The Narcissist and Gifts

What do narcissists think about giving? Well, the starting point is that we are a gift to the world and really, should there be any need for us to give anything more? Of course there is; the giving of gifts provides us with yet another opportunity to manipulate people, exert control and ultimately draw fuel. Some people think that narcissists may not want to give gifts because we hate to do things for other people. The latter part of that point is correct, but the simple fact as ever is that the end justifies the means then we will do that and if that means parting with some of our money to purchase a gift and spending some time selecting it, then so be it. You probably will understand however that when it comes to the giving of gifts, it is nothing at all to do with you. As usual, it is all about us.

  1. Gifts of Seduction. During the seduction of a victim, some of our kind revel in the grand gestures of expensive and wonderful gifts. There may be repeated gifts every few days or some large grandiose gift. Occasionally, we may give careful consideration to what will impress you most but it is always linked into how it will benefit us. The purpose of such gifts is to cause you to admire us, thank us and draw closer to us as a consequence of our generosity and our thoughtfulness. Don’t think that we have been that considerate. You will probably receive a similar gift to the last primary source. If worked last time, so we will do it again. Thus the Somatic Narcissist who selects victims who are into material items may well always purchase some Louboutin shoes for each victim. The Cerebral Narcissist will provide a weighty tome for you to read. Not only is this exclusive hardback expensive but he can tell you all about how much he knows about the subject later. We also rely on the fact that even if the gift is not precisely what you wanted, most people are delighted to receive gifts and during the wonderful, elating and mesmerising seduction, the whole of the effects of our seduction make the receipt of the gift all the more gratifying. It gains kudos from being given against a backdrop of compliments, love, amazing sex, days and nights out and so forth. By appearing thoughtful and generous we draw you closer to us.
  2. Creation of debt. We only give you a gift in order to get something we want and the provision of a gift automatically creates a debt in our mind. It might be that we will control you through this gift, it might be that we use it to gain fuel or to mollify you if we think you are on the brink of leaving us and denying us our fuel. No matter how lavish or expensive the gift, there will be a price to pay for it, either now or later.
  3. Creating the favourite. We often use gifts to create a favourite and generate division. For instance, if we have three nephews, who are still young children, we may give one a larger and more expensive gift to one and smaller and less expensive gifts to the other two and it is obvious. Children will react to this with jealousy, petulance and upset which will generate fuel. It does not stop there. The parents of the nephews may well react to this unequal treatment so there is more fuel forthcoming. If we are challenged as to why we have done this you can expect to be told,

“It is my money and I decide how I spend it.”

We are entitled to do as we want and when it comes to giving gifts there is no exception.

This favouritism will continue all the way through so that a golden child will always fare better at Christmas and birthdays than his or her siblings with the attendant problems that arise. We will even do this when we have gone with an unequal division of assets. The Thought Fuel that arises as we sign the will knowing of the in-fighting that will come about in due course is satisfying indeed.

  1. The Rubbish Gift. This is done by design and often unintentionally. Since we lack empathy, we see no need to consider what somebody else what might really want for their birthday. Thus, we provide them with a hideous jumper that is too big or a garish ornament. The look of dejection and disappointment on that person’s face when they receive a book about butterflies produces a good dose of fuel for us. Of course if they do not seem appropriately happy, this allows us to roll out comments such as: –

“But I thought you loved butterflies.”

“I looked everywhere for that gift.”

“You should be grateful you got anything at all.”

We know you don’t like butterflies. We found the gift in the bargain bin at the supermarket and we know you won’t be grateful, we don’t want you to be, so we can provoke you for some more fuel.

  1. The Residual Fuel. Flowing from the rubbish gift is the expectation that when we next call around the hideous statue of what is meant to be two dolphins in the foam but looks more like a frothing Quasimodo, should be pride of place on your mantelpiece. Alternatively, you should be wearing that migraine inducing jumper. If you are not, you can expect us to play the victim and make you feel guilty for not showcasing our generous gift.
  2. The Wrong Gift. The cousin of the rubbish gift. This gift may be a good gift but it is the wrong one. You may already have one of these items already and a second is of no use. It might be that you asked for a handbag in black and we have bought you one in brown, even though it is the same make. The shoe size might be two sizes out either way, the ring too small, the lingerie too small. We do this because you see the wrapped item and recognise it to be the item you have asked for and your excitement mounts, only then to be dashed by this narrow miss. Yes, you may be able to exchange it, but we will have lost the receipt and such like and we will still make a song and dance if you point out that it is the wrong gift or if you fail to look suitably happy. You can expect comments such as: –

“You have one already. Well, a spare shoe horn is always handy.”

