45 thoughts on “Nine Truths Narcissists Will Never Tell You

  • May 3, 2017 at 3:39 am

    While you make narcissists sound like the villains, I wish to know how they can be helped. They are, after all, insecure people, with a very flimsy self esteem. Perhaps they are victims, too. Perhaps they should be helped, too?

    Reply
    • May 5, 2017 at 11:23 am

      …but would they accept that “help”?

      My sister is a narcissist, but she’ll never admit it, nor will she accept “help” on that domain. She’ll accept the spotlight and anything that will give at least an appearance of being “the winner”. Anything else will be viewed as useless – and how dare I point out she’s being rude/selfish/whatever….

      Reply
      • July 2, 2017 at 12:21 am

        Hi Athena,
        Your point is well-taken: many narcissistic people don’t see that they have a problem or are not interested in changing. Thank you for sharing,
        Dan

        Reply
      • September 4, 2018 at 9:40 am

        Wow you’re spot on in every way, I would say my wife is a terminal narcissist, if there isn’t a word, then I’ve found it in spades!!
        After several sessions with a Psch to help me understand the behaviors and what I’m truly dealing with, I am convinced there is little help for a true narcissist, as per the comments above, they don’t think there is anything wrong with them!!

        Either pander to their ever increasing insatiable needs, that will have you work yourself into an early grave, whilst they bath in the joy of watching you kill your self to appease their every whim – or get the F#$%k out of their way, they will crush you!!!

        If their image is tarnished, they will fight to the death, generally yours!

        Wish I’d know what I know now, would have saved 20 years of my life/misery!

        Reply
    • July 2, 2017 at 12:20 am

      Hi Alfiya,
      You make an important point. Thank you for posting,
      Dan

      Reply
    • December 25, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      My ex was a classic example of a narcissist and I begged him to go to the therapy either with me or alone. He chose to go alone and went exactly once. He came home and said the therapist told him there was nothing wrong with him and it must be me.

      Reply
      • December 25, 2017 at 9:31 pm

        Dee,

        Narcissists generally hear what they want to hear, whether from a therapist or anyone. That is one of the reasons it is so difficult to deal with narcissists.

        Thank you for sharing your post.

        Dan

        Reply
      • September 4, 2018 at 9:59 am

        He Dee,

        I hear what your saying, my wife saw a marriage Councillor outside her and I many years ago when we were trying to understand her. She apparently stopped seeing him a couple years ago as he was so convinced that she was the sweetest women he had ever met. Apparently she stopped seeing him because he put is on her….Knowing what I know, I wouldn’t be surprised he told her he couldn’t see her anymore…romantically.

        The point I’m making is a true narcissist won’t reveal anything they don’t want to, to anyone including a therapist – its a sign of weakness to them. As is gratitude, so to accept that someone has done something to help them, is also a sign of weakness!!

        Unless your prepared to become a narcissist to combat them you will not & you can not win!

        Reply
    • February 18, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      You’ve never lived with a real narcissist. they do need help but they are ruthless and can ruin another person in the meantime.

      Reply
  • May 3, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Narcs are children who were denied emotional attention. Nature provided this mechanism of defense to prevent suffering. The majority of narcs are not self-aware. Although their selfish and abusive behavior wont change, they can be helped to exist in a uncaring world. We blame them, while they are affected by an abnormal condition. Even psychiatrists today recognize that the condition has been neglected in their studies due to the negative characteristics of narcs, and they have started to change. We are being unfair. Some narcs, like pres Trump, will never accept help. There are different degrees of narcissism, this being an extremely complex condition, very difficult to study. Check “narcissist_me” in Twitter.

    Reply
    • May 4, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      mars peters,
      In saying that “we are being unfair” to NARC’s, we as non-NARC’s should let them behave how ever they want to & just take it. What about our lives, well being & peace of mind? We or anyone else should not have to endure the abuse from NARC’s. Why should they get the ‘high’ ground?

      Reply
    • September 4, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Why bring President Trump into the conversation.
      Please keep politics out of the discussion.

      Reply
  • May 3, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Alfiya…

    Narcs Victimise People!!!

