Narcissist : We See You As An Object
Objectification is a key trait of the narcissist. This article examines how the narcissist sees you as an object.
You want to be someone to my kind and me.
That will not happen.
You are a something to us, not a someone.
I do not relate to you. Why should I? I regard myself as superior, elevated and special. The petty concerns which govern your life do not apply to me. I do not do accountability. Certainly I have some understanding of what it means to be you, after all I have listened to you tell me so many times about how you feel and I have watched you and others like you so often. I do not feel it however. I cannot put myself in your shoes. I do not want to and even if I did, I am unable to do so because I neither have that emotional empathy or the even stronger emotional contagion that you experience.
Yes, I can see the differences between you and her, him and them. I can see the contrasts in height, body shape, she has green eyes and you have blue eyes, he has no hair and he has dreadlocks. I recognise physical attractiveness, I see the different clothes that you wear, the variances in shoes worn, jewellery displayed and such like. I notice all of that but that does not make you more of a person to me. It is merely the distinction between a washing machine that is white and one which is silver.
Take my television which is placed at the far end of the main sitting room. It is a Samsung Curved SUHD HDR Dot Smart TV 78″ television that I primarily watch sport on. It provides me with a picture which is in pinsharp crikey vision with a scintillating array of colours. The sound is impressive and it looks sleek and attractive. It delivers an outstanding display and therefore delivers what I require of it.
Take you as my primary source. I can see that you stand 5ft 9″ in height, you are slender, with pale skin and long brown hair to the small of your back, which becomes slightly wavy towards the end. Your face is oval. Your eyes are green. You look sleek and attractive. You are an outstanding display of physical attractiveness. I know all this but your primary purpose is to provide me with positive fuel and you do so impressively. You therefore deliver that which I require of you.
You are no different to my television. You are there to provide a function. You are to deliver in accordance with the Prime Aims, which are the provision of fuel, character traits and residual benefits. If you do and you do so in a fulsome manner, you are a high functioning appliance. If you do not, you are a malfunctioning one.
You and the television are there to do things for me, because I am entitled to that.
I press your buttons by seducing you or later provoking you and you must churn out fuel for me. You at the time of the golden period are my favourite appliance. I have many appliances, other objects which spew out fuel in varying quantities and differing potencies. I have connected all of these appliances to me because again my objectification of you is also linked to the need to exert control. If I want to eat some toast, I place two slices of bread in my Alessi toaster and press the lever down, adjust the relevant control to govern the degree of toasting required and a minute or two later I have two perfectly toasted slices. It works each and every time. I control it. It does what i want. It does not refuse to toast my bread, it does not only toast one side, it does not fire the bread back at me or instead produce a different outcome altogether by presenting me with a leg of lamb. I expect you to be equally compliant and effective. I do not understand why you should not be. You are there to do what I want, I am entitled to receive the Prime Aims and since I installed you as my primary source, you should be delivering them repeatedly, consistently and without interruption. I am not interested in the vagaries of your life which impacts upon your ability to function because of my sense of entitlement, my notion of superiority and of course my incessant needs and demands.
Objects are far easier to control. They are installed, powered and they function. If they stop functioning then they are thrown away and they are replaced. Accordingly, when you stop delivering in accordance with the Prime Aims you suffer the same fate. I do not have time to repair you, you are put to one side and a better, shinier, more effective model takes your place. How did I ever manage without it? Why did I put up with you as a faltering appliance for so long?
You may look at your replacement and wonder why on earth that appliance has been chosen over you. It might be because you gave everything you could to us. It might be because you can see that you are more capable, more interesting, more intelligent and better looking than your replacement. Perhaps you are, perhaps those distinguishing features are there, but you were not delivering in accordance with the Prime Aims and your replacement is doing so which means that they are infinitely superior to you. You are dispensable. Ally the fact that we see you and others as objects with our necessity for performance, our lack of remorse and conscience and you can understand (or maybe begin to understand) why we find it so easy to dis-engage with you and place you on the scrap heap and choose another appliance with such ease.
If you end a relationship, you may be concerned to ensure that the other person is not too devastated, that they are doing okay because even though you may not want to be in a Formal Relationship longer you largely still care about the well-being of another human being. To the narcissist that is pointless. Why use your energy dealing with something that is ineffective? That is a waste of time.
Your objectification makes it far easier for the narcissist to function. By regarding you as just another object which is there to perform for the narcissist, that is to be controlled by us and can be readily replaced when the narcissist deems it necessary, we achieve our aims far more readily. Performance and control are key and this is what objects do. Whether it is an ornament which looks beautiful and we can place where we want, to a motor vehicle which delivers us from A to B or a dishwasher which provides us with clean and streak free shining glasses, we control them all and they perform.
This objectification extends into how we regard different objects. For example, when you are seduced and embedded as the intimate partner primary source, you are the narcissist´s most prized possession. You are the one which will give us the necessary positive fuel each and every day in large amounts and with considerable potency. This means you will be looked after, you will be treated well, you will be paraded and shown off, like some prize piece of art or an expensive necklace. You will be placed carefully on that pedestal, polished, cleaned and maintained.
The tertiary source which works in the garage where we fill up with petrol every week is like an old teddy bear. The narcissist always says hello and receives a pleasant dollop of positive fuel as we feign interest in this person’s humdrum life. We have known this person for years and like that teddy bear, we see no need to throw them away, not yet, but nor do we regard there as being any necessity for maintenance. Accordingly, the corresponding teddy bear has a eye missing, some stuffing is spilling from inside and the fur has faded.
In the same way that one is careful with a delicate and expensive mirror, the narcissist will treat our appliances in the same way. Some can be kicked to one side, scuffed and stained, like a pair of old trainers, others are handled with care until we decide otherwise. Our appliances in our fuel network are regarded and handled in differing ways.
The trophy appliances, the primary source in the golden period or the longstanding inner circle successful friends who are non-intimate secondary sources, are displayed and shown off regularly. The much maligned familial non-intimate secondary source, a scapegoated sibling or child, is the hideous jumper that is only ever worn when it really has to be done and is otherwise derided and ridiculed. Our Lieutenants are our tools, the devices which we depend on to do our bidding as they are deployed to achieve our aims.
Our objectification of you is necessary for the purposes of maintaining control and achieving the Prime Aims. This objectification is achieved because the narcissist lacks empathy. I no sooner can relate to how an iMac feels as to how you feel. I have no concern about whether my Mont Blanc pen feels. It is there to perform. I have a vested interest in you feeling for the purposes of providing fuel, but I am not concerned as to how you feel because I cannot empathise with you.
This objectification manifests not just in how the narcissist will parade you as a trophy, devalue you without any concern for the impact on you and then how we dis-engage and replace you, but also in the way we interact with you. The use of pet names Pet is a way of dehumanising you. We refer to you as her, she, he and him, rather than your actual name, stripping you of identity (see It for an extreme method of doing so). We reject the legitimacy of your needs and desires by placing ours first. A fridge freezer has no aspirations, no life plan or goals and we reject their applicability to you also. This objectification appears in how we interact with you, especially during devaluation
“Just do it.”
“Do what I want.”
“Get on with it.”
“Stop disobeying me.”
“You will do it or else.”
There is no asking, no politeness, no consideration given. We do not ask the washing machine if it wouldn’t mind washing our clothes so why would we ask you if you wouldn’t mind doing something for us?
You and everybody else, from our parents to our friends, to our colleagues to our children are all objects which are expected to do our bidding. Perform and we will keep you. Fail and you are replaced.
Now, why is there a flashing light on your forehead?
18 thoughts on “Narcissist : We See You As An Object”
Oh wow, it just hit me that my boss told me yesterday that after 17 years being the right hand man to his former boss, there was a meeting during which he expressed his concerns and the next day the boss walked in and fired him. No further discussion, nothing. He was an object to that boss, even for all the money earned and work at all hours done, just an object. My boss didn’t know what had hit him, couldn’t get any answers, just out.
AV, sounds like a case for ‘unfair dismissal’ – especially after 17 years employment. Hence the reason to be ‘savvy’ on employment Law. Shocking yet not surprising.
It caused him to start his own company, and with good success. But it was a difficult time for him apparently and he learned a lot through it.
