ABUSIVE SWEARING IN SILICON VALLEY

 

A woman out riding bikes with her 9-year-old daughter in Silicon Valley, California, filmed a racially-charged altercation with a motorist who repeatedly called her a bitch before spewing racist slurs at her.

Paula Nuguid told us: This white guy thought it would be okay to honk at me and repeatedly call me a bitch as I was making a legal left turn. When I confronted him about using his 2-ton vehicle to intimidate my 9-year-old daughter and me, he called me a Cambodian nigger. I hope his friends, family, and employer see this.

The video begins with an irate Nuguid confronting a pink polo-sporting driver. She said he repeatedly called her a bitch while she was attempting to make a left turn.

“How fucking dare you, you entitled white prick?” Nuguid exclaims.

“Oh, shut the fuck up,” he responds with a wide grin, which seems to antagonize her even further.

“Get the fuck out of California, I can tell you’re not from here,” she fires back.

“You fucking Cambodian nigger, get out of here,” the motorist driving a large Nissan says.

“Excuse me, this is going to be on Facebook,” Nuguid says.

“Awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome,” the man replies, with a sardonic smile.

Abusive swearing says a lot about the abuser. Moreover, liars use more swear words when the recipients voice suspicion. Verbal abuse creates emotional pain and mental anguish. It is a lie told to you or about you.  Any form of yelling and screaming is abusive. Even yelling Shut up! is abusive. No one deserves to be yelled at.

Blocking and diverting is a form of withholding in which the abuser decides which topics are good conversation topics.

Name calling can be explicit or subtle. Explicit name-calling can consist in calling the victim of the abuse hurtful words. But it can also be subtler, such as when someone says things that are implicitly hurtful, for instance, “You are such a victim,” or “You think you are so precious, don’t you?”

The abuser may say something very upsetting to the victim of the abuse and, after seeing him reaction add, “It was just a joke!” Abuse is not OK in any form; jokes that hurt are abusive.

Trivializing is a form of verbal abuse that makes most things the victim of the abuse does or wants to do seem insignificant.

When an angry feeling coincides with aggressive or hostile behavior, it also activates the amygdala, an almond–shaped part of the brain associated with emotions, particularly fear, anxiety, and anger. Abusers experience angry flare–ups that are inappropriate to the situation and out of character for the individual. People will yell or throw things. For abusers, angry outbursts usually stop when the depression ends.

Dealing effectively with emotions is a key leadership skill. And naming our emotions — what psychologists call labeling — is an important first step in dealing with them effectively. But it’s harder than it sounds; many of us struggle to identify what exactly we are feeling, and often times the most obvious label isn’t actually the most accurate.

There are a variety of reasons why this is so difficult: We’ve been trained to believe that strong emotions should be suppressed. We have certain societal and organizational rules against expressing them. Or we’ve never learned a language to accurately describe our emotions.

When people don’t acknowledge and address their emotions, they display lower wellbeing and more physical symptoms of stress, like headaches. There is a high cost to avoiding our feelings. On the flip side, having the right vocabulary allows us to see the real issue at hand–to take a messy experience, understand it more clearly, and build a roadmap to address the problem.

Broaden your emotional vocabulary. Words matter. If you’re experiencing a strong emotion, take a moment to consider what to call it. But don’t stop there: once you’ve identified it, try to come up with two more words that describe how you are feeling. You might be surprised at the breadth of your emotions — or that you’ve unearthed a deeper emotion buried beneath the more obvious one.

It’s equally important to do this with positive emotions as well as negative ones. Being able to say that you are excited about a new job, not just nervous, or trusting of a colleague, not just he’s nice, for example, will help you set your intentions for the role or the relationship in a way that is more likely to lead to success down the road.

Consider the intensity of the emotion. We’re apt to leap to basic descriptors like angry or stressed even when our feelings are far less extreme. A man was struggling in his marriage; he frequently described his wife as angry and got angry frequently in return. But every emotion comes in a variety of flavors. The man saw that there were times that she was perhaps just annoyed or impatient. This insight transformed their relationship because he could suddenly see that she wasn’t just angry all the time. This meant he could actually respond to her specific emotion and concern without getting angry himself. Similarly, it matters in your own self-assessment whether you are angry or just grumpy, mournful or just dismayed, elated or just pleased.

People who write about emotionally charged episodes experience a marked increase in their physical and mental well-being. Laid-off workers who delved into their feelings of humiliation, anger, anxiety, and relationship difficulties were three times more likely to have been reemployed.

Over time those who wrote about their feelings began to develop insights into what those feelings meant (or didn’t mean!), using phrases such as “I have learned,” “It struck me that,” “The reason that,” “I now realize,” and “I understand.” The process of writing allowed them to gain a new perspective on their emotions and to understand them and their implications more clearly. Once you understand what you are feeling, then you can better address and learn from those more accurately described emotions.

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