How to Deal with Verbal Abuse
I recently got an email asking me what they should do when their partner is verbally abusive.
I get this question a lot and encounter it in therapy on a regular basis. I have a 6 step process that folks can follow as a starting point.
If are interested in finding out more you can go to:
Below are practical things you can do that may turn the tide if both people are open to change.
1. Start off by calming yourself down.
2. Don’t respond in kind.
3. Withdraw with reassurance – say something that lets your partner know you are willing to talk with them, but not now, when we may both say things that we will regret.
4. Calm down – It’s easy to get upset as we are going through this process and then when we come from that place everything gets worse. I have put this step in as a reminder about how important state of mind is to successful communication
5. Think about what is behind his verbal abuse (bad behavior) What is he really upset about?
6. Re approach him when you better understand what is upsetting him so much.
You might say something like: I think you are upset about ….. let’s see if we can figure “it” out together.
I will be able to give a more specific answer when I know exactly what the issue is.
This process is not for couples that are having sever problems, the answers for that are far more complicated.
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