Words as weapons.

by Photos8.com

by Photos8.com

If you were raised by narcissistic parents, you are probably familiar with these.  These are the words I heard from my parents (yours may differ somewhat but the devastating effect is the same).  I’ve broken them down into childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, since the emotional abuse doesn’t stop when you become an adult.  Sometimes it gets worse. No matter what stage of life you’re in, these words are intended to destroy your soul. They are extremely effective weapons.



You are too sensitive (the #1 criticism)

You have no sense of humor.

You cry too much.

Shut up or I’ll give you something to cry about.

Your hair looks like a rat’s nest.

You always look so dirty and sloppy. (after being outside playing)

What did you do to your hair? (I did nothing; my hair was naturally thin and fine and tangled easily–and also grew in a strange way with cowlicks and weird curls)

You read too much.  (what?)

You’re too obsessed with your books, drawing, and solitary games. (These were my escapes)

You act so immature; no wonder you have no friends.

You know you hate competition (when I wanted to join the swim team)

You know you’re not good at team sports. (I wasn’t, but this made me doubt myself even more when playing team sports)

I don’t think you really want that. (subtle gaslighting intended to make me doubt my own reality)

Here, let me do that for you.  (a favorite of my mother’s when she didn’t have the patience to teach me or supervise me in a new or unfamiliar activity)

You’ll only make a mess of things. (another way to discourage my competence).

They’re just jealous of you because you’re prettier/smarter than they are (this seems nice but wasn’t based on reality and even I could see through that BS; I was bullied because of my high sensitivity, not my “superior” looks and intelligence)

You come from a better family than they do. (better in what way?)

We don’t associate with people like that. (see above–my parents were VERY into social status)

Don’t tell anyone what goes on in this family.

Keep your mouth shut about what happened here tonight.



You’re gaining too much weight.  (my mother’s #1 favorite criticism, usually done in front of others)

You’re too fat (when I weighed 120 lbs at 5’4″!)

Your hair looks too stringy/greasy/what have you done to it, etc.  (a variation on the childhood hair criticism)

You eat too much chocolate, you will get pimples and no one will think you’re pretty anymore.

You’re boy-crazy!

You don’t study hard enough; you will fail all your subjects and not graduate (always catastrophizing)

You’re too pretty to wear that/do that/say that, etc.

You know you don’t want that. (making me doubt my reality)

You know I don’t like it when you act “tough” (but my sensitivity was hated too–I could never win).

You always get too hurt by everything (no empathy after a breakup or lost friendship, etc.)

You always get too obsessed with a boy.

This dress will make you look slimmer (this was a dress given to me in front of my friends at a birthday party)

Your butt is too big (I do have a big butt–I couldn’t help it!  It’s the way my spine curves. What was I supposed to do? Slice it off?)

Your breasts are so big they will hang down to your waist when you’re 50.  (I’m over 50 now and they don’t, they weren’t THAT big, and I think there might have been some envy in this anyway because she wore an A cup and I wore a C)

You’re acting like a crazy person.

What a stupid thing to say.

You have a terrible personality. I wouldn’t like you either.

You should change your personality.

You need to learn to control yourself.

You’re not goal-oriented.



You’re living  a loser’s life.

You have nothing to show for your life.

You make terrible choices.

You’ve always made terrible choices.

You probably did something to deserve it. (always said when someone else treated me unfairly; no empathy shown)

Well, the way you are, I’m not surprised they are so angry with you/don’t like you, etc.

You’re a disgrace.

You never learn from your mistakes.

You overreact to everything.

You have no sense of humor/too sensitive, etc.

You don’t know how office politics works.  (I don’t, and I hate it, but this was meant to insult me)

You never did have a knack for making it in the business world.

You’ll always be poor because you make such terrible choices.

Don’t expect any help from us.

You made your bed, now lie in it.

Why don’t you join a convent? The nuns will take care of you.  (said when I was threatened with homelessness during my divorce).

Go live in a homeless shelter (see above).

You don’t take good care of your kids.

You’re a terrible parent.

Those kids are going to grow up with so many problems.

You weren’t raised to be this way.

It’s not my responsibility that what I said upset you.

You chose to be upset by that.  (again, taking no responsibility and blame-shifting).

You choose your own emotions. (see above).

You made a choice to be depressed/miserable, etc.


I could go on, but I think this is enough for now.   Do any of these sound familiar to you?

Further Reading:
Lies My Narcissists Told Me

30 thoughts on “Words as weapons.

