You Can't Say That to Me: Stopping the Pain of Verbal Abuse--An 8- Step Program

You Can't Say That to Me: Stopping the Pain of Verbal Abuse--An 8- Step Program

by Suzette Haden Elgin
     
 

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You can't say that to me! "Can't you do anything right?" "I can't believe you would feed that junk to your child!" "What is this? And don't tell me it's a casserole, I already know that." "If you really cared about me, you wouldn't behave this way." Sound familiar? Each of us occasionally feels the sting of very unpleasant language from those who are closest to us&

Overview

You can't say that to me! "Can't you do anything right?" "I can't believe you would feed that junk to your child!" "What is this? And don't tell me it's a casserole, I already know that." "If you really cared about me, you wouldn't behave this way." Sound familiar? Each of us occasionally feels the sting of very unpleasant language from those who are closest to us—spouses, employers, friends, relatives. But frequent and repeated use of unanswerable questions, scalding accusations, sarcasm, insinuations, and even icy silence is more than simply unpleasant; it is abusive, destructive, and frequently leads to escalating arguments and physical violence. Suzette Haden Elgin, creator of the "Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense," has developed a unique and revolutionary way to break the cycle of verbal violence and eliminate it from your life—without ruining your marriage, risking your job, or alienating friends or loved ones. Dr. Elgin shows you how to neutralize verbal attacks and discourage future abuse with:

• An 8-step program that helps you recognize the patterns of verbal abuse

• Specific language techniques that enable you to avoid escalating arguments and break the cycle of abuse using skills you already possess

• Questionnaires and diaries that help you analyze abusive situations, evaluate your responses to them, and track your progress
In this book Dr. Elgin proves that verbal abuse is not caused by human nature, but by language. She helps you discover that you are an expert in your own language, already highly qualified to solve this problem for yourself, quickly and forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Culling source material from her years of linguistic practice and training, Elgin (Genderspeak) offers an accessible, extremely pragmatic approach to verbal abuse. With many broad-minded and tactful suggestions for everyday use, this is an excellent resource. Through exercises and journal-writing, Elgin encourages reader to eradicate ``toxic'' language. She offers various tools like ``Miller's Law,'' which requires the listener to assume initially that whatever the speaker says is true-rather than the all-to-frequent assumption to the contrary. Elgin is objective, rehearsing the perspectives of both people in a possibly hostile exchange and reminding readers that everyone has the potential to be a verbal abuser, victim or witness. If there is a weakness, it is that while Elgin confronts the verbal abuser's tactics, her methods seem to emphasize placating abusers and rewarding them with the attention they crave. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471003991
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
03/02/1995
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
515,145
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

SUZETTE HADEN ELGIN, Ph.D., is an expert in applied psycholinguistics and the founder of the Ozark Center for Language Studies. She is the author of eight "Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" titles, including Genderspeak: Men, Women, and the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense, also published by Wiley. She lives with her family near Huntsville, Arkansas.

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