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June 6, 2012

Emotional Abuse – Do Words Hurt?

Author: JenniferMaster1

“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This saying from childhood days was maybe used to calm the pain that children felt from being teased or bullied. Most of us can recall a memory when words really hurt us.

Most people would never purposefully hit their child. But how many call their child stupid, lazy, slow poke, brat, or even worse? These words can have as much emotional impact on their child as physically hitting them. Whether we call our children names out of frustration, anger or a learned habit from our own parents, we are emotionally abusing our children.

My deceased father who I love dearly never called me degrading names when I was a child. Yet when I had his grandchildren he would occasionally call them a negative name. He did seem to call the boys a name more than the girls, so perhaps this was something he had observed in a relationship with one of his own parents.

Sarcasm has no place in anyone’s speech yet it is very prevalent in our modern times. It’s not just a problem of adults to children but also adults to adults. This is basically like calling people names, degrading them or making fun of them for a good laugh. But most people don’t feel like laughing when they are the victim of sarcasm. They may laugh on the outside, but inside they have felt the negative emotion of being put down or made fun of and these emotional injuries can take months or years to heal and can affect relationships or success throughout the rest of their lives.

As in sarcasm or other negative words, it’s important to realize it’s not just the words that hurt others. If a dog’s master speaks to his dog in a kind and positive voice but is using mean words like “I hate you stupid dog”, the dog will still wag his tail and feel loved. That is because the energy behind the words is more important than the words themselves. I’m not saying you should speak to your child as a dog. They are smart. They will understand the meaning of unkind words like “hate”. But the actual energy that goes out with negative emotions is very real.

Consider for a moment the scripture about fiery darts in Ephesians 6:16 “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” This is not just talking about something physical. There is an intangible energy that comes with wicked words which can’t be seen with the naked eye but can be felt in our heart and our energy field.

Here is a checklist to help a parent, or anyone, stop the name calling game.

*I admit that I have a problem of verbal abuse even if it only happens occasionally.
*I am realizing that I need to change and make a game plan which may involve others helping me.
*I am able to apologize when I have let my tongue get out of control.
*I realize that the urge to verbally abuse others can be from past negative events in my life or other
family members who called me names or put me down.
*Children are not inferior or a possession to be controlled. I respect them as individuals and realize they are trying to figure the world out just like me.
*I can forgive myself and others who struggle with this problem, be grateful for progress and remember it’s a work in progress until it is conquered.
*I am taking care of myself physically (i.e. good nutrition, adequate sleep, healthy relationships, a proper balance of work and play) so I can mentally focus on treating others with conscious kindness.
*I find joy in giving positive and complimentary words to others.
*I look for the good in others and try to build them up rather than tear them down.
*I love, accept and approve of myself and realize the potential I have for making the world a better place.

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One Response to “Emotional Abuse – Do Words Hurt?”

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