Comments About Verbal Abuse Can Be Unintentionally Hurtful

March 28, 2024 Cheryl Wozny

Comments about verbal abuse can help or hurt. People can be generally helpful, even when they hear of a verbally abusive relationship. They may offer words of support or advice they think are beneficial to the situation. Often, these people mean well, but sometimes, their comments about verbal abuse are not helpful or well-received. There can be a fine line between supporting a victim of verbal abuse and minimizing their experience. 

Hurtful Comments About Verbal Abuse Disguised as Support

Unfortunately, not everyone can put themselves in your shoes when you are in a verbally abusive relationship. This lack of empathy can create tension between someone trying to be supportive of another. In some cases, an individual may offer advice or comments about verbal abuse that are unintentionally hurtful.

Some of the remarks I've heard from outsiders that didn't sit well with me were: 

  • Every relationship has problems. You both need to work at it to make it work. 
  • They never seemed verbally abusive when I met/worked/lived with them.
  • Why don't you stand up for yourself? I wouldn't let someone talk to me like that.
  • If it's as bad as you say, just leave
  • I warned you about them. 

When I receive comments about verbal abuse like these, I feel more alone than ever. Common remarks like these show a lack of understanding of my situation. An outsider cannot fully comprehend how challenging it can be to try and work on a relationship with someone who is abusive or has no resources to change their situation.  

Comments About Verbal Abuse that Are Supportive

Instead of making assumptions about an individual's verbally abusive situation, there are other ways to support them. Some things to remember when talking to a person who discloses verbal abuse to you include: 

  • No one ever deserves abuse for any reason. 
  • Everyone should feel safe.
  • There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem.
  • It can take time and courage to face a verbally abusive situation.
  • Verbal abuse is more common than you think. 

If you want to support a friend or loved one, try using these helpful comments about verbal abuse:

  • Thank you for telling me. I'd love to help you in any way I can. 
  • I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. I'm here to talk anytime you need. 
  • You aren't alone. I am here for you. 
  • Verbal abuse is not okay. Did you need help finding local resources to help you through this? 
  • You have a right to feel safe. Can I help you find support and resources in your area? 

Being the target of verbal abuse is never easy or deserved. This behavior can slowly escalate over time, making it difficult for the victim to identify with a harmful situation until it's too late.

Remember that verbal abuse comes in many forms, and everyone may handle these circumstances differently. It's not a question of why the verbal abuse happened but how to stop it and heal from it. 

APA Reference
Wozny, C. (2024, March 28). Comments About Verbal Abuse Can Be Unintentionally Hurtful, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 17 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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