Narcissists are without a doubt the best actors & actresses. They deserve awards for their incredible ability to convince people of whatever they want to convince people of at any given time. That is why they are able to convince so many people that they are wonderful, talented, loving & kind.
One of the ways that showcase their acting skills the best is their ability to fake empathy.
Before I go any further, you need to understand what empathy really is. True empathy is the ability not only to understand what other people feel but why they feel as they do. Even if you haven’t been in their specific situation, you are able to understand how they feel. You care about other people & feel consideration for them. Your behavior reflects this.
Clearly, this isn’t something narcissists are capable of doing. They can’t relate to other people like this, nor do they want to care how they feel or why they feel as they do. They may recognize a person feels happy, sad or angry, but they have no idea exactly why they feel that way. The closest they come to real empathy is being able to understand that certain things upset people, but rather than using this knowledge to be kind, they use it to control, manipulate or hurt people.
Narcissists never start off any relationship by showing their true colors. If they did, no one would involve themselves with any narcissist. Instead, they use deceptive tactics to lure victims in, such as mirroring their likes, dislikes, morals, & beliefs. When they meet someone who is kind, they fake empathy. They show their new love interest how understanding they are. The victim feels so validated & understood. Once their victim feels secure & has fallen in love with this narcissist, the mask comes off & that empathy that drew them in vanishes, leaving the victim wondering how to get it to come back.
Narcissists also will display empathy in the midst of a relationship once in a while as a means to keep their victim feeling mentally off balance, make them willing to do anything to please the narcissist to bring it back, & basically just to torture them. It gives a victim such hope that there is some decency in the narcissist when they see them display some empathy, which is why they are willing to do anything to help the narcissist see it needs to stay permanently. When the narcissist returns to their cruelty, it is devastating. At one point before I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I thought my mother was finally seeing the truth about how badly her behavior hurt me. One day, she said she realized she made mistakes raising me. She seemed sincere & genuinely sad about it. I can’t describe the hope I felt when I thought she finally recognized how much pain & suffering she caused me! I said, “Really?” She replied by saying, “Of course I did. Just look how you turned out.” It felt like she drove a knife straight into my heart.
If someone you know treats you with a constant lack of genuine empathy, chances are very good that you are dealing with a narcissist. If you can, ending the relationship is certainly in your best interest. If you are unable or unwilling to do so at this time, then you need to pray a lot! Ask God to help you to find ways to deal with this person. Also remember that no matter what this person may say or do, they truly have no genuine empathy for you or anyone else. Remembering that will help you not to be disappointed or devastated by their constant lack of empathy, because you know this is simply how this person is.
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