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An Antidote For Verbal Abuse

Recently someone said to me very angrily and very clearly, “You are an absolute idiot!”

It hurt.  I immediately slipped back in my awareness to early childhood experiences of pain and suffering, when I was cruelly teased and put down.

I actually found myself fearing that my subconscious would buy into this negative statement and program me to function at a lower level of intelligence. 

You might think that I was making too much of this, but it was stated with a great deal of power, and the speaker was standing very close to me.  We also have had a close, long-term relationship.

The closer the relationship, the more vulnerable we are to the influence of the other person.

Why was I called an “absolute idiot”?  I was not doing what she wanted me to do.  At least, that was the surface cause.  On a deeper level she spoke that way to me because she was feeling very frustrated, even powerless, in a big way.

How do I know this?  Because people do not verbally abuse others when they are feeling good, strong and in control.  Verbal abuse is an expression of desperation and exasperation. 

It helps to depersonalize the receipt of verbal abuse by understanding it as an expression of the abuser's suffering.  It can help us shift from defensiveness to compassion toward the abuser.

But we need to address the negative seed of the negative statement that the put-down planted in our subconscious.  The words and attitudes that we receive which characterize a negative perspective of us can negatively influence how we feel about ourselves and how we perform in our lives.

Repeatedly receiving demeaning attitudes and words can cause emotional suffering that drains one of power and therefore renders one more powerless to lead a happy and productive life.

The common advice we receive regarding verbal abuse is to just ignore it, but that rarely works. 

We are also advised to stay away from the abuser.  But all too often that is not feasible.  Often there is a shared interest that keeps us tied to that person, like a work project that we have to partner on, or even a family project like the raising of children.

The point is that we can't always get away.  And the negative remarks we hear often stick in our minds, reverberating in our consciousness, poisoning our self-esteem and self-confidence even when we are not physically with the verbal abuser.

There is an antidote to verbal abuse.  It begins with intention.  Become clear about your intention to remain unharmed by the verbal abuse that you have received.  Your clear intention sets your creativity into motion that will lead you to ways to recover from the attack.

Next, realize that the only reason why you received that abuse is because the abuser feels that you have some kind of power over him.  There is a change that he feels that he needs you to make in order to make him feel safe.  So try to accept the feeling that you are the one perceived as having the power of dominance in the situation.

Then, reverse the verbal abuse with a focus on the opposite message.  For instance, after being called an “absolute idiot” I meditated prayerfully on the level of higher intelligence that I want to be guided by in all things.  I imagined divine genius flowing into my consciousness, guiding me in how to deal with the verbal attack that I received.  By placing my mind on the feeling and imaginary experience of receiving higher intelligence that became my subconscious programming.

I added to this experience by imagining a bright white light that carried divine intelligence surrounding and infusing me, and as I breathed in and out I imagined that I was inhaling and exhaling that state of absolute genius.  I imagined that light infusing every cell in my body, filling my consciousness, radiating from the depths of my soul.

I then “asked” internally to be guided by this level of intelligence in all things and opened myself to the experience of that in the present moment.

I was careful to not direct this into an ego-trip of feeling prideful and superior to my verbal attacker.  But I did allow the experience of being guided by higher intelligence to help me to feel more secure, more confident and good about myself.

Each time my mind would return to the memory of the verbal abuse that I received I would return to this exercise.  First, I would remember the principle that verbal abusers are feeling powerless and victimized.  Then I would remember the principle that those who dish out verbal abuse regard the one they are abusing as having some kind of power over them.  Finally, I would go into the imaginary experience of basking in the light of the opposite experience.

To complete your recovery, be sure to forgive the abuser.  Rise above it and resist any urge to engage in an ego-tripping power-struggle.

Realize that the abuser is just expressing his own suffering, and that he is doing himself no good by attacking you.  

Every attack we launch moves through us, constituting a form of self-attack.  Try to see the person as separate from his behavior and realize that deep down inside he just wants to experience goodness and love, just like you.

Additionally, I did my best to keep my distance.

Try this antidote for verbal abuse when you feel stung by another's verbal cruelty.

See more empowering relationship articles athttp://www.thebestmarriageadvice.com

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