How to Rebuild Self Esteem After Verbal Abuse

Written by kristen rice
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How to Rebuild Self Esteem After Verbal Abuse
Verbal abuse will attack a person's self-esteem, leaving them in a depressed state. (woman in solutude and depression image by Allen Penton from

Verbal abuse is the use of words to make a person feel ashamed, unattractive or unworthy. A person can suffer from depression, low self-esteem and anxiety disorders caused by verbal abuse. When one is constantly put down, told that they are inferior or "stupid," eventually the victim will believe it. Without counselling, verbal abuse will cause problems throughout the individual's life by making them feel they are unable to do anything right. Self-esteem boosters need to be utilised daily in order to counteract the effects of the abuse.

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  1. 1

    Write a list about everything you like about yourself. Focus on the points that you notice the most, and areas that others compliment you about, like your smile, your eyes or your personality. Repeatedly speaking encouraging words is essential to help rebuild self-esteem. Focusing on your accomplishments will help buffer the harsher effects of verbal abuse.

  2. 2

    Speak kindly about yourself every day. Do not let yourself replay harmful words that others have belittled you with. Counteract harmful words with positive words. Over time, speaking kind words will boost self-esteem as one realises the truth to the positive words.

  3. 3

    Exercise regularly. The Mayo Clinic recommends an exercise plan to reduce depression caused by verbal abuse. Exercise releases endorphins to the brain, and lowers the chemicals that may attack an immune system. A walk, jog or even washing the car are ways to get some exercise

  4. 4

    Buy yourself a reward. Have your hairstyle changed or buy a new item of clothing that makes you feel good. Often the way we look affects our self-esteem. Looking good sends positive signals to the brain.

  5. 5

    Hang out with positive people. If the group of people that you normally socialise with harbours negative energy, it will be difficult to build you self-esteem. Join a group that participates in activities that you enjoy.

  6. 6

    Cut caffeine from your diet. According to Kristi Leong, M.D., people that suffer from depression should avoid caffeine as it causes an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which has been associated with depression.

  7. 7

    Read self-esteem books. There are many books that have been published by people that have been wounded by the effects of verbal abuse. Books that focus on boosting self-esteem are easily accessible from the local library or bookstore. If you have a electronic reader, you can download a book onto your mobile device.

  8. 8

    Attend counselling sessions to help overcome self-esteem issues caused from the verbal abuse. The counsellor can also direct you to a support group where you can meet with other people that also need support. Helping others feel good makes you feel good.

Tips and warnings

  • Taking a herbal supplement like Saint John's Wort may help develop self-esteem by treating depression.
  • Watching self-improvement videos will show you other ways to boost esteem.
  • People that are verbally abused will often become abusers themselves. Get counselling to put an end to the cycle.

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