Narcissists are not nice people. Sometimes they can give the appearance of niceness, but over time you learn that it is part of their not-nice persona. Their commitment to manipulation overrides common decency.

Over the course of any relationship, we learn of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, preferences, opinions, and priorities. In healthy relationships, as we encounter our many differences, we seek harmony and goodness. But with narcissists, that harmony and goodness is not attainable because of one major problem…Narcissists ultimately could not care less about your humanity. You are a prop, one to be used, and when your utility is spent, you will be diminished.

There are all sorts of ways this dehumanization plays out.

Here are some testimonials from people who had to come to terms with a narcissist who ultimately refused to relate in a humane fashion:

  • I did countless favors for my elderly mother, but she never showed appreciation. She is such a critic. I finally realized she sees me as one who owes her everything, while I deserve nothing.
  • At first, a coworker seemed pleased to have me on his team and seemed eager to assist me. But once it became obvious that we had different ideas and interpretations, I was blown away by his level of meanness.
  • My ex couldn’t just acknowledge that our relationship had never been a good match. Once we split, he had to make sure others hated me as much as he did.
  • I thought I had a really good friend. We did so many things together, had lots of meaningful talks, and shared many experiences. But over time, I learned that she constantly mocked me behind my back.

In each of these illustrations, the narcissist chose to ignore the humanity of the person who was ultimately shunned. The inability to address differences revealed a shallowness that led to very disappointing results. Ultimately, narcissists display a calloused lack of regard for the pain they create, and they even experience pleasure when you ache.

That’s what I mean when I say narcissists will dehumanize you. Forgetting that you have valid feelings, needs, reasons, and desires, they treat you as a lowly untouchable.

What does this reveal about the mindset of that discarding narcissist?

  • Clearly, narcissists see you in terms of narcissistic supply. As long as they garner favored treatment, you are in the club. But when the supply dries up, you’re deemed a useless nobody.
  • Empathy does not exist. Narcissists have no need to truly know what drives you and who you are at your core. Who cares?
  • Sadly, you are dealing with a con artist. Narcissists will pull you into their confidences merely for the purpose of exploitation.
  • Even when narcissists purport to be guided by morals, ethics, and values, their ultimate lack of regard toward you reveals how that is quickly vetoed by a self-serving agenda.
  • They truly take delight in making you look or feel inadequate. Your psychological strain fuels their weak egos. Narcissists need you to be weak.
  • When you succeed or are well-received, they cannot appreciate the good that comes your way. In the mind of the narcissist, you are an undeserving soul, while they deserve admiration and accolades.
  • Your appeals to common decency and wisdom fall on deaf ears since your rationale is deemed unreliable. The narcissist’s lack of analytical thinking is part of their tight defensive structure.
  • A narcissist’s go-to self-esteem boost is the destruction of your self-esteem. They presume that any encouragement of you somehow diminishes them, so it is in their vested interest to see you as lowly.

How to deal with the dehumanizing mindset

As you experience the dehumanization perpetuated by the narcissist, it is essential to understand how their reasoning is grossly underdeveloped. Rather than seeing you as a fellow sojourner in life, they adopt an entitled position that does not allow them to concede the validity of you being you. Your feelings, needs, and preferences are invalid merely because they need it to be invalid. This process of diminishing you is both cruel and pitiable, yet narcissists cling to their condescending attitude for all its worth. In their minds, labeling you as a nobody elevates them.

It makes no sense for anyone to validate oneself by dehumanizing another, but that is the way of the narcissist. That being the case, this is not someone who needs to be on the inside of your personal inner circle.

~Les Carter, Ph.D.

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