  1. “shame has covered our faces and the reproach for Your Name has fell on us”
    they hated me BEFORE they hated you…
    its not even us they were mad at it sure felt that way
    we took it and had no clue but once we look back at it..as I read these it al feels so foreign and incredulous..it is similar to not being related and being a stranger in the house
    but people are kind to strangers
    “for my love they gave me hate in return”
    seems a major mix up.
    we don’t even need their love or shame anymore.. just for them to recognize their own insanity
    since we do
    its a burden and lonely alone SEEING that,like watching a movie we no longer star in..cant even relate to or be in our own life/”movie”
    I always heard shut up/stop crying or ill give you something to cry about
    and “knock your head off”
    one time my father was so angry he was SHAKING visibly before me with both fists clenched tight and with a strange tone “there is something is wrong with you” ill never forget it.. he hit me after that…(with the stick part of a plunger onto my back,and with restraint that was hard for him)
    the ONLY thing I can remember was that at the time I was always crying and upset.. I was probably arguing with my mom.
    and he didn’t like me to cry and raise my voice…
    whatever my “fight” was… I don’t have it anymore.
    it has been removed from me
    and that was as “crying for a firstborn child” and a “desolation”
    like I was addicted to my pain…
    now I cant go back, I see nothing and no one there
    now all my “enemies” are begging for me to resurrect/return (I feel it in my soul)
    I only see it as.. so they can have more rag doll gameplay and im staying on this side of the rift
    or even if to say they are “sorry” which they can do to me here and now where I am ..not there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lyrics..i found.. for our situation!!!
    I’ve Been Watching You”

    When the rose slaps your face
    Says your pain is a state of grace
    (I think that’s right)
    Mirror cracks, image bleeds
    He’ll touch your desires but not your needs

    I stand at an open window, I see everything there is to see
    I’ve been watching you
    Isn’t it true, the fool keeps taking you down, down, taking you?
    I’ve been watching you
    Isn’t it true, the world keeps taking you down, down, taking you?

    Party ends on the floor
    Hear a voice behind the door
    In the dark, you play his games
    Forget yourself, forget your name

    I stand at an open window, I see everything there is to see
    I’ve been watching you
    Isn’t it true, the fool keeps taking you down, down, taking you?
    I’ve been watching you
    Isn’t it true, the world keeps taking you down, down, taking you?

    So there you are, all dressed in black
    Walk away and don’t look back
    But if you must, then cast a stone
    The light is on but there’s nothing and no one home
    (I think)
    ‘Cause I’ve been watching you
    Isn’t it true, the fool keeps taking you down, down, taking you?
    I’ve been watching you
    Isn’t it true, the world keeps taking you down, down, taking you?

    I said, I, I’ve been watching you
    Isn’t it true, the fool keeps taking you down, down, taking you?
    I’ve been watching you
    Isn’t true, the world keeps taking you down, down, taking you down

    Liked by 1 person

      • says Gloria Gaynor..means so much to me as I see a fairy god mother , a woman,saving another woman here… by allowing her to fake her death! supplying her a black dress! and even letting her “if you must” cast a stone and see… light on in a home/but no one home..or its the self..projected as a savior to save the self (faking death/)
        either way this is an amazing song! about the “gap” we often feel between the old life and a new safe ground
        we are in a black dress practically

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think its not Gloria Gaynor I just tried listening to the song on youtube and it doesn’t match, I am not sure.. one site says natalie imbruglia… not certain yet…

    Liked by 1 person

      • that’s probably it! I didn’t recognize any of the lyrics in Gloria’s singing.. but I didn’t stay too long on the video.. I just listened to Natalie and it is the same as the lyrics here
        to me WORDS are so powerful!!!! that I OFTEN google words for lyrics and read them and they stay with me as so much more powerful than when I hear the music… the song 90% of the time ruins the lyrics for me
        much the same as lyrics oftentimes can ruin music…
        in this case, I found these lyrics on my own, while googling words and never even heard the song
        I love doing that!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Good grief! My mother never said ANY of those things to me. My mother did say I was “a law unto myself” all my life. She also accused me of stealing my sister’s friends. When I took her to see “The 400 Blows,” a movie I loved and wanted to share, she said sadly it reminded her of “what happened to (me).” I gave her a dirty look and she shook her head and said, “I can’t help it.” grrrr! My father once said, “You didn’t turn out to be the person I wanted you to be but you’re the person you wanted to be and that’s what matters.” Thanks, Daddy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All of these are just awful but the one that I’m going to comment on is the one in adulthood: “You made a choice to be depressed/miserable” to project the blame as you state. It’s also very telling as to how they operate, in that they choose to act a certain way. So much for they can’t help themselves theory “that the person…has biological issues with the way the brain functions and that leads to their lack of empathy and the dreadful manner in which people are treated by them. Actions may not be deliberately destructive.” What’s scary about this comment is the commenter identified themselves as a “mental health professional and someone who survived a narcissistic mother.” The commenter also said, “… to understand this disorder, you need much more research.” Is it me or is this a weird comment to make to/about a person that has been emotionally abused by a narcissistic mother?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t see that comment yet (do you have a link to it?), but that person is probably a narcissist. Many people who work in that profession are, unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s exactly what came to mind when I read it too. It was actually a comment on my reblog: “6 Types of Emotional Abuse by Narcissistic Parents.” I deleted the comment from my site but I still have it on my email. I can forward it to you. Do you have an email address you can DM to my Twitter account (@wewalkbyfaith88)?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, your mother was a piece of work, wasn’t she?

