Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 45 · 4 years ago

Shaming tactics

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Narcissists use shame to control people around them. It is a very real form of emotional abuse. By recognizing these tactics (there are 11 different examples) you will be better equipped to manage through these tactics.

 

www.growwithchristine.com

This is understanding. Today's narcissist brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Today we're going to be talking about the eleven different ways a narcissist uses shame to try to control you and other people. The reason this is so incredibly important is because shaming a person is a form of emotional abuse and if you don't realize that you are being shamed into something, then you might make a mistake and allow the narcissists to gain control in some way. And a lot of times they use this just as...

...a way of reiterating the fact that they are better than you and that they are more superior in some fashion. So we're going to talk a little bit about the eleven different ways that this looks like, and first I want to share with you a couple of stories to just kind of get a good idea for what this actually feels like and what it feels like to be shamed by somebody. So you could be at a dinner party, for instance, and while you're at the party, all of a sudden your narcissistic spouse make some comment that is really embarrassing. It could be something that happened in the past. It could be a story about something for which information was confidential, and there's sharing it publicly in front of others to kind of put you down because maybe perhaps something great just happened to you and everybody was praising you or excited about something, and then now all of a sudden the narcissist comes into just...

...kind of like nail you down a little bit further. We see this tactic a lot with parents and like what they tend to do, and narcissist will do with a child, for instance, is say I'm just trying to keep you humble because I don't want you to get too big of a head, which is crazy because the only person who has too big of a head in the room is usually the narcissist, it's not the other people in the room. So that is kind of what they are trying to do. What they really mean, instead of saying I'm trying to keep you level headed or I'm trying to make sure you don't have too big of a head, what they really mean is I don't want you to look better than me, because I want to outshine you at all times and need to in order to feed my ego. So that's what it's really all about. So let's talk about the eleven different ways and I'll try to give a couple of examples as we go through with this. The very first one is what we call historical revisionism.

So a narcissist is going to retell your story by an add their own flare of like additional shame. So this can be done in front of others, it could be done privately, and it usually happens after you've achieved something. So, for instance, you could have all of a sudden earned a master's degree and the narcissist and you're going out to dinner to celebrate with some friends. You're all excited, everybody's excited for you, and then narcissist might say something along the lines of well, you didn't really earn that degree, I helped you and therefore I really earned it for you. So what they're doing is trying to shame you into saying, Oh, you know, you didn't really deserve this, and it's a form of historical revisionism. And they might not have even done anything at all. They might have just done minimal things. But to a narcissist, even the smallest amount of effort that they have...

...put towards something means that they have some kind of ownership or power over it, and so historical revisionism is one of them. The second one is confidence breaking. So a narcissist loves to gather information about you and then store it away for some kind of later abuse use, and they're going to use their charm to entice you to share some very confidential details, especially ones that might cause you embarrassment at some point in time. Once they have gathered this information, they constantly use this story to keep you in check, so that you because you're worried that the information will come out later, and so they constantly reiterate that they know this secret about you and that nobody could ever care for you as much as they have. This is very commonly done with past sexual abuse that has happened to a person, and when the narcissist has that information, they kind of dangle it like a you know, like they're dangling a...

...little string in front of you and saying here, I have this for you and if you don't jump through this hoop, then I'm going to expose this to everyone around you. So that's what we call confidence breaking. That's shaming you. The third one is exaggerated faults. So absolutely nobody is perfect except for the narcissist, and the narcissist is very good at identifying your faults and even better at passively aggressively commenting on them. This is a way of putting you in your place. So when confronted, they will say I was only joking, or that you can't take a joke in some way and so like. Here's an example of that one. So exaggerated faults would be like taking the fact that you might have cheated on a test and saying you cheated your whole way through school. So it's just exaggerating your faults, and they're very good at just passively aggressively dumping that on you in order to remind you of...

...maybe a mistake that you made at some point in time for which they're going to come back, and it will come back and haunt you later, whenever the narcissists chooses, of course, because it's all about them. Just remember that. Number four playing the victim card. So narcissists are very talented at exasperating you and then using your reaction as justification for them becoming the victim. So, regardless of how hard the narcissist entices you, you're angry reaction then is viewed as shameful, not only from their standpoint but also usually from yours, because you're embarrassed that you reacted that way. And then you usually feel so bad that the narcissist then gets to play the victim card. And then you've now surrendered control back over to the narcissist. So the narcissist uses the...

...victim card as a way of shaming you. So they'll provoke you and then you react badly and then, after you've reacted badly, you feel bad and then the narcissist plays the victim and it's just a way of saying see, you're just as bad as I am, if not worse. Number five blame shifting. So whenever something goes wrong, the narcissist is going to shift all of the blame on to you. You may not have done anything wrong, it doesn't really matter whether you have. You could have done one minor thing wrong, but nonetheless the narcissist will dump more than your fair responsibility back onto you. So they will take all their responsibility and throw it back on you. It's a form of blame shifting in once again, it's a way, it's a shaming tactic that's done so that you accept excessive responsibility for things.

