Dehumanization: A Mechanism For Narcissists And Sociopaths To Mistreat Others
To invalidate someone is to make them feel rejected, wrong, abnormal, and worthless. By doing so, a narcissist or sociopath can convince themselves of their superiority while simultaneously degrading a person and breaking their spirit.
Invalidation comes in many forms. It might be a case of teasing someone for their beliefs, their looks, their feelings, or the way they act in order to make them doubt themselves. This can chip away at someone’s self-confidence until they are more easily persuaded and mistreated.
Repeated rejection can have a similar effect on a person’s self-esteem. If the perpetrator rejects a person’s advances, again and again, it lessens their confidence and convinces them that they are not the one calling the shots in a relationship. They gradually become more subservient, bent by the will of their oppressor.
Ignoring someone is also a very powerful form of mental abuse. Whether it is a partner’s wishes, a child’s cries for help, or a colleague’s morning greeting, silence and/or a lack of acknowledgment can be incredibly disconcerting. It demonstrates the spitefulness so often seen in the behavior of narcissists and sociopaths.
The never-ending judgment of one’s actions and thoughts is yet another form of invalidation that leaves the victim plagued by doubt and riddled with insecurity. By putting someone under the microscope and criticizing their every move, these abusive personalities are able to further break down their victim’s sense of self. This leaves them in the vulnerable position of relying on their abuser for any and all decision-making.
These are just some of the many forms of invalidation that can take place. Really, any word or action that is designed to belittle the other person can be considered a way of invalidating them.