11 things a narcissist will do to undermine your confidence 

Dealing with a narcissist can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience. One of the most insidious ways they exert control over their victims is by undermining their confidence. Narcissists thrive on power and dominance, and one of the most effective ways to maintain that control is by eroding the self-esteem and self-worth of those around them. In this blog post, we’ll explore 11 common tactics narcissists use to undermine your confidence.

Criticism and Constant Judgement

Narcissists are experts at finding fault with others. They’ll criticize your appearance, your choices, your abilities, and anything else they can think of. This constant judgment can make you doubt yourself and your worth.


Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic in which the narcissist makes you doubt your perception of reality. They’ll deny things they’ve said or done, leading you to question your own memory and judgment.

Projecting Their Insecurities

Narcissists often project their own insecurities onto others. They may accuse you of being selfish, untrustworthy, or dishonest, even when you’ve done nothing to deserve such accusations.

Belittling Your Achievements

When you accomplish something significant, a narcissist might downplay your achievements or attribute them to luck or external factors. This can make you feel as though your efforts are meaningless.

Withholding Praise and Validation

Narcissists are reluctant to offer praise or validation to others. They may withhold compliments or acknowledgment, leaving you starved for affirmation and questioning your worth.

Creating an Environment of Competition

Narcissists thrive on competition and often pit people against each other, including those close to them. This constant sense of rivalry can lead you to doubt your abilities and place undue pressure on yourself.

Playing the Victim

Narcissists have a knack for playing the victim to garner sympathy and support. They might twist situations to make you feel responsible for their misery, causing you to doubt your intentions and actions.

Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Narcissists often employ passive-aggressive tactics, such as silent treatment, sarcasm, or backhanded compliments. These behaviors can leave you feeling hurt and confused, eroding your self-esteem.

Controlling Behavior

Narcissists seek control in every aspect of their relationships. They may dictate your choices, isolate you from friends and family, or micromanage your life, making you question your ability to make decisions for yourself.

Love-Bombing Followed by Devaluation

At the beginning of a relationship, a narcissist may shower you with affection and attention, known as love-bombing. However, this is often followed by a swift shift to devaluation, making you feel unworthy and confused.

Emotional Manipulation

Narcissists are skilled manipulators who can exploit your emotions for their benefit. They may use guilt, shame, or fear to control your actions and decisions, leaving you feeling trapped and powerless.


Dealing with a narcissist can take a significant toll on your confidence and self-esteem. Recognizing the tactics they use to undermine your confidence is the first step in protecting yourself from their toxic influence. It’s crucial to establish boundaries and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to regain your self-assurance and break free from their control. Remember, your worth is not determined by a narcissist’s opinion, and you have the strength to rebuild your confidence and live a happier, healthier life.