Narcissists Love Discrediting Victims

One of the main things all narcissists, be they overt or covert, have in common is that they discredit their victims to anyone who will listen.


Discrediting may be done under the guise of concern.  A narcissist may claim to be worried about their daughter because she has serious mental problems- she’s depressed, anxious, or bipolar.  Or, it may be more direct, a smear campaign, where a narcissist claims the victim is a drug addict, juvenile delinquent, promiscuous or other awful things.


Discrediting often starts early with narcissistic parents, sowing seeds of disdain & discord among family members & friends, who come to believe this innocent child to be anything but.  Instead, they believe the child to be whatever the parent said, & the parent to be completely innocent when nothing could be further from the truth.  My mother did this to me in my childhood.  When her abuse peaked in my late teens, her friends, who once liked me, suddenly wouldn’t even speak to me.


Discrediting also may be done as a preemptive strike.  Narcissists know sometimes when they go too far with a victim, & reach out to others before the victim can.  This is an attempt to look like the good guy, so others won’t believe the victim when she shares what happened.  My father has done this.  Once when I wouldn’t take his call because he called too late (he repeatedly called late, in spite of repeatedly telling him I won’t answer the phone after 9pm), he called my in-laws & one of my cousins.  He told them he was extremely worried about me because I didn’t answer the phone when he called at 10 that night.  He even asked them to tell me to call him immediately.  Both were concerned, & somewhat angry with me for being so “mean” to my father.


It also may be done as revenge.  If a narcissist thinks that she has a chance of someone the victim knows well believing her, she may reach out in an attempt to hurt the victim.  Again, my mother has done this.  Many years ago, my husband’s work downsized, so he lost his job.  My father took money from his & my mother’s savings account, & gave it to me, even though I didn’t ask him to.  My mother was extremely angry with me about this.  She called my in-laws.  A few days later, my husband visited his parents, & his father told him about the call.  He said my mother said I was doing something terrible, so he told her never to call back.  Whatever it was, it was so terrible, he refused to repeat it to my husband.


If these types of things are happening to you, it’s typical narcissist behavior.  Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything you can do about it.  If you defend yourself, chances are, people will see you as the crazy, irrational, awful person the narcissist said you are, no matter how calm & collected you are when you speak.  People in these situations often look for any tiny piece of evidence that the narcissist is right, so no matter how justified your anger or upset, it will be taken as the narcissist being right.


Rather than actively defend yourself when these situations arise, it’s best to let your character shine.  The truth has a way of coming out no matter what, so if you are consistently a good, caring, loving, rational person, sooner or later, people will realize that.  I know it can be frustrating doing nothing to defend yourself, but truly, it’s your best course of action.  Pray- ask God to help you through this hard time & for the truth to be made clear.  You will need God’s help during this hard time, so never hesitate to ask for it.  He’ll be more than glad to help you!


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

8 responses to “Narcissists Love Discrediting Victims

  1. ibikenyc

    How timely. Thank you!

    It literally only just early this morning came to me that I am almost certainly going to have to deal with carload lots of this, and probably way sooner than later.

    Nothing I can do about it, as you say, except just Prepare Myself as much as possible, pray and ask for help, and remember to, as I affirm every day, “Carry myself like a lady no matter what it takes.”

    (And NO: It was AFTER TEN, and YOU. WERE. ASLEEP.; everybody knows this. FIE upon THEM!)


    • You’re welcome!

      That is all you can do.. frustrating as it may be at times. Wishing you the best with it!!

      Exactly! Thankfully that episode drove the point home with my father that I can’t be forced to ignore my boundaries on that topic so one small victory at least. It made him mad, but it worked, which is all I care about.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So timely! Thanks for this, Cynthia 😊


  3. A difficulty I have faced is that most people can’t discern the difference between discrediting a victim, and a plea for help. As a man, I am usually assumed to be the problem. My PTSD symptoms don’t help. My wife can be cool and calm, or turn on tears and play the martyr. I can’t do that, especially when being provoked by partial truths.


    • Debbie

      That is so maddening. I take the attitude that people can say what they like about me, but they can’t make it true. Not much consolation at the time, I know, but the truth comes out eventually, and the people that are worth spending time with, will be able to see the truth about your situation.

      Liked by 2 people

    • So maddening! I’m sorry you go through that! It’s mind boggling to me people think women can’t be narcissists or abusive. Yes, we can. Women abusers are usually sneakier about it & more manipulative (turning on the tears, like you mentioned, that kind of thing).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Remarkable! Its really amazing paragraph, I have got much clear idea concerning from this article.


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