Tag Archives: conscience

Are Narcissists Ever Sorry?

Many people wonder if a narcissist is capable of being genuinely sorry.  They certainly don’t act sorry or show signs of remorse like changing their behavior, but does that mean they truly aren’t sorry?

Yes & no.

Narcissists lack empathy, which means they won’t feel sorry as a normal, functional person will.  They won’t be sorry for causing pain & suffering.  They won’t feel sorry for disappointing someone who loves them.  They certainly won’t feel sorry for the fact that their abusive ways have come close to destroying other human beings.  In fact, not only will they not be sorry for what they have done, but usually they will blame someone or something else for their behavior, for “making” them do whatever it is they have done.

Narcissists are also incredibly self centered.  All that matters to any narcissist is that narcissist.  No one else’s wants or needs matter to a narcissist, so why feel sorry for failing to meet another person’s wants or needs?  Clearly they aren’t important, so there is certainly no reason to feel sorry.

This doesn’t mean narcissists don’t feel sorry sometimes, however.  They just don’t feel sorry for the things that the average person feels sorry for.

Sometimes, narcissists are sorry for things they have done.  Those things are usually especially egregious.  While the fact they have done something horrible should make a narcissist feel sorry for their actions, that isn’t why they are sorry.  They are sorry for what they did because if anyone finds out about it, that person may think poorly of the narcissist.  To eliminate that possibility, they often do things like scare a victim into not telling anyone with threats of violence or revealing the victim’s secrets.  They also will reinvent the situation in an attempt to gaslight a victim into believing their version of the situation rather than his or her own memories.

Narcissists are sorry when their victim figures out what they are up to.  This means they are losing control of their victim.  Of course they are sorry for this!  It wasn’t in their plans & now they must come up with some solution to this problem!  It’s so inconvenient!

Narcissists are sorry when confronted about their abusive behavior.  Narcissists seem to believe no one ever could catch on to what they are doing, let alone would have the unmitigated gall to confront them about it.  When it happens, they are shocked & horrified.  They are also sorry.  Not because they have hurt someone of course, but they are sorry they were caught.  Being caught makes the narcissist look less than perfect, which is something that no narcissist can handle.

Narcissists are very sorry when their victims end the relationship with them.  It seems to me that every single narcissist fails to realize that every person has a breaking point.  They expect their victims to tolerate the horrific abuse indefinitely & even with a smile.  It never seems to cross a narcissist’s mind that there is a very good possibility that their victim will get fed up with the abuse & abandon them at some point.  When it happens, narcissists are always shocked & very sorry.  They aren’t sorry for pushing their victim to this point, of course.  Instead, they are sorry they have no one left to abuse.  They’re sorry they have to seek out another victim & train that person to be a victim.  That’s a lot of work!  They’re also sorry they’re left alone, because narcissists cannot handle solitude & the possibility of seeing who they truly are.  They’re especially sorry that they have lost their precious narcissistic supply.

To sum it up, yes, narcissists do feel sorry sometimes.. just sadly, not in the same capacity a healthy person feels sorry.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Narcissism

Do Narcissists Know Their Behavior Is Wrong?

One thing I think all victims of narcissistic abuse wonder about at some point is does the narcissist realize what they are doing is wrong?  The answer is a resounding YES!

Everyone knows the difference between right & wrong, barring any physical problem with the brain that may destroy that natural ability of course.  This includes narcissists.  So it is very safe to assume that if they don’t have a physical problem with their brain, they still know the difference between right & wrong.  Evidence of this can be found in the fact they hide the abuse & try very hard to make sure people don’t find out what they do.  They will do anything to prevent their victims from telling others about their behavior.  They threaten the victim not to tell anyone or shame the victim into believing the abuse was not the fault of the narcissist.  They try to convince the victim that the victim was at fault for making them do what they did, the abuse didn’t happen they way they remember or it didn’t happen at all.  They tell everyone that the victim is crazy, a liar or anything else they can think of to discredit that victim so other people won’t believe him or her.  A lot of effort goes into keeping the abuse hidden.  This is evidence that they do know what they’re doing is wrong.

