An abuser, whether verbal or otherwise, is someone who has low self-esteem or some other psychological issues going on, like an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACA), for example. He or she will do the opposite of an artist. We can't know someone's motivation or intention, but we can feel negative consequences.
A disrespectful person chooses to attempt to make nothing out of something, namely you. Don't buy into his/her poppycock. Like sculptured flakes that fall to the floor, many relationships become shredded, after months or even years of disrespect, leaving battered egos and shattered dreams in its wake.
To gain self-esteem, you must first respect yourself. Like Eleanor Roosevelt once said, and I'm paraphrasing here, Someone can't insult you unless you give them permission.
Practice being respectful of other people every day, all day long. If you disagree, politely explain why you think the way you do. Tell a story that reflects your views without name-calling. In a nutshell, to be respectful, follow (4) four guidelines:
- Ask questions about your companion's day. Discover his/her thoughts, beliefs, feelings and impressions of life in general or about a specific topic.
- Listen to your partner. You don't have to agree with him/her, just understand what the other is saying and accept their point of view. What makes your partner tick? What events in your partner's past make him/her think and act in a certain negative way?
- Express your own needs and desires. Use simple phrases. Be firm without sounding demanding. Be in tune with what makes you tick.
- Be emotionally honest. Be done with the mind-games you played in high school. You're grown up now. Yes, there is usually an alpha-dog like half of a partnership. If you become too passive, your partner may step all over you (figuratively speaking). On the other hand, if you're too aggressive, you become an oppressive presence or worse. Neither makes for long-term bonding. Above anything, sustained mutual respect is essential in a healthy relationship.
DON'T LET ANYONE RENT SPACE IN YOUR HEAD!