Why Do Narcissists Invalidate Your Feelings?

Ever keen (and even obsessed) by getting daily validation from absolutely anybody, narcissists refuse to offer the same in return.

You look for reassurance or to know that what you feel is justified. You turn to the narcissist. You wait.

And wait.

And wait..

Nothing.

Earth to Narcissist? 

You’re wasting your time. They are never going to validate your feelings. You’re just lining yourself up for major disappointment.

The question on everybody’s lips is… Why don’t they?

Well, it’s not because of their overwhelming compassion, that’s for sure!

Validation vs. Invalidation

Let’s start by giving you some real-life examples of what both validation and invalidation look like. It’s important to be able to differentiate so you can spot those signs in your own life. 

Validation

Listen to somebody, and make sure you appreciate their words. Giving them time and space to express their feelings. Understanding why their energy is off. 

Validation can sound like:

  • You’re right. I am so sorry for making you feel this way.
  • You have every right to be honest with me. 
  • It must have felt really uncomfortable/sad/hard for you.
  • I’m here. I’m listening. I understand.

Validation is how you can understand and support the person you care about. It isn’t strictly reserved for romantic relationships. Invalidation hurts all the same though – no matter your connection to the narcissist. 

Invalidation

Making excuses not to tune into the person talking and pretending to be doing something more important at that time. Laughing at them when they try to speak, or completely denying them of their own feelings. Invalidation looks more like: 

  • Are you joking? You sound hilarious right now! Listen to yourself!
  • Here we go again, you continuing to be ridiculous.
  • Sorry, I thought you said this was important.
  • I don’t have the time to listen to this.

Invalidation is purposeful ignorance. It hurts, and it’s done to cause you more pain and confusion.

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To make you feel like you don’t matter.

But you do.

What Invalidation Does to a Person

When you bring together all the different kinds of invalidation a person can be exposed to – none of it is good.

What I mean by that is, no form of invalidation will add positivity to a person’s life. 

To be dismissed in little or large ways can make you feel:

  • Unloved
  • Unwanted
  • Alone
  • Isolated
  • Unimportant
  • Irrational
  • Depressed
  • Like there’s no trust
  • Disconnected
  • As if your character is being eroded

Well…Why Then?!

So why then, do people stay with narcissists even after they perfect the art of invalidating your feelings?

Why is it that you stick around, knowing you’re being treated unfairly, and that you feel all the above emotions and feelings.

You look at yourself in the mirror, and your heart hurts from the pain.

Why?

It’s simple:

Narcissists are just as good at making you feel loved then they are at making you feel terrible.

Love-bombing is so effective that it’s the one thing they have to pull you back in. You will be pulled back in, because you have spent so long craving for them to give you positive indications that they still care.

It then begins to not matter how small that gesture is – anything will do – as your expectations become less and less. 

They throw the breadcrumb, you gobble it up. 

Why Narcissists Love To Invalidate Your Feelings

There are reasons why the narcissist finds it so fun to invalidate your feelings. The four main reasons I have personally seen in my profession. I’ve also become aware through  previous clients of mine over the years. 

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And my curiosity with Narcissistic Personality Disorder leads me now to inform you:

#1 They Have Zero Empathy

Narcissists don’t have any empathy – in fact – not a single trade in their entire body. Sure, they’re good at pretending they do. If they need to show you they care, they can put their arm around your shoulder and say, “there, there” if need be.

That’s as far as it goes.

Expecting a narcissist to feel sorry for you, or understand you from a place of compassion and honesty, is never going to happen.

Not ever

Now you know that you’ll understand better how they find it so easy to throw their invalidation your way. 

It goes beyond invalidation and extends to the way they almost enjoy making you feel worthless. Your feelings are not on their radar, so you shouldn’t bother trying to search for them. 

#2 To Slowly ‘Erase’ You

All narcissists aim to take the person they found when they met you and slowly chip away at them until there is nothing left. 

This ‘erasing of you’ is done because, ultimately, you don’t matter to them. They have you in their life for supply and nothing more.

Expecting honest and genuine conversations with them that involve the initial thin surface layers is going to leave you very disappointed over time. The chipping will be subtle, but eventually, you will see yourself becoming a mere shadow of the person you once was. 

That’s the narcissist’s intention. Don’t expect anything more from them.

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The worst part is – the more they chip, the more isolated you become. 

It’s like killing two birds with one stone. 

#3 Validation is Power

If a narcissist were to validate you, what would that look like for them?

Let’s hit this with a little example:

Honey, I’m feeling so sad that we never get time together anymore. Since your new job, it’s like I barely see you. Is there a way you can free up some time this week so we can go on a date night? I miss you.

You’re right. I am so sorry it’s made you feel this way. I know I’m so busy with work, and I feel like I need to step up and make more of an effort to bridge those gaps. Let’s make a promise for Friday night, shall we?

That would be what I and many would consider a healthy exchange. There’s honesty, there’s love, there’s acknowledgement, there’s understanding. 

Now imagine a narcissist to respond.

Pardon? You’re blaming me for my work? Like I can suddenly just magic some time up for you to see you? What for? So we can watch another dumb movie together? Are you serious? Maybe you should be less needy, and we wouldn’t have a problem, here. 

Yes! That sounds far more like the narcissist you probably know, doesn’t it!

#4 Because They Can’t Invalidate Themselves

If a narcissist feels bad, they’re going to turn to you for being the reason. They won’t care that you are trying to ask for validation. Instead, they will see you as 

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