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!