The Narcissist’s Understanding and Use of Tears – Part Two



Having ascertained that the commission of tears arising from physical and/or emotional hurt resulted in a sympathetic reaction from certain people, I committed this to memory. I have rarely encountered much physical pain as a consequence of capability and nullifying threats before they impact on me, enjoying good health and one of my professions being one where one is at most at risk of a paper cut rather than an errant chainsaw, collapsing ceiling or chemical ingestion. The early conditioning that I have been subjected to, as I know understand, appears to have resulted in me being impervious to many emotional injuries that others suffer from. Even the horrendous sensations which arise from my wounding as a consequence of criticism does not cause the tears to fall. Instead, I must focus on repairing the wound through retreat or the instigation of fury in order to gather fuel. The attention this requires means that I do not suffer the immediate reaction of becoming upset. I must feign upset in order to attract the required sympathy and in doing so I use that issued sympathy in order to bring about the control I require over the subject.

My tuition in the art and use of crying later embraced a different catalyst and one which has served to drive me ever onwards and upwards. I have many gifts and of those the one that was cherished most by my father was my academic ability. As I have mentioned beforehand, he was a very intelligent man, well-read and with an interest in the world at large, something which be bestowed on all his offspring. This served him well in both his careers of commerce and then academia. His was the steady hand at the tiller of our academic progress and he sought to steer a path through the choppy waters of my mother’s ambitions for us, our own desires and what he felt would serve us best. The three, as might you expect, were not always compatible.

I excelled at school which naturally resulted in my progression to sixth form college and I was always destined for university. Naturally it was to the most prestigious that I was directed towards and I achieved admission whereupon in such a fertile environment I began to flex my tendrils as I embraced my dark art, but that is a tale for another time. Alongside this I flourished at my chosen discipline and eventually I graduated with a double first. It was this achievement which Dr E honed in on in one of our discussions.

“So a double first, quite the achievement,” he remarked. I nodded. He was not wrong.

“What did your parents think about it?” he asked.

“My friends once they had their results went racing away to telephone their parents to let them know the outcome. I didn’t.”


“It had already been arranged that I was meeting my parents for dinner that evening and I would tell them my degree result once we ordered.”

“What did you think of that arrangement? Weren’t you keen to tell your parents sooner of your success?”

“I suppose so but I knew there was little point. Even if I had tried to telephone them, nobody would have answered. My mother would have deliberately absented the house so I could not reach them so as to avoid spoiling the anticipation at dinner.”

“So this arrangement was at your mother’s behest?”

“Of course. Who else? If I achieved the expected outcome the evening would pass pleasantly, if I did not, I would be subjected to a lengthy cross-examination unable to avoid it by putting the telephone down.”

“I see. It was fortuitous then that you achieved such an excellent result.”

“Fortune had nothing to do with it. This dinner was placed in the diary as soon as my mother knew when the examination results would be posted. It was a further incentive for me to achieve what was expected of me.”

Dr E nodded and made a note.

“How did the meal progress then? How did they react to news of your achievement?”

“Once our orders had been placed and the waiter walked away, my mother turned to me and asked ‘Well?’ I responded with, ‘I obtained a double first’ and she answered by saying, ‘As expected. I will make the call,’ and she left the table to telephone the other family members to let them know, probably her brother first of all out of them all.”

“No mention of well done or congratulations?” asked Dr E.

I shook my head.

“And your father?” he asked.

“My father waited until my mother was out of earshot and he reached across and placed his hand on my arm and said, “Well done HG, very well done, that is a fantastic outcome. I know just how hard you have had to work for that result. It is a magnificent result, truly outstanding. I am so very proud of you son, very proud indeed,” and then as he said the word proud his voice cracked and I looked up into his eyes and I could see that he was crying. I had never seen my father cry before. Ever. I had seen him concerned, downcast, worried and so much more, but never the tears. His face was fixed with a huge smile and he tried to speak again but he was overcome with pride. Pride for me. Just me. I had not seen anything like it.”

“How did you feel about him showing such pride for you?”

“I was taken aback but then I felt this surge through me and it felt amazing. It was visceral and ever so powerful as I continued to look at him, the tears filling his eyes and he kept nodding. His hand patted my arm, I can still picture it now. He wasn’t able to speak but the look on his face and that nodding told me that somehow he felt that the job was done, the mission had been accomplished and he was proud of me for doing so. I have never forgotten that moment.”

“Why?” asked Dr E.

“Because the way I felt when I saw my father cry tears of pride at my achievement made me want to see that again. The sense of power that he imbued in me, his praise, his pride, his adoration of my achievement was so edifying that he made me strive even harder. Oh, my mother thinks she is the driving force behind my success and it would be wrong to say she has not been. She has been a huge influence but from that point onwards, my postgraduate achievement, my securing employment and advancement through the hierarchy to where I am now and also in terms of what the future may bring has been driven by my father. I wanted to feel that power again and for that to happen I wanted to see those tears of pride again. So I worked damn hard. I never knew that pride would make someone cry. I never knew that someone’s proud tears would make me feel so powerful.”

“I see. Did you see those tears of pride again from your father?”

I felt the first flicker of the ignition of my fury at this question.

“No. Once again something special to me was taken from me.”

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10 thoughts on “The Narcissist’s Understanding and Use of Tears – Part Two

  1. k mac says:

    Tears welled up in my eyes. Such a sweet story about your father.

  2. WiserNow says:

    Well done HG! You achieved excellent results back then and you are still achieving them. You now have recognition all over the world for your unique skills and efforts.

    I’m curious HG, was your father codependent?

    1. WiserNow says:

      …to clarify HG, was your father a CoDependent? That is, in which school of empath did he belong?

