For individuals with narcissistic personality disorder, who for simplicity’s sake will be referred to as “narcissists,” feelings of self-importance, exceptionalism, and superiority over others are characteristic. These compensatory mechanisms likely stem from their insecurity and fear of rejection. Because narcissists function differently from the majority of the population, there are behaviors that we consider normal and expect from others, but are not natural for narcissists.
One of these behaviors is apologizing. Many people can admit when they make a mistake, reconsider their actions, regret them, and apologize in the interest of maintaining good interpersonal relationships. Narcissists often struggle with apologizing due to their lack of empathy and sense of superiority, which more often leads them to blame others. Sometimes they can offer a fake apology that includes phrases like “I’m sorry,” “I regret that,” or “I apologize,” which can confuse the recipient of the apology, but ultimately, a false accusation of someone else is hidden within this apology. An example of a false apology is the sentence: “I’m sorry you’re so sensitive and can’t handle real life.”
Responsibility triggers a threat of criticism in narcissistic personalities. This is because narcissists build their identity in a way that avoids shame and blame. They can very well deny responsibility and/or shift it onto others, especially their loved ones (partners, children), who are in the closest field of their power.
Self-reflection is another dangerous area for narcissistic individuals. It represents unbearable vulnerability for them. Narcissists fear their inner selves, where the long-hidden wounded child resides. Therefore, they often try to obscure and avoid honest communication, refuse responsibility, avoid therapy, or resort to defensive aggressive outbursts.
Narcissists tend to perceive life as a battlefield where they constantly have to fight for survival. People represent potential threats to their winning. Instead of forgiveness, they have a tendency towards revenge, retribution, and punishment for the “weaker.” Their own superiority does not allow them to forgive, and they likely have a deeper inability to forgive themselves.
People with narcissistic traits are usually unable to feel empathy towards others and are more sensitive to their own demands. They are often locked in an internal spiral of unfulfilled needs from early childhood. They are not used to giving, but rather expecting. Therefore, they are not usually self-sacrificing or altruistic.
Expression of true feelings
Narcissists love attention. Those with a tendency towards extroversion are often recognizable by their dominance of the entire room, impressing others with their intellectual abilities. More introverted individuals tend to express themselves passively-aggressively, for example by frequently complaining or playing the victim. However, when attention is directed towards their emotions, we reach a dead end. They hide them from others and themselves. They are unaware of the internal mechanisms that drive their behavior and do not have the courage to become vulnerable enough to share their feelings.
Shades of emotions
The colorful world of emotions is unfamiliar to narcissists. They tend to perceive and think in black and white. They tend to idealize or devalue others and are convinced that others see the world as they do – as a series of games or battles that they must win. Mainly to protect themselves.
This post is inspired by the text of author Julie L. Hall.
7 Things You’ll Never See a Narcissist Do | World of Psychology
Because of their fundamental sense of worthlessness and compensatory grandiosity, narcissists play by different rules than the rest of us. Here is a short list of things healthy people do that you’ll never see a narcissist do. The Narcissist’s Never-Do List 1.