Ways Narcissists Hurt Victims

Narcissists love to hurt their victims.  It gives them a feeling of power, control & superiority to be able to affect victims as profoundly as they do, so it’s no wonder they do it so often.

Narcissists have a vast collection of ways to cause their victims pain.  Following is a list of some of their favorite methods used to accomplish this.  Some of these methods are quite subtle, & may not even seem abusive at first, but they absolutely are.

If you want validation, count on the narcissist to withhold it from you.  Narcissists won’t tell you that you did a good job or that you’re right about something.  Withholding validation is a form of invalidation, & is done to let you know how unimportant everything about you is.

If something important is going on with you, whether it is good or bad, you can expect a narcissist to steal the spotlight somehow.  They may invent a crisis or pick a fight with you.  If something bad is happening to you, they may steal the spotlight by talking about how the event affects them.  My ex husband & father did this constantly.  I ended up comforting them rather than them comforting me.

If you need help with something, you can expect the narcissist to resist.  Either he or she will disappear completely or will help but do things in a lazy, sloppy way.  If this person does help you, the help most likely accompanied by a great deal of complaining or letting you know what a huge sacrifice he or she is making & how you should appreciate it.

If you’re sick or injured, you can count on a narcissist to disappear or act annoyed with your suffering.  Since they lack empathy, they won’t care about how awful you feel.  They most likely will trivialize your suffering on the off chance they acknowledge it.  And, if the narcissist in question is your romantic partner, don’t think your illness or injury will have any affect on your sex life.  You still will be expected to perform as normal, no matter the state of your health.

If you want sex from your narcissistic partner, you can count on the narcissistic partner to claim to be too tired.  They must be in control in every area, & that includes your sex life.  They also don’t care what their victims want in any area.

If you’re talking, chances of the narcissist interrupting you are excellent.  It keeps the focus on them because a person who is interrupted naturally stops talking to let the interrupting person talk.

If you’re lonely, you can expect the narcissist suddenly to be too busy to spend time with you.  The same goes if you need to talk to him or her about something.  If you decide to spend time with someone else, the narcissist will become angry that you didn’t just wait to spend time with him or her.  You will be called unreasonable, impossible to please or something similar.

If you want to drive somewhere when you & the narcissist go out together, count on your driving being criticized either actively or passively, no matter how safely you drive.  Actively criticizing it is easy to spot.  They tell you that you’re driving too fast, tailgating or other similar comments.  Passive criticizing isn’t so easy to spot.  It’s quieter & more covert, such as bracing themselves as you approach a red light or stop sign or cringing as you drive.  I believe the passive criticism is even worse, because if you say something, the narcissist has plausible deniability.  He or she can say things like, “I never complained about your driving!”  “I never said you were speeding!”  Before you know it, you easily can end up apologizing to the narcissist.

When you witness these behaviors from the narcissist in your life, remind yourself that they are abusive!  You aren’t unreasonable or wrong or impossible to please.  The narcissist is trying to hurt you.  Don’t let that happen!  Remind yourself what is happening so you aren’t hurt by their ridiculous & abusive behavior.

8 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

8 responses to “Ways Narcissists Hurt Victims

  1. i so appreciate these excellent reminders.

    One other thing, and I think this may tie into validation – they will take credit for your insights.

    I now realize that my narc mother did this my entire life. She would listen to my insights or course. And she would share them. But I now realize she never give me credit.

    I want to share the incident that finally woke me up.

    My stepfather had previously had a lucrative job in health care. After his divorce from his first wife, he left that job to start his own business when his 2 children were in their early 20s. To this point he had always been a good provider to them.

    When he met my mother, his business was failing. My mother and he quickly married and then moved to Florida to “start over”

    His son did his best to maintain a relationship with my stepfather. But my stepfather always seemed resistant. His son was perfectly nice, so I never understood this dynamic.

    And then one day, it dawned on me that my stepfather was ashamed that his business had failed. That he couldn’t be the provider he wanted to be to his grown children. But he was ashamed to admit this to them.

    When my stepfather was dying of cancer, his son came to visit often. Especially when he was on hospice. I reminded my mother of these previous insights. My mother did share them with his son. And I am glad that she did!

    His son realized before his dad died that the distance his father showed was not about him. It was about his father’s inability to admit “failure”

    But as my mother retold the conversations – it became blatantly obvious that she was sharing these insights as if they were hers. There was never any mention that “Doug thinks this or that”.

    Had my mother said, “Doug thinks…” then there was the risk that his son might have reached out to me directly for further insight. And then my mother would have been “out of the loop”.

    Being “out of the loop” is what scares my mother the most.
    She is a narcissist who has to be the center of attention no matter what.
    Even while her husband lays dying in the next room – her focus is to make sure she has supply for herself.

    Once I realized this, many things became clear.

    I always wondered why it seemed that my extended family never seemed to ask about me. I now realize it was because my mother was never talking about me. She was just taking my ideas, thoughts and humanity. She was always just repackaging them for herself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They take credit for anything they can so it’s no surprise your mother took credit for your insights too.

      That had to be quite the wakeup call! Any normal person would have mentioned you at some point in that conversation since the insight was yours. Especially you’d expect that from the mother/step mother because she’d want the kids to get along well, no matter their age.

      That sentence… “She was just taking my ideas, thoughts and humanity”.. wow. Do you realize how well that sums up narcissistic parents?! The humanity part mostly is what got to me. It’s like they want to take away or destroy everything about their children so they can mold them into whatever it is they want.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Agreed.
        Our parent’s want us to be Dolls.
        They do not care about our well-being
        They just want us to well on them.
        They do not care how much we are suffering

        They just want us to buck up,
        and support them
        They want us to SHUT UP and FREEZE.
        and recognize that is our role

        They want us to be perfect dolls that will agree with whatever they say.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Absolutely! 1000% agreed! There’s also the fact that with dolls, you can take them off the shelf & play with them when you want. Then when you’re done, you can put them away & ignore them. Narcissistic parents don’t want to be “bothered” with their kids all the time so they’re happy putting us on that shelf sometimes when they’re bored with us

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Cynthia, I have experienced every one of these ways that narcissists hurt victims. This one particularly jumped out at me:
    “If you’re sick or injured, you can count on a narcissist to disappear or act annoyed with your suffering. Since they lack empathy, they won’t care about how awful you feel. They most likely will trivialize your suffering on the off chance they acknowledge it… ”

    Oh, yes. That’s my mother. Anytime I was sick as a child, she would say “We can’t afford a doctor bill!” Once, after I was grown and married, I called my mother and told her that I had just been admitted to a hospital. Before I could even tell her what was wrong and why I was in a hospital, she exclaimed “I am sick and tired of getting phone calls from my grown kids telling me about their problems! Everybody has problems! I have problems!” I ended up apologizing for letting her know that I was in the hospital!

    Your amazing insights into narcissistic behavior never fails to amaze me, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s weird. My comments aren’t posting on any other blog, but they are still posting here. I’m glad they’re posting here! This is my favorite blog about narcissism. 💘💘

    Liked by 1 person

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