August is considered as the National Language Month (Buwan ng Wika), and for most of us, this is the time where we realize the importance of language. Various organizations would launch Filipino language appreciation campaigns, shedding light on the beauty of our tradition and culture. For Unpopular Demand, however, we like to do things a little bit differently. That includes questioning the language we’re using and how we use them. Because honestly, words are not just collection of letters – words have meaning. And it can either make or break a person.
Verbal abuse. This is the concept we’d like to shed a light on this National Language Month. In an article in Verywell Mind, author and bullying prevention expert Sherri Gordon defined verbal abuse as an act involving “some sort of verbal interaction that causes a person emotional harm, often prompting them to question who they are.” For her, it is “a way for a person to control and maintain power over another person.” Because verbal abuse isn’t as clearly defined and easy to recognize as other form of abuse, UD compiled a guide to help you identify if you are actually being verbally abused.
Calling a person demeaning names and toxic labels is a form of verbal abuse. No matter the tone of voice or intonation used, name-calling is a negative behavior that should be stopped. Name-calling results to diminished perception of self-worth and self-esteem.
Oftentimes, verbal abuse through shaming is disguised as sarcastic comments towards a certain behavior. For example, they say a passive-aggressive comment on the way you talk or the way you dress. This may leave a feeling of inferiority and shame on your part.
You’re the butt of a joke
When they laugh at you and not with you, it is a sure sign of verbal abuse. Your negative emotion towards a “joke” directed at you is valid, and it is certainly not harmless fun. After they laugh at you, you may feel like you’re in a bad place, and you are not to be blamed for that.
This is probably one of the more obvious forms of verbal abuse. If they insult you in public so that everyone can hear what toxicity they are saying, it is okay and perfectly valid to leave the situation. It is understandable to feel shame after being humiliated.
Screaming and swearing
Another overt form of verbal abuse is screaming and swearing that is directed to a particular individual. This abusive behavior is an obvious power play to attempt to control you into submission. This may leave deep emotional cuts on a person. Therefore, should always be stopped and called out.
Threatening a person so they can submit to your whims is one of the more sinister forms of verbal abuse. Threats of violence should be dealt with accordingly. This causes fear and anxiety to a person and can even spiral into more depressing emotions that may seem unescapable.
It is important to recognize what is verbal abuse whenever we are in such situations. And the first step is to know the different kinds of verbal abuse. UD® aims to raise awareness on how people should mindfully choose their words before they express their thoughts as words are powerful and it does make or break a person, even without the victim knowing. The is part and parcel the reason why we decided to launch our “Language, Please” collection. By printing toxic phrases in our shirts, we regain the power to control how we react to such circumstances.
We also proudly introduce our recent collaboration with Talking Hands PH, a non-profit organization committed to empowering the Filipino Deaf youth and their families. A part of your purchase will be donated to Talking Hands PH so they can continue their good work.
Because UD® wants every Filipino youth to be deafening in their pursuit of their aspirations.