Can you make a narcissist feel guilty

Do Narcissists Feel Guilt? - The Narcissistic Life

Last Updated on January 24, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist and experienced some of the terrible, selfish behaviors that are their trademark, you’ve probably wondered “how do they live with themselves”.

The lying, gaslighting, and emotional manipulation must eventually wear on them – no one can be that insensitive to other people’s feelings, right?

To answer that question, you have to understand the psychology of a narcissist and how it differs from the average person. Their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors can be quite different and the reasons for them may not be clear to those around them.

We’ll dive into whether narcissists feel guilt, but first, let’s take a look at what makes a narcissist.

Table of Contents:

  • Defining a Narcissist
  • What emotions do Narcissists feel?
  • Do narcissists feel guilt and remorse?
  • Do Narcissists feel shame?
  • Narcissism’s Unique Guilt

Defining a Narcissist

To fully explore narcissists’ emotions, we first need to understand what it means to be a narcissist. Narcissism is a personality trait that we all possess to some extent.

Unfortunately, the term gets thrown around in everyday conversation in a way that suggests that anyone who displays narcissistic traits is a psychopath that lacks empathy and is incapable of feeling guilty or remorseful.

In truth, narcissism is simply an inflated sense of self-importance, and whether this is considered a personality disorder is a matter of degree.

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What we typically call narcissism are examples of grandiose narcissism – individuals with very high self-esteem, charisma, a willingness to exploit others, and overconfidence in their abilities.

It’s hard to imagine a person with grandiose narcissism feeling guilty; it’s rare that they even recognize that they’re capable of doing something wrong. Grandiose narcissism isn’t the only way the personality disorder can be manifested though.

Vulnerable narcissism is the inverse of grandiose narcissism, at least in its root cause. Those afflicted with it are often introverted, have very low self-esteem, are hypersensitive to criticism, and feel intense inner shame after rejection.

While the grandiose narcissist is unaware of other people’s feelings, the vulnerable narcissist is attuned to the emotions of everyone around them, at least as those emotions pertain to them.

Though vulnerable narcissism comes from a different place than grandiose narcissism, this doesn’t necessarily change their behavior towards others.

Whether someone is over or under-confident, they will still lash out when exposed to criticism. The narcissist’s ego must be protected either way, which usually means discrediting or humiliating others to repair their self-image.

However, understanding what emotions narcissists feel can help you to understand what will set them off and how you might be able to manage their narcissistic tendencies.

What Emotions Do Narcissists Feel?

It’s common to describe narcissists as unfeeling, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are non-psychopaths devoid of emotion, but rather highly-emotional creatures who have become fixated on their own feelings at the expense of others.

They lack the capacity to understand other people when those feelings aren’t about them. The emotions they do end up feeling depend on the type of narcissist they are. 

Grandiose Narcissists

The entitled and self-important narcissist has an abundance of positive feelings about themselves, but either indifference or negativity when it comes to other people.

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Grandiose narcissists believe they are the best at everything and that the world doesn’t do enough to praise them for their talents. When they’re fed a steady source of narcissistic supply, they’re fairly content.

When they’re not getting the praise they need, they experience anger and frustration. Their anger is turned outward, usually towards those close to them, until those people are fearful enough to give them the supply they need.  

Vulnerable Narcissists

These covert narcissists have many of the same feelings that you probably do – shame, insecurity, and anxiety.

The vulnerable narcissist desperately needs everyone to like and admire them because they have no other way to regulate their self-esteem. Where they differ from emotionally healthy people is in how they react to threats to their self-esteem.

When called out for selfish and insensitive behavior, they react with anger, resentment, and a complete disregard for other people’s feelings.

However, their aggression is often turned inward, leading to more shame and insecurity. When those feelings are too overwhelming, they might lash out at others.

Do Narcissists Feel Emotional Pain?

Both grandiose and vulnerable narcissists are capable of feeling emotional pain, but they can’t endure it for very long. Emotionally healthy individuals can feel sad, guilty, embarrassed, shameful, or even angry without lashing out at others.

