The Poisonous Word Mallet

A narcissist can conduct a verbal assault that is beyond imagination, with vicious words and insults hurled at ferocious speed. It is cold, cruel, relentless and exhausting. This character attack invariably comes when least expected and escalates as it goes. Those on the receiving end are generally unable to do anything to defend themselves because they are completely unprepared, plus it is like being hit repeatedly over the head with a poisonous word mallet.

Words have no meaning for a narcissist; they are merely a weapon to be used whenever he is feeling threatened and needs to regain control, or he needs space. He doesn’t care how much it hurts. In fact the more it hurts you, the better. If you try and refute the inaccuracies, he simply steps them up and adds even more twisted insults on top of what he’s already said, building up steam and vitriol as he goes. Attempting to stand your ground is akin to drowning in toxic verbal quicksand. The more you try, the lower he will go, until you are dragged under. In the end you will simply be trying to shield yourself from the blows, rather than attempting to defend your corner.

As you try to remain upright against this vicious tirade, the narcissist meanwhile is regaining a sense of power – he has effectively taken the heat off himself and thrust it onto you (even if the facts are completely distorted). His mission is to bring you down a peg or two or ten, when he perceives that you have got out of line. It is pointless attempting to talk rationally to him when he is in fight mode. Most partners being hit by a narcissist’s raging, poisonous word mallet will simply long for it to end, even if that means him walking out the door with the inevitable silent treatment you know is going to follow.

Over time, this type of verbal abuse can cause severe emotional trauma to the person on the receiving end. If you are experiencing this form of abuse I urge you to leave the relationship as soon as you can. If that is not possible right now, for whatever reason, then please confide in someone you trust who can help you make an exit plan moving forward. Please do not put up with or make excuses for anyone who treats you this way.


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