Many people are aware of the wonderful book by Gary Chapman called, “The Five Love Languages.” It’s all about helping the reader identify what makes him or her feel the most loved, & also identify those acts in others.
The love languages in the book are as follows: words of affirmation (encouragement, complements, etc), quality time (when someone prioritizes uninterrupted time with you), acts of service (when someone goes out of their way to do nice gestures for you), gifts (when receiving gifts makes you feel loved) & physical touch (holding hands, kissing, cuddling & sex).
Did you know there are toxic versions of these love languages? There are! And narcissists use them every day. Being aware of them can help you to avoid people who behave this way.
Words of invalidation & criticism is a toxic love language. Narcissists use their words as a way to tear down their victims & make them easier to control. Naturally they don’t begin a relationship behaving like this. They lavish praise on their victims. Over time however, little negative comments suddenly appear. Over time, more are added & more. Suddenly their victim can do nothing right & is criticized for being upset that the narcissist says & does such cruel things to them.
Quality time isn’t a real thing with a narcissist. One way narcissists make their victims feel inferior is to be distracted during their time together. They may scroll endlessly through their phone, flip through the channels, or act bored. This behavior lets their victims know they aren’t worth the narcissist’s time. If the victim says something, the narcissist gets angry. They say they care & the victim should know this or they can listen to the victim & do something else at the same time. They become indignant that the victim doesn’t appreciate the fact the narcissist is spending time with them, even though that time is hardly good quality time.
Acts of service is a toxic love language in the hands of narcissists. Narcissists have motives for every single thing they do & say. If they do something for their victim, it will come with strings attached to it. They won’t hesitate to remind their victim of the great sacrifices they have made for their victim. Or, they demand their victim do anything they want, claiming if the victim really cares for them, they will do this. When the victim does this thing, they claim that isn’t what they really wanted or the victim didn’t do it right.
Gifts are also used in toxic ways by narcissists. Gifts are often used by narcissists early in a relationship as a way to lure victims in, & to make them feel obligated to the narcissist. Also, if a victim gives a narcissist a gift, that gift won’t be good enough. The victim will be shamed for their terrible gift & not loving the narcissist enough to give them something they really want.
Physical touch is only used for manipulation. Narcissists love to use sex as a weapon. Often early in their relationships, they are very passionate with their victims. Then suddenly, that stops, leaving the victim confused. They deny any problem, often claiming the victim is imagining things. The victim knows that something is indeed wrong, so he or she tries harder to please & woo the narcissist. Narcissists love this because it gives them a feeling of power & control. They often use this time to get their victims to perform sexual acts that degrade the victim. Victims in this place are vulnerable & willing to do about anything, so often narcissists get their way.
Being aware of these toxic versions of the five love languages can be very helpful in recognizing narcissists, so please remember them.