And if you stop for a moment and kind of think about what happened in the past and you I'm sure you can come up with some examples for just how you are not really responsible for something. You may have done one teeny tiny thing wrong, but the narcissist blew way out of proportion and then made you look like you're the guilty party. That was number five. Number six is baby talk, and in a narcissistic relationship the narcissist likes to be seen as the adult, and they want to be. They want you to be viewed as a child. And this doesn't matter whether we're talking about a marital relationship or rental relationship, where, of course, the Narcissis may actually be the child, even in this relationship, but they treat their parent as if the parent is the child. or The narcissists may actually be the parent, and no matter how old the child gets, the child is still not old enough because they can never catch up to the narcissist and they will never be...

...as smart or have as much experience, so it's never enough for them. So basically what they do is they do this baby talk thing where they talked down and they are acting condescenting, literally calling you immature, saying that you need to grow up, and the implication is always that the narcissist is the more mature person and that you have never developed to their level. So it's a constant baby talking down towards you. Number seven is religious guilt. It really doesn't matter what kind of religion we're talking about here. It could be Christian, it could be Judaism, it could be Muslim, it could be Hindo, it could be any religion, even no religion at all. It really doesn't matter what the religion is. What it is is that there's like a certain set of standards or expectations that usually follow. So even agnostics or atheist have a certain set of standards that they follow, and in all religions those exist. So the narcissist will use your religious beliefs as a way of...

...guilty you into action. A A common thing, and this is also referred to as religious abuse. That they might say is God told me that you need to or so God is speaking directly to the narcissist and telling you what you should and shouldn't do, instead of speaking directly to you. So it's a religious guilt. It's a way of shaming you in order to be able to control you. Number Eight is what I call the offensive play. So the narcissist is going to use personal attacks to put you on the defense, and they do this constantly, so that you constantly feel like you're having to defend yourself all the time. You get so caught up in defending your name or your character that you actually miss the next attack that's coming your way. And then what the narcissist says and back to you is look how defensive you...

...are. You must have really done something wrong because you're so defensive all the time. So this is kind of what I call a checkmate position, because you really don't have any other place to go. Just remember that the only way out of this is that you have to play offensive with the narcissist. You can't constantly be playing defensive. You will never ever win that game. That was number eight. Number nine is talking above. So instead of doing the opposite of talking down, which is the baby talk, the narcissists will intentionally talk over your level of knowledge or intelligence. So even if you are more intelligent, the narcissist will talk in circles with this air of authority in order to force you into an inferior position. I've seen this happen over and over again. I had a client who was a doctor and he was very intelligent and very, very smart, really upper of his class and then also...

...in his profession, great career, and his narcissistic wife literally talk down to him on a regular basis like he was the dumbest person alive and he was so far from it, and he just bought into it and just allowed that to constantly happen over and over again. So sometimes they'll use sophisticated vocabulary, they'll do physical posturing, such as looking down on you, and they might even embellish some details in order to really shame you and drive the point home. So that's talking above number ten, comparing accomplishments. So it doesn't really matter what you have accomplished. The narcissist has done it first, they've done it better, they've done it more efficiently. So by outperforming you, the narcissist minimizes your accomplishments in comparison to their own. This produces an I can...

...never be good enough feeling in you and this constant standard of like it's never enough, it's never good enough, and that puts you constantly in a subordinate position. So this comparing. The narcissist compares themselves to you and a lot of times, to be honest with you, they're actually lying about it. They're exaggerating the truth, they're not even being honest about what's happened or what they have or haven't achieved. Then a quick double check of any accomplishments that are narcissist is told you that they've accomplished will usually reveal the fact that they have not done what they said they have done. So the point that they even lie about degrees and diplomas. Like really easy fat check stuff. So always make sure that you're doing that. And the last, but not least, in number eleven is first impression. So a narcissist is very aware of how they look and appear to others all the time. Frequently they're dressed in...

...designer clothing, they're immaculately groomed, no hair is ever out of place for them. But this is just not for a narcissist. Rather, they demand that your physical appearance must look the same as theirs, and they're very demeaning if you don't get that. If you're not that way, they'll even make comments like you don't take care of yourself, it doesn't take a lot of Everard for you to look better. Or they'll do that to other people, like just walking down the street, where they will make fun of or belittle other people and how they look or what they look like, and so this is this is a way of again taking a first impression of somebody, casting a quick judgment in order to shame them so that they can't live up to the expectation of the narcissist. So when you can see that these shaming tactics are being used, it becomes a lot easier to dodge them. Make s sure you resist the temptation to attack first with a narcissist, because that only...

...intensifies their reaction. Instead, deflect and distract in order to become a target and don't allow yourself to be shamed. That is the big lesson for today, because if you can avoid that, then you can avoid the narcissist controlling you. Most all of the time. Thanks for listening to understanding. Today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom. For more information, visit grow with christinecom.

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