Narcissists have a way of being sneaky about the way that they abuse others. Narcissist abuse causes your self esteem, energy and life-force to be drained away from you. They have to use sneaky, abusive tactics because obvious abuse would not get them what they want. Narcissistic Supply.
Narcissistic supply is gained by the narc when you are in pain. THEY LOVE TO SEE YOU IN PAIN. I repeat. THEY LOVE TO SEE YOU IN PAIN.
They love the open Gestalt. They love not fulfilling your needs. They love neglecting you. They love leaving things open and they love you not knowing or realizing what is happening. They love that you come back to them for support time and again, after they have continued invalidate you.
It is painful to have someone whom you love and trust not take your side. Maybe you can't even pinpoint that they are doing it, but if you get higher up, more in tune with your intuition and more knowledgeable about covert narcissist abuse tactics, you can begin to notice when and how the narc(s) in your life are failing to meet your needs and refusing to take your side.
The narcissist refuses to take your side. If you're in an argument with another person and you go to them for support, the narcissist will not give you any support. You will get nada, zippo, zip. This lack of support is a form of neglect. It is very difficult to pinpoint and it is very harmful to you if you are vulnerable to someone about your own hurt by another person and that person does not affirm you and validate you.
This lack of support and validation is neglect on the part of the narcissist. It is harmful to you and the narc loves to see you harmed. It is a control tactic that the narcissist uses to keep you off-balance. They love for you to be insecure, because insecure people are ripe for abuse. Insecure people are narcissistic supply.
The narcissist does not want to validate you. Granted, you should be strong enough to validate yourself and not need the validation of the narcissist. External validation should be something that is nice to have, but not required for you to feel okay about your own position. You shouldn't need an outside person to give you a stamp of approval as to whether you are right or wrong in an argument with another person. It's just nice to have someone be on your side.
It meets your needs when someone is on your side. Having someone on your side makes you feel like you're supported, protected and helps you have strength to stand up for yourself and feel good about yourself. When a person you love and confide in chooses not to take your side when you're up against a 3rd party, or refuses to validate your position, and instead is invalidating toward you--this is when your self esteem takes a hit. Any time you allow yourself to be invalidated, your self esteem takes a hit. Even if you recognize it. Being in the presence of someone who is invalidating you while you're being vulnerable will have painful repercussions to you. It will decrease your self worth, sense of self and confuse your identity. Stay away from invalidators. Confront people who are being invalidating towards you.
These narcissists can seem to be on your side, but deep down inside, your intuition, your gut tells you that they are not on your side. That you need to do something, say something, work hard to PROVE that you are right and worthy for them to be on your side. Like you're wrong to start out with, and you have to prove your rightness in order to EARN their favor of meeting your need for support and understanding.
This has not only happened to me once, but with numerous narcissists. It's a covert form of abuse. That is, not meeting your needs while acting like they are meeting your needs while you're pushing the rock uphill of trying to get them to believe in you and support you. You're working over time trying to prove yourself to someone who is purposely holding back approval and refusing to meet your needs for support while smiling in your face like a dear friend, husband, family member.
Narcissists won't take your side. Here's a list for you of the ways
- They say yes, but you can tell by their body language or lack of input that they really don't believe you, respect your side or support you.
- May say yes, but you can tell by other questions that they ask that they believe you are actually in the wrong.
- Say things that affirm the position of the person you are in an argument with.
- Plays dumb.
- Ignores you.
- Becomes distracted.
- Giggles like you are an idiot child (trying to put you into this role).
- Rolls eyes like you are stupid.
- Changes the subject.
- Starts bringing up the finer qualities of the person you're in an argument with.
- Says, "maybe this is God's way of teaching you a lesson."
- Shakes head and says, "Girl, you're always fighting with someone."
- Acts like they don't know enough info to make a determination.
- Tells you to hang out with a person who has been abusive to you in the past.
- Makes up excuses for the person you're in an argument with.
Narcissists love to watch you squirm in this place of "lack of support." They love to see you needing something, and being the one with the power to give it to you or not. They love knowing that withholding this support may cause you doubt yourself (if you are wounded). They love knowing that they are holding the controls of your psyche by not validating you. They love knowing that you need something from them and they are pretending to care about you, but ignoring your needs completely.
Narcissists are intensely jealous / envious of you. They do not want you to have the supplies you need to be happy, fulfilled and supported. They want to keep you from feeling good so they can measure their own well being by your lack of well being. They are sadistic. Happy, good, healthy people want the best for you. They want you to feel supported--and they don't hate you. They believe in you and want the best for you. They feel good about themselves, they don't envy you, they wish you the best, so they can easily stay on your side and be supportive.
Covert Messages in the Lack of Support
It's different than an objective viewpoint. The narcissist doesn't take your side and implies negative connotations about who you are as a person. They do this all the while pretending to be a good supporter--all the while they're conveying these messages covertly:
- I don't support you.
- I support the person who has upset you more than I do you.
- I believe you are wrong.
- I don't have to give you the support you need and you will still be my friend because you're a peasant.
- I am superior to you.
- What you think is wrong.
- What you feel is wrong.
- Other people are superior to you.
- People you argue with are more right than you are.
- You are in the wrong, but I'm acting like you're in the right.
- You don't know how to feel.
- I know how you should feel.
- You don't know how to determine who is right or wrong.
- I know more about who is right or wrong than you, even though I have limited info or I wasn't present.
- I don't believe in you.
- You should be ashamed of yourself for having a disagreement with another person.
- You can't count on me for support.
- You can't talk to me about your problems with others because I will blame you.
- You are to blame for the argument.
As a child, when you are raised with a family of narcissists who refuse to take your side, or invalidate you at every turn, you may learn not to take your own side. This leads you to be weak to other narcissists in the future. This leads you to invalidate yourself and it leads you to seek out validation from others. Validiation you will never get from the narcissists in your life--if that's where you are in your journey.
Validation is on Your Side
You deserve validation!!!
- 1st you deserve validation from yourself.
- 2nd you deserve validation from those you are in a relationship with.
- 3rd you deserve to recognize when you're being invalidated.
- 4th you deserve to set boundaries and limits against invalidation.
- 5th you deserve to walk away from anyone who continuously fails to take your side.
- 6th you deserve to know when you are being covertly abused by manipulative people.
When you recognize that you are in the presence of someone who is refusing to validate you, or refusing to take your side... It's hard to explain, but you will know it if it happens repeatedly. Once or twice is okay. I'm talking about a repeated pattern of not taking your side. When this happens, shut it down.
Recognize when people are truly on your side and be thankful for that. Seek people in your life who are validating and who have empathy and truly care about you. Give yourself the gift of positioning yourself in a world where people have your back and aren't stabbing you in it.