top of page

Tired of Being Talked Down To? Here's How to Recover from Verbal Abuse

(Image from

Have you ever been subject to constant judgment and put-downs? If you’ve answered yes, you are not alone. Many individuals struggle to combat this kind of criticism. The problem is that hurtful words are generally reinforced by bad intentions. If you are not aware, this kind of verbal torture can be used as a form of abuse or manipulation. In those instances, words inflict emotional pain. When this becomes more frequent, you begin to mentally unravel.

From my personal experience, I have worked and lived in environments where those around me feel intimidated by my dedication and motivation, so they work hard to point out my flaws. Then, when I would make small mistakes, they were made out to be catastrophic failures. More so, I would be taunted, yelled at, and disrespected beyond what I consider acceptable.

In my mind, I wondered, why was it acceptable for others to be imperfect? But when it comes to me, my flaws would not be tolerated.

As a result of this, I often wondered what it was about me that others disliked so much. When I truly thought about it, I came to the conclusion that it’s possible that those around me feel intimidated or threatened by my strength and confidence. That being said, I have always been humble, never bragging about my accomplishments. However, I have learned that when people have high expectations, any deviation results in disappointment and negative feedback on my performance.

For a long time, I allowed negative comments to bring me down. Yet recently, I have had an epiphany. Criticisms are opinions based on personal evaluation, not facts. What is important is that I believe in my capabilities, regardless of what everyone else thinks. The problem is that it is difficult to succeed when dealing with this. I've endured so much negative verbal abuse and manipulation that I forgot who I was as a person. Therefore, my intention behind writing this article is to prevent others from going through the same experience. Using my tools, I can know you can overcome this.

Those Who Are Speaking Badly About You Are Unhappy With Themselves

Although it may look like your critics are happy, living their best life, they aren’t. More often than not, you are the one being selected as a source of ridicule because they are insecure or miserable. It’s like they are willing to do or say anything just to make you feel inferior. An instance of this is when you are doing a task in your own way, and the other person says that you’re doing it wrong. I mean who cares how you get to the result? There are dozens of ways to solve the same problem. Some people are neurotic about this, forcing you to do everything in the same way that they do. Please recognize, that is their ignorance getting in the way.

The key to rising above this is understanding that they might be envious of your innovative spirit, creativity, and unique nature. Oftentimes, when someone is ‘different,’ that is perceived as unacceptable, especially when in work environments and friend groups. You have special strategies to do your job more efficiently is frowned upon because it deviates from the group norm. Well, the group norm should not detract from your individuality. It is perfectly okay to be you! Never forget that. Besides, you never will achieve a name for yourself by being the same as the people around you.

Stand Up for Yourself In A Constructive Manner

In my work environment, I have struggled to find my voice. I always believed it was best to say nothing to maintain professionalism. However, that is the biggest mistake you can make. The more unacceptable behavior you tolerate from others, the worse it becomes. I can personally attest to this. The more I let people get away with treating me like garbage, the more did it. I got to the point where I could no longer sleep, eat, or relax in my time outside of work.

If you find anyone in your interpersonal network who feeds off of putting you do