We’ve all dealt with an abusive Narcissist before. They seem to be everywhere these days, and it takes some time to get to know the best ways to deal with them.
There is a brilliant website called Narcissist Problems that offers advice to people when they’re dealing with the worst of the worst. Here is a great transcript from their website:
Dear Narcissist Problems,
I have been with a narcissist for 3 years and he abruptly ended it. I don’t know where to start but he is the one who fell in love with me and proposed to me. He was what I thought was an understanding person and respected me. But as time was passing by his colors were shown, angry!!!! Selfish!!! But yet I continued to love him. Then he started accusing me for so many things which I thought “Why am I getting accused??” He would call me a liar when I would start to explain why I didn’t do what he was accusing me of doing.
My Narcissistic Ex Keeps calling me Crazy
By the 2nd year he started calling me insane. He used to tell me that repeated mistakes are insanity but my repeated mistake was just “nagging” him for his love. I think that is a common characteristic of women and I used to tell him that I am not insane. I would again explain and defend myself. As time was going along he started calling me an idiot, that I have “no brains” that I “have an understanding problem”, “insane” and I was really pissed.
He has Characteristics of a narcissist
He started using his recovery terms on me when he has to apply them to his life and not mine. Then he started using these words every day and he stopped communicating with me. At first I was in bad shape thinking it was all my fault. But I came to this page and I was so relieved that it’s not my fault and these are the characteristics of a narcissist.
He really made me feel like I am the worst person on earth and he the best. Nothing was his problem and he left me because of my “INSANE” personality. But now I know I am not insane and it’s him!!!! All I want to say is I am still trying to recover from his verbal abuse as he was manipulating me with his satisfactory terms of life. God knows who the hell can deal with a narcissistic personality disorder!! I’m still trying to recover but the anger I have for him is too much. I still cry while thinking of how he made fun of my love for him. Calling me stupid and insane as if I were desperate. But the anger is what comes around, comes around, and comes around… he will definitely pay for what he has done to me. I wanted to ask if narcissists will ever think they have done anything wrong or do narcissists ever feel guilty? Hurting someone so much and they can live a happy life?
I want Revenge
I’m really glad that you found your way here too because the first thing I would like to say is to let go of wanting any pay back or revenge. The best way to get revenge on this jerk is to become hell bent on understanding narcissism and narcissistic abuse so that you don’t end up in another relationship like this one and healing yourself. The number one best way to get revenge on a narcissist is by living a happy life filled with people who love you! Holding onto the anger of what you have been through with a narcissist will end up eating you alive. Moreover, it will keep you trapped in a vicious cycle of enmeshment with this person. He isn’t worth it. Think of the years you spent already trying to make things work with him. You don’t want to spend any more years trying to make him realize how much he has hurt you because he never will. If he does realize then he just does not care.
Do Narcissists Ever feel like they have done anything wrong?
You are asking some very great questions. Does he feel he has done anything wrong? This could go two ways with a narcissist really because they have very distorted thinking. In the first instance he may have justified his actions and bad behavior to himself making what he has done “ok” in his mind. The second instance is that yes he knows exactly what he is doing and he did it on purpose. Either way, he hurt you and would have only continued to hurt you and when he crawls back to you DO NOT TAKE HIM BACK!!!! He will never change so keep in mind when you are feeling nostalgic that narcissists only change their outfits and their victims.
Why do narcissists do what they do?
Why narcissists do what they do will remain a mystery for anyone who has empathy. We can examine their behavior, we can be involved with disordered individuals, and we can even have family that do cruel things. The biggest question that many survivors of narcissistic abusers have is if they feel bad or guilty about what they have done to us. From personal experience, I don’t think they will ever feel bad as far as we go. They might display remorse occasionally but when they do it is typically to further manipulate us. Once they have their mind set on abusing or exploiting someone it seems the only thing they learn to do is change their tactics when they get caught.
Narcissists are unlikely to feel remorse or guilt because they have no empathy
As for remorse or guilt it is highly unlikely. I shared a video the other day from Simon Baron-Cohen of whom I just became familiar with his work. Cohen has a very interesting perspective on the human personality as he utilizes research from multiple disciplines while searching for the answers for why people behave cruelly or why people do evil things. He investigates research from developmental psychology, neuroscience, genetics, and psychiatry to explain why some people lack empathy. He goes further to distinguish known disorders where empathy or reaction are limited specifically those diagnosed with autism and psychopaths.
