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LIANNE [lee-ann]
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Healthy Conflict and Verbal Abuse: What You Need to Know

It’s important to recognize the difference between healthy conflict and verbal abuse in any relationship you find yourself in. Whether it’s a platonic friendship, family member or romantic partner, disagreements are something you’re going to experience. It’s pretty much inevitable. However, there are moments when these conflicts can escalate and take a darker turn, crossing over into uncharted territory: verbal abuse. It’s important to recognize the difference and protect yourself in the process. Read on to learn more!

So, what does healthy conflict actually mean?

Healthy conflict is a natural part of human interactions, where a difference of opinions and emotions clash but is handled constructively. Healthy conflict can often lead to growth, better communication & a stronger bond with that person. Here are a few key characteristics of healthy conflict:

For example: Two friends have a disagreement about where to go for dinner. They both share their preferences calmly and try to find a compromise by considering what each other would like to eat. They come to an agreement to try a new restaurant that offers both of their favorite cuisines.

When Things Take a Dark Turn…

Verbal abuse, on the other hand, is a harmful form of communication that involves demeaning, belittling or threatening someone with words. It’s all about trying to control, dominate & inflict emotional pain. Here are some signs of verbal abuse:

For example: In a romantic relationship, the abuser constantly berates their partner, calling them worthless and saying they will leave them if they don’t “follow orders”. The victim then becomes anxious and isolated due to the constant emotional attacks and begins to walk on egg shells in the relationship in order to avoid further conflict.

How Can Verbal Abuse Affect Me?

Verbal abuse can have a huge impact on your mental and emotional well-being. Victims of verbal abuse can often experience:

What Can I Do About It?

If you find yourself in a verbally abusive relationship, it’s super important to take steps to protect your emotional well-being. Here are some ways you can do that:

The Bottom Line

Conflicts are inevitable in every relationship, but it’s important to know the difference between healthy conflict and verbal abuse. Healthy conflict leads to growth and understanding of one another. Verbal abuse is emotionally damaging and harmful. By recognizing the signs of verbal abuse and taking action, you can protect yourself and form healthier relationships built on mutual respect and understanding.

Remember your well-being and safety, which should always be top priority, and seek support from loved ones or professionals. That is a huge step towards healing and empowerment. Share this blog post with someone you know who would benefit from learning about the differences between healthy conflict and verbal abuse!

*Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please know that help is available. Call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788 for free and confidential support.


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2 Responses

  1. Great post. Thank you for including suggestions on how to protect our emotional well being in the instance that we end up a verbally abusive situation.

    1. It’s so important to remember the power we have over our emotional well being even in these toxic situations! I hope this helps anyone who needs to see it. Thank you for your input 🩷