How Verbal Self-Defense Works

Going Forward

In every hostile-language situation you have a broad range of responses at your disposal, from fierce anger at one extreme to silence at the other. Different responses have different consequences. The consequences of either the amygdala-driven fight-or-flight response, or the traditional responses of counterattack and pleading and debate, are rarely satisfactory. The consequences of chronic exposure to hostile language literally threaten your life and the lives of everyone else one involved. You don't have to go that route. Use verbal self-defense instead.

About the Author

Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D., is an expert in applied psycholinguistics and is the founder of the Ozark Center for Language Studies (OCLS). OCLS offers a complete line of verbal self-defense products and services; for more information, contact Suzette directly. She is the author of the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense series, including: How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable, You Can't Say That To Me!, and more than a dozen other books and audio programs. You can also find a lot of information on verbal self-defense in her recent The Grandmother Principles and in her novels, which aren't part of the series. Go to for links and details.

Books by Suzette Haden Elgin include: