© 2013 These “Boots” are made for walkin
We talk a lot about devaluing. We talk about the definition of it, the effects of it on the psyche of the victim, your soul, and your self-esteem. But what does it look like practice? I would like to take this time to highlight some examples of how this is accomplished.
There are two types of devaluing, overt and covert. Overt devaluing is obvious; out there for everyone to see, it’s easy to identify. The psychopath makes no effort to conceal the fact that he is devaluing you. It is nothing less than out and out verbal abuse. For these purposes I would like to focus on covert devaluing tactics. This type of devaluing is so subtle it easily escapes notice. It is so subtle it is even easier to shrug it of as a momentary lapse in judgment, insensitivity or immaturity. First there is the “silent treatment”, meant to telegraph the message to the victim…”you are not worthy of my time or attention. Nothing you say is worthy of a response. I will grace you with my company when I am ready. I will dictate when and if”.
If the narcissist knows you are sensitive about a certain body part, he may very so discretely simply reach over and pinch the body part he knows you are self-conscience about. Not a word is said, just a simple pinch, out of nowhere and for no reason. It is meant to draw attention to it and let you know, “maybe you are right to be self-conscience about this”.
Then there are those oh so small and fleeting comments about the type of music or movies you prefer. Meant to telegraph, “anyone who would listen to that or watch those movies is a loser”. Consequently you stop listening to your favorite music when he is around. Every time you do, you can feel his judgmental vibe searing through you. You can literally see them put a mental “check mark” in the “points against you” box. Never mind his music is not to your taste. Like most normal caring human beings, when you love someone, you love and respect all the things that make them who they are, even when their taste in music isn’t something you would choose to listen to. You respect it because it’s part of the person you care about.
My most recent Psychopath would make constant “jokes” about our age difference, at my expense of course. Although I was in no way self-conscience about the age difference, this did not stop him from attempting to make it so. In addition to the “remarks” and “jokes”, he would engage in game playing. One day I was out of multi-vitamins. As he was stopping by the store on his way home, I asked him if he would pick some up for me. He purposely came back with Centrum-Silver, claiming he did it because they were on sale. Although this tactic was only remotely subtle, it was also transparent and obvious.
If you have a curvy figure, he will claim he is attracted to more athletic types of woman with no curves. Even though he made opposite claims when you first met. Constantly telling you how much he likes your curvy figure, real woman should have curves and a waistline. Now he hardly misses an opportunity to point out woman he is more attracted to, woman that are your polar opposite. Yes this form of devaluing also serves to triangulate. The narcissist will also pull this same tactic with food preferences or any other preference. When you first met, he just loved your meatloaf, no one he has ever dated could make meatloaf, you’re special. Months later…”I never said I liked your meatloaf, I don’t like any meatloaf. Why would you make that up or think that I like meatloaf?.” In this instance he’s combining devaluing with gas lighting. “See, you can’t cook and you’re a liar”. Two more check marks in the “you’re not good enough for me” column. Narcissists are fickle to be sure, or at least, they are good at pretending to be.
Although I would love to get into a few of the tactics used by my ex to devaluing our children, mostly aimed at my son, this is one topic that is still too painful for me write about.
Most humans engage in devaluing in one form or another, on occasions. Always coming from a place of insecurity. A narcissist however, engages in devaluing almost 24/7, the constant exposure to this tactic eventually takes its toll on their victims. Chipping away at their self worth, self-confidence. It modifies their behavior and puts the Psychopath firmly in control. It all takes place beneath the victim’s awareness. It is defined as devaluing. However, I prefer to call it “Evil”.
I would like to hear your real life examples of being devalued in covert ways.