Understand that outrageous tactics are deliberate, and there’s a reason behind them.
Bullies employ these shenanigans on their targets to gaslight them. They already know their tactics are so disgraceful and outlandish that they’re beyond all comprehension. They also know that people would have a difficult time believing it if it were spoken of.
However, if something is beyond all comprehension, you have to ask yourself how anyone could make this stuff up? And so many people in power forget this.
Understand that the use of tactics that seem a bit outlandish is a subtle form of gaslighting. These astonishing actions are meant to confuse and silence the target. Because when things that happen are so far outside human comprehension and experience, they’re the most difficult to talk about because “these kinds of things just don’t happen.”
Any member of authority to whom the target reports it is likely to tell himself:
1. “No! It’s a mistake!”
2. “There’s no way something like that can happen! It couldn’t have!”
3. “Wow! That sounds so far-fetched! It can’t be true!”
Again. Understand that bullies do these things deliberately! They design their tactics to be “shocking,” “unbelievable,” and “over the top” in case the target speaks out. It’s a way to bewilder the target and make him too scared to talk about it. And if he does report it, it’s likely to leave potential listeners too bewildered to believe it.
They force victims to doubt their perceptions and their sanity. Because if the tactic is so wild and unheard of that, we can hardly believe it ourselves. And if we can hardly believe it, how can we expect others to believe it when we tell them?
You must realize that bullies are slick and inventive! If you’re a target, you will know your bullies are employing such tactics when, at any time, you ask yourself such questions as:
“Whoa! Did this just happen?”
“Did she really just say that?”
“Did he really just do that?”
“Did I just see that?”
“Did I just hear what I thought I heard?”
Or you’ll think statements that begin with, “She did NOT just…”.
Another clue is that you ask yourself,
“Can I tell anyone else about what these people are doing without being laughed at and told that it’s all in my imagination?”
And these questions will gnaw at you. Also, you’ll wonder if you really were imagining or seeing things. Remember that the purpose of gaslighting is to make you doubt your perceptions and what you experienced.
If you experienced these things from bullies, know that it wasn’t all in your head. There is a way to speak out about it and do it with confidence and conviction. And when you speak up, put some conviction in it.
Here’s another way you can respond if the person you talk about this too doubts you’re telling the truth or suspects that you’re being “crazy.” You can simply say,
“You can’t make this stuff up!”
That’s the best thing to say any time you witness, hear, or experience these types of bully tactics.