Narcissist Devalue Examples
Narcissist Devalue Examples

Navigating a relationship with a narcissist can be a tumultuous journey, often characterized by emotional ups and downs and insidious manipulative tactics. At the heart of this toxic dynamic lies the dreaded “devalue phase,” where narcissists unveil their darkest behaviors.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into the chilling examples of narcissist devaluation, shedding light on how these behaviors work and, more importantly, offering compassionate guidance on how to handle them. Understanding the intricacies of the devalue phase is your first step towards protecting your self-esteem and emotional well-being in the face of narcissistic abuse.

Understanding the Narcissism Devalue Phase

When dealing with a narcissist in a relationship, it’s essential to comprehend the dynamics of the devalue phase. This phase can be emotionally taxing and challenging to navigate. In this section, we will delve into what the narcissist devalue phase entails, why narcissists engage in it, and how you can recognize it when it happens.

What is the Narcissist Devalue Phase?

The narcissist devalue phase is a critical stage in a toxic relationship with a narcissist. It’s the point at which the narcissist begins to reveal their true colors, treating their partner with disrespect, cruelty, and contempt. During this phase, the narcissist’s behavior can take on a range of hurtful and manipulative forms. Their language will change and they will start using words and phrases that are meant to devalue.

Some common behaviors in the devalue phase include insults, belittling, criticism, withdrawal of affection, and emotional manipulation. These actions can be aimed at undermining the partner’s self-esteem and self-worth, leaving them feeling vulnerable and dejected.

Why Do Narcissists Engage in Devaluation?

Understanding why narcissists engage in the devaluation of their partners is crucial to comprehending their behavior. Narcissists are driven by a deep-seated need for control and manipulation in their relationships. They thrive on power and dominance, often at the expense of their partner’s emotional well-being.

Here are some reasons why narcissists engage in the devalue phase:

  1. Maintaining Control: Narcissists feel the need to maintain control over their partners to feed their ego and sense of superiority.
  2. Insecurity: Ironically, beneath their confident facade, narcissists often struggle with low self-esteem. Devaluing their partner can temporarily alleviate their own feelings of insecurity.
  3. Manipulation: By devaluing their partner, narcissists can manipulate them more easily. The partner may become more compliant, seeking validation and approval.
  4. Emotional Abuse: Devaluation is a form of emotional abuse that narcissists use to maintain dominance and keep their partner emotionally dependent on them.
  5. Projection: Narcissists tend to project their own insecurities and flaws onto their partner, using devaluation as a way to deflect from their own shortcomings.

Understanding these underlying motivations can help you better navigate the challenges of the devalue phase. It’s important to recognize that the issue lies with the narcissist’s behavior and not with the victim.

25 Narcissist Devalue Examples & How to Deal with Them

Now let’s explore common examples of narcissist devaluation tactics that can occur in a toxic relationship. It’s crucial to recognize these behaviors so that you can protect yourself and maintain your self-esteem. We will also provide guidance on how to deal with each of these challenging situations.

#1. Insults and Name-calling

  • Devaluation: Narcissists often resort to insults and name-calling as a way to diminish their partner’s self-esteem. They may use derogatory language, mock, or ridicule their partner, leaving them feeling hurt and humiliated.
  • How to Deal With It: Maintain your composure and avoid engaging in a heated argument. Set boundaries and calmly express that such behavior is unacceptable. Seek support from friends or a therapist to rebuild your self-esteem.

#2. Silent Treatment

  • Devaluation: Narcissists may use the silent treatment as a form of emotional punishment. They withdraw affection, communication, and attention, leaving their partner feeling isolated and invisible.
  • How to Deal With It: Focus on self-care during this period. Reach out to friends and engage in activities that make you feel valued. Communicate calmly about the need for open dialogue in the relationship, but don’t beg for their attention.

#3. Gaslighting

  • Devaluation: Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic in which the narcissist tries to make their partner doubt their own reality. They may deny their actions, rewrite history, or blame their partner for their behavior.
  • How to Deal With It: Trust your instincts and maintain a record of significant events. Seek validation from trusted friends or a therapist who can help you see the truth. Set boundaries and calmly assert yourself when gaslighting occurs.

#4. Public Humiliation

  • Devaluation: Narcissists may go to great lengths to humiliate their partner in public or social settings. This can include derogatory comments, embarrassing stories, or undermining your confidence in front of others.
  • How to Deal With It: Address the issue privately, expressing your discomfort and boundaries. Consider whether the relationship is worth maintaining if the behavior persists. Surround yourself with supportive people who uplift you.

