When Narcissists Criticize You It Is About Them Not You

One of the cruelest things narcissists do to their victims is either saying or implying the most heartless, cruel things to their victims until their victims believe what the narcissist says about them is true.

What victims who are either currently being subjected to this or have recently escaped it don’t realize that the narcissist is lying.  They don’t believe a single word of what they say about their victims.  In fact, chances are that they find those things they criticize about their victims to be very good or enviable qualities.  If you think about what a narcissist has told you, you’ll probably see that this is what happened with you.

Did the narcissist tell you that you’re stupid?  Clearly you aren’t & others have admired your intelligence.  The narcissist had to beat you down by making you think you aren’t intelligent so that way you won’t realize what he or she is doing to you.

The same goes with your looks.  If a narcissist tells you that you’re too fat or thin, that’s a sign you have a great figure.  If they criticize your looks in general, they clearly have noticed other people either noticing how attractive you are or flirting with you.  Narcissists can’t handle their significant other thinking they are attractive.  That person might actually gain some self esteem & realize that they really can do much better than the narcissist if that were to happen.

If a narcissist criticizes some talent you have, that isn’t because you are doing something poorly or possess a talent that has no worth & value.  They may envy your talent, & since they can’t do it, they want to stop you from doing it too.

When a narcissist hates someone you love, that also isn’t because that person is a bad person.  Quite the opposite.  The narcissist recognizes that he or she loves you & is a good person.  My narcissistic ex husband hated my best friend & did his best to ruin our friendship.  I firmly believe it’s because he knew she saw the kind of person he really was, & was afraid she would talk me into leaving him.  This scenario happens all the time with narcissists.

This cruelty goes for any criticism the narcissist says.  They have various reasons for doing this beyond what I mentioned already.

Mostly when narcissists are critical, narcissists are trying to gain control over their victim.  If a person is beaten down enough by someone, they will relinquish control to that person because they feel they are incapable of doing much of anything.  Narcissists are extremely skilled at gaining control over people in this way.

Also, when a narcissist’s victim outshines them in any capacity, it threatens the narcissist’s ego.  They can’t handle such threats so they try to tear that victim down as a way to eliminate the threat.  I experienced this so much with my mother.  Anytime I received a complement in her presence, she would punish me for it.  Often, she would be angry with me, & become especially cruel with her criticisms.  Other times, she would tell me that the person who said that was stupid or had poor judgment.  Either way, the message was clear- I didn’t deserve the complement.  I needed to be put back in my place, which was definitely beneath her.

If you have been or are currently being subjected to the cruel, scathing criticisms of a narcissist, I hope you will remember what I have said.  Please don’t take what they say to heart, because what they say isn’t true!  It’s a lie said for the sole purpose of benefitting them somehow.



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

11 responses to “When Narcissists Criticize You It Is About Them Not You

  1. What a great lesson you are sharing here. It helps us change perspective and question the narrative. Thank you for sharing 🙏


  2. Linda Lee Adams/Lady Quixote

    Thank you for this reminder, Cynthia. ❤


  3. ibikenyc

    He’s eased way off on telling me how unattractive / old-looking and has instead again ramped up accusing me of narcissism.

    SIGH. Project much?


    • ibikenyc

      how unattractive / old looking I am, and

      (Grrr! Wish there were an “edit” function.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just a little projection huh? 😒

      Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee Adams/Lady Quixote

      My heart aches for you. Oh that’s so mean.

      My face has aged a lot in just the past few months. I looked really young for my age, until recently. Now, I look old. At least 10 years older than I looked a few months ago. I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t afford cosmetic surgery. I am trying my best to accept what I see when I look in the mirror. It isn’t easy, but with prayer and acceptance, I am getting there. However, if my husband were telling me that I look unattractive and old… Oh my God. I don’t think I could take it.

      You are kind, caring, compassionate, and beautiful. I know this, without ever seeing your face. Our interactions over the years have told me who you are. And you are none of those hateful things.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ibikenyc

        I’m tearing up a little — in a good way — reading this. Thank you so much for your kind words and support ❤

        I don’t at all wish you invalidate your feelings, but I think you are still gorgeous! I bet your honey feels the same way.

        I’m sorry you’re struggling with what you see in the mirror {{HUGS}} I’m so happy you’ve gained some acceptance. You’ve been going through a lot lately, and your own kindness and compassion have maybe been stretched to their limits.

        Continued prayers for you and yours, and thank you so much again for your kind words ❤

        Liked by 2 people

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