Why do narcissists downplay your worth?

Why do narcissists downplay your worth?

Have you ever wondered why narcissists have a way of minimizing everything you do, say, think, or feel?

Narcissists are never generous with praise unless they’re using it as a way to manipulate you. In general, once they get past the love-bombing phase of the relationship, narcissists have a way of never doing or saying anything to make you feel good about yourself. 

If you feel like you have to work a little harder to earn the praise of a narcissist, it’s not because they’re harder to please or discriminating in their approval. It’s because they have reached the “devalue” phase of the toxic relationship. 

What is the devalue phase of the toxic relationship?

Devaluation is what happens when a narcissist tears you down emotionally, insults you (outright or covertly), and makes you doubt yourself and your self-worth. This is done as part of the cycle of abuse and when effective, it can cause you to believe you don’t have a chance of finding someone better, or that you’re not worthy of love or consideration.

The narcissist will often use devaluation to keep you from leaving by implanting such ideas in your head. Alternatively, some narcissists don’t even recognize they’re doing it since it’s part of the standard cycle of abuse. It can happen to a “thing” just as easily as a person when a narcissist is involved.

Why does the narcissist downplay your worth?

Narcissists downplay your worth and highlight their own accomplishments, in part because they want to keep you feeling inferior, but it’s more complicated than this. In fact, narcissists use their “false selves” to mask their deeply profound insecurity and often use this tactic to sort of boost their own ego.

It’s all about making sure they have control over us and keeping us feeling less than them so they can get what they want out of life while using our goodwill as leverage against us when needed.

In other words, they need to feel that they are above you, that they are superior to you in every single way.

What does it mean when the narcissist compliments you?

Do you sometimes feel that when narcissists do compliment you or praise you it is not genuine? Well, you are right. It isn’t. As a matter of fact; narcissists downplay the worth of those with whom they wish to gain favor.

If we are on their good side (during the idealization or love-bombing phase), then we will get compliments from them about how wonderful we are doing at work or school or even in our personal relationships.

Sometimes when narcissists compliment us, it is done so in a way that makes us feel inferior or lesser than them – or it’s about impressing someone else who overhears the compliment. The other reason a narcissist might compliment you outside of the love-bombing phase is to take credit for your work or efforts in some way.

Explaining by Example: The Narcissist at Work

In order to understand this behavior better; let us consider an example of how someone with narcissistic personality disorder might behave in a work environment. The narcissist will often claim credit for various projects even if he or she had nothing to do with their completion or success.

They will brag about their accomplishments and compare them favorably to others’. At the same time, he or she will also put down coworkers and subordinates who may have made similar contributions but not received as much recognition as they did.

Narcissists like to make themselves seem better than everyone else around them, especially if these people have something that the narcissist does not have (money, power, fame).

So, when a narcissist compliments you, it is not because of your worth, beauty, or talents. It is to get you under their authority so that they can use your talents for their own good.

Learn more about narcissists and the devalue phase of the toxic relationship

In this video, I explain the devalue phase in detail and offer tips on how to deal with the narcissist who is actively downplaying your worth. 

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today



New Research Reveals the ‘Dark Core’ of Personality: The D Factor

New Research Reveals the ‘Dark Core’ of Personality: The D Factor

Dark Core of Personality Defined: New Study Exposes the D Factor in Dark Triad Qualities

Psychologists define ‘the dark core of personality’ – D-FACTOR Egoism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, spitefulness, and others are among the traits that stand for the malevolent dark sides of human personality. As results from a recently published German-Danish research project show, these traits share a common ‘dark core’. So, if you have one of these tendencies, you are also likely to have one or more of the others. In this video, I outline the study and explain what it means to you. Read the full study here.

Psychopaths 101: All Psychopaths Are Narcissists, but Not All Narcissists Are Psychopaths

Psychopaths 101: All Psychopaths Are Narcissists, but Not All Narcissists Are Psychopaths

Why are psychopaths so good in bed? What makes them so strange? Recently, we covered psychopaths and how they became psychopaths, plus how psychopaths differ from narcissists and sociopaths, as well what to expect from sex with a psychopath.

We also covered the diagnostic criteria for a psychopath and some important stuff about the psychopathic personality.

In this video, I’ve compiled all of this information into one convenient place.

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Natural Born Killers and Gus Fring: Examples and Definitions of Psychopaths

Natural Born Killers and Gus Fring: Examples and Definitions of Psychopaths

We all know that there are a number of conditions that are commonly co-morbid with narcissistic personality disorder, and over the next several weeks, we’re going to dig into each of them in depth. This week, we’re talking about psychopaths – and we’re going to cover a number of factors in depth – so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t yet so you don’t miss one of this series.When I say the word “psychopath,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind for you? If you think of a serial killer or other kind of criminal who is sort of a society “outsider,” you’d be with the majority of the population.