#5. Criticizing Appearance

  • Devaluation: Narcissists may target their partner’s physical appearance, making hurtful comments about their weight, clothing, or grooming choices. This can lead to body image issues and lowered self-esteem.
  • How to Deal With It: Recognize that their criticisms are a reflection of their own insecurities, not your true worth. Practice self-compassion and seek support from professionals if body image concerns arise. Set boundaries against body-shaming comments.

#6. Undermining Achievements

  • Devaluation: Narcissists often belittle their partner’s accomplishments or downplay their successes. They may undermine your self-confidence by making you feel that your achievements are insignificant.
  • How to Deal With It: Recognize your accomplishments as valid and worthy of celebration. Surround yourself with supportive individuals who acknowledge your achievements. Limit sharing your successes with the narcissist, if possible, to protect your self-esteem.

#7. Mockery

  • Devaluation: Mockery is a hurtful tactic used by narcissists to make their partner feel foolish or inadequate. They may imitate your words, actions, or quirks in a demeaning way, causing emotional distress.
  • How to Deal With It: Stay emotionally detached from their mockery, reminding yourself that it reflects their insecurity and need for control. Maintain self-assurance and calmly express that such behavior is unacceptable in the relationship.

#8. Triangulation

  • Devaluation: Narcissists often employ triangulation by bringing a third person into the relationship dynamic. They may flirt with others, seek attention from someone else, or compare you unfavorably to others to incite jealousy and insecurity.
  • How to Deal With It: Stay calm and communicate your discomfort with this behavior. Focus on your own self-worth and trust in your relationship. Avoid reacting with jealousy, as this is what the narcissist often seeks. Seek couples counseling if necessary.

#9. Emotional Manipulation

  • Devaluation: Emotional manipulation is a core tactic of narcissists. They may use guilt, pity, or fear to control their partner’s emotions. They play on your empathy to maintain dominance.
  • How to Deal With It: Recognize manipulation tactics and set firm boundaries. Prioritize your emotional well-being and seek support from a therapist or support group. Avoid succumbing to guilt or fear, as these are tools the narcissist uses.

#10. Withholding Affection

  • Devaluation: Narcissists frequently withhold affection and intimacy to punish their partner. They create emotional distance and make you feel unloved and unwanted.
  • How to Deal With It: Focus on self-love and self-care during periods of affection withdrawal. Communicate your need for affection calmly and assertively, but don’t beg for it. Consider whether this relationship is meeting your emotional needs.

#11. Blaming the Victim

  • Devaluation: Narcissists often deflect blame onto their partner for any issues or conflicts in the relationship. They refuse to take responsibility for their actions, leaving the victim feeling unjustly accused.
  • How to Deal With It: Stay grounded in your own reality and acknowledge your contributions to the relationship. Set boundaries against unfair blame-shifting and calmly assert your perspective. Seek couples counseling to address this pattern.

#12. Excessive Criticism

  • Devaluation: Narcissists engage in relentless criticism, nitpicking every aspect of their partner’s behavior, appearance, or choices. This constant negativity can erode self-esteem over time.
  • How to Deal With It: Recognize that their criticism is a reflection of their insecurities. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to rebuild self-esteem. Set boundaries against excessive criticism and assert your need for respect.

#13. Scapegoating

  • Devaluation: In dysfunctional families or group settings, narcissists may single out one person as the scapegoat, blaming them for all the problems. This can lead to isolation and emotional distress.
  • How to Deal With It: Seek support from others who can validate your experiences. Consider distancing yourself from toxic group dynamics. Focus on self-compassion and self-worth, understanding that scapegoating is an unfair projection.

#14. Projecting

  • Devaluation: Narcissists often project their own flaws and insecurities onto their partner. They accuse their partner of behaviors or feelings that are actually a reflection of the narcissist’s own issues.
  • How to Deal With It: Stay self-aware and recognize when projection is occurring. Don’t internalize false accusations. Calmly address the projection and set boundaries against unjust blame. Encourage the narcissist to seek therapy for self-awareness.

#15. Dismissive Behavior

  • Devaluation: Narcissists frequently dismiss their partner’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions as unimportant or irrelevant. They may interrupt, ignore, or belittle their partner’s input.
  • How to Deal With It: Assert your need for respect and acknowledgment in the relationship. Communicate calmly when you feel dismissed, and set boundaries against this behavior. Seek support from friends or professionals to regain confidence in your voice.

