Manipulation Techniques 101: Name Calling

Manipulation Techniques 101: Name Calling manipulation techniques 101: name calling

Picture this: you’re caught in a web of manipulation that keeps you constantly on edge and questioning your self-worth. For instance, in a romantic relationship, your partner might call you “stupid” or “worthless” during an argument, attacking your intelligence and self-worth. They might also use derogatory terms like “loser” or “failure” to belittle you, especially when you make a mistake.

In a workplace environment, a coworker might consistently refer to you as “incompetent” or “inefficient” in front of colleagues, undermining your professional reputation and making you look like a fool. In a social context, a so-called friend might playfully but persistently call you “the idiot” in group settings, subtly eroding your confidence.

Welcome to the world of name-calling, a subtle manipulation technique that revolves around the repeated use of derogatory labels, insults, and hurtful language to demean and disempower you. When you’re constantly exposed to these insults and derogatory labels, you end up thinking that they define who you are, and they can become a part of your self-image. This manipulation technique keeps you off-balance and makes you susceptible to other forms of manipulation, as you may start to believe that your boundaries are not worth defending.

So why do Manipulators Use Name Calling?

Power and Control

A manipulator uses name-calling to systematically erode your self-esteem, using insults like “loser” to diminish your self-worth, leaving you with feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness. Name-calling can create a sense of emotional dependence on the manipulator. As these insults become part of your self-image, you become more reliant on the manipulator’s approval to counteract the negative self-perception they’ve made about you. The manipulator’s derogatory language keeps you striving for their acceptance, leading to a constant sense of inadequacy.

When you find yourself continually subjected to derogatory labels and insults, such as being called a “loser” or other hurtful names, it can have a profound impact on your self-esteem and self-image. Over time, these negative self-beliefs become ingrained in your psyche, and you may start to genuinely believe them. As a result, your actions and behaviors are often driven by a desire to conform to these self-beliefs, even if they are entirely untrue.

Something about beliefs is that when you come to accept these negative self-beliefs, it can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may begin to see yourself as indeed inadequate or unworthy, and this can influence the decisions you make. For instance, you may lower your boundaries because you genuinely believe you don’t deserve to assert yourself or protect your interests. This action aligns with the negative self-belief that the manipulator has planted in your mind.

As you lower your boundaries and allow the manipulator to exert greater control, you’re inadvertently reinforcing the belief that you are indeed powerless and unworthy. It becomes a vicious cycle where the more you comply with their demands and accept their insults, the deeper your sense of unworthiness becomes entrenched.

Avoiding Responsibility

Derogatory language and name-calling are not only used for control but also as a strategic tactic for manipulators to deflect accountability for their own actions and behavior. Manipulators often use insults to create confusion and chaos within the relationship. When they insult, belittle, or demean you, it diverts the focus from their own manipulative behavior. By attacking you with insults, they shift the narrative of the situation, making it appear as if you are the problem rather than them.

For example, in a workplace setting, if a manipulative coworker constantly refers to you as “incompetent” or “inefficient” in front of colleagues, it can serve as a smokescreen to hide their own shortcomings or professional inadequacies. When others notice their behavior, they may claim that they are only making these comments because they are frustrated with your work, shifting the focus away from their incompetence.

In short, the manipulator creates a situation where their manipulative actions are overshadowed by the hurts and labels the call you, and that’s how they avoid accountability for their behavior.


The crucial lesson to remember in life is that what others say about you is not a true reflection of who you are. A manipulator will plant those seeds of negative beliefs in your psyche, and you may genuinely believe them, depending on how deeply you feel about yourself or on some of the underlying issues you haven’t fully processed. The depth to which these beliefs take root also depends on how much you’ve been exposed to those names and insults. However, the key is that you have the power to safeguard your well-being by working on uprooting those weeds before they grow any further in your life, before they take hold and prevent you from fully recognizing who you truly are.

In conclusion, breaking free from this entails uprooting those negative beliefs and removing the seeds of self-doubt from your psyche. By doing so, you create space for healthy and positive aspects of yourself to flourish. These qualities already exist deep within you; they may have simply been overshadowed by negative life experiences.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.


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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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