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BC - Verbal Self-Defense-Defense.

Hi, I’m Lee Hayden,  physicist, website owner, manager, and author .  Welcome to the Hayden Center For Educational Excellence.  The Hayden Center  offers students a variety of educational programs of study, each  program leading to an opportunity to  experience a unique  form of  lifestyle  enrichment.  Click here to review the available programs of study, courses, durations, and costs.  Contact Lee Hayden at 707-945-1294 if you have questions.

This brief course is free and  introduces key ideas of the associated fee based and more comprehensive short course.  There are no prerequisites for this brief course or the associated short course. The short course is required for students enrolled in  Hayden Center self-enrichment programs: self-actualization, the personal true-self, and the community true-self.

This brief course is titled “Verbal Self-Defense” and addresses various aspects of verbally abusive relationships. It is part of the Hayden Center self-actualization program.  The  overall design objective  of  both  brief and short  courses is twofold: 1) help students or any individual presently in an verbally abusive relationship and 2) help  students or any individual in an Hayden Center educational program obtain self-mastery.  

Generally, self-esteem is built based on the feedback we obtain from  our relationships with other people. Relationships with a verbally abusive person may thwart building our self-esteem, our personal growth toward self-actualization, our critical thinking ability, our lifestyle choices, and many other personality factors.  Importantly, verbally abusive relationships may also diminish our sense of being loved.  The human condition and our personal needs have been researched and summarized by Abraham Maslow in his well-know hierarchy of needs. Abusive relationships can impact three of our human needs.

The courses strive to help in the understanding of the personality development process. A deep understanding of the personality development process will reduce the power of other people over you, help you understand your contributions to a relationship situation, promote your own sense of personal independence and power, and change various aspects of the relationship situation.  In addition to being knowledge based, the associated short course includes practice and exercises that assure that the knowledge has been personalized, i.e., has become working knowledge. The working knowledge will promote good mental health or reduce/eliminate the need for professional service.  

This course promotes gentle but assertive verbal self-defense techniques designed to prevent aggressive and possible violent personal encounters.

Abusive verbal relationships are more prevalent in both degree and types of abuse than commonly realized.  Types of abuse include bullying, spouse or boss without emotional intelligence.


Actually, possessing  verbal self-defense skills is essential for everybody as part of daily living.  Every person needs to know when and how to handle the bully in the workplace.  Verbal self-defense skills are imperative for personal self-mastery and, of course, for the person in an abusive relationship.

For a person in a abusive relationship, one or more beliefs in their personal belief system is dysfunctional and must be transformed into a healthy belief.  Depending on the degree of abusiveness, the transformation task could be very difficult.  The task is successful when the dysgunctional belief has been profoundly changed to a functional belief - both consciously and unconsciously.  Each of our beliefs is the result of many experiences relatable to a given belief, i.e., the belief is caused by the experiences.  For the abused person, the dysfunctional belief represents the best choice for dealing with the abusive situation.

Dysfunctional beliefs are generally the result of childhood or adolescent experiences.  This is a period of time during which parents or other adults are responsible for assuring a child acquires high self-esteem.  The child is not responsible for low self-esteem.  The abused person must not blame themselves for the existence of their dysfunctional belief.  Unfortunately, however, the abused person is now responsible for extinquishing their dysfunctional belief.  They are responsible for seeking professional help.

The basic problem that must be addressed by the abused person is that the dysfunctional belief has both conscious and unconscious components.  Furthermore, both components must be profoundly resolved so that the abused person has no unconscious agendas.  Resolving this basic problem is a lenthy, difficult, costly task requiring professional support and guidance.

The Hayden Center suggests completion of the self-actualization educational progam for mild to moderately severe cases of emotional abuse. The Hayden Center Abuse Defense Plan is presented below.

The information below represents notes used to develop this brief/short course or other brief/short courses.  The notes are candidates for deletion at a later date.

Acquiring self-mastery requires an in-depth understanding of the progressive set of experiences which each person experiences as part of the fabric of reality and which, for some people, culminate in the personalities of the abuser and the abused. Reality is produced by the self-organizing universe. Review now.