But you may or may not know that you could also be married to one – or be the child or employee or sibling of one. It turns out that psychopaths are hiding among us in plain sight – and while we may assume that we could spot one, the truth is that they can be quite undetectable to the average person.

One example of a psychopath that I used in a recent video was Gus Fring from Breaking Bad, and more recently the AMC spinoff called Better Call Saul. He’s someone you’d never suspect of being a psychopath when you first meet him – he works as the fair-minded, soft-spoken owner of a small chain of successful chicken restaurants who is unfailingly polite and doesn’t seem like he could hurt a fly. But when you see him kill someone with zero regret in his face and clean himself up without one ounce of apparent nervousness, you realize what you’re seeing.

What other examples can you think of in television or movies of characters who represent psychopaths? Share your thoughts in the comments – I may use them in a fututre video.

So what are the traits of a psychopath? We’re going to start with how a psychopath is diagnosed, using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist to highlight the diagnosable traits. developed by Dr. Robert Hare, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia. Hare has taught and conducted research for more than forty years, with most of his career dedicated to the study of psychopathy.

How the Psychopath Checklist Works

There are 20 items on the checklist, some of which include: superficial charm, a grandiose notion of self-worth, the need for stimulation and impulsiveness, pathological lying, the ability to manipulate others and a lack of remorse and empathy.

In order to determine someone is psychopathic, doctors assign a score to each item, between zero and two points depending on whether a person matches each trait. This gives the highest-level psychopaths a top-out score of 40. To give you a bit of perspective, in the United States, one must score a 30 to be diagnosed a psychopath, while in the UK, you can be diagnosed as a psychopath with a score of 25.

Interestingly enough, many researchers say that psychopaths seem to have a significant amount of charisma and that they tend to have the ability to draw people in – or at the very least, to intrigue them. This is probably at least partially to their ability to charm people and manipulate them.

Another reason may be that psychopaths are often acting and mimicking normal reactions. Studies on psychopaths have found that psychopaths also do a lot of mirroring and straight-up lying to make people like them more.

Empaths May Recognize a Psychopath Better Than Someone Else

For empaths and other people who are tuned in, there are signs that can be recognized when it comes to narcissists – they tend to exhibit fake emotional responses, and we may notice them slipping up by having a weird tone or inconsistent body language. I think that relates to the fact that while they can mimic emotions and seemingly normal reactions – but they can’t actually understand them.

When it comes to psychopaths and their genuine emotions, you can expect them to be, at best, shallow and usually brief. Oh, and they definitely always have an ulterior motive for letting you see them.

They work to make you like and trust them, and they are good at it. They will charm them by telling them little insignificant secrets (which are often lies) and they’ll offer to help them out with stuff – favors around the house or loaning them money, for example, in order to gain their trust. Later, they’ll use these favors against them – either to make them do favors in return or in some cases, to get them to help manipulate someone else.

So that’s one of the qualities of a psychopath – they tend to have a shocklingly sharp way of manipulating other people and often take pleasure in doing it.

How Narcissists and Psychopaths Differ

Like narcissists, they often also have that air of superiority about them – but unlike narcissists, it’s often hard to see through it since they don’t really require any sort of validation outside of their own opinion.

Also like narcissists, they lack remorse and empathy – but unlike straight-up narcissists, they feel emotion only on a shallow level. Narcissists are absolutely not empathetic, but they feel their OWN emotions quite deeply.

Like many psychological conditions, there can be a spectrum of psychopathy, and on the most extreme end, the psychopaths could care less if you live or die – and it’s here where you find the most violent of the criminal psychopaths, including those who torture and murder people.

The full 20 criteria, includes: glibness and superficial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, cunning/manipulative, lack of remorse, emotional shallowness, callousness and lack of empathy, unwillingness to accept responsibility for actions, a tendency to boredom, a parasitic lifestyle, a lack of realistic long-term goals, impulsive, irresponsibility, lack of behavioral control, behavioral problems in early life, juvenile delinquency, criminal versatility, a history of “revocation of conditional release” (ie broken parole), multiple marriages, and promiscuous sexual behavior.

This brings me to the question of the day: do you think you know someone who is a psychopath, or have you ever met anyone? What made them stand out for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section and let’s discuss it!

That’s all I’ve got for you today – but one last point I want to make: psychopaths are BORN, not made – and while their environment could certainly have an effect on their level of violent behaviors, their chemistry could be more powerful than their environment. Next time, we’re going to discuss how one becomes a psychopath in more detail.


