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!