Why Narcissists Belittle Others
Narcissists suffer from a mental illness known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder, in which they have an exaggerated, grandiose opinion of themselves and expect the world to revolve around them. They belittle the views of others because they believe that their own opinions and observations on the world are the absolute truth and anyone who questions them is wrong.
Narcissists belittle others because they have their own insecurities, fears and flaws, and are afraid of having them exposed to others. In making hurtful comments to others, they reinforce their own feelings of importance and hide the low self-esteem and self-worth that may be lurking within.
Putting You Down is No Accident
A narcissist will monitor those around them to assess who they can hurt the most. The more they can put you down, the better they will feel about themselves. It’s like an addiction, where your hurt feelings are their drug of choice. But being addicted to something doesn’t absolve you of the consequences that may arise as a result of your condition.
Nothing a narcissist does to hurt you is an accident. They are a calculating bunch, with no regard as to the effect that their words and actions have on those upon which they prey. They intentionally hurt you because of feelings they have. These feelings may have started as far back as their childhoods making them feel flawed and insecure, and becoming more intense with age. They feel that putting you down will make them look better in the eyes of others, thereby hiding any feelings that they don’t want to be exposed.
When you challenge a narcissist’s view of the world, be ready for some blowback. Narcissists do not place any value on others’ opinions, and if you challenge theirs, they most certainly will lash out against you, speaking abusively and maybe even threatening you.
Don’t back down. Narcissists prey on those they feel are most vulnerable. Therefore, if you throw what they say and do to you right back at them, they are likely to switch their personality to a meeker approach. They may try to put a spin on your reaction by implying that they would never even hurt a fly, trying to make you look like the one who is over-reacting and coming down too hard on them.
Signs of Narcissistic Abuse
There are many ways in which a narcissist can abuse others. Following are a few:
- Withholding love and affection, empathy or intimacy.
- Discounting a partner’s opinions or ideas as incorrect or even stupid.
- Verbal abuse in the form of hurtful jokes.
- Judging and criticizing someone in order to damage their self-esteem and increases their need for the narcissist’s validation.
- Trivializing something that is important to another person.
- Threatening divorce, abuse, or other actions that would hurt someone who cares about them.
Narcissists often seem to be stuck in the egocentric stage of a child’s world, where they perceive everything as it relates to them. Most people outgrow this stage with age, while others are conditioned by their upbringing to remain attached to these values of excessive self-importance. In turn, as adults, their behavior seems very much like a child in the me, me, me stage. At that point, they are most likely already narcissists and the best thing to do is to avoid them.