As you familiarize yourself with the difference between harmless joking and abusive “joking,” you will also be able to call it out when you hear it. It might feel odd to draw attention to this type of emotional abuse in a group setting, but saying something like, “I would never make fun of Jack in a suit. He always looks so handsome,” might make the person who told the “joke” realize that what they said was not funny. Even more than law enforcement and therapists, friends and family have the most significant impact on victims and abusers.
Drugs are a lot like women...
If you abuse them. Crystal, Mary Jane, and Molly will destroy your life.
Things not to say or do:
Do not pretend you think the joke is funny.
Do not try to explain your sense of humor, and don’t insult his sense of “humor.”
Don’t jab at him with a similar joke unless you enjoy exchanging verbal punches.
Your friends may laugh at his wisecracks, but your heart feels the jabs and your brain struggles to interpret the true meaning of his put-down.
"She can’t remember anything; she has sticky notes everywhere."
"She‘s so funny; she burns everything she cooks."
"She can’t find her way to the grocery store without a GPS."
"Having a bad hair day?"
"You act just like your mother."
"You would forget your name if it weren’t on your drivers license."
One of the reasons verbal abuse is so insidious is that the abuser goes to great lengths to disguise his behavior as normal by saying hurtful things to you with a laughing or joking tone. By making jibes about your appearance or calling you stupid "for a joke," he can convince you that the abuse is all in your head, while still managing to belittle you into submission. Over time, you'll start questioning your own judgment. You'll put your trust in him rather than trusting your intuition. As a result, things will always end up being done his way. However, if he were to act this way explicitly, he risks being called out on his behavior and having his dominance undermined -- the very thing an abuser fears the most.
That Verbal Abuse Wasn't a Joke, and You're Not Too Sensitive.
There is a fabulous quote by author Eileen Cook which describes this specific type of joking well:
“I’m joking,” She said to the group. Ah, the joking defense. The tried and true excuse for bullies everywhere.” – Eileen Cook, from The Hanging Girl.
Jape Abuse: If you abuse them. Crystal, Mary Jane, and Molly will destroy your life. That Verbal Abuse Wasn't a Joke, and You're Not Too Sensitive. One of the reasons verbal abuse is so insidious is that the abuser goes to great lengths to disguise his behavior as normal by saying hurtful things to you with a laughing or joking tone.