Blocking And Diverting Is Verbal Abuse

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Blocking and diverting is a form of verbal abuse which specifically controls communication. The verbal abuser refuses to communicate, establishes what can be discussed, or withholds information. He can prevent all possibility of resolving conflicts by blocking and diverting. Blocking may be by direct demand or by switching the topic.

Blocking may come in the form of accusations; however, it’s primary purpose is to prevent discussion, end communication or withhold information.

Example 1:

Jill: “Jack, let’s have the Smith’s over for dinner this Sunday.”

Jack: “We’re not having any dinner. We can’t afford to buy food for everybody.”

Jill: “But we already have a nice roast in the freezer, and…”

Jack: “You’re just trying to have the last word.”

Example 2:

Jill noticed that Jack is not wearing his wedding ring.

Jill: “Where is your wedding ring?”

Jack: “Are you telling me you think I’m having an affair?”

Jill: “No, I don’t think you’re having an affair. I just noticed that you aren’t wearing your ring.”

Blocking can also be accomplished through diversionary tactics. In example 2, Jack blocks Jill’s attempts to gain information by diverting her from the issue with accusations and irrelevant comments.

Often, the partner does not notice that the original topic is no longer the topic. She has been diverted.

Diverting invites a response from the partner such as, “No, I don’t think you’re having an affair.” Through diversion the topic is changed. None of the abuser’s diversions answer the partner’s question in a thoughtful and considerate way.

If you are asking a question and are being blocked and diverted, do not respond to the statements or questions that are being thrown at you like roadblocks and do not respond to statements that are diverting you from your purpose. Say, “Look at me!” then keep repeating your question or statement.

Example:

“Where is your wedding ring?”

“Are you telling me you think I’m having an affair?”

“Look at me! Where is your wedding ring?”

“You’re just trying to start an argument.”

“Look at me! Where is your wedding ring?”

Repeat your question until he responds to it. Stay focused on your desire to know the answer to your question. Don’t get caught up in his words.

Don’t try to defend yourself. If you do, you’ll be diverted. His response might be either a direct answer to your question or a direct statement telling you he will not answer your question. Neither is blocking or diverting.

If you wish, say, “Stop diverting me!”

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Source by Tanya Michalski

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