“It is too tight? Not my fault you have put weight on is it?”

“You told me size 7, yes you did. Stop trying to blame me for your mistake.”

“So what if it I a different colour, you should appreciate I bought you something.”

  1. Forgetting a gift. It always provides us with fuel when you expect a gift and none is forthcoming. We derive amusement from seeing you waiting all day, expecting a delivery to the door, or hunting around the house thinking that we have hidden your gift. When evening comes and no gift has been forthcoming your annoyance, upset or dismay provides us with further fuel. We will of course apply selective amnesia or deflection to the situation.

“I thought the anniversary was next week?”

“It’s only Valentine’s day, you shouldn’t expect a gift.”

“You are too old to receive birthday presents now.”

“Is it your birthday? I thought it was on the 21st?”

  1. My gift. You are expecting a gift and there is something expensive sat on the dining table. It is not given to you but sits there all day until you eventually ask if it is for you only to be told it is not and it is for me. Cue crestfallen look and more fuel.
  2. The Respite and Hoover Gift. Part of the seduction family. If we want to bring you back into the Formal Relationship following discard or escape, or if we want to reinstate the golden period, we will supply you with gifts again and endeavour to make them thoughtful so that you provide us with positive fuel and we draw you back to us.
  3. Future Faking. Gifts are not immune from us always promising to buy you something amazing for that forthcoming birthday. This keeps you bound to us, you keep giving us positive fuel from your enthusiastic responses to our promises, but we fail to deliver. We draw fuel and then promise to get it for you for Christmas instead. You know what is going to happen don’t you?
  4. Charity Gifts. If we make some donation to charity whether it cash or equipment, or even items we no longer need for them to sell at a charity store, you can be sure we will let as many people know as possible of our generosity. This gains fuel and maintains our façade.
  5. Outdoing Others. If there is a christening, a baby shower or a wedding we will often go big with our gift giving. If you have a wedding list, we will go off list in order to be different even though that crystal orange juice squeezer is not exactly needed. This form of gift giving is nothing to do with you. The gifts are likely to be lavish and expensive but it is all about showing off and gaining fuel and admiration as opposed to buying someone what they actually want. Of course, any complaint or lack of appreciation will be met with us playing the victim.
  6. Recycling. You end up being given a gift which clearly was a gift to us which we did not want. In some examples we may have even left the gift tag on showing that it was for added reaction. We considered those lavender bath bombs we received to be a total insult so next door can now have them as a house warming gift. Even beyond this, we may even give you as a gift something you gave to us. Not only does this show us to cheapskates it also shows we do not think much of your gift. Fuel abounds.
  7. Proximate Fuel. We gain proximate fuel from witnessing the reaction of our victims to our manipulative gift giving. As you know, we like to cause a scene and what better way that doing so in person, at a party or an event.
  8. Thought Fuel. Gift giving allows a double whammy. We have the chance to gain proximate fuel when we hand the gift over and you unwrap it and we also contemplate your reaction when we are not there. Either siblings fighting over the gift, people expressing their hurt at a tasteless gift, a rubbish one or the wrong one, so we even gain fuel after the event.
  9. The Early Declaration. If we are being grandiose in our gift-giving you can expect to know about your gift on Facebook or similar platforms when we post pictures of it and tell the world what we have got you for your birthday. No surprises for you, but plenty of admiring fuel for us.
  10. What the Last One Got. We buy you a gift and we can see you are not happy with it, underwhelmed or even upset. Of course there will be no sympathy or consideration shown by us. All we will do is remark about what we have got you is bigger, better and more expensive than what the last primary source got and you ought to be grateful. This also works in reverse when we let slip that we did not get you something as good as what the last primary source received because you didn’t get a good birthday present for us (even though you will have done – the reality is no bar to our manipulations).
  11. The Last One Didn’t Appreciate My Gifts. If we sense that you are unhappy with our gift, we gain fuel, but we will also emotionally blackmail you into being please with it by telling you how mean the previous primary source was in that no matter what we bought him he never appreciated the gifts. Suddenly, you are gushing over the tickets to a local amateur dramatic performance of Macbeth, even though you hate plays.
  12. But Look What I Gave You! This is done for future manipulation. If you fail to do something in the future, fail to submit and do what we want, we will hark back (and do so repeatedly) to that marvellous, rare and expensive gift we once got you. As I mentioned above, you always end up paying for the gift in some way.
  13. The Target. The gift we have given you and one which you like and cherish is used in the future as a device to manipulate you and draw fuel form you. We threaten to break the gift or we do break it. We hide it or take it from you. After all, what is ours remains ours and what is yours is still ours anyway since we are entitled and do not recognize boundaries.

