It’s because they can’t name what’s happening to them. Sure, they can feel it and see it, but they can’t put an actual name on it because they don’t know the names of the tactics and how to describe what’s happening.
Let’s delve deeper.
Being able to put a name on the abusive tactics takes a lot of research and study on abuse in general, because bullying is abuse and abuse is bullying. Why? Because it involves a power imbalance and repeated behavior.
The reason why we should know the names of the tactics used is because, when you can’t put a label on it, it’s much harder to explain to others. And when you can’t name something, you tend to ramble. And because you ramble about it, people are less likely to believe you when you speak out.
I can’t think of anything more frustrating than to feel and to know with every fiber of your being that something is happening and not be able to name it. It’s as if you have an invisible gag over your mouth and that some higher force is trying to silence you and protect your bullies and abusers.
It’s the most frustrating and downright infuriating thing in the world!
I’ll use the term “gaslighting,” for instance.
Years ago, when people were gaslighting me, I didn’t know the proper name for those incessant emotional manipulations they were inflicting. I didn’t know it was called gaslighting. All I knew was that it felt horrible and left me feeling that, somehow, I was always in the wrong. However, I didn’t know how to fix it because I didn’t know what was broken.
Yet, in the innermost parts of my soul, I knew differently, but, because I didn’t know the name and couldn’t put a name to it, I couldn’t describe what was happening to me and, therefore, it was much harder to speak out about it without rambling and looking crazy.
Also, the bullies were always vague about everything. If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve figured out that their vagueness was only another tactic to keep me confused and off balance, but I’ll save this for another post.
With that said, it’s important that you read, study, and research everything you can about bullying and abuse. Find out and study the key terms for each tactic. Learn them. In fact, learn all you can, because, when you know the names as well as the descriptions of each tactic, you will not only be able to effectively speak out about the bullying and abuse you suffer, but even better, you will be able to more effectively counter the abuse.
With knowledge comes empowerment!
0 thoughts on “The Number One Reason It’s So Difficult for Targets to Open Up About the Bullying They Suffer”
“Being able to put a name on the abusive tactics takes a lot of research and study on abuse in general, because bullying is abuse and abuse is bullying. Why? Because it involves a power imbalance and repeated behavior.”
Great, well-written post
Thank you so much, Lance! 😊
Firstly, I’m so sorry you suffered at the hands of someone who was gaslighting you – how awful to go through that. I’m glad you are now more knowledgeable and free from such a negative influence on your life. Gaslighting is a horrible thing to go through, as you’ve described. I’ve been there too, but I didn’t know the term for it at the time. I like to think I would recognise this behaviour these days and then realise that I need to get out of that situation – and fast! Thank you for sharing this beneficial knowledge and information. I learn so much from your posts and am grateful to you for that.
You’re most welcome, Ellie! And thank you for your kind words! 💖🌺🌷
No I am not normal 😁
That’s one, yes!
As they say, forgive yourself for not knowing then, what you know now.
I felt like a idiot in 2018, trying to express what I was feeling and what I felt was going on and not getting anywhere. Then my doctor told me a name, narcissism, and once I started my research, I found your site and it started my education so that now, I know all the terms and their intentions. I have shared your site to all my family and even read out some posts to my hubby. You explain things in such a way that everyone understands…. My education on bullies has made my life simpler these days, not so negative.
Yes, Gaslighting is one of the most insidious things to experience and I feel for anyone who goes thru that, even in simple things. I have educated myself so much on the tactic I see it everywhere these days. I know I won’t accept it around me anymore, my boundaries are in place.
Since I began my education, I have grown as a person. I see so much now, on human nature, even myself. My relationships have even grown stronger, especially my marriage. As I grow, so has everything else around me. Education on Bullies and what they do, open up your eyes and your life, and in the end, you feel more free to live your life your way!
Wow! You don’t know how it pleases my heart that this has helped you in as many ways as you’ve stated! Keep doing what you’re doing, Stella! I’m so proud of you! 💖🌺🌷🌞
I think part of the problem is so many people don’t want to even admit they were bullied or at least intimidated. We tend to think only of children being bullied and it being on the playground or the cafeteria, not recognizing it can occur at any age, man or woman, any race, etc. We live in a society where bullying is encouraged online and we want to call it “free speech.” I believe in free speech yes but part of the first amendment is protection against offensive things as well. I think when people recognize they were bullied sometimes they feel ashamed or I look back at times when people probably bullied me or family and realized that here I am, someone who believes in standing up for themselves but for whatever reason maybe even fear didn’t when it occurred years ago.
Shame is the most common reason, absolutely! 💯 And I with you on the free speech part. However, it’s up to us to stand up to people who throw insults and verbal attacks at us. It shouldn’t be made illegal to verbally insult someone, but it also shouldn’t be illegal for you to stand up for yourself and tell the insulter what a total asshole he/she is for making the insult.
It’s also good that anyone you report the bullying to is also well versed in the bullying terminology. Otherwise, they will think you are making it up.
Great point, Michael! 🙂
Thank you 😊
My pleasure. 😊