They use emotional regulation techniques like reflection, mindfulness, and reappraisal to turn down that pain or limit their exposure to it in the future. 

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Narcissists take a much simpler approach to regulating their emotions by blaming others, demeaning them, or engaging in delusional thoughts about their own superiority. These behaviors are exhibited regardless of whether their narcissistic personality comes from high or low self-esteem.

Do Narcissists Feel Guilt and Remorse?

Asking “do narcissists ever feel guilty” or “do narcissists ever feel remorse” might not be the right questions. We feel guilty or remorseful when we do or say things that are contrary to our values.

Guilt and remorse aren’t actually based on universal principles though. If you grew up in a culture where it was considered acceptable to kill another person, it’s unlikely that you would be racked with guilt after a murder.

In most cultures, murder is taboo though, so the vast majority of people would feel guilty about carrying one out.

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Don’t assume that narcissists have the same values that you do though. Lying and manipulation may not bother their conscience, so there’s no reason for them to feel guilty or remorseful. Narcissists are capable of understanding other people’s values though. 

They know what is and is not acceptable in society, and they’ll make an effort to follow those values so long as the cost of doing so is worth the advantages it brings. However, if they don’t think they’ll get caught, they’re more likely to act in ways that are contrary to society’s values.

Do Narcissists Feel Guilty about Their Actions?

Narcissists know when they’ve done something wrong, as long as someone has brought it to their attention.

Grandiose narcissists, in particular, may not notice the harm they’ve wrought unless someone tells them; they’re too concerned with their own feelings to be intuited about other people’s feelings.

Knowing you’ve done something wrong isn’t the same as feeling guilty though; it’s lacking the negative emotions that should be attached to doing wrong.

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Narcissists of either variety won’t have the emotional component of guilt, only the dispassionate realization that people won’t like them much if they continue their hurtful behaviors.

More than anything else, narcissists are concerned with getting a steady source of narcissistic supply, so losing that source of supply can be a major blow. Reflecting on these actions and their consequences is the closest thing narcissists can feel to guilt.

Can a Narcissist Have a Guilty Conscience?

For better or worse, narcissists live in the moment. It’s why they require a constant source of narcissistic supply to feel good about themselves. Should the supply be removed for even a few days, their self-esteem starts to dwindle, and they need someone to pump them back up.  

The transitory nature of their emotional states makes it difficult for them to have a guilty conscience.

Guilt is the product of rumination, thinking about the pain you’ve caused someone and how inflicting that pain is opposed to your values. Narcissists, especially grandiose narcissists, are not known for ruminating on subjects that cause emotional pain.

Vulnerable narcissists will ruminate on that pain, but only as it pertains to themselves. 

Perhaps a better question would be, do narcissists feel regret? Absolutely! Narcissists understand when they’ve made choices that are contrary to achieving their goals. Coming to that realization can make them sad or angry at themselves, which can manifest in regret. 

How to Make a Narcissist Feel Guilty?

We’ve already established that narcissists don’t experience guilt in the same way that everyone else does. They might express feelings of guilt, but it’s a calculated move intended to benefit themselves.

For example, if a narcissist lashes out at someone, they don’t feel guilty about it after the fact, but might make a show of remorse so as to not push that person away and forgo access to narcissistic supply.

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To make a narcissist feel guilty about their actions or mistakes, they need to know that there are consequences. Let the narcissist know that you won’t tolerate their actions and that you’re willing to walk away from the relationship if it continues. 

To get back in your good graces, narcissists will start “love bombing”, where they shower you with gifts and praise. These behaviors are short-lived though, so make it clear that this outpouring of positive emotions is not what you’re looking for. You want stable behavior change.

Do Narcissists Feel Shame?

Shame differs in some subtle ways from guilt. While someone might feel guilty for a specific action they took, they wouldn’t feel shame so long as those actions didn’t come to define them as a person.

Shame encompasses a person’s sense of self-worth; when someone is feeling shameful, they feel they are worthy of contempt outside of any specific behavior of theirs.

