A punch in the nose is obvious, and it heals. However, an attack on the self-esteem – at the right moment and in the right way – can last a lifetime. – Jay Carter , Psy.D.
We’ve all had the experience of being invalidated by certain people in our lives. Whether it’s from someone close to home, at work, or in a social group. There is always that one person we feel mistreated by.
Even worse, they lower our self-esteem in a subtle way which to the outside world goes unrecognised. If we try to explain how we feel, these people can easily turn the conversation around, making us out to be sensitive, judgemental and in the wrong.
Nasty people – also known as invalidators – have a way of lowering our self-esteem. In this article, I would like to share with you 10 methods of nasty people and how to avoid them.
As we explore these methods, you will come to have a more understanding an awareness about the people in your everyday life.
1. They Keep You Uncertain
One of the methods of an invalidator is to keep you in a state of uncertainty. You never know when they might explode and do something to upset you.Advertising
For example, you may become understanding of one and other, share a laugh, and build trust. Things can stay this way for a period of time, but then out of nowhere, the invalidator makes you feel uncertain again.
In this persons presence, you never know how to feel around them, and you create rational excuses for their behaviour, almost as a way of convincing yourself that you like them.
2. They Like To Project
Projection can be explained quite simply: the person takes their feelings and puts the responsibility for them on you. For example, a person who doesn’t like you may say, ”I don’t think you like me.”.
They can easily set a frame around you, making you explain yourself to them. And instead of thinking about the invalidators intentions, you start questioning your own feelings.
3. They Will Often Use Manipulation
Manipulation is about control. The invalidator needs to feel in power of you, and often makes you feel like you owe them something. This sort of behaviour can be found in managers, and those in higher power.
For example, if you were asked to work overtime but have other commitments, your boss will try to convince you that your work is more important than your commitments.Advertising
If you remind your boss about any overtime you put in for them previously, they will make out that they were doing you a favour, or that you owed it to them.
4. They Are Always Judgemental
An invalidator who often judges you likes to act as if everyone agrees with them. For example, ”You are irresponsible” would be a passing judgment which assumes that this is who you are as a person, and everyone would agree.
The invalidator judges because they want to unconsciously attack your self-esteem instead of addressing the real problem. Addressing the real problem would mean taking responsibility for their feelings which invalidators do not.
5. They Generalise And Exaggerate The Truth
Be careful of generalisations. An invalidator will use generalisations as a way of exaggerating small truths. For example, if you forgot to clean the house, an invalidator might say, ”You never help me” (Translation: you forgot to clean). ”You’re useless”. (You forgot to clean).
Again, this is an attack on your self-esteem instead of the real problem. The problem is the house isn’t clean. The problem is not that you don’t help, or are useless.
6. They Use The Sneak Attack
”I don’t mean to upset you, but..” (They probably want to upset you). ”I don’t mean to interrupt…” (Yeah, right!). The voice of an invalidator who uses a sneak attack will always have a soft voice.Advertising
Their face will also show concern. They may even try to be nice, but underneath are daggers.
7. They Send A Double Message
A double message is usually verbalised in a deep tone – a voice of disgust. For example, an invalidator may ask, ”How are you?”. If you respond with, ”Leave me alone!”, the invalidator will innocently relate to everyone that you are in a bad mood because all they did was ask how you were.
Invalidators can be very sneaky with double messages. They appear innocent to observers, but you can always sense something in the way they are talking to you.
8. They Will Cut Communication
Another valuable tool for the invalidator is cutting communication. If you are asked a question about yourself, they cut you off before you finish answering.
Or you can be asked a leading question like, ”Do you still argue with your partner?” You can’t answer this question without appearing wrong. The invalidator may even walk out in the middle of a conversation, leaving you with a pile of thoughts jammed in your mind.
9. They Build You Up, Then Cut You Down
Many invalidators like to build you up so that you grow dependant on them. They make out that they are always there for you, and that you can always share your innermost feelings.Advertising
Whenever you feel self- conscious or anxious, the invalidator will draw your attention to the negative qualities about yourself. This way, they can pull you down, so that they feel more superior, making you feel like you need them.
10. They Use What’s Called A ‘Double Bind’
The double bind is one of the most sneakiest attacks because you’re wrong if you do, and wrong if you don’t. For example, if you took a class to improve your confidence, your partner may get jealous and insecure of the new confidence you have. So you’re then given the ultimatum of, ”It’s either me or the class”.
Of course, nobody wants to give up their relationship for the sake of a class. An invalidator will put out threats due to the positive changes you are making in your life.
How To Avoid The Everyday Invalidator
Having explored the 10 methods of nasty people and how to avoid them, you now have a better understanding of the invalidators in your daily life, and what their intentions are.
In these circumstances, knowledge is power. Because we cannot always avoid certain people in our lives, we can, however, avoid feeling trapped by them.
We do this by simply being more sharper and aware of the behaviours of the people around us. And with this new level of awareness, we will become confident and more assertive the next time we interact with them.
Nasty People, Jay Carter, Psyd.D, 2003.
Last Updated on August 16, 2018
10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks
The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.
In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.
Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:
1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone
What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?
Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.
2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome
Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.
How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.
Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?
Or, are you afraid of being ignored?
3. Get comfortable with discomfort
One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.
Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.
4. See failure as a teacher
Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.
Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?
Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:
5. Take baby steps
Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.
Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.
Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:
6. Hang out with risk takers
There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).
Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.
7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses
Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”
Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.
8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you
What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.
If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.
10. Focus on the fun
Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com