No matter how overt or covert the abuser is, all abusers do one thing universally. That one thing is this: abusers define their partners as if they were living within them and knew their inner world: what they are, their motives, thoughts, feelings, and so forth.
Abusers behave as though they were their partner, child, friend, or acquaintance. That is, abusers act as if they know what another person is, thinks, needs, feels, wants, and is doing, did, and should do.
In summary, when someone defines you in any way, tells you what you are (“too sensitive,” “stupid,” “hopeless.”), or actually tells you your motives (for example, “You’re trying to start a fight,” “You want to win,” “You want to have the last word”), he or she is behaving as if he or she were you, or were God!
In normal discourse among people, if you criticize someone, you are usually quick to apologize when you realize that you have no right (unless invited) to critique the other.
If verbal abuse has slammed into your consciousness with assaults that attempt to erase your own awareness of who you are and how you perceive yourself and even your existence, then verbal abuse may brainwash you into believing that you actually are a person who is too sensitive.
This is what is wrong with verbal abuse and why I support your victory over it.
— Patricia Evans, Victory Over Verbal Abuse, p. 36