Before I explain what words can destroy a narcissist, I want to make it clear that this article is not meant to teach you how to destroy a narcissist with words. This is because it’s not only unhelpful but it can also cause a lot of violent reactions from the narcissist. Instead this article will teach you words that destroy a narcissist so that you know how to use words correctly when dealing with a narcissist.
Below are the words that can destroy a narcissist.
Shame on you
No, I’m not talking about the word “shame on you” itself. The word itself may mean nothing to a narcissist depending on the context but narcissists are so sensitive to shaming words. Some parents usually try to motivate their children to avoid making mistakes by shaming them whenever they do something wrong. This usually makes the child grow up feeling that there is something wrong with them. These children are more likely to become narcissistic adults.
All narcissists usually live with shame at their core. This makes them so sensitive to any shaming word. Telling a narcissist words such as “you can’t do anything right, you’re not that intelligent, you’re a loser” reminds them of the shame they suffered from earlier in their life.
As I said, the exact words that will hurt a particular narcissist will depend on what kind of shame they suffer from. For example if the narcissist is successful, telling him that he is a loser won’t hurt him. On the other hand if he doesn’t consider himself successful the same words can have a lot of damage on his ego. See: when a narcissist loses everything.
I’m not interested in you
A narcissist’s value and worth is usually determined by other people. Narcissists usually charm and impress people and when they get positive feedback they feel worthy and valuable. On the other hand, when they fail to get positive feedback or even worse when they get negative feedback, they not only feel bad but they also devalue the person whom the negative feedback came from.
Narcissists are so sensitive to rejection and you don’t actually have to directly reject a narcissist or tell them that you’re not interested in them for them to feel rejected. When they see some signs of rejection in your interaction with them, for example if you always reply late to their texts or if you don’t reply at all, that’s enough to cause a narcissistic injury.
You are incompetent
Again, I’m not talking about the word “you’re incompetent” itself. Narcissists are so sensitive to criticism, pointing out their flaws will definitely trigger them. In my article: 5 things that make a narcissist panic, I said that narcissists are not sensitive to any kind of criticism but the criticism that touches their insecurities. Is the narcissist jobless? Then telling them to get a job will trigger them.
Yeah! The criticism doesn’t have to be destructive or insulting. In fact, constructive criticism destroys a narcissist more than destructive criticism.
This is because destructive criticism is usually taken as an insult and it gives them a chance to lash out at you. On the other hand, constructive criticism is usually sincere and it touches an existing insecurity.
How narcissists use words to destroy people
Do you know how powerful words are? A certain experiment was conducted to find out how words affect how people see themselves. The experiment was conducted on two groups of middle-aged men. The first group was exposed to words related to ageing while the second group was exposed to words related to youthfulness.
The two groups were told to leave the room and what they found is that men who were exposed to words related to ageing walked slowly leaving the room while those who were exposed to words related to youthfulness walked faster.
Do you understand what this means?
The words a narcissist uses against you can have significant effects on your self-esteem, your mood, and your behavior. For example if a narcissist constantly criticizes you, this criticism can eventually make you form negative beliefs about yourself and this will reflect in your behavior. For example if the narcissist always calls you ugly, you may eventually start believing that you’re ugly and stop taking care of your looks especially if they convince you that there’s nothing you can do to improve your looks. It’s important to pay attention to the words you get exposed to from the narcissist and other people so that you don’t internalize negative words.
In my book “manipulating the manipulator” I explained how you can read a narcissist’s mind by paying attention to the words they use often. See: how to stop a narcissist from ruining your self-esteem.