ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Narcissists And Dehumanization

Updated on March 24, 2018
SinDelle profile image

The Little Shaman is a spiritual coach & specialist in cluster B personality disorders, with a popular YouTube show and clients worldwide.

Dehumanization as a phenomenon is not new, nor is it exclusive to narcissism - although, you could argue that all abuse (including abuse of power) is narcissistic in nature. Dehumanization is exactly what it sounds like: a person or group of people is stripped of their human individuality and human qualities. This makes mistreating them easy to justify. Think back to the Nazi death camps. When people were asked about what took place, they said things like, "They were just Jews," or "They were just Gypsies," or "They were just Poles." This implies that they weren't actually people, so people didn't care. That is what dehumanizing human beings results in.

We have spoken at length about the way narcissists objectify people. That is, that they see people as objects. Dehumanizing generally occurs with objectification. It leads to abuse and oppression, both on a large scale and in interpersonal relationships. Pathologically narcissistic people objectify people as a matter of course; this is their method of relating to the rest of the world and dehumanization usually follows. This is because most pathologically narcissistic people lack empathy. Empathy is how we connect with other living things. When someone does not have empathy or when their empathy is affected or maladaptive, this connection does not occur. When we don't have a connection with others, it makes it easier to mistreat them because there is no understanding of their feelings.

Most people can stomp on a bug. There is no real connection with the bug. It is alien to our experience and it is too different to feel kinship or understanding with. Most people could not stomp a puppy to death, and this is for the same reason. Most of us feel a kinship and a connection to other mammals, and dogs in particular. We understand that dogs have feelings just like we do. This is empathy. Our presumption of the feelings of another living thing often has a lot to do with how much empathy we have. People often say things like, "Eating dogs is cruel, but eating chickens is not. They're just chickens. They don't have feelings." Again, we hear that word again: "just." This word implies that they are insignificant, or unimportant. The farther something is from our own experience, the less we identify with it. The assumption that the chicken does not have "real" or "higher level" feelings and therefore cannot suffer is directly related to how much empathy is felt for them and therefore how much compassion they are shown.

This is a false assumption, by the way. They suffer very much when treated inhumanely. So do pigs, cows, sheep, goats and all other animals. Every living thing suffers when abused and every living thing deserves compassion. For me personally, the way people treat animals is one of the ways I measure whether they are the type of person I want to asssociate with. Anyone who is cruel or uncaring toward animals is not someone I want to have anything to do with, and if someone I do associate with shows cruelty or a lack of care for animals, my opinion of them changes immediately. The way we treat the most innocent and voiceless in this world is the true measure of who we are.

So what we see then is that the kinship felt with another living thing and the assumption of whether something can suffer has a lot to do with empathy for most people. Pathologically narcissistic people are no different in that regard. Where they are different is that they do not feel this connection to other humans, either. There are people who can harm or even kill a person as easily as they can step on a bug. To them, there is no connection, no empathy and therefore, no difference. Your suffering does not matter because it does not even register. They may or may not have intellectual understanding of it, but there is no emotional understanding or connection with it at all. This is where the problem is.

This is how narcissistic people are able to objectify others. Because of how they function, there is no connection for them. Other people have uses and that's all. They are treated as things and that is their value. People who have no use have no value. Things that have no value are trash. When people are objectified, they are then dehumanized. They are treated with no understanding, no compassion, no decency. There is no appreciation or understanding for anything that makes them a person. They are robbed of all of their human qualities and simply treated as objects with no feelings.

Dehumanization results in abuse and oppression every time. Invalidation, dominance, control, gaslighting, discarding and more all occur because the individual is regarded as less than human and unfortunately, this is exactly how these things cause the victim to feel. This routine and continuous dismissing and disregarding of not just the victim's feelings and needs but of them as an actual person result in the victim feeling depressed, worn out, worthless and beaten down. The narcissist is sucking all of the person's energy and self-worth out and using it to prop up their own. This is the person's use, and when they are used up, they will likely be discarded like an empty soda can - and with the narcissistic person having no more problem doing so than you would throwing the same can away. Why would you keep it, right ? It's useless.

The results of objectification and dehumanization can be devastating. This how things like murder, slavery, genocide and many other horrible things happen. Dehumanization is a psychological and emotional justification to treat human beings like objects. When you say to the narcissist, "How can you treat me like this?" their answer usually involves either a flat out denial or some justification of how you deserve it. Put very simply, they don't get it and more importantly, they don't care. There is a missing linkage there, and barring a scientific breakthrough, this may never be able to be addressed.

If you are being dehumanized and objectified, you need to really understand that this is not only wrong, it's not sustainable. Even if you believe you can somehow take it, it will not last. Eventually you will come up empty. Everybody does. When that happens, there will be no more reason for the narcissistic person to continue on anymore in the situation and they will very likely leave. It's like a vampire. Some people have more vitality than others but everybody has a limit. Everybody becomes drained eventually. When that happens, the vampire simply moves on to feed on someone else. It's what they do.

Then what? All that for what? For nothing. Allowing someone to abuse you does not prove you care. It does not prove your loyalty and it isn't going to fix them. It does not prove anything except that your self-worth and self-esteem need work. These are things you can definitely address, but it is impossible to heal in the middle of ongoing abuse. Before you can do anything about this situation, you have to realize that the narcissistic person isn't the only one with the problem. Fixing them isn't going to fix you. Fixing you isn't going to fix them. You are two different people, and even though it seems hard to believe, neither person's problems have anything to do with each other.

You may feel beaten down and stuck, but if you are watching this video, you aren't totally beaten. You understand that there is a problem and you can see that the situation is wrong. You aren't totally stuck because you are still moving forward by gathering information and trying to understand. You still have self-worth because you know you are being treated badly and that you don't deserve it. People who truly have no self-worth don't think that. They believe they do deserve it. You just need to develop and nurture the things that are sparking that anger and sense of injustice. These are the tools you need to change your life.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)