Denier behavior occurs at many levels and in many situations.
There are those who deny that the Holocaust ever happened, claiming that millions of souls never perished at the hands of the Nazis.
Those are those who deny that innocent children were gunned down at Sandy Hook, claiming that the victims’ parents are participating in a big ruse.
As we are witnessing at this very moment in America, there are those who deny the realities of sexual assault, claiming that the victims are making it all up.
In my own work, I see those who deny that people can be bullied out of their jobs and livelihoods, claiming that the targets (not the aggressors) were the problems, or chalking it up to “personality differences.”
Truth is, I think that many of these deniers don’t actually believe what they’re saying. They know what’s going on.
However, they wish to perpetuate vast power differentials and dismiss suffering, abuse, and injustice by claiming that nothing happened.
For some, it provides a sort of sick, sociopathic satisfaction in watching victims, survivors, their loved ones, and bystanders experience even more anguish when their realities are denied and even mocked. It’s a next-level form of abuse.