About Understanding Narcissistic Behavior

Some time ago I was mopping the floors on the main level in my house (the glamorous life of an author!  lol).  As I went towards the bathroom, I remembered something very painful that happened to me in  2009…

As I was mopping my floors one day, my mother called.  I took her call & continued to mop.  My bathroom floor is ceramic tile & there is a big marble threshold strip at the doorway, as is common in many old houses like mine in this area.  As I went to leave the bathroom, my bare foot slipped on the wet tile & crashed into the marble, breaking my pinky toe immediately.  The pain caused me to spew a trail of obscenities that probably would embarrass your average truck driver or mechanic, yet my mother didn’t even notice.  She continued talking as if nothing had happened.  I loudly said to her, “Mom, I have to go. I just broke my toe & it’s killing me.”  “Oh” she said.  “Did you hear me?  I’m in a lot of pain here.. I’ll have to call you back later.”  My mother let out an obviously bored sigh.  That infuriated me, & I said, “Are you listening at all?  I broke my toe & need to go.  I’ll talk to you later.”  At that point she said “Oh ok.. bye!” & we hung up.  I called her back later that day.  She never asked if I was OK or what had happened.

It was either that evening or the following evening, my father called.  He asked how I was doing.  I said laid up with a broken toe, didn’t Mom say anything?  No, she didn’t.  In fact, when he called back again the next day, he said he told her about my toe & she said, “Oh?  When did that happen?”

I have quite a lot of stories along these lines that display my parents’ blatant disregard for me.  Even having studied narcissism in depth since 2011, these stories still blow my mind.  I mean, I understand a lot about the disorder & the utter lack of empathy narcissists have.  Yet, at the same time I can’t fully comprehend how anyone can be so indifferent to the suffering of other people, in particular, their own child.

When I’ve mentioned this inability to fully comprehend narcissistic behaviors on various social media pages or groups, I’ve been attacked several times.  People have told me things like, “They’re evil & you just need to accept that.”  “Stop expecting narcissists to be normal!”  There have been more comments, but honestly I don’t even remember them anymore.

Since I’ve experienced this, I figured some of you who read my work have too, & this should be addressed.

If you can’t “wrap your mind” around the behavior of narcissists, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with this.  In fact, I take it as a good sign because I think the only people who can fully understand narcissistic behaviors are narcissists.

If someone tells you there is something wrong with you for not grasping the behavior of the narcissist in your life, the best thing you can do is ignore them, because the truth is their nasty response isn’t about you.

Some people are simply very logical & not quite so open minded simply due to how logical they are.  It’s not that they don’t have feelings or are closed minded, but that logic rules their minds a lot.  These people may narcissists in the “evil box” or say who cares why they do what they do.  Well, not everyone is that way.  That doesn’t mean anyone is right or wrong here.  It simply means some folks have different personalities which means they have different ways of coping & understanding things.

There are also those who write about or make videos about narcissism who are pretty burned out on the topic.  If someone asks them a question or makes a comment, these people are very short with their reply, & often even rude.

The truth of the matter is everyone is different.  Some people can heal just fine not understanding the reasons behind the narcissist’s actions.  Others need to understand the reasons, & get frustrated when they can’t fully grasp those reasons.  Neither is wrong.  You do whatever works for you!


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

20 responses to “About Understanding Narcissistic Behavior

  1. If I were on the phone with any one of my adult children, and they cried out in pain and told me they had just broken their toe, I would literally be in tears. “Oh Honey — are you bleeding? Can you see the bone? What happened? Are you able to walk? Can you put an ice pack on it?” Those are the questions that come to my mind. If I lived nearby, I would jump in my car and hurry over to check out the injury myself and to do whatever I could to help.

    I’m so sorry you didn’t have a mother who could do even these basic motherly things. This post isn’t just about the day you broke your toe, this single incident says volumes about the way you grew up.

    Like you, I have spent a lot of time wondering why narcissists behave the way they do, especially when I was first learning about this disorder. I read a lot on the subject, trying to understand. Back in my early days of blogging and chatting on social media, I, too, was jumped on by certain other narcissism bloggers for asking the “wrong” questions or making a “wrong” statement. I have been happily avoiding those blogs for quite a few years now.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You are very sweet.. will you adopt me?! lol

      Exactly.. this story is just one example, but a very good one depicting my mother’s lack of care.

