"Discounting means giving our feelings, emotions, thoughts and opinions lesser value, and in so doing, devaluing or discounting us. Discounting tells us that our thoughts and experiences are worth nothing. If we are upset, we may be told that we are making a mountain out of a molehill, imagining things, too sensitive, can't take a joke, too serious, etc etc etc. Basically any statement which tries to discount or deny our reality as we perceive it. We end up wondering whether our partner is right and we are imagining things, too sensitive, etc. We lose our willingness to trust in our own judgment and perception.
When verbal abuse is disguised as a joke it simply isn't funny. It may be a disparaging comment said with a laugh or a smile, but which actually feels more like an attack on our competencies, abilities or values, or it may be a sexist joke which we find offensive. If we verbalise that we don't think it was funny, we may then be discounted ("You don't know how to take a joke.") or our partner may get angry with us. Some abusers also purposely frighten or scare us and then laugh, as though it were funny when it was actually designed to give us a fright.
Blocking and Diverting are both ways of preventing or controlling a discussion or changing the topic. An example of blocking is simply refusing to discuss an issue, while diverting changes the discussion from the original topic to one of the abusers choice, often by criticising us in some way so that we end up trying to defend ourselves or explain ourselves and lose sight of the original aim of the conversation.
Blaming and accusing are self-evident and consist of statements or retorts which are designed to shift the blame and the emphasis from abuser onto victim. While it is easy to pick up blaming and accusing when we are, for instance, accused of sleeping with someone else, it is not so easy to recognise phrases such as "You always have to have the last word" as an accusation.
Name calling again is an overt, obvious form of verbal abuse, designed to hurt or degrade us. Terms of endearment can also be used in an abusive way, when spoken with obvious sarcasm for example."