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Narcissist Never Sorry

Uploaded 11/15/2010, approx. 3 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

Is the narcissist ever sorry for what he had done to others, for his victims?

The answer is that the narcissist sometimes feels bad. He experiences all manner of depressive episodes and dysphoric moods.

The narcissist goes through a full panoply of mood disorders and anxiety disorders, sometimes experiences panic. It is not pleasant to be a narcissist, but the narcissist has a diminished capacity to empathize.

So he rarely feels sorry for what he had done or for his victims.

He almost never puts himself in the shoes of his victims.

Actually, the narcissist doesn't regard his victims as victims at all.

It is very common for the narcissist to feel that he had been victimized, deprived and discriminated against.

He projects his own moods, cognitions, emotions and actions, as well as his own frailties, weaknesses and shortcomings onto others.

He attributes to others that which he hates in himself.

Sure, the narcissist feels distressed because he is intelligent enough to realize that something is wrong with the circumstances of his life.

He compares himself to others and the outcome is sometimes not very favorable.

The narcissist's grandiosity is one of the defense mechanisms that the narcissist uses to cover up for this disagreeable state of things.

But the efficacy of the narcissist's grandiose fantasies and inflated false self is partial and intermittent.

The rest of the time when it's not working, the narcissist is immersed in self-loathing and self-pity.

He is under distress and duress most of his waking life.

In a vague way, the narcissist is also sorry for those upon whom he had inflicted the consequences of his personality disorder.

But this is only in a vague, diffused way. The narcissist knows that people around him are unhappy and he understands that it has something to do with him.

Mostly the narcissist uses even this state of things, unhappy people surrounding him, to aggrandize himself.

He says to himself, poor things, they can never fully understand me. They are so inferior, they try, but they fail.

And this exactly is the source of their unhappiness that they cannot be like me or at least grasp my grandeur.

It is no wonder that they are so depressed.

The narcissist puts himself at the center of their world, the center of the world of his closest nearest and dearest.

He thinks of himself as the axis around which everything and everyone revolves.

When confronted with major crisis, for instance, a traumatic divorce, financial entanglement, with emotion at work, the narcissist experiences real excruciating life-threatening pain.

This is the narcissist cold Turkey, his withdrawal of symptoms.

Narcissistic supply, like any other drug, is habit-forming, psychologically speaking. Its withdrawal has broad implications, all severely painful.

Only then, when the narcissist had hit rock bottom is the answer to our initial question.

Unqualified, unequivocal and unambiguous, yes, the narcissist is in pain, is devoid of his stream of adoration and other positive reinforcements and he is sorry for what he is and for what he had done.

But this is merely a fleeting moment. Within days, within weeks, within months, the narcissist recovers his former self, embarks on a new hunt for narcissistic supply, objectifies and dehumanizes everyone around him once again and never looks back and never feels sorry.

He is a hunter, a predator. They are the prey. This is the state of fame. This is the world. They better get used to it.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Zombie Narcissist: Deficient Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists are constantly seeking praise, adoration, admiration, approval, applause, attention, and other forms of narcissistic supply. When they fail to obtain sufficient supply, they react much like a drug addict would. They become dysphoric, depressed, and may resort to alternative addictions. In extreme cases of deprivation, they may even entertain suicidal thoughts. Narcissists also have a sense of magical thinking, believing that they will always prevail and that good things will always happen to them, rendering them fearless and cloaked in divine and cosmic immunity.


The Signs of the Narcissist

Narcissists are difficult to spot, but there are subtle signs that can be picked up on, such as entitlement markers, idealization and devaluation, and a lack of empathy. Narcissists are often perceived as anti-social and are unable to secure the sympathy of others. They are also prone to projecting a false self and using primitive defense mechanisms such as splitting, projection, projective identification, and intellectualization.


Narcissist's Pain: Narcissism, Sadism, and Masochism

Narcissists experience a sense of relief after suffering emotionally, enduring a narcissistic injury, or sustaining a loss. This elation is so addictive that the narcissist often seeks pain, humiliation, punishment, scorn, and contempt. The narcissist is also a sadist, albeit a bit of an unusual sadist. The narcissist pendulum swings between the extremes of torturing others and then empathically soothing the resulting pain.


Narcissist: Accountable for His Actions?

Narcissists can control their behavior and actions, but they don't care to. They feel superior and entitled, and others are inferior and there to cater to their needs. Narcissists lack empathy and are insensitive, but they can tell right from wrong and should be held accountable for their actions. They simply don't care enough about others to refrain from acting abusively.


Narcissistic Humiliation and Injury

Narcissists react to humiliation in the same way as normal people, only more so. They are regularly and strongly humiliated by things that normally do not constitute a humiliation. The emotional life of the narcissist is tinted by ubiquitous and recurrent insults, humiliations, and slights. The narcissist is constantly on the defensive, constantly being targeted, and is a kind of paranoid.


Narcissist Grooms Sources of Narcissistic Supply: Exploits Tragedy, Crisis, and Misfortune

Narcissists are callous and ruthless enough to exploit the tragedy of others. They are obsessed with the maintenance of their delicate inner balance through the ever-increasing consumption of narcissistic supply. The narcissist regards and treats his sources of narcissistic supply as full-fledged human beings, but only as long as they can provide him with what he needs. The narcissist always evaluates the victims of tragedies to see if they can become sources of supply or can be used as props in the theater of his life.


Narcissist: Stable Life or Roller Coaster?

Narcissists are dependent on and addicted to fluctuating narcissistic supply, leading to volatility in their lives and moods. Classic narcissists maintain an island of stability in their lives, while the other dimensions of their existence wallow in chaos and unpredictability. Borderline narcissists react to instability in one area of their life by introducing chaos into all other dimensions of their existence. Narcissists of all kinds hate routine and avoid it as part of their emotional involvement prevention mechanisms, which prevent them from getting emotionally involved, bonding, attaching, and subsequently being hurt.


Predator Narcissist: YOU are the Prey!

Narcissists have the ability to see through other people's emotional shields and know when they are deviating from the truth. They can intuitively grasp other people's self-interested goals and accurately predict their strategies and tactics. Narcissists can't stand self-important, self-inflated, pompous, vigorous, self-righteous, sanctimonious, and hypocritical people because they recognize themselves in them. They expose people's vulnerabilities and force them to confront their true selves, their dead-end careers, their mundane lives, the death of their hopes and dreams and wishes, their shattered illusions.


Narcissists Have Emotions

Narcissists do have emotions, but they tend to repress them so deeply that they play no conscious role in their lives or conduct. The narcissist's positive emotions come bundled with very negative ones, and they become phobic of feeling anything lest it be accompanied by negative emotions. The narcissist is reduced to experiencing down-steerings in their soul that they identify to themselves and to others as emotions. Narcissists are not envious of others for having emotions, they disdain feelings and sentimental people because they find them to be weak and vulnerable.


Discontinuous Narcissist's Multiple Personas

Narcissists do not have criminal intent, but they do victimize, plunder, terrorize, and abuse others as a manifestation of their genuine character. The narcissist is a walking compilation of personalities, and each of these personalities has its personal history. The narcissist is unable to link his past acts or inaction with their outcomes in the present. The slicing of the narcissist's life is what stands behind the narcissist's apparent inability to predict the inevitable outcomes of his actions.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2023, under license to William DeGraaf
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