    Narcs don’t care how destructive they are or, what emotional damage they do, because that’s how they get what they want and all at the expense of hurting others’ in the process. They have zero empathy. If you become collateral damage they will NOT care. They are a very destructive force and it’s my belief that they will not or, cannot change.

    My sister who is only one year older than I, is fully responsible for turning people against me with her pathological lying. Her desire was, and still is, to be number one. To be the star of the show. To be seen as the good daughter/person. She has succeeded wonderfully by verbally assasinating me and while playing the role of ME. Since the day I was born she has hated me. Neither of our parents corrected her for anything wicked that she did instead, I became the scapegoat while she played up to them and wound them around her little finger. It was her that created the good daughter/bad daughter scenario. She is a devious, scheming, lying, greedy, manipulative and dangerous person and she hasn’t changed one bit in her 67 yeara. Over the decades I’ve seen how much more clever she’s become by manipulating people, in fact, she’s become more adept and devious while playing out her machinations.

    I cannot stand her or any narcs. For your health’s sake give them a wide berth… as wide as you can.

    Reply
    • July 2, 2017 at 12:22 am

      Hi Sally,
      Thank you for sharing your personal story with the community.
      Dan

      Reply
    • April 3, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      My former boss was exactly this way, and his behavior fit every single one of the nine truths outlined here. This boss was reported to Human Resources for a variety of reasons, every one of which should have led to his termination. In the end, this boss chose to start picking on the very team that reported to him. When he chose to pick on me and started to find fault in every single thing I did, I chose to resign from my job.

      Looking back, I can absolutely see how I was being manipulated, how very destructive this boss was. I am glad I left. I needed to cut ties with that person, even if it meant resigning from my job.

      Reply
      • April 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm

        Hi Delilah,
        It sounds like you made a healthy choice, even though difficult. In dealing with narcissistic persons, the question is often, “At what cost?”
        Thank you for sharing your post with the community.
        Dan

        Reply
    • May 21, 2020 at 3:16 am

      Sounds just like my sister. She never took personal responsibility for anything she did. She used me for the scapegoat and got away with it. She told everyone who would listen how she had to “take care of me” when we were growing up and acted like the victim. Actually, what she did was control and manipulate me. I didn’t have an independent thought until she married at 17. She and I were never close after that as she continued to try to control me. In a way, it is sad. She must have been very insecure but she was very destructive to many around her. Narcissist personalities (or personalities) run in my family and so does alcoholism and other addictions.

      Reply
  • May 3, 2017 at 11:40 am

    The only thing I would take issue is with the low self esteem thing due to bad parenting. The biggest narcissist I know came from a solid working class background with the most loving parents. He was the eldest of three children and the other two grew up to become wonderful people who did nothing but good. This narcissist was the cleverest and very good looking. There was no reason for him to become what he became and to callously ruin the lives of so many women and children just by being so utterly, utterly self absorbed.

    Reply
    • July 2, 2017 at 12:24 am

      Hi Daisy,
      It is not entirely clear why some people become narcissistic. At the same time, it doesn’t necessarily matter how their narcissism developed when it comes to setting healthy boundaries with them. Thank you for sharing.
      Dan

      Reply
  • May 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Great article about the core of narcissism. As a psychotherapist of 45 years, everyone I treated with NPD were egosyntonic,which means they are quite comfortable with how they are. They tend to compete with the clinician. They can be quite successful in certain professions in that aspire to power, prestige,and wealth; however they are less so in their private domains with significant others.

    In MHO, our current president displays the above.
    Rich, MSW

    Reply
    • May 3, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Now for the answering of my question of over a year: did/does my narcissistic exhusband everyday realize Why he is acting so mean ie does he feel his insecurities etc or do the actions appear as routine, his norm? Thank-you (he is in his 60’s but we were only married for a year from 2014 to 2016).

      Reply
      • May 5, 2017 at 11:49 am

        Cheryl,
        I am a psychotherapist X 45 years, and a psychology professor X 13. In regards to your ex, here is my response.
        Despite their inner insecurities, most are comfortable being the way they are, and feel entitled to be right each and every time. NP is like and personality cluster in that it begins to show itself around age 3; is dynamically formed by psychosocial forces; becomes consolidated during our early 20’s; and becomes relatively fixed around the fifth decade of life.