One of the defining characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder is a lack of shame. Whenever feelings of inadequacy crop up, the narcissist pushes them away with fantasies of grandiosity, actions that enhance their self-image (sex, spending money, denigrating others), or attention-seeking behaviors. 

However, a narcissistic personality disorder is a complicated condition with disparate causes, and what most people think of like a shameless narcissist is a grandiose one. However, other types of narcissists are actually capable of feeling intense shame.

Those who are high in vulnerable narcissism, which is associated with low self-esteem, neuroticism, and a constant need for praise and attention, feel shame on a near-daily basis. Shame is what drives their behaviors. 

How to Make a Narcissist Feel Shame?

If you want to make a narcissist feel shame, you need to know what kind of narcissist you’re dealing with. If it’s a grandiose narcissist, shaming that will almost certainly backfire. They’re too self-important and they’ll try to turn the situation around to shame you. Shaming is possible with a vulnerable narcissist under the right circumstances though.

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Intentionally shaming a narcissist in public, or even privately in the heat of an argument, is unlikely to change their behavior in the long term. You’ll activate their narcissistic defenses – denial, distortion, and rage towards the cause of their negative feelings. 

In a controlled setting with a professional therapist though, exploring feelings of shame can be very productive for certain narcissists.

As long as those feelings come in small doses, they can get to a place where they experience those feelings without resorting to their narcissistic defenses.

They simply need help regulating their emotions and building up their self-image without requiring a constant source of narcissistic supply.

Narcissism’s Unique Guilt 

Narcissistic personality disorder is a complicated mental illness to treat. Grandiose narcissists may not believe there’s anything wrong with them – they’re just living in a society that doesn’t measure up to their standards.

Vulnerable narcissists are so sensitive to criticism that it’s too difficult to break through their defense mechanisms. However, narcissists can always be counted on to do what’s best for them, and this can be used to your advantage. 

The most important thing to remember when attempting to make a narcissist feel shame or guilt is that their defense mechanisms will be on high alert.

You need to make them understand how hurting you is going to hurt them, but without them feeling like they’re under attack. It’s a difficult balancing act, one that even professional therapists struggle with.

Once those self-defense mechanisms are shut off, narcissists are no more or less rational than anyone else. Using guilt, shame, and regret isn’t a great way to get those defenses down though.

You want them to feel positive about themselves, but without becoming a source of narcissistic supply. Once they’re comfortable with themselves, they can feel empathy towards others. 

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Do Narcissists Feel Guilty About Abusing Loved Ones?

Source: Vera Arsic/pexels

The sad truth is that the people I know who qualify for a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder are highly unlikely to think about the moral implications of whatever they have done to other people. They only care about themselves. Even when they claim to be madly in love with you, their feelings are quite shallow and will quickly disappear if you stop meeting their needs.

Note: I use the terms narcissist, narcissistic, and NPD as shorthand for someone who qualifies for a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder—not just narcissistic traits. I am using the terms adaptation and disorder interchangeably.

Narcissistic relationships are transactional.

By transactional, I mean that narcissists like you and want you around when you serve their needs. They lose interest in you when you do not. No matter how much they claim to love you, the reality is that it is not you, the individual, that they love. They love the functions you perform for them.

This makes their attachment to you much shallower than it appears. If you lose the attributes that they value, their loving feelings about you are likely to disappear. This means that if you get ill, lose your looks, your money, or your ability to have sex. Your narcissistic lover will not be sympathetic. Instead of feeling bad for you, they are likely to become impatient, complain, and eventually lose interest in being with you.

Example: When exhibitionist narcissist Bill and his girlfriend Sherry got married, everyone remarked on what a beautiful couple they made. They looked like a magazine advertisement for young love. Bill enjoyed posting pictures of the two of them on social media and took great pleasure in his friends’ envious compliments about his wife’s beauty.

When Sherry developed a serious health issue that required her to take steroids, her looks changed. Her face became puffy, and her figure became fuller. She no longer looked like the slender young woman with whom he had fallen in love.

Bill’s response was to tell Sherry that she needed to lose weight. When the doctors told them that she needed to stay on her medication and that the weight was an unfortunate and unavoidable side effect, Bill felt cheated. He bluntly told Sherry, “I didn’t sign up to have sex with a fat woman.”

