Whining Children, Bitching Spouses: Language And Control

When it comes to other people's emotions, a RED FLAG of Narcissism is the WORDS used to describe those emotions. 

This language habit is also often picked up by young people who live with, or in a community with, a lot of Narcissism, and turned (unwittingly) into their regular speech pattern. Unfortunately whether the language is intentional or inadvertently picked up, the effects are still damaging.

(The difference between a person who intentionally uses negative language to dominate and demean, and a person who inadvertently picked it up is their reaction when it's pointed out; a Narcissist will defend it to kingdom-come, and try to "destroy" whoever pointed it out with belittling and insult. The non-Narcissist who uses this language pattern from having picked it up from others, like a regional speech pattern, will not, they'll just be either interested or not interested, and maybe feel some things about it.) 

They will commonly use language that others only use when they're legitimately overwhelmed, or dealing with a seriously negative situation:

The child is not "scared", the child is "whining".

The husband is not "upset", the husband is "moaning".

The girlfriend is not "angry", the girlfriend is "bitching".

The parent of a student is not "concerned", they're "helicoptering".


This is YET ANOTHER FORM of control that's related to all the others... the list is exhaustive...

They DESCRIBE another person's emotions and actions in a NEGATIVE, DEMEANING way, in order to bully and invalidate the person, or to give a negative impression about the person to the people who are listening to them.
(Of course, Narcissists and insecure people, AND "normal" young people, will often do this same thing in order to fit in with the people around them who also talk this way. Young people are going through the same maturation stage that everyone before them went through, that's why it's important for adults to "watch their language" around kids, so they don't pick up speech habits that cause negativity for themselves and their relationships.)

Narcissists can't stand for others, especially targets, to express or display any apparent emotion that they don't like, that doesn't make THEM feel comfortable or happy.

They also don't like it if a person is NOT displaying the emotion they want them to display
(but that's also common with BPD; fear of disapproval, hostility, or abandonment).

(NPD is about control and superiority mostly for it's own sake;
BPD is about reaction and coping, which can manifest as control.)

A child who is sad, anxious, angry, or scared is ANNOYING to a person with Narcissism, and that's all there is to it. The reason for the child's expression of sadness or fear or anger is IRRELEVANT, as far as the N. is concerned. All the Narcissist cares about is his or her OWN feelings of annoyance, and that their annoyance gets "REMEDIED" quickly.
If there are other people around, then add "what will they think!" or perhaps the child is "ruining the atmosphere".
The goal will not be to find out what the child is upset about, it will be to make the child STOP "pouting", "whining", or "caterwauling".

An inability to empathize, or to correctly interpret other people's emotions, also contributes greatly to the way a Narcissistic person treats others regarding emotional expression.

(The apparent paranoid reaction about WHY a person is displaying a certain emotion, and assuming that the person's emotional expression is about THEM, or is an "attack", may or may not be displayed in a person who has Narcissism; that's an additional issue that can be found with Narcissism, or with something else entirely, not excluding post-trauma. It's an important symptom, either way.)

Training Day Is Every Day With A Narcissist

Controllers/Narcissists try to TRAIN targets to become what they want them to become.

This training is based on the Narcissist's desires, compulsions, emotions, addictions, and agenda for the specific target.

For example if a Controller/Narcissist wants a target to be their "Trophy Wife" or "Trophy Husband", then anything that the target says or does that ALIGNS with that agenda might be validated or even praised, such as buying a sexy dress, or getting a specific hairstyle (that pleases the Controller).  But anything that the target says or does that DOES NOT ALIGN with that agenda will probably be INVALIDATED, ridiculed, belittled, attacked, insulted, denied, ignored, etc., like if the target wears clothes that don't fit the Narcissist's image of "Trophy wife", or if the person didn't want to dye their grey hair, or if the person refused to get rid of their old pick-up truck, etc.
That invalidation/validation behavior is part of this training.
When the Controller gives APPROVAL, it gives the target a feeling of relief and acceptance, like parental approval, or peer, or instructor/coach approval. When the Controller INVALIDATES them with refusing to acknowledge or respond, changing the subject, or with direct disapproval or insult, then the target feels uncomfortable, maybe embarrassed, ignored, humiliated, or chastised.

This Narcissistic training method works very well on children, and it works best on adults who have been targeted by it before, especially in their childhood.

