What’s the difference between verbal abuse and just being “blunt”?

What’s the difference between verbal abuse and just being “blunt”?

Just mean or “no filter?”

Has someone ever said something incredibly insulting to you and when you became offended, they (or someone else), said that person was either “blunt,” “a straight shooter,” or “tells it like it is”?  While there are people that seemingly have what is referred to as “no filter,” there is also a type of person that uses that excuse to say and do whatever they want without consequences. When we excuse cruel or bad behavior by saying someone is allowed to say mean-spirited things that unnecessarily hurt someone else, we continue to perpetuate a cycle of verbal abuse. Someone who is blunt but not verbally abusive does not say or do mean things to someone else, rather, they just say what’s on their mind without thinking.

Own your words and actions


Deflecting responsibility off of bad behavior is also a form of gaslighting. Gaslighting is when someone’s words or actions make you second guess your reality. If you are hurt by a comment, a gaslighter might say you’re too sensitive. Gaslighting also looks like, “Oh, so and so is just a blunt person, they have no filter,” because that implies that somehow, you are the problem because you are taking something too seriously. You are not the problem. The person gaslighting is.

What’s your motivation in saying this the way you say it?


The reality is, you can be kind and honest in a way that doesn’t involve verbal abuse. Verbal abuse is not limited to: insults, criticism, screaming, blaming, name-calling, accusations, gaslighting, and more. For a more comprehensive definition of what verbal abuse is, please refer to this article

You are worthy of kindness


I also did a short interview on the topic that you can watch here
Remember, tolerating or accepting any type of verbal abuse is not a requirement, and you deserve compassion, kindness, and empathy. Both individual and couples therapy can help navigate this difficult dynamic in relationships.

Learn more about how to communicate so that you are heard, how to listen so that you understand and how to be in relationship so that you feel connected. The Imago Center offers a variety of services and events to grow communication and connection skills in individuals and partners.

Check out events here.

Workshops for individuals.

Workshops for Couples

Getting the Love You Want Workshop May 15-16

Keeping the Love You Find workshop Aug 28-29