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10 Signs You’re Being Devalued By A Narcissist.

The devalue tactics narcissists use before the discard phase.

By writemindmattersPublished about a month ago 4 min read
10 Signs You’re Being Devalued By A Narcissist.
Photo by Aleksandra Sapozhnikova on Unsplash

The devaluation phase is the second stage of the narcissist’s abuse cycle. The idealization phase gets you right where they want you, unsuspecting and blind to devaluation. Suddenly you’ve gone from the best thing since sliced bread to breadcrumbs.

Breadcrumbing is typically used to describe the dating tool akin to Hansel & Gretel's breadcrumbs, where you follow tiny suggestive morsels leading you to nowhere. People who use breadcrumbs check-in to ensure that you’re still interested while keeping you aside as an option rather than a priority.

In the devaluation phase, the breadcrumbs indicate what the narcissist thinks you’re worth. The narcissist drastically reduces your value, and you crave the person you knew during the idealization. The narcissist’s mask drops, but it's subtle enough to keep you hanging on and trying harder to return to the way things used to be.

In an unfortunate way, devaluation is a good sign; it means the narcissist has sensed that you're on to them. The narcissist’s insecurities have switched on, and they need you to suffer before they seek out their next victim so they can discard you before you discard them.

1. The idealization ends.

You’ve settled into the relationship, and the narcissist no longer needs to pull you into the facade. The narcissist begins to withdraw affection and spends more time with other people or activities away from you. Idealization becomes hoovering between episodes of narcissistic rage used to reign you back into their drama until they can find your replacement.

2. Passive-aggressiveness.

Passive aggression is indirect aggression such as making snarky remarks, twisting your words, hinting at insults or negativity, sarcasm, false or backhanded compliments, playing mind games, and making excuses. It is always used privately by people who hide their negativity and cannot directly confront difficult situations and conversations.

3. Gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a type of abuse that involves creating an alternative reality for victims. Narcissists will make you question everything about yourself, including the people around you and your sanity. It includes statements like, “There’s something wrong with you,” “Everybody’s worried about your state of mind,” “That’s not what happened,” and “You’re crazy”.

3. Name-calling.

Name-calling and put-downs are used to hurt you and can include comparing you to others, whether it’s suggesting other people are better than you or that you’re the same as someone else they’re running down. What you value most about yourself is used against you. If you value your ideas, creativity, or love for the environment, the narcissist will criticize your ideas and creations and then throw your recycling in the trash. Narcissists will directly condemn you and those close to you behind their backs.

4. Projection.

Projection is a defense mechanism that narcissists use to avoid taking the blame for their behaviour. Narcissists are not emotionally mature enough to take responsibility for their actions, so they lie and blame others. Projection allows them to play the victim, further minimizing the damage they create themselves.

5. Stonewalling.

Stonewalling is withdrawing from difficult situations and conversations. It is another passive-aggressive defense tactic used to avoid taking responsibility and provoke an emotional reaction from you. The silent treatment, eye-rolling, and smirking rather than responding are forms of stonewalling.

6. Minimising/Maximising.

Minimizing abuse is abuse in itself. The narcissist reduces the impact their behaviour has on you and others. They may say things like, “It wasn’t that bad,” or “You’re over-reacting”. At the same time, they minimize their abusive actions; they will maximize your response to their abuse.

7. Scapegoating.

The scapegoat is the sacrificial animal that bears the sins of the village. Narcissistic parents often have a scapegoat child that takes the blame for the family's problems. In a relationship, the narcissist’s partner is at fault for every problem that comes up in their lives while the narcissist takes credit for every success.

9. Broken promises.

They will make promises or promise to fulfill a request, yet never follow through. Narcissists may mention the task they’d promised to do or something about the task in front of others to watch you react. Knowing that people around you are not aware of the abuse makes your reaction seem out of proportion to what was said or done.

10. Smear Campaign.

Narcissists are two-faced and will be backstabbing you to everyone. A smear campaign smears your character to their friends, family, doctor, outside groups and organizations, and even your friends and family. The smear campaign is similar to narcissistic triangulation, where another person or group of people becomes part of your disagreements.

By Victoria Medvedeva on Unsplash

As mentioned earlier, the devaluation phase is a prequel to the discard phase, when the narcissist discards you for the next victim who will also go through the same cycle.

The devaluation phase is excruciating and can leave victims suffering from considerable mental health problems similar to the narcissist’s trauma, specifically complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD).

Knowing that narcissism is a mental health disorder can make it difficult to walk away from the abuse. However, there is no excuse for abuse, and risking your own mental and emotional health by enabling abuse will only add to the problem.

My heart pours out to anyone suffering from devaluation and narcissistic abuse syndrome. Researching narcissism and developing a solid support system of people familiar with narcissistic abuse will help you get through it. Keep up the good work.❤

anxietytraumasupportselfcarerecoveryptsdpersonality disorderlistcopingadvice

About the Creator


Writing about all matters of the mind, narcissism, personality disorders, parenting, writing, naturopathy, nutrition, and hopefully chapters from fantasy books I'll one day write.

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