Simon Baron-Cohen FBA is Professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He is the Director of the University’s Autism Research Centre, and a Fellow of Trinity College. Seems like a pretty nifty title right? Well FBA is short for Functional Behavior Assessment and is a process that identifies specific target behavior, the purpose of the behavior, and what factors maintain the behavior. What I find really interesting about his work is the connections he makes with research regarding empathy.
Are Narcissists Evil?
He recently wrote a book that covers how empathy works and why some people turn into psychopaths and also the different types of empathy or lack of. I would suggest checking out his book The Science of Evil : On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty because I think it would help you understand why your narcissist has done what he has done and his ultimate feelings about it which could help you find some closure.
Unsatisfied with the explanation of atrocities being “because those who commit them are evil” Cohen has been on a mission since childhood to find an exact answer as to how people can be so cruel and why. Which is great for anyone who has suffered at the hands of a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath. We need answers on the cellular level of our beings as to why and how our abuser could have done the things they did to us when all we wanted was to love and to be loved by them. In this book he says that the term evil is an easy way out of explaining anything on the subject so he refers to this behavior as “empathy erosion”.
Further, “empathy erosion can arise because of corrosive emotions, such as bitter resentment, or desire for revenge, or blind hatred, or a desire to protect, or the result of permanent psychological characteristics.” He completely dissects the debate of nature VS. Nurture and comes to the conclusion that psychopaths are cruel because of both nature and nurture. When people suffer from empathy erosion this is when people get turned into objects. They are no longer considered to be “people” with feelings or emotions.
Those who suffer from a lack of empathy have no more concern for their victims than they would a pair of shoes.
If you hang out around survivors of cluster B disordered individuals long enough you will come to find that these are some pretty amazing people. Survivors are beautiful on the inside but they didn’t become that way due to the abuse of a narcissist or a psychopath. They were always that way. So when you say why did he do this to me, why did he make me feel stupid, why did he need to show me that he was better than me it is for one reason alone: He is intimidated by how intelligent and amazing you are and he needed to destroy something beautiful?
Narcissist steal objects and qualities from their victims
Another thing they do is try to “steal” the qualities of their victims so they mentally absorb all they find valuable in you and then they try to make it seem as if those qualities never existed in you in the first place. They are after something that you have whether it is physical like money or property or spiritually/ mentally like the essence of who you are. When they become hell bent on stealing from someone either physically, mentally, or spiritually they only focus on what they are wanting. They no longer see you as a person.
In his book Cohen explains the why and how people can do cruel things with one example:
Erosion of empathy is a state of mind that can be found in any culture. In 2006 I was in Kenya with my family on holiday. We landed in Nairobi, a massive international city swirling with people. Sadly, Nairobi is home to one of the largest slums in Africa. People sleeping on the streets, mothers dying of AIDS, malnourished children begging or doing anything they can to survive. I met Esther, a young Kenyan woman, one of the fortunate ones who had a job. She warned me to be careful of the rising crime in Nairobi.
“I was in the supermarket,” she said. “Suddenly, a woman near me who was paying for her groceries let out a scream. A man behind her had cut off her finger. In the commotion, the man slid the wedding ring off the severed finger and ran off into the crowds.”
This is a shocking example of what one person can do to another. Formulating the plan to go out into the crowded supermarket to steal is easy enough to comprehend, especially if a person is starving. Formulating the plan to take a knife along is a bit harder to identify with, since it indicates clear premeditation to cut something.
But for me the key is to imagine the mind of the person in the seconds just before the act of cutting. At that very moment presumably all that is visible to the thief is the target (the ring), a small object that could feed him for weeks. All that is lying between him and his next meal is the woman’s finger that has to be severed. The fact that the finger is attached to a hand is mere inconvenience, and cold logic points to the solution: Detach it. The fact that the hand is attached to a person, with her own life and her own feelings, is at that moment irrelevant. Out of mind. It is an example of turning another person into, no more than, an object. My argument is that when you treat someone as an object, your empathy has been turned off.”
Narcissists see their victims as objects and not people
So when you ask will a narcissist ever feel guilty for hurting you…. I think the only answer is No he knew what he was doing but he just did not care because he has zero empathy for your pain. You had something that he desperately wanted. There really is no difference between this supermarket thief and your ex-boyfriend in regards to how they feel about their victims.
It is going to take a really long time to recover from this relationship. Being angry is a natural response to injustice and a violation of who we are as human beings. Wanting to be loved and wanted is a normal human behavior. Gaining someone’s love just too consistently reject, criticize and tear them down is not a normal human behavior and you should avoid anyone who does this to you because they will slowly kill you over time.