Dr E explained that he wanted to discuss with me the issue of regret.
“Have you ever regretted anything?” he asked.
“No,” I answered promptly.
“I see. What do you understand by regret?”
“It is a feeling of sadness or perhaps disappointment over something that you have done or failed to do.”
“When have you experienced that feeling?” he asked.
“If I tell you that most people have regrets, which ones would you remember?”
“Which of their regrets would I remember?” I asked. He looked up at me over the top of his red and black note pad and raised his eyebrows.
“I haven’t had any,” I repeated.
“Why do you think that is?”
“Let me see. Probably because I have had nothing to express regret about. The absence of something tends to be the reason why you have not something, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Okay. Now in your many explanations to me you have explained some of the things that you have done. Yes,” he noticed I was going to interrupt him but he kept going, “I know you detailed those at my behest and I appreciate you sharing that information with me. Those acts of commission and omission led to people feeling angry with you, hurt and upset. Would you agree?”
“Okay. Now I would suggest that one might feel regret at having caused those people to feel that way. Would you agree?”
“You might feel a sense of regret Dr E but I do not.”
“Why is that?”
“Why to which part? Why you might feel a sense of regret or why I do not?”
If he was irritated by my pedantry he was not showing it.
“Because I am not at fault. In all those instances it is the other person’s fault.”
“How about some examples?”
“Okay. Kate’s dog went missing. Do you remember me telling you about that?” He nodded. “If she had cared for it properly and given me the attention I deserve it would not have been lost. Christopher who was fired from his position, he was incompetent. Emily kept asking me the wrong questions so that is why she was treated in that way. Sophie kept asking me what I was thinking so that is why I lost my temper and smashed her television. As for Paula, she was late so I walked off and left her to find her own way home. Do you want me to go on?”
“No, that is sufficient.”
“If people tried harder, if they were more thoughtful then this would not happen. I can do it so why not they? I will tell you why. They become weak and complacent. They think that they can not invest any energy into our relationship, whether intimate or not, any longer. If you do not feed something it will wither and die. They brought it on themselves and they are the ones at fault. My reaction was perfectly natural. I was entitled to respond the way I did. They cannot judge me, they have no jurisdiction to do so, certainly not when they let me down every single time. They bring it on themselves with their weakness and their whining, their reluctance to do what is needed, what I need. It sickens me doctor, it truly sickens me.
Have you any idea how difficult it is to find someone who retains my interest, someone scintillating enough to match my brilliance?
It is impossible. I try Dr E, I bloody well try to I offer them the world in the hope that just this once they will match my expectations and not let me down.
It always happens. I am always let down. She did it the first time and then it happened again and now it is repeated.
Why? What did I do that was so wrong to deserve being treated like this?
I regret nothing doctor because nothing is my fault.”
12 thoughts on “Regrets”
It’s about ‘reassurance’. Reassurance that you won’t be ‘let down’. Reassurance is a BIG word. Trust is also a BIG word. People don’t ‘get it’ unless they experience it. I’m closing off now and will say ‘goodnight’.
“Have you any idea how difficult it is to find someone who retains my interest, someone scintillating enough to match my brilliance? I bloody well try to I offer them the world in the hope that just this once they will match my expectations and not let me down.”
RE: my comment on ‘Don’t Fail Me’ – resonates with this article. The intelligent ‘conversations’ that I never had the chance to have, yet the understanding was there.
Of course, nothing is ever the narcissist’s fault.
Hi HG I was wondering if a narcissist dose not regret what he/ she has done because the other person caused that reaction by something the did or said or something they failed to do or say dose the narcissist feel easily triggered and not in control of his/ her emotions like fury rage
just asking because it sounds like their behaviour is a direct result of something or someone else
most of the narcissistic people in my life seem easily triggered into tantrums especially if they are trying to get a reaction from me and I am aware of it and refused to give a reaction because I know that it’s what they are after
Also I have had narcissists go to extreme measures to get a reaction from me I have tried just ignoring it but it seams to make them worse I can not remember a time I didn’t have a narcissist in my life and I am assuming I will probably always attract them so I’m trying to figure out how to not get caught up in it also things like triangulation don’t work on me they use to I am actually a very confident woman and I don’t get jealous I have had the whole tool kit used against me so if I see a red flag I try to back off rather than chase after answers like I used to and friend zone them and they get really nasty sometimes and I guess I would like to know if they even understand what they are so mad at because it doesn’t make sense to me how they could have control over their own emotions to behave like that