Do narcissists regret hurting people whom they claim to love?

Narcissistic defenses are designed to keep the narcissist’s flaws and mistakes out of awareness. Narcissists do not focus on anything that contradicts their inflated view of themselves. Unless they have had a lot of successful psychotherapy for their NPD, they do not feel guilt, shame, or self-doubt so long as their narcissistic defenses hold. This means that they do not think there is anything for them to regret, no matter how hurt you feel. In their mind, if something goes wrong in the relationship, it is all your fault.

Do narcissists regret discarding or losing someone?

It is common for people with a narcissistic personality disorder to regret discarding or losing someone, but it does not mean what you might think. If they feel regret, it is not because they hurt you. It is for losing something that they value. You are a possession, not a real person. They do not care how you feel, even though they may pretend otherwise.

For example, the fact that they may want you back after discarding you has very little to do with who you are as a person. It does not mean that they care about you or feel guilty for treating you badly. And it certainly does not mean that, if they get you back, they will act differently than last time. Narcissists who miss their ex have not usually changed in any significant way.

What does the narcissistic person’s regret over discarding you actually mean?

Here are some of the usual meanings. Take your pick.

  • I feel needy, horny, lonely, and I want company right now.
  • If I hadn’t dumped you, I could use you to meet my needs.
  • I always miss anything I no longer have.
  • I thought I could do better than you, but I haven’t—so I might as well go back to you.
  • I know you have someone else now, and I still consider you mine to do with as I wish. How dare you have a happy life without me!
  • You look better from a distance.

Narcissistic defenses are designed to minimize negative feelings and support the narcissist's self-esteem.

The whole point of developing an NPD adaptation is that it is designed to keep negative feelings at bay—to not feel shame, guilt, self-doubt, and remorse and instead maintain the sense that the narcissist is special, perfect, and always right.

Narcissists lack emotional empathy.

In addition, people with NPD never developed emotional empathy. If they have any, it quickly disappears when they feel hurt, disappointed, frustrated, or angry with you.

Narcissists do not willingly decide to reflect on their bad behavior.

The only self-reflection that most untreated narcissists do is about what is in their self-interest. Here is an abbreviated example of what one of my clients with the exhibitionist subtype of NPD said to me in therapy about his girlfriend:

I actually find her somewhat disgusting. She is not all that physically appealing to me. I sometimes walk out of the room when she enters because I don’t want to really be with her. But she wants me so badly that she will literally do anything for me. She also puts up with whatever I want to do.

She loves me and wants to marry me. I might actually marry her or stay with her, despite how I feel about her. I know this is unfair to her, but I am unlikely to ever find anyone who loves me like that and is willing to let me have my way about everything. I can always get rid of her later.


When narcissists say, “I love you,” they really mean something closer to the following: “I will love you as long as you fulfill my needs and make me feel good. ” As a result, untreated narcissists do not feel guilty about abusing you because they view whatever they do to you as justified.

Their narcissistic defenses are designed to protect them from seeing their flaws and to allow them to shift all the blame onto you. If everything is your fault, then they have no reason to feel guilty about hurting you.

Based on two Quora posts.

The Power of the Narcissist: 9 Steps to Freedom


Man among people Man and woman

The feeling of love that we experience at the very beginning of a relationship with a narcissistic person is experienced much more strongly than in a healthy relationship. The reason is that a narcissist (male or female) floods us with declarations of love almost from the first days, does not tire of admiring, seeking advice, assuring that we are perfection itself, he or she met the best person in his life and is ready for us to Everybody. nine0003

This is called "love bombing". Then the tactics change - the narcissist seems to retreat a little, his love confessions become less frequent, calmer, and finally the stormy ocean turns into a meager stream. It is a form of manipulation, control, and conditioning that the narcissist uses to keep us in his power.

There is no doubt that we loved. The only problem is that narcissists cannot love us back.