      Avoiding those blogs is a good move. I read whatever ones make sense, but rarely comment unless I know the blogger personally. I’ve had enough irrelevant, nasty, critical comments in my life & don’t care to hear others.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Awwww… your “will you adopt me” melted my heart. From everything I have learned about you, after following your blog for all this time, you are my idea of the ideal daughter. 💘

        What amazes me is how you turned out the way you did, despite having such a narcissistic mother!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Wow.. thank you so very much for saying all you did!! ❤

          The ideal daughter? I have no doubt my mother would dispute that & complain about me being the worst daughter ever. Lovely woman she is.. lol But thank you so very much for saying that! ❤

          Liked by 3 people

    • My reaction would be similar, I would definitely stop what I was doing and make sure she was okay. It seems so unnatural not to care.. it’s crazy. I’m sorry but parents with this disorder should have children removed from then. The utter disregard could kill a child one day.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree.. they should NOT be allowed to raise children! One of my cousins who knew my mother fairly well once said something to me that has stuck with me for almost 20 years now. “Not that I’m not glad you’re here. I am. But your mother never should’ve had a child. She should’ve lived her life as a spinster. She’s not fit to be a parent!” That was well before I knew about narcissism, but I knew she was right. It also suits other narcissistic parents, not just my mother.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’m so sorry you experienced this from your mother, but maybe it can be a blessing to help others, there are still people out there unaware about this disorder who are dealing with people in their life, we need to help them ! God help all those babies out there

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe it’s a function of time. Even though I tend to be in the group you called logical, I agonized for years over the question of why my abusers did what they did to me. But in time I came to see that it wouldn’t matter to my happiness or recovery if I knew what they were thinking when they abused me because it wouldn’t change a thing. I couldn’t say that until after I’d been NC for several years and began to devote more of my mental energy to my own healing than I did to what my abusers thought about when they were hurting me. Everyone is different, as you said, and we all have the right to approach this in our own way. But I’ve seen survivors stuck in a pattern where they spend most of their time and emotional energy on asking why, and I wonder if they wouldn’t be better off thinking more about themselves than they do about those who hurt them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s awesome you found what works for you! Lots of people are that way, & that’s great.

      That is true too.. people can get out of balance asking why. That is so unhealthy! I guess like everything, there needs to be balance. If you want to know the whys behind their behavior, fine- just don’t obsess

      Liked by 2 people

  3. As with everything else in life, balance is key.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gosh….that is just sordid. Your story has made me see some signs…in my story. Thank you for writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ibikenyc

    I used to get this sorta thing from not just my mother but also Mr. Happy ALL THE TIME.

    Either that, or a zero-to-sixty RAGING at me about, in essence, how I could have been so stupid.

    Now I just bleed quietly until I can stick a band-aid on whatever it is.


  6. ibikenyc

    I might have mentioned this first, but your description of the tile floor and the marble threshhold paints an exact picture of a house I used to live in. More than once, my poor toes skated into that marble slab, never hard enough to break them, but always hard enough to make me swear like a sailor, so I do feel your pain!


    • Oh cool! Old house too I take it? Ours was built in 1956. 🙂

      Absolutely that will make you curse like a sailor! That really freaking HURTS!

      You feel my pain literally huh? lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • ibikenyc

        No, actually; it was my lovely loft townhouse in Fort Lauderdale, built in. . . for some reason, I can’t remember if it was 1976 or 1981!

        I can still see that huge-to-me master bath with one door into the bedroom and one into the kitchen with a three-quarter-inch high marble saddle across each doorway.

        (Why DOES a toe stub hurt the way it does?)


  7. I believe narcissistic individual’s maybe are dulled down negative version of his or her true self, who are living with an unknown underlying health condition..

    If only those individual’s who have narcissistic trates could somehow feel there true natural self the may then and only then understand how hard there lives truly are and to how hard the are actually been towards others..


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