There is no regret because:-
1. Our self defence mechanism causes us to see what we do as always right.
2. There is no genuine self-reflection because that is unnecessary (we are right and we operate in the moment, not in last week)
3. Regret is for the weak and therefore in order for us to assert control and maintain it, we are deprived of the sense of regret.
4. Any narcissist which expresses regret is actually manipulating you, it is part of False Contrition.
This is helpful to me. Thank you HG for the explanation.
It was actually a defence mechanism that I was referring to I understand the rest you’ve been very informative with How are the narcissist thinks and feels
it’s just a defence mechanism is generally because of a trigger shame guilt fear etc it’s usually something with someone is trying avoid dealing with So up go to the guards and justification and reason become almost like a crutch to avoid dealing with that emotion or situation and taking responsibility I know narcissist don’t do that you don’t need to tell me but even Non narcissists normal ones or empaths seems to have a defence mechanism Using excuses or trying to reason the behaviour of it is not socially or. morally acceptable I’ve seen many supposedly empathic people men and women justify cheating Or allowing themselves to stay in third-party situations knowing that the person has a husband or wife Just find it to themselves that he’s not happy etc
probably gonna get some backlash for this but I don’t see how that sort of behaviour is any different to say narcissist who have their defence mechanism triggered I’ve even done it myself at times sometimes being honest with yourself is really hard because we see a shadow side we don’t want to go I do anyway and denial is easier but it doesn’t make sense for someone whether they are a narcissist or not to have a defence mechanism without reason there has to be a underlying issue anger is a secondary emotion which means something triggers it And that is the case with everybody I think the only difference I see as narcissist go to extremes and have no remorse of the damage that they do To another person as apposed to somebody who does have regrets and is empathic and wants peace and harmony It’s just that if that is the case that’s a really vulnerable spot for any narcissist to be in and I am more referring to narcissist or narcissistic action with a trigger each other
I once looked at this article as you having no conscience. Therefore you have no regrets.
Now I see it differently.
“If people tried harder, if they were more thoughtful then this would not happen. I can do it so why not they? I will tell you why. They become weak and complacent. They think that they can not invest any energy into our relationship, whether intimate or not, any longer. If you do not feed something it will wither and die. They brought it on themselves and they are the ones at fault. My reaction was perfectly natural. I was entitled to respond the way I did. They cannot judge me, they have no jurisdiction to do so, certainly not when they let me down every single time. They bring it on themselves with their weakness and their whining, their reluctance to do what is needed, what I need. It sickens me doctor, it truly sickens me.”
You do not regret hurting others because their punishment is deserved.
It’s a very different take on this article for me today.
Ns do not take responsibility for anything whereas, we judge ourselves for past behavior or our lack of behavior (but we were doing the best we could at the time). Ns blame others, whereas we take too much responsibility for what happened (but our actions were only one element of what happened). Ns only worry about the actual present not how things might have been different whereas, we think our lives would be better now (but we know that past is as over as Ancient Rome and can’t be undone).
Thankfully, we can also change our thoughts such that we have no regrets.
Beautifully said, BC30 <3
Change is everything in terms of being able to move forward for us.
The inability to change is what keeps the narcissist driving forward.
Once again, opposite sides of the coin.
Without the ability to reflect or gain insight there can be no change.
And without those there can also be no regret.
(I'm being generous in leaving out the lack of conscience, empathy and remorse – what a trifecta!)
Yes I used to have regrets. But HG has completely transformed my thinking. Absolutely no point in dwelling on the past. Before that was just words. Now i absolutely just don’t regret anything. Just pick myself up deal with the now or anything which lays ahead.