        Personality is the consistent way that we act, feel, and behave.

        These persons evidence very little compassion and empathy for others; in other words, I posit that this is his norm; and sees no reasons to adjust or change.

        Hope this clarifies some of your queries.
        Rich, MSW

        Reply
    • June 29, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      very interesting

      Reply
    • May 10, 2019 at 8:21 am

      What is with this political comments ?
      You have discredited an positive input.
      Can you you see that? If not the pots calling the kettle black.

      Reply
  • May 3, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    to mars peters….

    My sister got all the emotional attention and it still wasn’t enough for her. She is greedy, thoroughly ungrateful and feels entitled to be first and to get the very best. She couldn’t care less about the feelings of others’ as long as she is at the top of the tree.

    It was definately not lack of attention that caused her narcississm. If anything she got too much and was spoiled.

    Reply
  • May 3, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Sounds like Donald Trump

    Reply
    • August 22, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Is there anyway we can keep politics out of this discussion? Sounds to me like the ones who bring up President Trump are just looking to cause trouble.

      Reply
      • November 21, 2018 at 10:49 pm

        Making an obvious observation about the nature of our President does not denote any political bent. It is, however, of great concern to have the “leader” of the world share all these traits that point to a NPD. It affects us all!

        Reply
  • May 4, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Narcs are extremely childish, incredibly insecure and emotionally undeveloped individuals posing as adults. If youre supporting ones ego in any way, shape or form youre unfortunately a large part of the problem. Their fractured ego cannot function ,on the level that they prefer, without your’assistance’in some form. Truly assertive; sincerely loving and emotionally secure individuals are rarely long term victims of a Narc because they’ll do whatever it takes to get away from them sooner than later! Unless of course theyre children of narcissistic parents and have no other choice. As an adult if you want our narcissist epidemic to end anytime soon you must stop supporting their egos and start developing your self esteem. You must love yourself enough to leave them behind for good! You must have an assertive nature that possesses sincere empathy for yourself and others. Unhealthy Narcissism is the equivelant of emotional retardation in my opinion. This has been my personal opinion for a lifetime. When confronted with a Narc I absolutely refuse to stick around. I refuse to support their childish ego. I simply leave! and so should you. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out if someone is extremely childish, emotionally insecure and phenomenally self absorbed to a degree that is detrimental to the physical and emotional well being of others. You are not a therapist, you cannot fix them. Move on …

    Reply
    • July 2, 2017 at 12:26 am

      Hi Been there,
      Your point — to focus on your own self-esteem and well-being rather than trying to change a narcissist — is an important one. Thank you for sharing that.
      Dan

      Reply
  • May 5, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Whatever the package, beautiful , handsome , ugly, sweet, powerful, cutie pie, vulnerable, alleged victim of some terrible childhood situation or event ,and perhaps a festering treatable but “hell no way I need to nurse this” neuroses, it all boils down to them in their shiny suits of armour.
    You can get close , but then cometh the minefield where your own rightful natural expression is countered or smothered or re-directed to avoid hurting their “deeply sensitive” feelings which are actually incapable of recognising yours,and your individuality,unless, you conform to the fall person..in other words a lesser being who can redress their carefully concealed inferiority complex, and by supporting and paying attention to their rules, you do
    Avoid, avoid, run, feign madness, climb the North face…You might feel bad which is human. but they will not because you really didn’t exist or matter in this context for them , you were “useful” often expendable unless they got stuck, and they will eventually and surely find others to fill your place.
    Given time and space away from them you can develop a wonderful happy life…I know I did this…
    Where are the happy somersault emoticoms on this site? …..lol

    Reply
  • July 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

    OMG. This is my 25-year marriage.

    The past year has been my year to become aware that I am not crazy. I am not a BadSpouse. I am not a BadChristian. I am in a marriage with ^^^ everything you describe in this blog post.