#16. Controlling Finances

  • Devaluation: Narcissists may exert control over the finances in the relationship, restricting their partner’s access to money or using money as a weapon to manipulate and control.
  • How to Deal With It: Seek financial independence and establish your own bank account if necessary. Consult a financial advisor or therapist for guidance on managing finances in a healthy way. Set boundaries against financial manipulation.

#17. Withholding Information

  • Devaluation: Narcissists often withhold important information from their partner, leaving them in the dark about significant aspects of their life. This can create a sense of powerlessness and insecurity.
  • How to Deal With It: Establish open communication and assert your need for transparency. Seek counseling to address trust issues that may arise. Consider whether the relationship is healthy if the withholding of information persists.

#18. Threats and Intimidation

  • Devaluation: Narcissists may resort to threats and intimidation to maintain control. They use fear as a tool, making their partner feel unsafe and vulnerable.
  • How to Deal With It: Prioritize your safety above all else. Reach out to a domestic violence hotline or counselor if you feel physically threatened. Document any threats or intimidating behavior for legal purposes. Seek a support network to protect yourself.

#19. Emotional Withholding

  • Devaluation: Emotional withholding is a tactic in which narcissists hold back affection, empathy, or support as a means of punishing their partner emotionally.
  • How to Deal With It: Focus on self-care and seek emotional support from friends, family, or a therapist. Communicate your emotional needs clearly but avoid chasing affection. Reevaluate the relationship if emotional withholding continues.

#20. Love-Bombing and Then Withdrawing

  • Devaluation: Narcissists often cycle between extreme affection and withdrawal of affection. They may shower their partner with love and attention, only to suddenly become distant and aloof.
  • How to Deal With It: Recognize this pattern and don’t be swayed by the sudden affection. Maintain your emotional independence and set boundaries against emotional manipulation. Seek counseling to navigate these cycles effectively.

#21. Invasion of Privacy

  • Devaluation: Narcissists often invade their partner’s privacy by snooping through their personal belongings, emails, or messages. This invasion of privacy can make the victim feel violated and powerless.
  • How to Deal With It: Set clear boundaries regarding personal space and privacy. Secure your personal information and devices. If invasion of privacy continues, consider seeking legal advice or ending the relationship.

#22. Recurrent Deception

  • Devaluation: Narcissists engage in recurrent deception, such as lying, hiding information, or manipulating the truth to suit their agenda. This erodes trust and creates a sense of betrayal.
  • How to Deal With It: Prioritize honesty and open communication in the relationship. Address deception calmly but firmly and set consequences for repeated dishonesty. Seek couples counseling to rebuild trust.

#23. Playing Mind Games

  • Devaluation: Narcissists play mind games to confuse and manipulate their partner. They may use tactics like guilt-tripping, changing the rules, or creating drama to maintain control.
  • How to Deal With It: Stay emotionally grounded and recognize when mind games are being played. Set boundaries against manipulation and calmly assert your needs. Seek support from a therapist to maintain your mental clarity.

#24. Hoovering

  • Devaluation: Hoovering is a tactic in which narcissists attempt to rekindle the relationship after a period of devaluation or discard. They may apologize, promise change, and show affection, only to revert to their old behaviors.
  • How to Deal With It: Recognize hoovering as a cycle and maintain your boundaries. Focus on their actions rather than their words. Seek therapy to understand the pattern and decide whether the relationship is worth pursuing.

#25. Isolating the Victim

  • Devaluation: Narcissists may isolate their partner from friends and family to maintain control and dependency. This isolation can lead to a sense of loneliness and helplessness.
  • How to Deal With It: Reconnect with your support network and rebuild relationships with friends and family. Seek professional help to cope with the emotional aftermath of isolation. Consider ending the relationship if isolation continues.

These examples underscore the diverse range of devaluation tactics employed by narcissists in relationships. Being aware of these behaviors is crucial for protecting your emotional well-being and self-esteem.

Closing Thoughts

Dealing with narcissistic devaluation in a relationship can be emotionally taxing and challenging. It’s essential to recognize the various tactics employed by narcissists to undermine their partners’ self-esteem and maintain control. Remember, the issue lies with the narcissist’s behavior, not with the victim.

In closing, if you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, prioritize your emotional well-being, self-esteem, and personal boundaries. Seek support from friends, family, or therapists who can help you navigate the complexities of such relationships. Ultimately, your self-worth should never be compromised for the sake of a toxic relationship.