11 Ways Narcissists Use Shame to Control Others

Narcissist Use Shame to Control Others

How do Narcissists use shame?

A weakness of a narcissist is their extreme hatred of being embarrassed. There is nothing worse for them than having someone point out even the slightest fault. Ironically, they have no problem openly doing this to others.

This method of casting shame allows them to feel superior while minimizing any impact the other person might have. It also serves as a way of discounting any future comments the other person may use to embarrass the narcissist. Basically, they are beating the other person to the first punch.

Related: The 6 Types Of Narcisissts And How To Spot And Cope Each One Of Them

In order to avoid the first punch, a person needs to understand what it looks like.

Here are eleven ways narcissists use shame to control others.

Ways Narcissists Use Shame to Control Others

1) Historical Revisionism.

A narcissist will retell another person’s story adding their own flare of additional shame. This can be done in front of others or privately. It usually happens after the other person has achieved some level of accomplishment. The narcissist will state that they are only trying to the keep the other person humble but in reality, they are trying to humiliate.

2) Confidence Breaking.

Narcissists love to gather information about a person and store it away for later abuse. They use their charm to entice a person to share confidential details, especially ones that caused the other person embarrassment. Once gathered the narcissist uses the story to keep the other person in check and constantly worried about when the information will come out.

Related: Narcissists and Psychopaths Online: The Narcissism of Cyberbullying and Trolling

3) Exaggerating Faults.

No one is perfect except for the narcissist. The narcissist is very good at identifying the faults of others and even better at passively aggressively commenting on them. This is a way of putting the other person ‘in their place.’ When confronted, they often say, “I was only joking,” or that person “can’t take a joke.”

4) Victim Card.

Narcissists are talented at exasperating others and then using their reaction as justification for becoming the real victim. Regardless of how hard the narcissist incited the other person, the angry reaction to the provocation is viewed as shameful. The other person who usually feels bad by their reaction, allows the narcissist to play the victim card, and thereby surrenders control to the narcissist.

5) Blame Shifting.

Whenever something goes wrong, the narcissist shifts all of the blame on the other person. The other person who may have done one thing wrong, allows the narcissist to dump more than their fair share of the responsibility.

Related: 5 Types of Narcissistic Blame Shifting

6) Baby Talk.

In any narcissistic relationship, the narcissist wants to be seen as the adult and the other person as the child. This belittlement is done in several condescending ways such as literally talking down, calling the other person immature, and saying the other person needs to grow up. The implication is that the narcissist is more mature and has developed beyond the level of the other person.

6 thoughts on “11 Ways Narcissists Use Shame to Control Others”

  1. Avatar of Nancy Adamez Vasquez.
    Nancy Adamez Vasquez.

    You know I got that treatment from my narco friend who I kicked out of my apartment for the silent treatment & well, just his narcissistic behavior.
    I think he put one of his flying monkeys up to it, because this guy barely looked my direction nor utter a greeting.
    They decided it would be embarrassing for me to be naked in front of someone & be disguarded.
    Well the text went that I couldn’t afford cable so the cable man came to put it back on. As he got here I got naked & answered the door. Well, the guy was so disgusted by the way I showed up expecting to get action, he filed a complaint to the company. So I can’t get cable for 5 years.
    Ain’t that something. At least I’m not homeless. But my only response was keep trying to break me down, I’m at a point where I realize if I can live with several people who are like you over the years and I’m doing well, it can’t be done. You also have to remember that I have Faith. I’ll live.
    I know it’s going to get ugly. He’s been circling my apartment complex, which kept me from doing what I wanted to this evening, but I’ll keep letting him think he’s winning. I’ll be OK.

    1. Avatar of Sally

      Get out of the relationship and run. They can’t love people. I’ve been in that situation for 8 years it’s not healthy and 2 years on I’m still recovering from it.

    2. Avatar of Luke

      You may as well ask if it’s possible for a wolf to shun red meat. Get out and run while you still can. The narcissist has only one person’s interest at heart. They are profoundly selfish and vindictive with fewer redeeming features than Dickens’ Fagin. I worked for one for eight years who has now retired and is left to battle the latter stages of cancer on his own. Like Dorian Gray people were repulsed by what they saw and rightly ran a mile when his true colours were revealed. He will die alone and with any luck there’ll be a pauper’s grave somewhere where he can be buried and forgotten about after the dirt is tramped down. He truly deserves nothing less. In short wash your hands of this filth and move on with the rest of your life. It’s too short to spend among those broken beyond repair. The irony is the narcissist will implode irrespective of whether you persist with this relationship or not. Now why would I want to sit next to a cache of dynamite after the fuse has been lit?

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