Survive the Discard: Breaking Up With a Narcissist

Survive the Discard: Breaking Up With a Narcissist

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us” – Alexander Graham Bell

So, you’re breaking up with a narcissist? Or you’re divorcing a toxic husband or wife? First, let me say that I’m sorry you’re going through that – and I know how bad it can get. I’ve been there, and I’m hoping I can help you to get through it with a little more ease than I did. Now, this won’t be your standard breakup advice article. That’s because, if we’re being honest, there’s plenty of breakup advice online, but most of it is geared toward helping you get your ex back. What if you either don’t want him/her back – or what if know it’s useless because you’ve already recognized that you’re in a toxic relationship with a narcissist?

What to Expect When You End a Relationship With a Narcissist

You might already know that narcissists hate when you move on. But does the narcissist miss you after you go no contact? Do they miss you if they discard you? And what should you expect when you go no contact with a narcissist? So, what should you expect when you end a relationship with a toxic narcissist? There are certain common narcissistic behaviors you can expect to deal with if you leave a narcissist (or they leave you). Here’s a quick rundown for you. 

The Difference Between Breaking Up with a Narcissist and a ‘Normal’ Breakup

What if you want advice on how to move on as quickly and pain-free as possible? Maybe you’ve read all the standard breakup advice and you don’t see how any of it really applies to you. There’s a reason for that – it’s because narcissists aren’t normal, so breaking up with a narcissist is pretty much a big cluster-truck of messy, painful, and confusing. So, what is the difference between a normal breakup and a narcissistic discard? First, you have to understand the differences between a narcissistic love and a healthy one.

Why does it hurt so much when you go no-contact with a narcissist?

You might wonder why it seems like breaking up with a narcissist seems to hurt so much more than breaking up with anyone else. There’s a reason, and you might be shocked when you learn why: it’s because you literally become addicted to them. Seriously! It’s called trauma bonding.

Trauma bonding is a common issue for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Similar to Stockholm Syndrome, it is a condition that causes abuse victims to develop a sort of psychological dependence on the narcissist. While it may appear to be a self-destructive behavior (especially when it leads you to stay with or go back to an abuser), the truth is that it develops as a survival strategy during abuse. Unfortunately, trauma bonding is also what makes recovering from a toxic relationship significantly more difficult. And it can literally leave you feeling like you are desperate to connect or reconnect with the very person who traumatized you, ruined your life, and abused you.

In other words, trauma bonding in narcissistic abuse is the reason you can’t stop thinking about the narcissist – in this video, it’s explained simply and clearly in simple language that anyone can understand. 

So, how are you supposed to go forward from here? The narcissistic abuse relationship cycle is pathological. How do you keep going after narcissistic abuse? Here’s what you need to know.

Narcissist Discard, No Contact and What You Need to Know NOW

The narcissist’s discard can make you feel like your world is ending – and going no contact as difficult as it can be can also end up making your life so much better. In this video, I’ll explain exactly what you need to know to get through the difficult parts of no contact and to thrive as you move forward.

Here’s everything you need to know about going no contact and healing after the narcissist discards you.

More Helpful Videos for Narcissist Discard, No Contact, and Healing After the Discard

When the Narcissist Finds Someone New

It can absolutely break your heart when you find out that the narcissist you once thought you’d spend your life with moves on with someone else – and especially when they do so before you do. We may understand logically that it’s all about getting narcissistic supply and that it doesn’t really reflect on us directly. But it doesn’t hurt any less, despite the fact that we recognize this person is simply the narcissist’s new supply source.

Want to know more? In this video, I’ll explain exactly why you should never feel jealous of the narcissist’s new source of narcissistic supply. Here is what is really going on with the narcissist’s new source of narcissistic supply and exactly how you can deal with it.

How to Start Healing After a Toxic Relationship with a Narcissist

Here are a few strategies that you can use that will help you move on and find peace as you go about healing and recovering from the narcissistic abuse you’ve just experienced:

1. Focus on those things, and people, that make you feel good and positive about yourself and your life.

Think of the things you enjoyed doing before you and your ex were a couple. If your relationship was a long one, remembering a time when you weren’t with him might be a little challenging at first, but you can do it.

2. Focus on making any changes that you’ve been meaning to make.

If you’ve been planning on getting in better shape, now is a great time. If you’ve been planning on changing jobs or taking some classes to advance your career… now is the time.

3. Join a support group, such as SPAN, and connect with people who understand what you’re going through.

Narcissists cause a very specific type of pain and psychological injury to their victims – and often, the only people who really get it are those who have experienced it. That’s why you should consider joining a support group such as SPAN.

These kinds of action steps and activities will allow you to feel hopeful and positive about your future – which will allow you some peace in the short term and may even help you move on more quickly in the long run.

