Often, a narcissist will humiliate you in public as part of an active smear campaign – and while I’ve previously explained smear campaigns, today I’m going to go a little more in depth on the public humiliation part of it – which, in my opinion, is one of the most traumatic parts of the whole smear campaign tactic.So, first off, I’m going to give you a few real-life examples of how toxic narcissists have used public humiliation to hurt the people who loved them.
The Litigious Loser
One client told me her narcissistic ex husband would use their children as bargaining chips and poison them against her. Then, he’d intentionally push, poke and agitate her to the point she’d get really upset and confused – and would then start video taping her and threaten to use it to take her to court. He held the recordings over her head in order to continue to manipulate and control her even though they’d been divorced – which he did for several years before she came to me for narcissistic abuse recovery coaching.
The Sexy Selfie Stronghold
In today’s digital world, nearly everyone can admit to having snapped a sexy photo for the one they love and even, in some cases, participated in on-camera sexual activities with that person.
And you know how narcissists are, right? Yep. SEVERAL of my clients have told me that their narcissists – both male and female – have either used or threatened to use nude or otherwise compromising photos of them in order to blackmail them into doing what they wanted.
Flying Monkey Fun
For example, a narcissistic wife of one of my clients managed to humiliate him by spreading gossip among his female co-workers about his sexual health – none of which were true, but all of which really changed the way his co-workers saw him.
Her intention, of course, was to ensure his fidelity as he worked alongside his attractive coworkers each day. But in her selfishness and lack of concern and empathy for her husband, this narcissist had managed to make sure that he felt completely isolated, alone and humiliated in his workplace every day. The environment eventually became so toxic that my client moved on to a new company – and thankfully, he got divorced (and eventually moved on with a much healthier girlfriend).
In all three of those cases, there’s a similarity – and I’m not talking about the obvious one (the humiliation factor). I’m talking about the fact that none of these people recognized at first that they were even being abused – or at least, they couldn’t admit it.
So let’s talk about that.
The Humiliation Factor: No One Wants to Admit They’re Accepting the Abuse
So, how can you possibly “miss” the fact that you’re being abused?
The problem with abuse is that most relationships don’t begin with abuse. Instead, there are subtle shifts along the way, silent reprogramming until the abuser feels confident that they can control the relationship.
In most cases, by the time the abuse becomes recognizable, the victim has been so brainwashed that she or he (men can also be victims of abusive relationships) doesn’t recognize the actions as abuse and actually takes the blame for his or her predicament.
Victims often can’t be convinced that they’re experiencing abuse. They’re so busy justifying the behavior of the abuser that they don’t see it for what it is.
In many cases, the simple answer is that it’s hard to admit you’ve allowed this to happen. But if you recognize some of the following patterns in your own relationship, it’s quite possible that you are in fact, a victim of abuse.
Thoughts? Share them, along with your relevant experiences, in the comments below.