18 thoughts on “I’m Just Teasing! You’re Too Sensitive. Toughen up!

  • January 22, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Good for you for setting permanent boundaries. It’s important to look after yourself.

    I was teased as well when I was a kid by two of my older brothers. I am the only girl of 5 kids. I know how it hurts. I married my brothers, in a sense, my husband would tease me as well. “I’m only joking, you’re so sensitive.” Well he has finally stopped, mostly, thanks to having a great therapist.

    I am honestly happy that you were able to find the courage to tell him, and to cut ties with him. He doesn’t deserve you.

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, Sheila!

  • April 6, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Lenora. I just wanted to thank you for this part of your article, specifically:

    “Is my pain at being insulted greater than the codependent pain I will feel when I wound them by confronting them?”

    I’ve made a lot of progress as a child of a narcissist, but one of the things I could never completely understand was how much I felt my mother’s pain and embarrassment when she was confronted with something she had done wrong. As a child/teenager, I would think, “She’s hardly ever embarrassed, so it must be so much more difficult for her to handle than it would be for others,” and I would try just about anything to spare her any type of negative emotion, almost like a parent would want to shelter their small child from difficult emotions. It’s been only within the last year or two that I am able to think about my mother experiencing pain and embarrassment and not blush to a dark red and get a sick-to-my-stomach feeling.

    Thank you for articulating this very rare and nuanced emotion.

    • April 6, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you for reading this old article. It’s nice to know they’re still being read. What you describe as a reversal of the parent/child role is called “parentification.” And yes, I experienced it too, when I became responsible for the moods of a 43-yr-old man. Hence, why I’m still pretending to be a comedienne to this day. 🙁

      ~ L

  • June 14, 2016 at 11:43 am

    What is up with narcissists and dishes/dishwashers?? I saw multiple comments about just this issue alone on another website and had multiple instances of pure hell bc of dirty dishes. Didn’t matter if the whole house was spotless, “worthless, usesless, can’t handle anything, help me!” All from dishes…I am sorry you had to experience this.

    • February 24, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      That’s a good question. Perhaps it’s the “out of sight, out of mind” appeal–they can have perfect dishes without 1) having to do the work and 2) having to see someone else do the work. You are right, though–it’s such a weird fixation because it’s so *specific*.

  • June 23, 2016 at 8:31 am

    I need help with a recurring argument/issue I keep having with my husband. I will provide for you an example of what happens and you tell me if I am being too sensitive and crazy. I came home from work and my husband reminded me was our usual Wednesday reading night. I kind of sighed and made a grimace and started to explain to him that my brain was fried from answering questions on a panel for an hour ( I’m introvert- so it does come easily to me). He then stated ” What am I going to have to divorce you and marry Brittany.” Brittany is his brothers girlfriend who is going to law school and is known to love reading. He has in the past used Brittany as a weapon, if you will, saying things like ” I bet Brittany would agree with me on the correct pronunciation of Neanderthal”. Ok, so I was deeply hurt by his “joke” about divorcing me to marry Brittany. I went and cried for awhile and collected my thoughts. After about an hour and a half I came out and told him ” I had a very stressful day of having to fake my way through a discussion panel and it really hurt to come home and be made to feel shamed because I didn’t feel like reading a book. It made me feel like I was unloveable for being authentic with my feelings. IT made me feel like you were comparing me to Brittany- that she is somehow better/on a higher level than me.” His response was ” You have no right to feel that way, it was a joke. You just don’t believe that I love you, because if you did- you would just laugh it off and not have your feelings hurt”. In just about every occasion where I come to him to tell him he has said something that has hurt my feelings- he turns it around to ” If you(I) believed that I(him) loved you- you would know that I didn’t mean it in a “mean” way.” He refuses to acknowledge that I even have a right to feel like my feelings have been hurt. And the argument is my fault because, i am overreacting and don’t believe that he loves me. Am I crazy?

    • June 23, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Oh and let me add..I am an INFP. I know we are very sensitive people- we can get our feelings hurt more easily than others- so I make a conscious effort to examine my feeling and ask myself was this really an intended mean spirited comment, am I really offended or just taking it too seriously–before I say anything.
      Also- being able to tell someone my feelings and not have them dismissed, invalidated, is really important to me. I feel like I can never share with him my feelings.

      • June 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        What your husband did wasn’t rude. Taking the last helping at dinner is rude. What he did is unconscionable. It was more than just a slight. It was an attack.

        I am so so terribly sorry that you are hurt by what he said. But you have every right to be!

        My narc is my mother and I grew up believing that I was overly sensitive because I was told I was. And you just learn to believe it.

        Some of the most healing words have come from people who have told me, “She said WHAT?! You’ve got to be %*!^** kidding me!”

