When a lion stalks a herd, it is the one that does not run that gets targeted first. The morale of the story is: It is better to run than to get eaten. Same with human abusers. There is no valor in getting devoured by an abuser.
When one is verbally or mentally abused, his worst enemies are tolerance, bravery, and patience. While in 99% of situations, these are good traits to have, however not when being abused. Actually abusers thrive because of people who think they “can handle it.” While they cannot continue their favorite sport of abusing others if others have a shorter fuse.
I have seen abused people boast about their ability to withstand abuse: “It does not bother me.” or “I have a thick skin,” are all signs that one might be too tolerant to an abuser.
Even abusers encourage their victims to have a thick skin and not run. They say things like “Come on, can’t you take a joke,” or “I thought we were friends, and friends tolerate each other.” No, I am sorry, I cannot take a joke, and no I do not want to tolerate you neither do I want you as a friend. But unfortunately few do that. They succumb to the trickery and stick around for more.
It is like boasting about your ability to take punches in the face. Why? Just leave, if you can. If you cannot stay away from things that trigger the abuse. Move aside, reduce interaction. Anything but “taking it.”