When communicating with them, it is better to rely on your inner instinct, and not on the strength of your feelings. We tend to get so trapped in our feelings that we lose the ability to hear the alarm bells and red flags that come with a toxic relationship. Narcissists cannot keep a face for long - very soon their facade cracks. But they are masters of their craft and, if you are inexperienced, can easily put you on the hook. nine0003

1. Arm yourself with knowledge

The most important and first thing to do to get out of the trap is to learn as much as possible about what narcissistic personality disorder is, how narcissists work, their typical behavior and techniques.

You need to arm yourself with knowledge. Repeat and repeat over and over again. Until you study them properly, you won't be able to free yourself from their toxic hook - narcissists make us feel obligated by playing on our sense of duty, conscientiousness. nine0003

Feeling sorry for the narcissist when he or she has you trapped is pointless - they are just using your feelings against you. It is necessary to discard false pity in order to clearly see what you are dealing with.

2. Trust your intuition

Watch yourself — learn to separate feelings and deep inner feeling, intuition. Start trusting your intuition, not your feelings. Associating with a narcissist weakens physical, mental and emotional health because we are trying to understand a person whose behavior contradicts words. nine0003

Instead of listening to what they say, watch what they do. Words lie, actions reveal the truth. We really get to know people through their behavior. Words are just a breach of your trust.

You feel sick and exhausted because your mind and body tell you that you are in great danger, but everything seems to be fine (because he or she tells you so). Once again, trust your gut instinct. Become a cold-blooded explorer. Silently observe what is happening. nine0003

3. Don't put yourself in their shoes

Go back to where you belong. It's a matter of awareness. Mentally note how difficult it is to do this - these are the consequences of narcissistic processing.

Don't try to guess what they have in mind, imagine their next steps. Putting yourself in their place means trying to understand their motives, justify them, find a reasonable explanation for their behavior, and eventually get bogged down again in the poisonous swamp of their verbal manipulations. nine0003

When you catch yourself trying to "get into the narcissist's head," do your best to distract yourself. It's hard and it takes a lot of fortitude not to give in to the brainwashing they put on you to make sure they've taken over all the space inside your head.

4. Ignore the messages

For the narcissist, information has no meaning, its only purpose is to suck you into the swamp of manipulation. The task is not to figure out whether to believe or not to believe the words of a narcissist. It is about breaking out of the vicious circle in which you think day and night only about what is connected with the narcissist. nine0003

Do not listen or pay attention to the content of the speeches that the narcissist makes. This is their way to take out your brain to draw you into their world and keep you where you always find yourself in the role of bad and guilty. They will keep pushing your boundaries and blowing the fuses that signal you are approaching the boundaries to constantly keep you on your toes, unbalance, disturb your peace.

Trying to find common sense in the speeches of a narcissist is to force your brain to work in a stressful mode, it gradually drives you crazy. Know that no matter what they say, narcissists are seeking some benefit for themselves, no matter how logical or beautiful their words sound. Everything is only about them and for them, and the only desire of a narcissist is that you, too, be only about them and for them. They will do and say anything to keep you trapped in their little fantasy world. Once again: watch what they do (not say). nine0003

5. Protect your property and savings

If necessary, start saving money. Remember that they can completely bleed you. Protect everything that is of value to you. Acting from noble feelings and wanting to remain fair, you risk eventually being ruthlessly abandoned without a livelihood.

6. Silence is golden

When we love, we want to share our thoughts and feelings with the person we love — this is natural. But you do not have a loved one, you are dealing with a narcissist who pretends to be your soul mate. nine0003

Resist the temptation to tell them everything you think and feel

You can't move them. They use your trust against you. The more open you are, the more guns and knives they have in your back. Narcissists love it when you share. If you have to say something, protect yourself as much as possible - don't tell the whole truth, be neutral, obscure or change the subject.

