I'm asian doesn't mean you have to treat us women the same way?

      Anywayz, Every one else seems to like to talk to me personally because I don't mind listening and giving out advice. I'll just be myself and not worry so much about it. Best thing to do is talk it out with someone and pray about it.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I know what you mean when you say the words "you have to fight back." It means you will no longer take the kind of abuse and crap people give you because you know you don't deserve that. By the way, I noticed that you wrote your alias name as depressed...are you still feeling this way?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      this might help for girls, but If you are a guy and you are reading this, fight them. Insult them just as much. Reverse roles and become their bully for a couple days. If it contines, do it more, for longer. If it is still continuing, punch them. Fight them physically. You may get in toruble but it works. I know from expierience. You have to fight back!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi riotgrrrl, thanks for reading. I hope it helps another in their journey as well. :-)

    • riotgrrrl profile image


      11 years ago from UK

      i really love this artical, thank you for writing something so important and sharing it with us all


    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      HI countrywomen, thanks for dropping by and commenting. :)

    • countrywomen profile image


      11 years ago from Washington, USA

      WOW!! Great hub. I do agree we do commit violence with our words even if we don't consider it as violence. Good tips on how to deal with verbal abuse. You write very well and your warm personality is reflected in your words. Glad to have come across this hub.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Knslms, I hope this hub is helpful too. Thanks.

    • knslms profile image


      11 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub Thanks for sharing

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Annette and soyelude, thanks so much for reading this hub and adding your insights. :)

    • soyelude profile image


      11 years ago from Lagos - Nigeria

      Very insightful hub on psycho-analysis...was also "chasing" G-ma around when i discovered your hub on 'Angels Among Us'...then this masterpiece! The hub is a melting pot of ideas and have increased its richness. Well done.

    • Annette Rozen profile image

      Ann Martin 

      11 years ago

      great hub, i think just about everyone comes across angry or negative people in their paths. the trick is simply to realize that they are just that - angry and negative, and to focus on the god and overlook the bad.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Julie, that is a wonderful compliment coming from a mom with the kindest of hearts and a superb teacher as well. Thank you so much.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image

      Julie A. Johnson 

      11 years ago from Duluth, MN

      ripplemaker, Good job! You get what you give, so choose to give the very best of yourself. You have done this in this hub. Julie

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Thanks Patty. :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thumbs Up! This is a great answer.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I like that Kenny, a hub of empathy and wisdom.  :-)   I believe that is the most beautiful thing...after all the things that happened!  I found wisdom and myself along the way. And I have all those people (esp. my parents) to thank for helping me become who I am today.

      G-Ma, I had to grin when you said you were "chasing" Kenny around.  He's a dear and a smart and funny guy too.  :-) I'm super glad he led you to me. And me to you. :-)

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      12 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      wow eee what a wonderful many of my feelings in here. Un real..we are all connected in some way...God is great and God is good...It is wonderful to read these things..and Kenny if I wasn't chasing you around I wouldn't have found her..Thank You and Hugs G-Ma :O)

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      12 years ago from Chennai

      Michelle, I understand those feelings of inadequacy. Sometimes even well-meaning parents abuse their children without realizing it. Our children are only temporarily ours, and our job is to care for them till they can manage by themselves.

      It's sad when we get misguided and harm them for ever instead of protecting them.

      A hub of empathy and wisdom.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      HI Mr. Marmalade, this hub went unpublished for days on end. :-) It's a very personal topic for me so I kept "postponing" in finishing it. But I'd glad I finally did. I was even shedding some tears while I was writing the last paragraph. Thanks for reading this one.

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      12 years ago from Sydney

      Great hub with a lot of thought injected into it

      Thank you

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi MM, thanks for the word of encouragement. :-)

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 

      12 years ago from NSW, Australia

      it is really important that parents should be aware of how to deal with their kids emotions. This is a good resources for parents --well done and keep on writing.


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