        Because I had (still have sometimes) difficulty gauging whether what she said was out of line or not because she’d broken my own internal compass.

        I’ve found so much help from people who not only take the time to understand me but also those who are ANGRY for me at what I’ve endured.

        Their anger/indignation shows me that what has been happening to me is wrong.

        So while I can’t help all that much, I want you to know…

        1) that your gut instinct about this is spot on
        2) that you’re not overly sensitive or needy or insecure
        3) that if he tells you that you ARE any of those things he’s gaslighting you (look it up- so much help came from understanding this concept)
        4) I can do nothing except be ANGRY for you for the amount of disrespect you’ve had hurled at you.

        I promise to be angry on behalf of anyone who is abused and then made to feel like it is their own fault and I want you to promise that when he tells you that YOU’RE the one with the problem, that you remember that there are numerous people out here in the world that not only agree with you, but who are ready to take you in and draw the line around you and help you say, “No more!”

        I get that you don’t trust your own feelings. I get that you think your barometer is a bit tweaked and that you constantly are doubting whether it’s “really all that bad.” I bet your brain sounds something like this:

        “It was just a little dig. Even the best relationships go through stuff like this. I was having a bad day so I was probably not as level headed as I should have been. It’s not nice, no, but it’s not abuse. If I said it was abuse than I really WOULD be overreacting. Look at my life. I’m not an abuse victim. He’s not a monster. It was just an off the cuff thing he said.”

        My brain said all of that stuff too about my mom.

        Which is why I needed wide-eyed, mouth-gaping people hurling curses around to convince me that what I was enduring is NOT OK!!

        Trust me on this.

        It is that bad. It’s actually worse than what even you think it is because he’s brainwashed you into believing that its normal.

        No other healthy person thinks that is %#*^!# normal.

        You are totally in the right place when it comes to learning more about this disorder. Articles and books by George Simon are also good places to find answers.

        Do me a favor and Google the shiz out of Gaslighting and tell me that it is not a perfect reflection of what you’re going through.

        And trust your-smart-self! Trust that your emotions and instincts are right and don’t try to be swayed by some cheap, two-but diversionary tactic.

      • June 23, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        Thank you, thank you, thank you! I appreciate every word you said. And, yes, I do feel better just by the simple act of having someone allow me to say out loud how I feel and not berate me for it. Thank you!

    • March 9, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      I’ll be mad for you, too. Your feelings are valid and I would be mentioning his brother or best friend as a good match during reading night when hubs brings her up again.

  • October 30, 2016 at 12:55 am

    …Well. That was…blistering. In the best possible way, mind you. I’m only just coming to terms with a lot of this stuff as well!

  • March 25, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Thank you for a great article. I really identified with a lot of it — especially the parts about obsessing (am I being too sensitive, prideful, etc.?) and all the teachings that add to the self-stifling (“a soft answer turns away wrath,” “turn the other cheek,” etc.). It can be really hard to work your way through all that, uphill against your insecurities, and stand up for yourself. I’ve found that a challenge.

    One thing I read in bullying material helped me. It’s that bullies (narcissists, typically) target the nice guys/girls, the ones who will not speak up. They avoid the jerks, the people who will tell them off. I’ve learned that in dealing with jerks, I have to be a little bit of a jerk to them in response, or they just continue.

    Not that expressing your feelings is “being a jerk.” It just feels that way to me, if I’m expressing anger, and it helps me to give myself latitude to do that.

    Anyhow, it’s an ongoing challenge. I can’t say I’ve mastered it yet (must be why the universe keeps sending me practice lessons).

  • March 3, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Was bullied as a kid and that dubious “virtues” have put me into trouble many times. Often I end up in situation were I can not defend myself and feel pushed into a corner.

  • March 9, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    This blog is hitting on a few things that I’d never really thought out from this perspective. Thanks.

    • March 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      I’m glad to hear it. And thank you for your generosity. 🙂

      ~ Lenora Thompson

  • March 12, 2019 at 2:44 am

    Your blog is so interesting to me. I’ve always known that I had one narcissistic parent and have only recently come to realize that they were both fairly classic narcissists. Pretty much my whole extended family does the “asshole humor” bit. I’m curious, though. Is this kind of cruel humor exclusive to narcissists, or is it just a red flag?

  • August 8, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    My father is a narcissist and I feel your post on an almost subconscious level. Like, growing up, I was constantly teased about what I liked. As an only child, Dad had no one else to target. I was the scapegoat, the one whose interests and failings were nonetheless not good enough or disappointing and must be harped upon, and it’s a lot of strain. Unfortunately, I’m still living with my parents, so I can’t cut off ties with Dad. Not yet, anyway.

    But this article opened my eyes a bit. I don’t know how to react when my friends tease me. I just shut down because I’m anticipating pain.


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *