Of all the awful things dysfunctional people do to their partners, children, and others who experience their destructive behavior, the worst is denigration.
Denigration is criticism without truth.
It is one thing to point out mistakes with an intent to correct them.
Or address behaviors that need to be changed.
It is another to project false superiority tinged with contempt.
To speak ill of someone directly or indirectly with determination to destroy.
The dictionary definition of denigration is worth displaying in full.
criticize unfairly; disparage.
“there is a tendency to denigrate the poor”
synonyms: disparage, belittle, deprecate, decry, cast aspersions on, criticize, attack;
speak ill of, give someone a bad name, defame, slander, libel;
run down, abuse, insult, revile, malign, vilify, slur;
informal badmouth, dis, pull to pieces, talk smack
“it amused him to denigrate his guests”
If you have ever experienced denigration, you’ve felt the poisonous sting, cringed as the venom entered your bloodstream, choked and staggered, then sought the only antidote—love.
Denigration has a number of devastating effects on the victim.
It diminishes the victim’s standing with others, severing supportive ties and turning others against him.
It makes the victim feel worthless and unworthy, crushing her confidence and causing her faith to falter.
Denigration twists the soul, creating a stress point and reminding the victim he can be broken at any time.
Denigration is an attack on the empire of light.
When denigration is systematic, it starts to disintegrate the victim’s character, and when interspersed with occasional praise, it makes the victim dependent on those few and far between scraps of kindness for emotional survival.
The Latin root of denigrate means “to blacken, defame.”
And denigration does just that, by removing the light of truth and casting the victim into darkness.
A darkness that appears to have no end.
Victims of systematic denigration cannot bring about their own healing.
The psychological immune system is not properly equipped.
Victims require unconditional love and constant reassurance to bring them back from the brink of emotional extinction.
Denigration is the death-knell of a relationship—a clear signal to pack your prized possessions, gas up your car, and speed away as fast you can.
Do yourself a favor.
Drive towards the light.
Always towards the light.
Originally published on Tom Aplomb