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 December 2, 2018
7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience
When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.
You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:
1. Connecting them with each other
Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.
It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.
2. Connect with their emotions
Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.
For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.
3. Keep going back to the beginning
Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.
On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.
4. Link to your audience’s motivation
After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.
Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.
5. Entertain them
While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.
Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.
6. Appeal to loyalty
Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.
In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.
7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation
Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com