How to tell if you are a Verbal Physical or Emotional Abuser

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"How to tell if you are a Verbal Physical or Emotional Abuser"
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How can you tell if you are a verbal, physical, or an emotional abuser? Surely if you were any kind of abuser, you would know it, right?

There are people who abuse others every day, and don't even realize it. They may realize it to some degree, but to fully admit, even to themselves, to being an abuser is just something they cannot do. Instead, they somehow justify it, attributing it to aggressive leadership, constructive criticism, or strong handed authority.

Verbal abuse:

There are a number of people who suffer a form of low self-esteem, or insecurity in certain areas, and don't even realize it. They are the ones who are always offering "constructive" criticism. They often say things such as, "How can you stand those long sleeves?" Many times, if they really wanted to be honest with themselves, they probably thought you looked nice and unconsciously, they intended to demean you. It made them feel better about the way they looked.

Jesus Christ gave a good example when He reprimanded the churches in Revelations. He always pointed out their good points first. When criticism is approached in such a way, it's considered constructive and is accepted much more readily.

When someone asks an insecure person for their opinion, they usually receive criticism first. Instead of pointing out what is good, they point right away to what is wrong before offering any kind of compliment. They feel like they're being constructive, but pointing out the wrong first, shows how eager they are to criticize. It is a sign of low self-esteem or some form of insecurity.

Do you do that? Are you quick to offer criticism, thinking it's constructive? Are you always pointing out the shortcomings of others? When you're angry, do you often say hurtful things, apologizing afterwards, yet you still throw out hurtful words each time you get upset? Does it really make you feel better to hurl hurtful words at someone? Words and phrases such as, "I hate you, you're an idiot, you're worthless, you'll never amount to anything?"

Once you've verbally attacked their character, do you go further and verbally cut them down? Words like, "Ugly, fat slob," are down right hateful. Apologizing later, saying you didn't mean it, doesn't repair the damage to the person you verbally attacked. If you say things like this often, you are verbally abusive.

Physical abuse:

When you lose your temper with your spouse or children, do you usually grab, shove or slap at them? Pop them on the head? Shove them back? Grab the front of their clothing and pull them toward you? Grab their arm and squeeze it so tight that it leaves a bruise? If you do these things, you are a physical abuser.

And don't justify it with the attitude that you're simply usurping your authority because physically abusing someone is not necessary in order to maintain authority. Matter of fact, a person who is so out of control that they have to resort to violent behavior to get their way should not be in a position of authority.

Emotional abuse:

An emotional abuser loves to play head games and toy with the emotions of others. It could be a man who says he love you, only to turn around and express doubt, making you feel insecure in the relationship. It could be a mother, who toys with the emotions of her children. She may talk about how difficult her life has been because of them and how many sacrifices she has had to make for them, making them feel guilty for even being born. She may tell them in one breath what a burden they are then turn around and tell them it's a burden she gladly bears, which confuses the children emotionally.

Emotional abusers love to crawl up on a proverbial cross and hang there like a martyr. They crave attention and enjoy the feeling of believing they're suffering for the sake of others, when in reality, most of their suffering is self inflicted. Persons like these cast a blanket of guilt over everyone who comes in contact with them.

Therefore, if you are a verbal, physical or emotional abuser, likely as not, you won't see it. You won't admit it to yourself, let alone anyone else. However, many of us may be guilty of occasional verbal, physical or emotion abuse but once it's pointed out, we are able to recognize it and do our best to see that it doesn't happen again.

Jesus Christ said the Father causes rain to fall and the sun to shine on the just and the unjust. God is kind to all of us whether we believe in Him or not.

However, those who are born again (little ones) are very precious to God. Their angels always behold the face of the Father. None of us knows for sure which of us bears the Holy Spirit or who will someday come to bear Him. The Savior said, "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea." (Mark 9:42)

Abusive persons are not only hurting the ones they love, they could quite possibly be drawing the wrath of God upon themselves. That's a scary thought.

More about this author: Pat Lunsford

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