Breaking the Cycle of Verbal Abuse Takes Time and Patience

March 17, 2022 Cheryl Wozny

Breaking the cycle of verbal abuse takes time, patience, and self-compassion. No one is perfect when it comes to relationships, and more often than I care to admit, I have spoken words I should not have, with the intent of hurting someone. It is behavior that I am not proud of or wish to continue. Each day, I hope that I will not fall back into old but familiar abusive habits that come too easily when facing difficult situations. 

Breaking the Cycle of Verbal Abuse Takes Consistent Action

Hundreds of individuals each day face verbal abuse too often. Whether it is within a parent-child dynamic, an intimate relationship, or at work, this situation should not be as prevalent as it is. As our knowledge of proper communication methods and relationship skills evolve, you may think that verbal abuse will go away as we age, but that isn't always the case. 

So why do people slip and fall back into old habits? For myself, I know that when I become stressed and have other elements, such as being too tired, my brain will fall back into autopilot. But unfortunately, my hard-wired auto-responses come from my youth. 

My childhood was full of insults, threats, and intimidation to control a situation. When all a person knows is what they have exposure to, they believe that it is normal behavior and will continue the cycle. 

How I Move to Break the Verbal Abuse Cycle 

As I move forward through therapy, I slowly learn the factors that help guide my reactions to situations. I was in the high-alert mode for years, constantly reacting to my circumstances rather than analyzing the best course of action. 

Thankfully, I am slowly and consciously re-wiring my brain to stop and think before reacting. I want to say that I'm great and everything works terrifically, but that would be a lie. I have days where my brain jumps into old habits because it is easy and familiar. 

It is hard work to break the cycle of verbal abuse, and there are days when I wonder if I've made two steps backward and only one step forward. But even on those days, I must remember that I did make the effort to take a positive movement. 

Change isn't easy, and I may always have to be conscious of my words with others. But, in the end, I will know that I am taking steps to break the verbal abuse cycle in my family. This way, I hope that my children will grow up in a home that is not full of damaging words that can directly alter their relationships later. 

APA Reference
Wozny, C. (2022, March 17). Breaking the Cycle of Verbal Abuse Takes Time and Patience, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Cheryl Wozny

Cheryl Wozny is a freelance writer and published author of several books, including mental health resources for children titled, Why Is My Mommy So Sad? and Why is My Daddy So Sick? Writing has become her way of healing and helping others. Find Cheryl on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and her blog

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