Verbal Emotional Abuse
Why Emotional Abusers Don’t Want You to Confuse Them With the Facts
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
“Don’t confuse me with the facts!” “I need to see this from my reality only!” Sound familiar?
Have you noticed how arguments escalate with emotional abusers? They tell you that something is bothering them in no uncertain terms, but often fail to fill you in on what the hell it is. So here you are knowing fully what they feel, yet you remain in the dark as to why.
Then, if you get lucky, they may expand on their issue with you...and you feel this sigh of relief, because now you have something you can deal with or at least address. So, you seek to share your perspective, your position...your point of view. And wham, you’re cut off with, Don’t confuse me with the facts. My mind is made up.
To get this message through to you, the emotional abuser will pile on another layer of attack aimed to stop you in your tracks. It may sound like this...“Well, that’s a logical position, BUT...
You know a “but” is coming and with it is the next emotional assault. It may start with, “That’s the problem with you... You’re too intense, too convincing, too late with this explanation, too whatever to compel me to take you in and actually hear that you have something to say...worthy of my attention, much less my consideration.” Get the picture?
Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts
All the mess around “don’t confuse me with the facts” is nothing more than an effort to re-establish an unequal distribution of power in the moment...in the relationship. The emotional assault or blow to your character is their effort to tilt the scale, because in that moment they are tasting their own vulnerability.
Part of how they deal with their personal vulnerability is to make you wrong in order for them to be right. As you know, from where they stand, they must be right. So, don’t confuse them with the facts.
What emotional abusers are really telling you is that there is no room for your reality in a discussion with them. Embracing your point of view is beyond them. You see, your perspective doesn’t warrant their consideration, because they have already made up their mind and they really don’t want you to confuse them with your facts.
Verbal Emotional Abuse Price
You feel unheard in that moment because you, indeed, are... You are not granted permission to share. You are not to have an opinion that differs from theirs. You see, if you hang on to your point of view, there is a price in this interaction with an emotional abuser.
The price you pay is verbal emotional abuse. You know the discussion is over, so you pull it back and lick the wounds inspired by the emotional abuse dished out to keep you in your place.
If you are following me in this description of this interaction, then you have probably experienced verbal emotional abuse. It is both subtle and significant. It leaves you emotionally off base, sometimes even before you know what happened.
If this is the pattern of interaction with your intimate partner, take a hard and fast look at the dynamics of abusive relationships. The better you grasp these dynamics, the easier it will be for you to break the cycle of abuse before it spirals out of control.
For private, discrete and convenient resources helping people worldwide to understand, end and heal verbal emotional abuse, visit our library www.domesticabusesupport.org. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps individuals and couples break the cycle of domestic abuse. © Jeanne King, Ph.D. — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.