In the short term, use any and all escape mechanisms you have that make you feel better. It doesn’t matter if it’s eating ice cream or vegging out in front of the t.v., as long as you only focus on positive people and activities you will be able to cope with the pain and loneliness better.

But a tip from me to you – limit the amount of time you let yourself grieve. For a long-term marriage type relationship, I wouldn’t go more than a few weeks to mourn – for shorter relationships, I’d cap it out at a week. Tell yourself that you can mope and mourn and do what you need to do, but on the target date, you are no longer allowed to whine about the past and you’ve got to move forward with a more positive and focused attitude.

Believe it or not, this really, truly works – just give it a shot. This video offers more tips on healing after narcissistic abuse.

What are the next steps to take in your healing after narcissistic abuse?

So, you already know that the relationship was going nowhere fast, and you know that it’s best to call it quits because if you don’t, the cycle will just continue. Or maybe you’re the one who got dumped. In either case, knowing the truth about the situation can’t take away the pain and loneliness – but when you use the DUO Method to recover, you have a working plan to help you get through the pain.

So first, you’ve got to discover the problem and acknowledge it. Obviously, you’ve already done that at this point. So, after discovery, you’ve got to learn to understand the situation better – and here’s where you are now.

If the person you were involved with is a narcissist, you may be reeling and confused by the constant roller-coaster ride your relationship has become. And now that you’ve been discarded, you can rest assured that, while your narcissist will most likely come back at some point, it’s definitely not going to be worth your trouble to try again.

Narcissists are very unlikely to change if they ever do. And even if they appear to change, it’s generally only in an attempt to get what they want – to manipulate you into coming back to them and being their source of narcissistic supply – the person who keeps the narcissist’s ego lifted up and serves as an emotional dumpster when the narcissist feels a certain amount of narcissistic injury.

In this video, I offer signs to help you recognize whether you’re on the right track for healing after abuse and tips to help you get there. 

If you’re not still sure where you are in your recovery, you might like to take my free narcissistic abuse recovery stages self-assessment, right here. 

Bonus: Set Yourself Free by Being Your Authentic Self

Authenticity is underrated. It’s more than being honest with the world. It’s about being honest with yourself. There are many advantages to being authentic. Most importantly, you’ll no longer feel the need to change your words and actions to impress others.

You can relax and be yourself. Before you can be authentic, it’s important to know yourself. This includes your values and goals. Authenticity becomes possible when you know what’s important to you. Embrace authenticity and present yourself honestly:

1. Give up the need to appear perfect. Excellent is good enough. But seriously, when you don’t need to appear perfect, you’re in the position to be honest. No one can be perfect and honest at the same time. Avoid putting on a show for the rest of the world. You’ll only feel bad about yourself later.  It’s okay to be less than spectacular. Be the best at being yourself. .

2. Know your values and live by them. If you know your values and live by them consistently, you’re already doing well in the authentic department.Make a list of your values and determine the five that are most important to you. Are you living your life according to these values? Would it be obvious to others that you hold these values? Decide to make your decisions based upon your values. Be willing to share your values with others.

3. Notice when you’re not being authentic. It’s not easy to be authentic all the time. You might find yourself transforming based on the situation. A first date is a good example. Are you being authentic or pretending to be someone you’re not? Take note of those times your authenticity starts to wane

4. Know your goals. What do you want out of life? Do you know? Are you willing to let others know? By knowing your goals, you can you live your life accordingly. Make a list of your short-term and long-term goals. How well do they align with your values?

5. What are your defining characteristics? Describe yourself honestly. Now ask yourself if a casual acquaintance would describe you the same way? How about someone that knows you well? How about your closest friend? * How many people know you well? If there aren’t many, ask yourself why. If you’re living authentically, it should be easy for someone to develop an accurate opinion of you. * What are your “negative” characteristics? Are you impatient or messy? Are you willing to allow others to see these characteristics or do you attempt to hide them?

6. Tell the truth. If you’re being authentic, why would you need to lie? This pertains especially to anything you say about yourself. Admit your mistakes, weaknesses, and frailties. Share your opinions honestly and freely.

7. Simplify your life. Get rid of everything that’s extraneous. What you choose to keep will be representative of your preferences and your true self. Find your true essence by stripping away the non-essential. Start with the clothes you never wear, the things you never use, and the activities you don’t enjoy. Only keep the things that mean the most to you.

8. Do what you say you’ll do. Keep your word and follow through on your promises. You’ll feel more congruent, and others will view you as more congruent. When your words and actions match, you’re demonstrating authenticity. Life becomes easier when you’re living authentically. You’ll no longer feel the exhaustion that comes with constantly changing your opinions, attitudes, and personality to please others. You’ll no longer feel the need to protect yourself from others. Be authentic with your thoughts, words, and actions. Invest the time in yourself and learn to be free.

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