Things You’ll Never See a Narcissist Do

When we hear the term ‘narcissist,’ we often think of someone who is utterly self-absorbed, in love with themselves, and thinks they are better than everyone else. While this is partly true, there is more to narcissism than vanity and self-obsession. Narcissistic personality disorder is a severe personality disorder that affects 1-2% of the population. People with this disorder are so preoccupied with themselves that they can’t maintain healthy relationships, have trouble with emotions and self-esteem, and often engage in manipulative behavior. Here, we’ll discuss some behaviors that you’ll never see a narcissist do.

Admit Faults

Narcissistic individuals can be immensely defensive when it comes to criticism. They are unwilling to own up to anything that might put them in a negative light. Instead, they will shift the blame to someone or something else or downplay the severity of the situation. Narcissists believe that admitting a mistake will make them look weak or inferior, which is unacceptable in their eyes.

Show Empathy

Narcissistic individuals are often exceptionally insensitive to the feelings of others. They might dismiss another’s feelings, invalidate their experiences, or even blame them for feeling a certain way. Narcissists have a hard time putting themselves in someone else’s shoes and feeling genuine concern towards them. It’s always about them, their needs, and their wants.

Apologize

Apologizing is a concept that is foreign to narcissists. They find it difficult to take responsibility for their actions and demonstrate genuine remorse for their wrongdoing. Narcissists might offer apologies that sound insincere, but that is only to regain control of the situation or manipulate the other person.

Share Power Equally

Power is a commodity that the narcissist craves. Narcissists want to be in control of their environment and the people around them. They cannot fathom someone else having the same amount of influence as them. Therefore, sharing power equally with others is just not something that a narcissist can do. They need to be in charge and lead every situation they are in.

Be Vulnerable

Narcissistic individuals will not open up about their feelings or weaknesses. They see vulnerability as a weakness that can expose them to judgment and harm. They believe that they need to be strong and invulnerable to other peoples’ criticism or judgment, which is why they hide behind a confident, carefree exterior. Narcissists cannot show vulnerability because it threatens their sense of control and their invincibility.

Show Patience

Narcissistic individuals want things done their way and on their terms. Therefore, they are rarely patient with others. Narcissists lack the ability to tolerate delays, setbacks or wrangle with others, especially when things do not go their way.

Accept Criticism and Learn from It

Criticism is the last thing a narcissistic person wants to hear. Narcissists think of criticism as a personal attack, and they will become defensive and lash out to protect themselves. They cannot handle any opinion or feedback that puts them in a negative light in any aspect. Even constructive feedback provided to help a narcissist grow will be disregarded, denied or deflected.

Conclusion

Narcissistic individuals display several distinctive traits and behaviours that make them different from other people. They often believe they are more superior and entitled, and their insecurities and vulnerabilities reflect in their behaviors such as, being defensive, controlling, unwilling to take responsibility, lacking empathy, and showing impatience. Knowing how to identify these traits can help you navigate relationships with a narcissistic person.

FAQs

FAQs

1. What kind of behavior should I expect from a narcissist?

You can expect a narcissist to prioritize their own needs and desires over others, exhibit a lack of empathy, and have difficulty with criticism or admitting fault. They may also manipulate or use others for their own gain.

2. Why won’t narcissists ever apologize or take accountability?

Narcissists struggle with admitting fault or weakness, as they see themselves as superior to others. Apologizing or taking accountability would mean acknowledging their flaws, which conflicts with their inflated self-image.

3. Can narcissistic behavior be changed?

While narcissistic traits may be difficult to change, therapy and self-reflection can help a narcissist become more self-aware and empathetic. However, it is important to note that change must be initiated by the narcissist themselves, as they may resist any attempts to change if they do not see a problem with their behavior.


References

1. Raskin, R., & Terry, H. (1988). A principal-components analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and further evidence of its construct validity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(5), 890–902. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.54.5.890

2. Campbell, W. K., & Foster, C. A. (2007). Narcissism and commitment in romantic relationships: An investment model analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(7), 959–970. doi: 10.1177/0146167207303022

3. Back, M. D., Küfner, A. C. P., Dufner, M., Gerlach, T. M., Rauthmann, J. F., & Denissen, J. J. A. (2013). Narcissistic admiration and rivalry: Disentangling the bright and dark sides of narcissism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(6), 1013–1037. doi: 10.1037/a0034431