      He *was* codependent in the general sense of the word. My question related to his empath school.

  3. Joa says:

    Yes. Carrots always work better than a stick.

    Praise. One of the most valuable things for me.

    This often loses me.


    Once again, I envy you such a Father.

    1. WiserNow says:


      From this post, I can understand why you would envy HG’s father. While reading, I could see a couple of things that made me think differently.

      The following points stood out to me:

      1. HG’s father waited until HG’s mother was out of earshot to congratulate him and tell him he was proud of HG’s achievement. That tells me his father walked on eggshells around his wife. Instead of being spontaneously proud and openly showing his pride and love for his son who had just announced a major achievement, he was careful about whether or not his wife would hear him.

      I recognise that kind of careful and slavish measuring of words and actions by a father. From this one example, it doesn’t stand out, but when it happens many times over years and years, it feels like a betrayal.

      2. HG was very surprised by his father’s show of pride and tears. HG said, “Pride for me. Just me. I had not seen anything like it.” At this point in life, HG was probably in his early twenties. When I think about HG’s surprise at his father’s words and tears, I wonder why HG had never seen anything like it. In twenty years or more, there would have been a number of times a father would have shown pride or said things to praise what his child had done or achieved. While reading I asked myself, why would it be the first time it has ever happened if a father was empathic?

      These were a couple of things I asked myself while reading. I know it was a lovely thing that HG’s father was so proud of HG in that moment and I am glad he was. The details I mention, plus the ending that leaves a question hanging in the air, made me wonder.

      1. WiserNow says:

        *…why you would envy HG for having such a father.*

        1. Joa says:

          WiserNow, why do I envy HG such a Father? Exactly this moment with the Father. It’s easy. Because I never had a chance to hear my father’s voice, see his face, the way he moves, gestures, I never heard his laugh, never looked him in the eyes, I don’t know who he was at all.

          I only have clues, his photos, his school and professional diplomas, very meager scraps of information. My mother is reluctant to talk about him. Honestly, her information is not reliable, I have heard many versions of his death for different people (accident, illness, murder, suicide – each in several variants). I suspect that this is the most embarrassing version of a spectacular suicide, that I almost forced out of her in the crossfire of questions when I was in my 20s.

          From memories – only bad things about him. Only bad.

          Photos. He is with me in almost all of them, and my mother is with my sister. One of them has the signature: “Joa – father’s daughter, (sister’s name) – mother’s daughter.” I am very much like him.

          I would give a lot to spend an hour with him, or at least look at him. Instead, since I was 2, I am emotionally attached to his grave.

          I wouldn’t even dare to dream about a moment that HG can keep in mind.


          That’s why my daughter knows a lot about her father, only the good and happy things… hmmm… She can only guess the dark feature. And that’s why I did everything, when he came back years later, to give her a chance to talk to him. And I do not regret it. Because I know how important is THIS ONE TALK…

          1. WiserNow says:


            Thank you for your comment and for telling me honestly about your father.

            I am sorry you haven’t had a father in your life. It must have been very difficult and painful for you.

            While I am grateful for having my father in my life, there are things I am not grateful for. If you have read HG’s book called ‘Chained’, you will have some idea of the kind of relationship my mother and father had. My father was dependent on my mother and she – being a narcissist – was very manipulative and critical of him and he didn’t fight back. He couldn’t really fight back because it would have made things even worse and it wasn’t his nature. While I am grateful for his constant presence, I grew up feeling like I needed to be *his* parent and protector.

            Although I love my father dearly and I have compassion for him, it has affected my life very much that he is codependent and unable to change.

            When I first found HG’s information, I thought how fantastic it would be to have a loving, happy relationship with a man. Reading the many stories from the readers here, I realise that such relationships are rare. Now, I see my initial thoughts as wishful or magical thinking.

            Perhaps your thinking that just seeing your father or knowing him would have made a big difference to your life may also be wishful thinking for you. For instance, would you allow your daughter’s father to be with her as she grows up? Would you be content if her father raised her?

            We are here to learn from each other about the many different aspects and effects of this subject. My comment above gave one idea or piece of information that showed something about the behaviour of HG’s father from a different angle.

            Thank you again for your comment Joa.

          2. Joa says:

            Not having a father was not that painful for me. You don’t miss something you don’t recognize. I just wondered what kind of man he was, what he had been through. Thoughts intensified after the birth of your own child, genetics.

            Father’s defender. I feel it. Sometimes I think – you were weak, you could have waited, you could not do this, I would have protected you…

            WiserNow, I haven’t written that meeting my father would have a big impact on my life. Simply – I would like to have a chance to get to know him for a moment, to feel him. How was he. Who was. How much of he do I have. The curiosity of another person. Identity.

            The moment HG described was beautiful. It is worth appreciating.

            My daughter’s father. He has parental rights taken from court. She is basically brought up already 😊

            Would I let them meet? Yes. If she wants to meet him, talk to him, see what kind of man he is. Yes. Preferably on neutral ground.
            She is 16, so she will decide for herself.

            Once, they texted to each other on my phone. In English. He did well, he praised her for knowing the language very well, they were joking. Step forward.
            They also spoke once – on my phone. In fact, in a spontaneous and fun way, I forced it on them – impulse. Unfortunately, he wanted to charm her too quickly, to win her over to his side. He alienated her. 50 steps back.
            Maybe it’s better that it happened.

            But I’m glad it happened (+ some of his other gestures towards her), regardless of this failure. I am grateful to him that he dared (however strange it sounds) and endured being burned. Contrary to appearances, it changed a lot in her. For the better.

            Thank you 🙂

          3. WiserNow says:

            You’re welcome Joa 🙂

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