I feel a degree of pity for narcissists, even the ones who have tried to destroy me. It’s so sad to me that they felt they had to resort to behaving so horribly to cope with the pain in their lives or their insecurities. It’s sad how afraid so many are & everything they do is out of that fear. It’s sad that they waste their entire lives being angry, bitter, hateful & pushing away those closest to them. Many are even full of anger, bitterness & hate on their death beds. These people live pathetic lives not knowing what it is like to love, really love. What lonely, empty, superficial lives they live.
This being said, it certainly doesn’t mean I think narcissists deserve a free pass to abuse. Being abused is NOT an excuse to abuse others! Being abusive is a choice, not a consequence of experiencing abuse! If you don’t believe me, consider this example: your narcissistic mother ignores your requests to change her behavior so she doesn’t hurt you. She clearly is opting to continue abusing you, isn’t she?
The pain in their pasts also doesn’t negate your pain. Please never tell yourself that it’s OK- the narcissist had a hard life too or they had it harder than you did. It’s not OK! Never invalidate your own pain! You don’t deserve that! You were no doubt invalidated enough by your narcissistic parent- don’t do it to yourself too! Invalidation is abuse, no matter who does it, even when you do it to yourself. It has the potential for causing a victim all kinds of problems- bad coping skills, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, placing the needs of others before yourself even when you are in crisis, & even Borderline Personality Disorder. Don’t do this to yourself! It is very possible to feel sorry for your narcissistic parent while not trivializing or invalidating your pain.
Why pity narcissists? They are horrible people, right? Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary to pity narcissists to heal. Some people think it’s foolishness, in fact. And this works fine for them. There is nothing wrong with that thinking.
For me, however, feeling that degree of pity that I do for narcissists enables me to pray for them.
The Bible tells us to pray for our enemies…
Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, [a]love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? 48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (AMP)
Praying for those who hurt you isn’t an option if you wish to live a holy, Christian life. It also isn’t easy. In fact, praying for someone who hurt you is hard enough, but praying for someone who tried to destroy you is a thousand times harder.
God dealt with me a couple of years ago about praying for my parents & in-laws. I didn’t feel able to do it. My parents & mother in-law were incredibly cruel to me, & frankly I didn’t much care about any of them. Once I started thinking about them, I felt some pity for them. My mother was abused by her mother, which is why she turned narcissistic I believe. My father wasn’t abused, but had a terrible traumatic brain injury at only 15 that I believe may be at the root of his narcissism. His behavior changed after it. That TBI has given him many health problems. My mother in-law had a very sad upbringing & many difficult years married to my father in-law. Thinking about such things plus the other things I have mentioned above their behavior has caused stirred up pity in me for them. I now pray for my parents & in-laws daily, & even set up reminders on my cell phone so I don’t forget. Not knowing what they need specifically, I simply ask God to save them, meet all of their needs & bless them. Praying this way I hope has been a blessing to them, but at the very least, it feels good to me. It shows me that try as they might, they haven’t destroyed my good heart.
Feeling pity for narcissists isn’t always necessary & certainly isn’t easy. However, it can benefit you by enabling you to pray for them.
4 responses to “Feeling Sorry For Narcissists”
Agree. I understand that my mother is a narc and hurt me because she is a wounded person herself (not that you would know it!) but it just doesn’t make any difference to me at the moment – at this stage in my healing because I am too angry. “You were no doubt invalidated enough by your narcissistic parent- don’t do it to yourself too!” – this is so true. I am now aware that I do this to myself – my mother’s voice is very much in my head and now that I am aware of it, I fight against it. I understand the pity, and pity her I do for lots of things but like you say, it doesn’t let her off the hook at all! x
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There is nothing wrong with being too angry to pity her! I’ve been in that stage myself. Pretty sure it’s a normal part of the healing process. It doesn’t last forever (even though it sure feels like it will when you’re going through it).
That’s rough when you invalidate yourself! Also done that one myself. It’s good you’re aware & fighting it! You don’t deserve that kind of treatment from anyone, including yourself.
No way.. pitying a narcissist never lets one off the hook. They choose to abuse- nothing can make that OK!
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ou opened my eyes with another post in which you talked about how we downplay our pain. To me that is part of our “training” by our abusers to always think of others (principally them) first and ourselves last. That was a major turning point in my healing process. It allowed me to be angry about the abuse, which is a necessary and healthy part of the process. From anger I moved on to pity and now to sadness. I think of the many natural gifts God gave to my abusive parents and how they could have been used to make a wonderful life for themselves and their children and grandchildren. Instead they constructed lives filled with conflict, cruelty, and the drive for power and control over others. The waste is so painful to contemplate it’s almost overwhelming at times. I pray for my NM and her enablers in the hope that they will receive Jesus before it’s too late, knowing that God is all-powerful and wise and may yet bless them with a spirit of repentance. I do that because I finally know that nothing I did for them, or could do for them, will overcome the choices they have made. Only God can help them with that.
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There are so many emotions you go through with healing, aren’t there? It’s such a roller coaster!
It’s such a pity when these gifted people choose not to embrace those gifts but live a life of conflict & misery instead.
So very true.. only God can help them. It’s their choice if they receive that or not. You’ve prayed, you’ve tried to help, you’ve given them consequences for their actions.. you’ve obviously done your part. The rest is up to them.
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