I really appreciated how clear and consistent The Verbally Abusive Relationship is about defining abuse as a thing a person does in order to exert control over another person. This changes the conversation from parsing just how mean the things a person is saying are, or whether the person hearing them is just oversensitive and can't take a joke. Something is abuse when a person is doing it in order to coerce obedience. It's that simple.
Which, I don't mean to make it sound like you don't need to read the whole thing: you might need to read the whole thing! There's a lot of good material here, and I'm glad I read it.
Unfortunately, this is a book that I wish I could directly pipe into the brain of someone I care about. But you can't read books for other people, no matter how good it would be for them.
What I really want, actually, is this book exactly, but in 5-10 minute video format, with cool edits and jokes a la ContraPoints or someone. Something that you could point, say, a fourteen year old to, and expect it to hold their attention. Or an overworked thirty year old, you know, whichever. So if anyone has any suggestions, hit me up.