There is a terrifying yet common trend that I’m noticing more and more lately. “Trend” is actually a really bad word for this, because it’s been going on forever— generations and generations of people being raised with harsh words and, as a result, being harsh speakers. We sometimes even do this to ourselves, but that is another topic for a different day.
Abuse as a love language.
Abuse isn’t a love language. And yet, somehow it is.
Somehow, for many of us, the people who we feel should use the kindest, prettiest, most encouraging words as their love language towards us are the ones who end up abusing us with their words and telling us it is in the name of love. Often times these abusive words are a projection— an obvious mirror of the issues or things they cannot bear about themselves— but that is easier to gauge when you’ve stepped back from a situation and decided to piece yourself back together. Which is, for the most part, after the harshness has already settled in, contaminated your thoughts, put up physical barriers between what you used to know as your voice, and the voice that has taken over that sounds a lot more like the harsh words that have been said to you.
Abuse isn’t a love language. But yet, somehow, we’ve decided to believe that it is. We write off people’s abuse as their unchangeable character traits. Instead of trying to push back against this person thinking it’s acceptable to even speak these words to you in the first place, we decide to take the passive route, to “avoid confrontation,” to find other mediums such as social media or blogging (ha!) to get our feelings out. These mediums can be, and often are places of protest, but that protest has to be accompanied by action, as all protests must be. We have to practice protesting, resisting, and resiliency.
We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to unpack abuse as a love language and decide not to participate in the continuation of it. We owe it to the world to decide that we cannot and will not project our own fears and dislikes about ourselves onto others and then tell them that it’s coming from a place of love. Harmful comments based in something you dislike about yourself, or someone else for that matter, can never come from a place of love.
Abuse isn’t a love language. Stop accepting it as such. Stop giving it as such. Stop believing it as such. Stop feeling it as such. Whether you are the giver or the receiver, it is up to you to identify this and then decide which side you want to be on: the destroyer or the healer?
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