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7 types of subtle verbal aggressions in a relationship

7 types of subtle verbal aggressions in a relationship

November 19, 2022

Relationships may be characterized as being based on an intimate bond between two people, but that does not mean that there is no room for ambiguity in them. This can be clearly expressed when conflicts arise: many times, anger is not expressed directly, but in a passive-aggressive way, just giving information to identify what is happening.

But anger in a relationship is not the only type of negative situations that can be expressed in disguise. Wherever there is verbal abuse, it can also be so subtle that, once it has become a habit, it is difficult to recognize it as such. That is to say, situations of psychological abuse often come to normalize. Next we will see exactly how it can be produced this type of verbal aggression difficult to recognize .


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How to recognize the types of verbal aggression in the relationship?

Next we will see the main types of verbal aggressions in the context of a relationship, and how to identify them.

Knowing how to detect each of them is important, because it allows detecting situations that should not be tolerated and that in the long run can create a relational dynamic characterized by the dominance of one person over the other.

1. Teasing about the other person's family context

Sometimes, the origin of a person can be used to try to hurt her, especially if it comes from a humble environment or associated with the rural. In this way, small mentions to the fact that the other spent his childhood in a small town without an Internet connection, for example, many times it can only make sense in the context of an offense .


This kind of subtle verbal attacks are aimed at disqualifying the other in a simple way and without having to argue anything; fundamentally, it consists in creating a stigma that can be used at convenience at the most opportune moments, even before friends or family.

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2. Call attention to the attractiveness of others

Expressing directly that you feel attracted to another person is, in many cases, another example of aggression that, while not always verbal, is psychological. Where is the limit to know if it is admissible? Easy: unless it has been clearly established beforehand that such behaviors are allowed, it is.

In reality, this type of expression of feelings may have as its main objective to undermine the self-esteem of the couple, since even if it is attractive to another person, this does not oblige to express it openly. What is achieved by giving these unwanted opinions is to give a clear message: "after all, you are not so special".


3. Read the mind

This type of verbal aggression consists in constantly reincluding in the fallacy of the straw man to make fun of the other person. For example, a caricatured version of the motivations of the other can be offered , of their ways of thinking and their fundamental beliefs, not to explain something, but simply to use mockery and place themselves in a situation of power before, for example, a decision that should be taken jointly (for something is in a couple ).

4. Emotional blackmail

Emotional blackmail is a kind of subtle verbal aggression that goes beyond words. On the one hand, it serves to expose the idea that it is expected that the other person make special efforts to maintain the relationship, as if only one member of the couple had the duty to keep it together. On the other, he introduces guilt into the other to manipulate his behavior from his own remorse.

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5. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is deliberately lying so that the other person doubts about their own mental abilities. Not only is the truth hidden under lies, but it also places the other in a situation of psychological distress, sometimes almost hypochondriac, simply to be able to manipulate it. That is why, to detect this kind of situations, it is necessary to work on self-esteem and build a realistic self-concept , in addition to having a third opinion.

  • Related article: "Gaslighting: the most subtle emotional abuse"

6. Deliberately ignore

This type of verbal aggression is characterized precisely by selective verbality, that is, speaking only to say certain things, and to be silent for the majority, without giving an explanation. In certain aspects a type of gaslighting can be considered , and it is a type of abuse because it does not even offer the possibility of understanding what causes the anger (real or feigned) of the person who does it, which subtracts all constructive characteristics and only leaves the negative.

7. Use the false dichotomy

The false dichotomy makes it possible to place others far from the "correct" moral category simply because, starting from a totally biased criterion, it can be said that it occupies an attitude or an opinion of ethically inadmissible persons.

An extreme and almost caricatural version of this would be to try to make the other person feel bad for his eating habits by noting that "Hitler was also a vegetarian". Even if it is true, it is something that does not tell us anything about why being a vegetarian is wrong, it simply relates in a crude way to something that we ethically want to get away from. It is a strategy of manipulation so crude that, to practice, shows a clear lack of respect and encouragement to manipulate .


What is Emotional Abuse? SIGNS you are in an emotionally abusive relationship (November 2022).


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