    And I can definitely say, after giving it 25 years of 100-percent solid effort (including all kinds of counseling — of course for me, because i’m the only one with problems, right? — reading self help books, beating myself up constantly), short of a raise-the-dead miracle, change ain’t happening. At least not in my spouse. And honestly? That has been the absolutely hardest thing to come to grips with.

    I really appreciate these blog posts. I’ve been riveted — if for nothing else, they keep me grounded and knowing that it really isn’t me.

    THANK YOU!

    Reply
  • July 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Hi CJ,
    Congratulations on your self-awareness and progress in this difficult journey.
    Dan

    Reply
  • September 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    This article is spot on! My struggle is how to protect my children from (my ex) their dad’s narcissistic ways. He lies about EVERYTHING and only sees them when it’s of some benefit to him. He would argue the sky is yellow and stonewalls anyone who doesn’t agree with him. I want to teach my daughters (11 & 13) this is not a healthy way to be treated by ANYONE. I worry they will think he’s normal and end up repeating my mistakes.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    After much reading and personal experience, I think most people agree on the basis of the narcissist, but there is not enough emphasis on the recovery for the victim/family. The narcissist rides off into the sunset to recreate more of his bad behavior, and you are left there struggling to understand what your recourse is. Easy to say no contact, or that we should feel pity for them for their past, but really what does that do? Let’s hear some concrete solutions to make sense of this horrific disorder, I feel it is treated much to lightly, and this is one reason there is not enough help for the survivor. If we were shot or physically wounded we would get more help. I believe their karma will catch up with them, but in the meantime let’s talk about helping the people who have been fooled, tricked, used, and lied to. Let the narc go off, because he apparently as you state doesn’t know or care that he hurts others. Give us the tools to feel the same way about what has happened to us, and help those who suffer with the “WHYS”..

    Reply
    • February 19, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Excellent question. I hope you receive some responses. The only thing I ever read is to limit contact or no contact at all. That is difficult for some of us because it may be a sister or mother and the guilt we have for leaving them is strong.

      Reply
  • September 5, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Living with a Nacarissist can completely destroy your self-esteem and self-worth.Revenge and playing games only prolongs your misery. The best option is to find and accept yourself for what you are. Only then can you heal your pain. The process of self discovery may take time. In the end you will stop hurting . Learn that you are a unique person and you can then be happy. THERE IS NO POINT IN HATING A narcissist it’s futile and destructive.

    Reply
  • September 12, 2018 at 11:44 am

    In my experience, NPD is generational; narcissistic parenting creates a narcissistic personality structure in the child. Winnicott described what he termed the “false self,” or compensatory self created in defense of parental narcissism (characterized by inconsistent ignoring and intrusiveness and extreme enmeshment). But developing a “false self” is by degree inescapable, for it simply is the process of transforming the natural child who goes to the bathroom in his pants into a socialized human being. By changing behavior through constant reinforcement, the child learns to abdicate his natural animal impulses and wishes into something else (technically “unnatural”). The process of repression follows, and major problems in connection developmentally result in many adult mental illnesses (an example is imagining the typical behavior of a three year old child–impulsive, only able to think in black/white, rageful etc. and the adults we know who are “stuck” in the 3 year old developmental stage–it’s pretty scary when an adult has a temper tantrum). Although NPD parenting doesn’t create a child who will go on to develop NPD, it sure doesn’t help. More often I encounter people who have a sense of falseness about who they take themselves to be, a pervasive feeling of unrealness; they are shut down, held in and feel more robotic or “like a doll” than a spontaneous and expressive person. They report trying to fight an “insurmountable wall” in their quest to have a real experience of themselves. This problem can be seen in the way they carry and hold themselves and in the physical body itself (e.g. pale, shrunken, flaccid). Some therapists believe “muscle memories” must concurrently be worked on using rolfing or another therapy, as well as psychotherapy and maybe meds in the recovery process. Living in such an unreal state of being and moving through the world is excessively painful and isolating. Many will become obsessed with existentialism in their search for answers, which as Nietzsche indicated in the first Metamorphosis, was one of the main personality challenges to overcome in the fight for authenticity. These folks, self-aware and in recovery from narcissistic parenting/abuse, I have ultimate compassion for. The impulsive, deeply harmful, utterly lacking insight, exploitive and cruel NPD person, well, love them for being a being in the world, but keep your distance, protect your integrity, at all costs!