7. Who are you?

Deal with yourself, what you believe in, what is dearest to you in this world, what you want to live and die for. Otherwise, anyone can convince you of anything. Without knowing ourselves, we cannot set boundaries in a relationship - what we are ready to tolerate and what is categorically not. Strengthen your value system and protect what you hold dear. Then you will know what to do and how to behave, instead of hesitating and bending under the onslaught of someone else's will. nine0003

8. Be patient

Continue to observe and analyze. By learning the basic manipulative techniques of narcissists, you will be able to recognize them accurately. This is a great help in the process of freeing yourself from the illusion of "great love to the grave", "faithful" friendship or family idyll that narcissists have played for you.

Liberation does not happen overnight. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Be kind and patient with yourself. You learn to act and live in a new way - rethink, clarify yourself and your life principles, move to a new level of relationships with others. Give yourself time to deal with everything that's going on. nine0003

9. Feed your soul

Help others, little by little, quietly and anonymously. Say something nice, even to a stranger. Fulfill one of your little wishes, just for yourself. Draw strength from religion if you are a believer. Breathe deeply and remind yourself that one day you will be free and the joy of life will return to you.

Text: Ksenia Tatarnikova Photo source: Unsplash

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who is a perverted narcissist? - T&P

Moral abuse, or abuse, in the Russian context is considered almost a phenomenon that lies within the framework of social norms - however, in reality, it is often a consequence of a narcissistic personality disorder. For a healthy person, such communication can be very destructive and can cause deep depression. T&P talk about how to identify a moral abuser and fight back.

What is narcissism? nine0019

The very word "abuse" is translated from English as "violence" and "abuse". Abuse in interpersonal relationships is familiar to most of us - but not everyone knows that they may not be the result of neglect, but the result of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), which affects one of the participants in the relationship. This pathology occurs in a significant number of people: from 1 to 8% of the total population of the planet, according to various estimates. According to the DSM-V international classification of diseases, it can be defined by the general signs of a personality disorder (grand conceit, fantasies of unlimited power or ideal love, belief in one's "exclusivity", the need for an exaggerated expression of delight in one's address, the illusion of one's own special rights, a tendency to exploit people, lack of empathy, envy and arrogant attitude towards people), which are accompanied by specific disorders in the work of the individual and in the process of building interpersonal relationships. nine0003

A person with a narcissistic disorder is self-focused, obsessed with the idea of ​​his own greatness and superiority, clinically incapable of empathy and does not feel guilty for wrongdoing. He devalues ​​what is connected with others and idealizes what is connected with himself. At the same time, the narcissist does not suffer from hallucinations, does not show signs of manic states, and generally gives the impression of a completely healthy person.

Perverted narcissists do not choose weak or insecure people as their "victims". Their target audience is bright wise men and smart people. nine0003

Of course, not every person with NRL will start doing atrocities if you get close to him. As with any mental health diagnosis, this one has a fairly wide gradient, so that the patient may or may not be aware of the problem, or may not be fully aware of it, fight or not, stubbornly change therapists in search of a truly effective treatment, or methodically bring partners to suicide.

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Really dangerous for others is a type called "perverted narcissist". This definition was first voiced by the French doctor of psychiatry, specialist in the field of victimology and criminology, Marie-France Yrigoyen, author of the book Moral Harassment. A distinctive quality of perverted narcissists is the ability to turn any situation on its head, distorting its details and partner's conclusions ("perverted" - from the Latin "pervertere" - "pervert, twist"). It is they who choose moral violence as an instrument of interpersonal relations, and it is not easy to get away from them without crippling the psyche. nine0003

How do you spot a perverted narcissist?

Perverted narcissists do not choose weak or insecure people as their "victims". Their target audience is bright smart people, open, successful, impressionable, full of optimism and vitality. Often relationships with perverted narcissists end for their spouses and friends with clinical depression and suicide, even more often with psychological traumas that then heal for years, if they heal at all. nine0003

A perverted narcissist can be identified by their distinctive behaviors, which they usually fail to fully disguise despite their developed adaptive skills and brilliant image. In general, the following details should alert the potential “victim”.

1) The person speaks negatively about past partners, verbally blaming them for problems or a breakup.

2) A person is not inclined to plead guilty and shifts responsibility to others. nine0003

3) After getting to know this person, the partner began to sleep less, eat poorly, lose weight, become dizzy in his presence, or faced other unpleasant changes in well-being. It is generally accepted that lovers and friends of perverted narcissists begin to lose psychosomatics early, and this happens even against the background of an apparent absence of problems.