Narcissists simply don’t care about what is right & what is wrong.  They want to do whatever they want to do without people trying to stop them, which is the only reason they work so hard to hide it.

Narcissists have chosen to do evil, abusive behavior many, many times.  In doing so, they have shut down the natural empathy that human beings are born with.  This is why they don’t feel guilt when they hurt people.  Every decision to do evil shuts down that empathy a little more, or sears their conscious as some folks say.  God gave me a good visual on this.  I imagined a person standing at a revolving door.  God was on one side, Satan on the other.  Each decision a person made pushed the revolving door open to either God or Satan.  Bad decisions opened it wider to Satan while good ones opened it wider to God.  After a while, a lot of good decisions open it completely to God & close out Satan, while a lot of bad ones open it completely to Satan.

Knowing all of this, don’t be fooled if the narcissist in your life pretends to be innocent or oblivious to the pain he or she has caused you.  Many narcissists pretend they don’t know that what they said or did would hurt their victim, & covert narcissists in particular do this.

Pleading ignorance is a very effective tactic for an abuser.  People are usually quick to forgive someone who hurt them without intending to, but not with someone who deliberately hurts them.  They are also much more apt to be lenient with someone they don’t think is intentionally hurtful, overlooking their bad behavior.  Also, if the abuser is forced into therapy, pleading ignorance can work out well for them.  Therapists often will focus their attention on explaining to the narcissist why their behavior is bad.  Once their attention is so focused on the narcissist, the narcissist can manipulate them however they see fit. . If you think therapists can’t be manipulated, you’re absolutely wrong.  They’re human just like the rest of us.  Not to mention, they don’t receive much teaching on cluster B personality disorders like narcissism.  Unless a therapist has personal experience with narcissistic abuse, the chances are excellent that therapist can be manipulated by a narcissist.

So to sum things up, yes, narcissists do know what they’re doing is wrong.  Observe their behavior, & you’ll see for yourself that they DO know what they’re doing!

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

Do Narcissists Really Know Right From Wrong?

I’ve found many people wonder if narcissists truly know right from wrong, since they do so many cruel, evil acts without regard for how they affect other people.  This often means narcissists get a free ride since many people assume no one could be capable of knowingly causing so much pain & suffering.  Besides, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a disorder after all- they can’t help themselves for acting this way, right?

I believe that is very wrong.

Personality disorders are different from other mental disorders.  PTSD, for example, is actual physical damage to one’s brain that causes the flashbacks, anxiety, memory problems, etc. Schizophrenia also is brain damage that causes a person to experience hallucinations & delusions.  Personality disordered individuals have no physical brain damage.  Instead, their disorder describes a means of behavior rather than an illness.  Physically, the brain of a narcissist is just fine unless they have sustained an injury.  Narcissistic Personality Disorder only describes their behavior.

Another argument that I believe proves narcissists know right from wrong is their behavior.  They save the worst of it for behind closed doors.  Narcissists rarely abuse in front of other people.  In fact, my mother rarely abused me in front of my father.  He only saw her abuse me a few times when the fact is, she abused me many more times than I can remember.  She also warned me many times not to “air our dirty laundry” which meant I was not to tell others what she did to me in private.  My narcissistic mother in-law was much the same way- she would treat me like absolute dirt when we were alone, yet as soon as someone came into the room, she was sweet as could be.  I guess it’s no wonder so few people believed me about how horribly these two treated me- they put on quite the show in front of others.

Those who know right from wrong hide their actions.  Consider the following Scripture:

John 3:20-21   “20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”  (NIV)

I firmly believe that yes, narcissists do know right from wrong.  They choose to do wrong because their thinking is so skewed.  Sadly, they don’t want to improve themselves like most people do.  Maybe they are too afraid of what they would find if they did some soul searching.  After all, their low self esteem is at the root of narcissism.  They may be afraid that what they would find inside is too hideous for them to deal with.

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Filed under Narcissism