Verbal abuse is a situation in which an employee is treated differently from others and is always criticized and pointed at. Go through the article to learn on the verbal abuse in the workplace.

Verbal Abuse In Workplace

Have you ever faced a situation where you feel you are being isolated by your co-workers or your employer? Have you ever faced a situation where you or your work becomes a target in open? If your answer is yes, then you might be a victim of ‘verbal abuse’ at your workplace. Verbal abuse is a situation in which an employee is treated differently from others and is always criticized and pointed at. There can also be use of inappropriate language against that person, with the abuser using sarcastic phrases to put the victim in a difficult situation. Verbal abuse can be of two types, that is, subtle and overt. A subtle verbal abuse is one in which the abuser criticizes the victim with sarcastic phrases and comments but does not resort to open blame or shouting. On the other hand an overt verbal abuse is one in which the abuser gets down on yelling and shouting or threatening the victim. Here are some important details on the workplace verbal abuse that can help a victim come out of the uncomfortable situation.
Workplace Verbal Abuse
Signs Of Verbal Abuse In The Workplace 
  • One of the most common signs of verbal abuse at workplace is the constant feeling of deficiency of work. If you are constantly experiencing lack of responsibilities or work given to you, you might be the target of your co-workers or your employer.
  • Being continuously ignored and neglected at your workplace is another sign of the condition of verbal abuse. You will be treated differently and not involved completely in the discussions or gatherings at the workplace. You will start feeling alienated at your workplace.
  • Another direct and quite visible sign of a verbal abuse is sarcastic and ironic comments passed on to you. The co-workers or the boss himself will try and insult you by passing comments full of sarcasm.
  • Another facet of a verbal abuse can be the use of derogatory and abusive language by your colleagues and boss. Passing insulting comments or use of inappropriate words while talking can also be termed as signs of verbal abuse.
  • You might also face an unnecessary use of authority and power by your seniors. There might also be extra and special rules and regulations for you with strict and rigid deadlines and harsh penalties for any minute failure.
  • Your review and performance critique might be discussed in open. The work you do might be criticized or analysed by your superiors in front of other employees in order to put you down and affect your confidence levels.
Causes Of Workplace Verbal Abuse
  • Employers generally indulge in verbal abuse because they take it to be the best way to make their employees work and deliver. They feel that if they are friendly with their subordinates, they will get lazy and take work for granted.
  • Another reason for verbal abuse can be that such kind of an abusive language is quite normal for your employer. They might have the same kind of an argumentative environment at their house and therefore they might not realize the discomfort, which other people might go through.
  • Your co-workers or employer can resort to verbal abuse also because they might not be able to monitor or control their emotions and feelings. People who have gone through a similar abuse in their childhood or ones who have experienced inequalities and hardships can also become verbal abusers.
  • People with low self-esteem and who were bullied by others in their earlier stages of life can also resort to verbal abuse to attain pleasure out of the misery of the other person.
Steps To Eradicate Verbal Abuse
  • The first and foremost thing, which you need to do, is to analyze whether or not you are a victim of verbal abuse or not. Talk to a friend or family member and try to see from a third person’s perspective. This will help you analyze the gravity of the situation and will help you act accordingly.
  • Now that you are sure that you are being victimized, one of the first steps that you can take to stop verbal abuse as a victim is to oppose your abuser directly. Tell it straight to the person in a calm but firm way that you will not tolerate such behaviour.
  • You can also file a complaint with the HR head of the company and ask him/her to take serious action against the abuser. If your abuser is in a high position in the organisation and where the board can’t take any action, you can compile complain of all the employees and submit it to the board members.
  • You can also stand strong in this fight by maintaining a journal of the abuses that you have suffered. You can make it a point to write down the date, time and all the possible details in your journal whenever your abuser exploits you.
  • Another way to make your stand stronger against your abuser is to record the conversation that takes place between the two of you. Do not hide the recorder, instead give some reason like you don’t want to miss on any details and that is why you are recording. This will stop your abuser from using inappropriate language while talking, because he/she will know that the conversation is getting recorded.

More in Workplace Harassment