4) A person seeks to bind a partner to himself as early as possible, up to marriage or moving.

© Sara Andreasson

5) Perverted narcissists sometimes have "inhuman reactions", although in general such people carefully monitor their behavior. Like patients with psychopathy, they do not experience emotions in the conventional sense of the word, but they imitate them perfectly. Narcissists are able to observe those around them, calculating successful mechanisms of influence, but in unusual circumstances they can show insensitivity, a lust for power, or anything else that lies outside the scope of normal reactions. For example, such a person is able to tell how “well” he punished the offender (and the punishment will look disproportionate to the offense), how witty he used someone, or how interesting it is to watch other people suffer. nine0003

How does abuse work?

The first stage of a relationship with a perverted narcissist is sometimes referred to by researchers as the “honeymoon.” During this period, a partner can come to visit his “superhero” and find that he has prepared his favorite dish from childhood, or find an exact copy of a long-lost precious pendant on his desk, or get tickets to Bora Bora for a birthday party.

"Honeymoon" looks perfect, but can't last forever. After all, in the place of self-esteem in a perverted narcissist, figuratively speaking, there is a gaping bottomless hole into which all the delights of others and his own achievements are sucked in vain. Due to a personality disorder in the depths of his soul, such a person feels insignificant, experiences desperate envy and anger. The lack of empathy does not allow him to empathize, and the illusion of his own greatness does not allow him to perceive other people as equals. For a while, the narcissist manages to hold back negative feelings (solely for strategic reasons), but then his patience ends. nine0003

The laws of communication are depreciated, respect disappears, and from a precious chosen one or dear friend, the second person quickly turns into a disenfranchised violator.

The moment this happens, the "honeymoon" ends and the so-called "ice shower" stage begins. A prince or princess suddenly, often in just one terrible day, turns into an unpredictable aggressive creature that attacks a partner with the cruelty of a chimera and manages to turn his whole picture of the world upside down in a few hours. The laws of communication are depreciated, respect disappears, and from a precious chosen one or dear friend, the second person quickly turns into a disenfranchised violator. nine0003

As is normal for a mentally healthy person, a lover or friend of a patient with NPD in this situation is likely to begin to suspect that there is some guilt in what happened. This is exactly what the perverted narcissist needs. At the second stage of the relationship, his task is to destroy the partner’s self-esteem, humiliate him and thus assert himself. This is why such people tend to keep partners close, resurrecting honeymoon circumstances as necessary, and then reassuming their basic aggressive form. nine0003

Boycott and inexplicability

Despite the fact that from the point of view of the victim the behavior of a perverted narcissist looks unpredictable, in reality this person uses recognizable techniques, which are described in detail in the first Russian-language book on communication techniques for patients with NPD - "Be afraid, I you” by the writer and journalist Tatyana Kokina-Slavina:

• “an attack of anger”, when a narcissist suddenly shows wild rage in a harmless situation;

• gross violation of an important promise or defiant failure to fulfill obligations; nine0003

• "accidental" disclosure of a shameful secret, which becomes available due to the stuffing of compromising evidence;

• pause in communication not agreed upon with the partner, i. e. boycott;

• a statement about an alleged breakup or a frank hint that a breakup may occur, presenting a list of conditions;

• perceptible but unmotivated cooling of relations.

Of course, all of the above can happen in a relationship without NPD, healthy or not, for a variety of reasons. The following criteria can be used to correctly assess the circumstances and test them “for narcissism”:

• the presence of a strong negative emotional response,

• the suddenness of the antics and the absence of clear motives,

• the denial of what happened on the part of the alleged narcissist.

