Janine knocks over a glass of juice at the dinner table. Peter, her mother’s boyfriend, hisses at her: ‘She’s a clumsy oaf like you!’
What is your opninion?
- Janine should have been more careful
- Her mother’s boyfriend shouldn’t meddle in her upbringing
- Peter shouldn’t talk to Janine’s mother like that
Janine’s mother’s boyfriend is, of course, entitled to say what he thinks, also about Janine’s behaviour. But it’s not right for him to use the spilt juice as a pretext to insult her and her mother. His tone is aggressive and his anger is an overreaction to the situation.
Insults create an unpleasant atmosphere. Those who show no respect for others when speaking are guilty of verbal injury, which can be a component of domestic violence. Those who hit others often hurt them with words as well.