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Why would someone use only pronouns when making references to you?

“She joined us in June 2011 and has been handling all the operational activities. Her communication skills are fine but she clearly needs to work on vendor negotiation. In Training, she is above average. I gave her this feedback during the last appraisals, which she accepted. We are yet to see her progress. My suggestion to her is that it’ll be good if she can meet me every morning for 10 minutes to review our priorities.”

Michelle, who was in the meeting room all this while, felt seriously hurt. Not for the feedback given about her by her manager, Jay, to the senior management. More so, because, her name was not used by him even once while making references to her. Jay could have avoided this blunder by sprinkling her name on and off.

Pronouns such as ‘she’, ‘her’, ‘they’, etc. are to be used only as an accompaniment for ease of communication. Avoiding the name of an individual completely and using only pronouns is a hidden tactic to let them know that they are insignificant or of no value in the relationship. Narcissists resort to this, to put down their prey by subtly conveying that the latter is not a valuable person or identity; instead, is a mere nameless faceless object.

It is unfortunate to see this tactic being put to use in several households, where an individual is isolated and is made to feel insignificant by another member (s) of the family, which is nothing short of emotional abuse.


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