The cliché "actions speak louder than words" is true not only in a positive way, but also negatively. It's great to hear your parents telling you how much they "love" you, but it's way better to actually experience it through their hugs and kisses. Same goes when a person claims that he "hates" you.

However, some words are just strong enough to have an effect on people that it's not necessary to take actions anymore. Spoken or even written words are as uplifting or damaging as their physical manifestation. Sadly, it seems that it's easier to show detestation through words, instead of admiration.

Verbal abuse, otherwise known as reviling, is a hostile behavior toward a person through the use of language. The words used don't necessarily have to be expletive to be profane. The abuse usually happens to people who are different in terms of gender or sexual orientation, race, nationality, color or age, and a typical setting for it is the workplace.

Verbal harassment in the workplace normally involves an official and his employee. But whoever does the abuse usually commits this to show superiority and control over a measly employee who, more often than not, suffers or will soon suffer from inferiority complex and other emotional and mental issues due to his condition or situation.

Verbal attacks are taken less seriously than physical ones because it is often hard to identify and there are no apparent outcomes from it. However, verbal harassment, if not given attention, may escalate into physical harassment. Verbal attacks may come in different forms.

  • Abusive jokes – Disguised jokes are "put-downs" and often refer to a conventional attitude of a woman, her mental abilities or competency.

  • Accusing and blaming – The abuser will place the blame to the person abused for their agitation, even if he isn't doing anything wrong.

  • Belittling – Belittling words are those that puts down or mocks the person's opinions or feelings. This makes the abused feel insignificant or useless.

  • Fault-finding – The abuser tries to find the shortcomings of the abused and blame it for an unfortunate event or incident.

  • Name-calling – Some people make-up names that often reflect the uniqueness of the abused person from a group. There are also terms that members of a certain group of people find discriminatory.

  • Threatening – These are warnings that are used to control the abused into doing what the abuser wants. If the abused would go against the abuser's will, he may face dire consequences.