Such denial can take the form of gaslighting, one of the methods of psychological abuse, which is designed to dissuade the partner from what he clearly saw, confuse him and lead to false conclusions. Typical phrases in this case sound like “there was nothing like that”, “I don’t understand what you mean”, “you complicate everything”, “you overreact to ordinary remarks”, etc. As a rule, such an onslaught greatly deprives balance, so that a person really begins to doubt himself. nine0003

An ugly scene after the "honeymoon" completes the first circle of relationships, and after that communication becomes cyclical. The positive phases begin to gradually narrow, the negative phases grow, so that the relationship becomes like a manic-depressive disorder, and codependency forms between partners. “Be prepared for more and more frequent cycles,” says Israeli writer and narcissist researcher Sam Vaknin, author of Surviving the Narcissist, Malignant Self-Love, How to Divorce a Narcissist and a Psychopath, and more. The narcissist idealizes, and then devalues ​​and discounts the object of its original idealization. This sharp, heartless depreciation is aggression. The narcissist exploits, lies, makes no sense, insults, ignores, manipulates, controls. The narcissist is built almost entirely on control. This is a primitive and immature reaction to circumstances in which the narcissist, most often in childhood, was helpless. nine0003

© Sara Andreasson

Perverted narcissists often refer to their partners as being "hypersensitive" and prone to creating problems out of the blue. A person is steadily losing his rights in communication with him: the right to ask questions and receive answers, to talk about his feelings and get angry. Anger and discontent turn out to be "unreasonable" or "irrational." Indeed, in order to gain complete power over the partner and legitimize the absence of human feelings, the perverted narcissist needs to depersonalize him, destroying his "I". nine0003

In the second stage of the relationship, the perverted narcissist has two recognizable tools: "holding tactics" in dialogue and "waterboarding." The first technique is usually expressed in the fact that the discussion of relationships, as well as the ability to express one's thoughts and feelings, is blocked. The narcissist diverts the topic of conversation, digresses into other things, reduces the conversation to a joke, puts it off for later, taunts, complains about feeling unwell, and devalues ​​the interlocutor in other ways. For example, patients with NPD often display a hostile coldness that is denied. This strategy allows them to make their partner angry and cry, then to ridicule his anger and thus humiliate him. nine0003

“Water torture” is performed without raising the voice. In the process, the narcissist twists, turns inside out, and brings to the point of absurdity the partner's words without removing the bored haughty mask. Of course, not everyone can stand such treatment, so many narcissists lose their victims at some point. This causes fear and even panic in them, so that the methods of moral violence are instantly replaced by a new "honeymoon". This game can go on for many months or even years.

How to deal with a perverted narcissist? nine0019

The only way to escape moral abuse from a perverted narcissist is to stop communicating with him. You need to understand that such people behave this way because of mental pathology, and they cannot be re-educated, changed, healed, remade or saved. His problem can be partly solved only by a psychotherapist or psychiatrist, who is also capable of prescribing the necessary medicines. Today, doctors do not know why patients develop narcissistic personality disorder. Some experts are sure that it is genetically transmitted, others believe that it is only a matter of upbringing, when a person is not paid attention in childhood, or, on the contrary, they evaluate him too harshly. In addition, there is a theory that the prevalence of NPD increases during unfavorable periods of history. One way or another, none of the narcissists is to blame for getting sick, even if they behave like a sadist. Although this, of course, does not mean that you can allow him to torture himself. nine0003

As with any painful relationship, it is also better to leave these with the support of a psychologist, and even better, a psychotherapist. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help: after all, we do not hesitate to show our injured ankle to the surgeon instead of applying psyllium leaves to it for weeks. Talking with a specialist will help you get over the pain of humiliation and loss, start putting everything in its place, understand what exactly happened, and find ways to cope with it.

The only way to escape moral abuse from a perverse narcissist is to stop communicating with him.

An intermediate option: to leave the narcissist in his place and improve himself, unfortunately, does not exist. Narcissistic personality disorder today is very difficult to correct, not to mention the fact that in its "perverted" version it is also rarely recognized as a disorder. A perverse narcissist, who can be called a pathological manipulator, would rather make an attempt to "manage" his doctor than want to change anything. nine0003

Romances, friendships and even business relationships with perverted narcissists are usually given to their victims with a lot of blood, so the only way out is to stop them as soon as possible, and even better not to start at all.

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