For example, if the Narcissist is jealous or envious toward the Target's other relationships (family, friends, coworkers, etc), then whenever the Target mentions one of those other people, ESPECIALLY when telling a happy, joyful, or funny experience, the Narcissist may be purposely NON-RESPONSIVE, act as if the target didn't even speak, change the subject immediately without acknowledging what the target said; IMPLY something negative about the person being spoken about, or the experience; or actually display their jealousy/envy in behavior or speech.

*(This refers to actual jealousy and envy. It does not refer to the reaction of annoyance or anger when, for example, a "partner" keeps talking favorably about another person whom is obviously a secret crush (or more), or when a "friend" or family member keeps talking favorably about a person who has betrayed, disrespected, or abused the listener, or when a "friend" or family member is trying to make the other person feel unwanted or excluded from the rest of their life, in order to dominate them, or keeps talking about other certain people in order to make themselves appear "superior"). 

Controllers/Narcissists OF COURSE "train" children to think, feel, and BE a certain way, but they also attempt to "train" adults, especially supply targets and scapegoats.

"Training" targets about:

what's "okay" to talk about,

what's "okay" to be interested in,

how the Narcissist should be SEEN.. (their constructed image)

who to care about and who NOT to care about,

who to automatically follow, believe, obey, and seek approval from,

who not to RESPECT, believe, or listen to,


What the target is "allowed" to accomplish, attempt, or be GOOD AT, and what they're NOT "allowed" to accomplish or excel at,

what's "okay" to do for activities or recreation,

what "attractiveness" looks like,

who they are "allowed" to be attracted to,

what's "okay" to do for a job,

what "intelligence" and "morality" looks like,

WHO is "intelligent", and who's not,

what to ask questions about or NOT,

what's okay to learn about or NOT,

who to TALK TO, who NOT to talk to,

who to be "friends" with or NOT be friends with,

what to "enjoy" doing,

what's "okay" to LIKE or LOVE, and what to dislike or "hate",

of course what to believe,


Invalidation Is About Domination

Invalidation is a domination and bully tool.
Their desire to make a target into a "lower status" person is so great that a Narcissist will literally invalidate ANYTHING about the target, including things that have nothing to do with "status" in the real world. When they act like a target is "making up stories" when they mention that their first cousin is Will Smith, that's almost understandable (almost); most people would be a little skeptical about such a claim (although non-narcissists would not accuse the person of lying, they'd at least suspend belief at first).

However a Narcissist will invalidate ANYTHING that a target says, and talks about. ANYTHING. And sometimes it's to the point of ridiculousness.
So if a target says they went for a walk and saw a deer, the Narcissist might respond as if they believe them, but also might act like they're "just saying that to get attention".
(Yes, that's right, claims to have seen a deer on a walk just sounds CRAZY! and since it's so OUTLANDISH, it would of course ONLY BE SAID if the person was "TRYING TO GET ATTENTION"... you watch, soon the Local News Channel will pull up out front and want to interview the person about their first-hand-account of witnessing a deer on a walk...)

Invalidating anything and everything about a target can become a habitual reaction to the target's every move and word, and it serves to constantly give the impression to EVERYONE, including the target, that the target is completely self-centered, attention-seeking, grandiose, a liar, a story-teller, a and even delusional.

Since of course the target is going to defend themselves when they get made out to be a "liar" or "attention seeking" (if they're at all healthy~), the Narcissist will use THIS TOO as ammunition against the target, claiming that they're "argumentative", "hostile", again "delusional", "always have to be RIGHT", and even "abusive". 

Unfortunately, VERY FEW people witnessing this have enough self-awareness to see this behavior for what it is, even when it's going on all the time. Also, since many people are closet bullies themselves, they go along with it and don't want to expose the game, since they're playing it too.

There are a LOT of game-players in the human species who live through their envy, insecurity, and desire for superiority and special privilege, who will go along with targeting another human being. Especially if they have jealousy toward the target, or if the target has or does something they envy. 

A Narcissist will invalidate anything AT ALL about a target person, even if there is blatant, obvious evidence that something is true. A person could be in a hospital bed, in traction, with their mouth covered in a plaster cast, and the Narcissist would imply that the person is "making a big deal out of it" or "trying to get attention".
It's NOT ABOUT "reality", it's about their desire to make the target themselves "invalid", and therefore a very "low status" person, an "unliked" or "unwanted" person, or a "non-person", someone who isn't a valid member of the group, the family, the community, or even the partnership.

Invalidation behavior is also a part of "Gaslighting".