    My father sometimes made disparaging comments about my looks, weight, intelligence (or lack of it), and so on… but the things he said that hurt me the most were the threats he made whenever I had inadvertently pissed him off (and it was ALWAYS inadvertent; not for any amount of money would I ever piss him off deliberately). If he was moderately angry, he’d say “I’ll wallop you till you bleed!” If he was really angry, he’d say “I’ll skin you alive!” If he was downright furious, he’d say “I’ll beat you so hard you’ll have scars on your body till the day you die!” To answer the obvious question, no, he never laid a hand on me; that’s why all my scars are emotional rather than physical. The damage consisted in the message that my father didn’t love me, because no one would ever speak that way to someone that he loved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be fair, Bluebird, my mother (well, both my parents) weren’t always this abusive. Sometimes they’d act very kind too, and say kind things. But therein lies how crazymaking all this was. The negative comments were damaging, but when there’s a lack of consistency and sometimes you are cruelly abused and other times treated well, you have no idea where you stand and that really fucks with your reality. Such is the lot of the scapegoat/golden child hybrid, which is what I was because I was the only child of that marriage.
      I’m sorry your father was so threatening to you. Do you think he was a narcissist or was he just a bad tempered guy (a lot of men who are drunks act abusive like that too).

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t think he was a narcissist, but I have long suspected that he had some sort of mental illness that was never diagnosed or treated. He wasn’t a drunk; both my parents were very strict teetotalers. He was just a very angry man with a vicious temper and very little self control. I don’t know the source of his anger, although I could speculate based on what I know of his childhood and family of origin. But he was also capable of being very nice, and when he was in one of his rare good moods, he could be a lot of fun. He was so unpredictable and I never knew what to expect! It definitely made me crazy. It also made it very difficult for me to have friends, because I was afraid to let anyone come to my house — it was so mortifying to have him go off on one of his violent hollering threatening rampages when I had a friend there. My friends (of which I had very few) would ask sometimes why I never had them over to my house, and I never knew how to explain it. It was really awkward and embarrassing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I saw a youtube video of a very good lady that speaks about abuse that exactly that is the killing part of the abuse and what makes you be confused to the core. The nice and mean cycle.
        So sorry for you. But you can heal from all this malignancy LO. You are none of that. Convince your self. Let their own troubles to them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve been working hard at healing myself and have come a long way in the 2 years since I went NC with my sociopath MN ex, but I still have a long way to go. Technically, I no longer have BPD according to my therapist (although this past week i’m not so sure about that!) but I still have C-PTSD. I know some scars will remain the rest of my life, but I think I can become a truly functioning, happy person even with those scars. Scars strengthen your skin, I think they can also strengthen your soul.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Of course you can have a happy life with all that work you have done on yourself. You have to continue and sourround yourself with the right people. Its all an effort but everything in life costs an effort so you are on the right path of your journey with all that awareness.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Land of the loons sure has many citizens! I am sorry you heard all that crap, 85% was word by word said to me too on a daily basis. Excellent article! Allow me to add the fauxpology when narcissistic mother was cornerned (usually by a therapist in family therapy, because she was attending family therapy for me to ”work on my issues”=accept the abuse, stop fighting with her and not expect her to change”).
    Fauxpology: i am sorry you are so overdramatic and take things the wrong way and that’s why what i said bothered you. (now, THAT solved everything)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perfect example of projecting/blameshifting: you are responsible for your reactions to what I said, but I am not responsible for what I said. Where’s the logic in that? Ding ding ding! There is none! Narcs don’t think logically.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear friend,
    I am, as being abused by my mom, whom I chose to forgive because Jesus loved me enough to heal them all. I can tell you one thing, that no matter what is your past, if you turn to our Lord, he will heal you too, he will love you more than you can ever imagine. God is love, and He loves you more than what you think, every single day, he loves us more and more and more, no matter what we do or not. For we sin, we are just closing the gates of ours and not letting his love flow in us. But I know, once we try our best to stop it, and when we succeed, we fly over them, we fly in our faith, we fly by the power of God, in love, mercy, forgiveness, proclaiming the Good News to all. Amen. Hallelujah God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The (narcissistic) message behind a *lot* of that long list amounts to “shut the up and give me the worship I’m entitled to, Fool, because I AM better than You! ”

    I hear the above ***accursed*** message EVERY time I’m out in public. It lurks behind each ‘mask that markets falsehood gaily”; it is implied in each boldface lie I hear. It’s behind every social mask; it’s the reason each bully preys upon his/her targets. It’s the scarcer hide coin of the realm, in fact.

    That long list – many of its statements have crush my senses – is symptomatic of a deathly I’ll social mass. It only confirms the statement “the whole world lies in the grip of the evil one” -and the bloodshed that follows such tendering words is waiting in the wings.

    Liked by 1 person

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