Scientists do not know why the universe is self-organizing (evolving) but they do know that the universe is somehow organizing matter from the organizational simplicity existing at the moment of the big bang to increasingly complex organizations of matter.  The human being’s brain is the most complex organization of matter known to exist and to have been produced by the universe. All matter in the universe has evolved from the fundamental particles defined in the standard model of physics.

Just as the universe is self-organizing, the human body/brain is self-organizing. From the self-organizing universe paradigm perspective, human beings are units of reality consisting of highly organized matter, i.e., highly organized matter which includes evolutionary brain structures.  The self-organizing path leading to humans included lower level animals which had intelligence but no self-awareness or conscious intelligence. The integrated function of these brain structures forms our human intelligence.

Although no sharp boundaries exists, it has been scientifically useful to perceive the brain as possessing  both conscious and unconscious intelligences.  On the other hand, from the now popular multiple intelligence perspective, it is being increasingly scientifically useful to view the brain as simultaneously possessing interdependent  cognitive, emotional, and social intelligences.  The feelings we acquire from experience are accessible primarily from our emotional intelligence. Each of the multiple intelligences may be viewed as subdivided into both conscious and unconscious intelligences.

From an evolutionary psychology perspective, our unconscious intelligence plays a greater role in our thoughs and behaviours than previously thought.  Many evolutionary psychologists believe that our conscious intelligence rationalizes our thoughts and projected actions to be consistent with our unconscious intelligence.  Both intelligences access our history of experiences and can learn such that new experiences are created. However, our unconscious intelligence is much more resistant to learning from new experiences and we tend to remain within our unique comfort zone of experiences.

Our personalities reflect our zones of experiences. Some people conform rigidly to their comfort zone of experiences, others adapt to it, still others learn from and change their comfort zone of experiences.

It is important to recognize  the numerous relationships in our lives that impact our personality development   - bosses and employees, parents and children, husbands and wives, teachers and students, friends and lovers, and countless friends and ourselves.  Individuals in our relationships are part of a culture of people.  Our particular culture has been criticized because of incivility toward each other.  Our incivility could also shape personality development. Excessive television viewing could shape our personality development.  A personality that is acting-out, abusive or not, generally varies according to specific individual relationships.  For example, a husband might be abusive to his wife and or children but not to his boss. An adult child may be abusive to her parents but not to her friends or other relatives.

Often, the abusing person is unaware of his/her abusive behavior.  For example, a loving  husband may be proud of his own  high ideals and  proud of his strong-willed and loving wife. But, after ocassional minor conflicts, he resents the perceived rigidity of her viewpoint and responds by a soft tease.  He smiles at his own tease, she smiles back, but  feels “bumped” feelings.  The same situation and outcomes occur repeatedly and eventually generates increasingly abusive hard teases. Without self-awareness, the teases transform into cruel criticism. And, a loving relationship self-organizes into a situation needing repair.

We will be unable to achieve self-actualization, become our personal true-self or our community true-self if we verbally abused others or if we are not able to deflect subtle put-downs, insults, hurtful teases, or other verbal abuse.

Poor verbal self-defense skills may result in low self-esteem and, in extreme cases, is a common source of personal misery.

Physical abuse is obvious, unmistakeable, and causes various degrees of bodily harm.  Verbal abuse is much more difficult to detect and often goes unnoticed, except for a pain in the pit of the stomach.  


People who are skilled at defending themselves are generally not attacked

Four principles will be discussed.

Principle #1.  Know that you are under attack.

You must become skilled at recognizing situations during which you are under attack before applying your  self-defense training. Inappropriate application of your training could diminish a valued relationship or turn you into a verbal bully.

Principle #2. Identify the kind of attack.

It is important to identify the specific kind of attack so you can choose the best appropriate response.

Principle #3.  Make your defense fit the attack.

Choosing the wrong response to a situation will nullify your verbal self-defense training or transform the situation into various degrees of verbal conflict.

Principle #4.  Follow through.

Application of your verbal self-defense knowledge and training is an act of courage.  For many people, valued relationships require greater courage to act

Hayden Center Abuse Defense Plan





The Great Disciplines


Being, Doing, and Becoming


The Self-Organizing Universe




Multiple Intelligences


Building Self-Esteem Knowledge


God, Man, Universe, and Reality


Discovery Love


Moral Intelligence