Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones . . . But Words Will Cut Me Deeply - Psychology Today (article link)

Recognize verbal abuse and take steps to stop it.

What do you think of as verbal abuse? Name-calling? Taunting? The silent treatment? Verbal abuse can be all those things, but it can be subtle, too.

What Is Verbal Abuse?

While some abusers yell, threaten, ridicule, or humiliate, others wound with words in less obvious ways: "correcting" your mistakes, disparaging your motives, even "suggesting" a course of action "for your own good."