This is an intriguing part of a narcissist. My son warned me of this very subject but it was a jagged pill to swallow. When I heard HG confirm the very same thing I did do a mouth drop. To not be seen as a sentient human is beyond comprehension. I’ve consciously become aware of the true meaning of narcissist NOW in terms of performance. A narcissist’ response to the word wait is like watching a grown toddler flip out. I admit it’s an ET trigger for me. I’m told no, wait and forgotten constantly. “I need spark plugs for my car to narc professional mechanic husband” 100 reminders later I get the plugs and my son ends up tending to it. 🙄🙄
When I’m told to perform bs now, based off of a whim, I can become mentally rebellious. Physically I am compliant but inside I want to destroy the narc. It makes no sense to go from happy to violent thoughts inside myself. Not killing violent thoughts, more like a few punches to the nuts or face response I’m rarely impatient and move slowly trough the world. It’s not to say I’m not efficient and orderly, I certainly am. But, I cannot operate from a narcissist perspective. It’s no wonder that folks that move quickly make me nervous.
SP, hilarious to read “A narcissist’ response to the word wait is like watching a grown toddler flip out”. Brilliant.
He was asserting his control and not wanting to give you ‘power’ RE; the spark plugs “issue”. Being a mechanic too. OMG.
Still laughing at the ‘flip out’…..
In fact, he rarely uses my name. It only does this when it inhibits anger. I know immediately that an attack is being prepared and I must either tame (the attack will be postponed) or disappear.
In 23 years I think my ex used my name all of 3 times. I thought the nickname he gave me, that he used the most, was endearing, ha. It was likely what he called all of them. Also, he had one for me that I hated and he would use it to get a rise out of me. It is how he objectified me, I have learned. Now, no more nicknames. Odd thing, my dad also had a nickname for me, I was his golden child, and now I wonder if that was needed to keep me objectified also. It makes me kind of sad to think this.
“Mine,” he says usually impersonally.
It’s a bit different with me, I don’t feel sad anymore, but rather … excitement. When we speak affectionately to each other, we simultaneously target sublime malice at each other and laugh at it. His “Flower” sounds like “Bitch”, and my “Bear” means “Asshole” 🙂 Of course, I have to be careful not to hurt the “prince” too much.
I like this game and many other games with him 🙂 Eh …
Haha, well, if you can’t beat em join em? Whatever it takes, I’m glad for you to have found something that works. Very cute nicknames also!
Ouch, it hurts.
Indifferent subject. This is what I am (for him).
That’s why I like to annoy him so much, the dynamics is better right away. And I’m not so indifferent anymore – even for a moment.
This one is so helpful in really understanding the mindset of the narcissist. Difficult to hear at first, and it took a while to get my mind around it, but so important in understanding the reality of how they see, and use, us. It has helped me accept their behaviors easier, not take them personal, and be able to let go more effectively. It mostly just makes me sad now.
Makes me sad too A Victor, knowing that is how we are preseved. Logic has kicked in for me. They will never love us,we need to find someone that will. That person will be real not fake. They will appreciate us for what we are . Who has time for games and drama I surely don’t. I am not in high-school anymore.
Same, no time for the bs. I realized with the summer narc last year, after having been on my own for 10 years, that he was really all about the drama, and that I really didn’t like it, it did feel like going back to high school. And I made a decision at one point to keep an eye on that and see how he would react if I didn’t engage in it, of course I had no idea I was dealing with a narcissist at that point. But my plan was to end it if he responded by pushing, I didn’t want to end up married to a bunch of drama. It did end not much later, somewhat due to that but not directly. Yes, they are definitely stunted individuals and it really is sad.
Sorry you had to go through all that drama in order to realize. We learn the hard and long way. It is sad because we put all our time and energy into a failed relationship. We need to move forward and be positive. I never want to be at crossroads ever again.
Oh, it was short lived, I only interacted with him for 3 months. He is the reason I am here, so I am grateful for that outcome. But someone corrected me about giving him the credit, so I no longer do that! I made the decision to come here and find out what had happened, he didn’t tell me to, he only looked so odd I became curious. Anyway, the learning is good and I’m with you Eternity, never again at that crossroad!
Thank God it was short lived. I am glad you are here too. I believe things always happen for a reason. I also believe that people are sent to us for a reason.
Life lessons and we learn from them. It is all about educating ourselves. This is the best place. Curiosity can be a good thing.
Yes, this one was *the* breakthrough article for me. It’s a great one to return to when experiencing Emotional Thinking that involves longing or pining.
Ah, yes, I have been thinking a lot about this one recently also, along those lines, coming to a better understanding of exactly what it means. It is a very big deal. It is not love.