    Reply
    • September 12, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Eric,

      Your distinction between people who inherited intergenerational narcissism for whom we can have ultimate compassion, and those for whom we can love as beings but keep distance from, is a wise and useful point. Well said.

      Dan

      Reply
  • April 7, 2019 at 4:19 am

    this might seem hard to believe but I first met the narcissist in a work place when I was 24 years old – I have been stalked and harassed – phone tapped – access to some info on my computer- privacy invaded etc and I am now 67 years old – he made friends with my in-laws and they believe things he says – I got a divorce — he plays the victim so well – I was the evil seductress and homewrecker while he was the suffering victim – although I never touched him – he finds others to do his dirty work of harassing me – they believe whatever he says – I have to take medication – I am not stupid have a Master’s degree plus additional graduate work – he will not stop until I am destroyed – I have two great children and three beautiful grandchildren – he hates it that he has not been able to destroy me- and I am in a successful marriage – good standard of living etc – I think the only way I will win is to out live him — I need all the help I can get – any suggestions

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  • May 23, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    I was thrown by his position as an Anglican priest/minister. He’d been married 40 years, and I thought he was a safe bet for a relationship. Not so. He his behind his profession and the years of marriage. As our relationship failed, he admitted his wife left 4 times. I was never given any details, except she failed him, and she was “crazy.” Where had I heard that before? As I read your article, I realize my confusion, by his use of “empathy” and tears, was all a learned act that would give him more attention, each time he presented. I see each and every one of these, though his evil was definitely kept covert. It’s often depressing to have gone through this so late in life, but I”m glad to be free of his “control.”

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Yep every point is 100 percent accurate. The one that stuck out the most was NARCS DONT LIKE HUMILIATION…. and will retaliate with a vengeance! Well my ex plotted to destroy me when I humiliated him by taking all his clothes and belongings to his mothers house on a Sunday when all his family would be there…..I had good reason because he had spent the night out with another woman…. but stupid me let him wiggle back in and he made me pay for my actions with mind games ,more cheating, horrific verbal mental and physical abuse… even sexual abuse…. I literally became sick feeling physically and felt like the ordeals being with him were prematurely aging me in the face. One time he told me I was looking like I haven’t been sleeping and he asked me why I was looking so tired and I looked at him and began crying and all he did was have a smile or smirk on his face like he could care less…. that’s when I knew I had lost myself…. so when I started to make POSITIVE steps of going back to the gym, getting back out with girlfriends, and doing more stuff with my family…. this is when he discarded me…. I was hurt and blindsided then because I did not know what he was, but now I see why it bothered him that I was picking myself back up… he knew that the stronger I became, the less he could control, manipulate, or abuse me… and then his worst nightmare may come true… and that would be me finding a kind loving man that’s the polar opposite of him …. so of course he had to get me BEFORE I got him… this is who they are… always playing a game, you are always the opponent NOT their partner…. and I think it’s a game that no normal person male or female will ever ever win. I don’t think they can change it’s who they are, who they want to be, and physically meshed in their DNA….. I will never get involved with another N

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  • September 6, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    I always wondered why my mother didn’t like me as I never had any problems with the rest of my family, including my dad. Why did she look so smug when she made me cry? Why did she thrive when my life was difficult? Why did she undermine every relation I was in? Why did she punish me and not my brother? Why did she try to turn my family against me? Why did she do so many means things, say so many mean things? I didn’t learn until my 50’s that she had a narcissistic personality disorder. So now I understood, but that didn’t change anything until the day she died. Sad to say, I don’t miss her at all. I also made the mistake of marrying a narcissist and stayed for 30 years, always trying to make things good for him. That, too, was a lost cause. They undermine your self-esteem, make you think more than twice, constantly apologizing, having a bad image of yourself. I was very blessed to have family who loved me very much, but I keep reliving the pain they caused me and what I could have done differently.

    Reply
 

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