Proof. The empathic individual has certain traits which mean gathering proof and exhibiting that proof to the narcissist and other parties is highly important. An empathic person is honest, decent, believes in the truth and has to have the truth known. This is not done from any sense of gloating or about showing how clever and virtuous the empathic person is. The empath operates this way because: –
- They want the truth to be known by third parties;
- They want to demonstrate that they are correct;
- They want to preserve their self-worth by showing the truth of the situation;
- They want to show other people that the narcissist is in the wrong;
- They want to demonstrate to the narcissist that what the narcissist has done or said is wrong. This is often done to try to help the narcissist, to heal and to fix, rather than engage in point scoring;
- It is done to preserve their sanity in the face of the false reality and all its manipulations which are deployed by our kind.
It often takes an empathic person a considerable amount of time to realise that merely explaining what has happened to our kind gets them absolutely nowhere. You may know precisely what has happened but if your recollection of events, no matter how accurate, does not accord with what we require, challenges us, stops us achieving our aims or worst of all constitutes a criticism, we will do anything and everything we can to distort your truth.
I use the phrase ‘your truth’ because it is always important to keep in mind that with each and every situation there is the Empathic Perspective and there is the Narcissistic Perspective. For example, you serve food for everybody and you start with the person nearest to you and this results in our kind being served last. From the Empathic Perspective, you regard this action as the most practical and the politest. From the Narcissistic Perspective, we view this as a criticism; we should have been served first. This criticism results in us being wounded, this causes the ignition of our fury and we may storm out of the dining room through our cold fury or we may fling the plate at the wall as a manifestation of heated fury, either actions occurring in order to draw fuel to heal the wound that has been created by your criticism of us.
Thus, you have the same event but two different perspectives. If you tried to explain to us that you had served people ahead of us because of practicality all you would be doing is repeating the criticism to us and igniting the fury once again. We will only have regard to our perspective and in the ensuing conversation we would engage in deflection, projection, blame-shifting, word salad and other manipulations to reject what you are asserting. From your perspective it appears innocuous, an over-reaction on our part, but from our perspective our response is completely justified.
What of a situation whereby you suspect we have been cheating with somebody else? Let us assume you have followed us and saw us pick up another woman who we embrace in our car and then head off to some secluded spot, a hotel or another location for the purposes of the tryst. You do not confront us but observe and then wait for our return that evening. You decide to remain calm and when we walk in through the door you state,
“You are cheating on me with a blonde-haired woman. I saw you pick her up this afternoon, kiss her and then I followed you to The Happy Ending Motel and saw you go in a room together.”
If you said this angrily, we would draw fuel from your reaction. We would recognize that this is an opportunity to gain more fuel from you and therefore we would look for ways to provoke you further. You are also challenging us. Whilst it does not manifest as a criticism, we still do not appreciate you trying to challenge our superiority and our entitlement to do as we please.
If you made this comment in a calm and neutral manner, you do not provide us with any fuel. You are also criticising us.
You have seen what has happened. It is not hearsay but you have witnessed our behaviour and you have told us so, providing sufficient detail to confirm its legitimacy. What might you hear in response? There are many different replies.
Denial “No I haven’t. I have been at work all afternoon.” Yes, we will be this brazen. Lies come easily to us.
Deflection. “Yes I was dropping a colleague off. She is staying there for a few days and we needed to talk about a project. You know the new plans for the development in the Old Quarter, well we are involved in that now and we need to put a proposal together in a very short time.” On we go talking about something else.
Projection. “I wasn’t doing anything wrong, not like you and that fellow, what is he called, Mike, I saw you getting close to him last week when you went for coffee.” This may or may not be true, it does not matter. It serves to draw a reaction from you and allows us to move the conversation away from what we have done.
Blame-Shift. “Who do you think you are following me? Who gives you the right to do that? There is something wrong with you. I am sick of you trying to control me.”
Blame-Shift. “So what if I am seeing somebody else, if you put out more than once in a blue moon, I wouldn’t have to go elsewhere would I? I am sick of working hard and coming in to this kind of crap.”
Disappearance – we just turn around and walk back out and disappear to some bolt hole for a few days.
Denial and Projection “I think you are mistaken, are you imagining things again? You keep doing this.”
Deflection and Gas Lighting “Oh that, nothing to worry about there, she is new to the company and I was showing her to where she is staying until her new apartment is ready. I know her from the Southern Office, so I greeted her with a kiss, that was all. Anyway, I told you I was doing this last week, don’t you remember? Yes, I told you all about it over dinner, you must have forgotten again. You seem to be doing that a lot recently.”
Verbal assault “Who do you fucking think you are? You are a miserable old cow. Creeping around watching what I am doing. Jesus, you are so fucking sad, I am sick of you. Look at the state of you.” Cue a tirade of insults which may escalate into breaking things and even attacking you.
No matter how you try to point out to us that you have seen us, you know what you saw, you know what the other woman looks like we will not hear what you are saying.
If you keep going and do so in an emotional manner, all we focus on is the fuel that we are giving you and continuing to provoke you to get more fuel.
If you do it without providing fuel, all we hear is the criticism. This wounds us and forces us to seek fuel from you (or if you continue not to provide it we will be forced to withdraw and seek fuel elsewhere).
We will not accept what you are saying, no matter how convincing you are and no matter how much detail you provide. You will be accused of making it up, reading something into nothing, taking it the wrong way, being confused, being mistaken along with all and more of the other manipulations mentioned above.
What about providing some independent evidence to us? What if you have evidence from our phone, in a document, an e-mail, a sound recording or a video? You decide to show us a video of what we did that afternoon in the hope and expectation that we must surely accept what we have done. It is there, recorded and on the screen. How will we respond?
Once again, depending on the way you have conveyed this to us, you will have either provided fuel (telling us there is more) and you have challenged us or you have criticised us. Our perspective means we need fuel, we want fuel, we need to assert our superiority, we need to maintain control, we need to keep you submissive and manipulated. Astonishing as it may seem, you can expect reactions akin to those above and these as well: –
- We will tell you the footage has been edited to make us look bad;
- We will say that the footage does not show the whole picture and is taken out of context;
- We will say it is somebody who looks like us but isn’t us;
- We will try to delete the footage;
- We will damage the device on which the footage is held;
- We will produce some different evidence which points to some imagined transgression on your part and focus on that instead;
If you have independent evidence of any kind, its production engenders the same response as detailed above because we look at it from an entirely different perspective. You can expect the independent evidence to be attacked, tampered with or destroyed along with the plethora of manipulations that have been described above.
You may think that showing our kind definitive proof of our wrongdoing would cause us to hold our hands up and admit we have been caught. It does not work with our kind in that way. We have been designed to see things in a different way so that we will respond to protect ourselves from your criticism (or to draw more fuel and head off your challenge) and that is what we see and hear – criticism and/or fuel. These devices and manipulations occur because: –
- We are never at fault;
- We are superior to you;
- We must be in control;
- We are omnipotent;
- You are inferior;
- We are entitled to do what we want;
- We need fuel; and
- We hate criticism.
Save your independent evidence for the third parties. Save your breath and your sanity.
The only thing you will ever prove is how predictable, as narcissists, we are, when are confronted with proof.