Communication Abuse

This is generally called verbal abuse, but since 'verbal abuse' can also be committed apart from word choice or even non-verbally, communication abuse seems an apter term. The essence of communication abuse, like that of all abuse, is that it limits the options of another person, or that it violates his or her fundamental integrity. Saying something that gives rise to bad feelings in another is not necessarily abuse. That said, verbal abuse is more common than is recognized.

Communication is how people jointly define reality for the time being. Communicating in poor faith is an attempt to define a reality for the other person that is contrary to his or perceptions, which is crazy-making.

The categories of communication abuse described below are loosely adapted from The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans. Everyone can fall into these practices at some time, however, verbal abuse can, and often is used systematically as a power behavior. This should not be tolerated. If the power and control aspect of verbal abuse is recognized, its effects are reduced.