Gifts and the act of giving provide us with so many opportunities to draw fuel both positive and negative from people, bind people to us, control them and manipulate them.

What is your experience of the narcissist and gifts?

7 thoughts on “The Narcissist and Gifts

  1. Angela says:

    Last Christmas he got me a gift that he had promised me for 25 years, I was elated to finally get it. Tho the motive was confusing, my initial thought was… why now? We are not gonna be here next Christmas… then I realized….. it was my parting gift. The last gift or promise he felt he fulfilled. The last discard

    1. Getting There says:

      My ex husband waited until the end to get me a gift that showed he knew what I liked. It took others to explain the symbolism at the time. He can keep the meaning; I kept the nice gift.
      HG has explained that there is no such thing as the last discard.

  2. Omj says:

    I have had this year a wonderful gift , something I really wanted.
    He bought it at a friend’s store who told me after how great he was and how he wanted to make me happy etc
    The night before my bday he brought the gift wrapped and let it there for me to see with the card.
    He pretended he did not remembered what this gift was doing in his house and he opened the card in front of me – telling me «  what a silly card that is »
    Then he put back the card opened on the gift.
    In the morning he said «  go open the gift it is for you »
    I opened it and it was really something I wanted.
    Then he left for the day – no hugs ( he always do) pretending he was sick.
    So he behaved like an asshole and gave me a wonderful gift and had many witness knowing about the gift .
    Eventually he almost wanted to keep it for himself.
    I stayed calm and smiled all the way through his comedy and I could feel he was really pissed that I did not reacted or did not said anything about his shitty card that he opened.
    I got the gift and it is a unique piece in the world.
    I will make sure he does not get anywhere close to it.
    I left and another IPSS came in the day of my bday.
    Of course .

  3. WokeAF says:

    The one & only gift (in 5 years) my ex LMR narcoholic gave me was a birthday gift as my bday came right in the middle of my FIRST AND ONLY bronze period. I’d returned after 8 months of solid NC. He had suddenly realized I was “the one” and I got a bronze period of about a month that trained off slowly. The gift was nice, but felt like he’d grabbed the first thing he saw. What blew me away was how he was just SO impressed with this gesture ..he told everyone about it and actually brought himself to his famous drunken crocodile tears at how touched he was by his own gesture LMFAOOO. He totally co-opted my whole birthday by making such a fuss that he got me a gift, THIS PARTICULAR gift, how the cashier saw how emotional he was buying it, on and on and ON.
    It was a stupid long wooden plaque that said “Together Is My Favourite Place To Be.”
    Totally the opposite of how he treated me.

    I use it as a fireplace poker now.

    1. WiserNow says:

      WokeAF,
      It’s not a laughing matter at all and I’m sorry that you experienced this, however, your comment made me roll my eyes at the sheer selfish ignorance of narcissists. It’s hard to believe at times.

      Reading your example of how he was so impressed with his own gesture of giving you a gift, and then imagining the actual gift, if I was you I would have whacked him over the head with that silly plaque. Their gift giving, like most other things, is all about them.

      It reminds me of a relationship I was in some years ago with a victim narc. As our first Valentine’s Day got closer, I was looking forward to a romantic exchange of gifts and took the time to choose a card and gift. Well, he gave me a gift voucher😏

      He bought it at the last minute and rationalised it by saying I could buy something for myself that I really wanted. Anyway, I went shopping and happened to find a silver dress ring in the shape of a love knot. I bought it with the voucher and rationalised it to myself, thinking it was appropriate as a Valentines Day ‘gift’, even though I bought it myself.

      The irony was that some time later, I came across some information about basic knots and I learned that the love knot (technically called a ‘square’ or ‘reef’ knot) was one of the most unreliable knots and can come undone very easily so cannot be trusted! 😂

  4. empath007 says:

    Neither one of us bought gifts for each other. I don’t care about material things and he hated getting gifts… which was fine by me I’d rather he just pick out what he likes instead of complaining about what I got him 🤣 lol.

    Do narcs hate receiving gifts normally?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, the receipt of gifts amounts to fuel.

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