Knowing the Narcissist : Empathy and Irony




Many people state that my kind and me lack empathy. I don’t like that attitude. First of all it amounts to a criticism and I am not to be criticised. Secondly, empathy is regarded by some as the ability of blurring the line between self and other. The handy dose of empathy pictured above underlines this. In fact I am amongst the best at blurring the line between self and other. I am a champion at it. One of my killer lines of seduction is to declare

“I don’t where you end and where I begin we are merged into one.”

If that is not a blurring of the line between self and other I do not know what is. I repeatedly explain that I see people as extensions of myself, they are objects that become subsumed within what I am as I swallow up their identity and use their traits as my own. Blurring of lines? I would argue that that is an obliteration. By that definition I am absolutely oozing empathy aren’t I?

The third reason that I do not like the suggestion that I lack empathy is that empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others. Again, I understand the feelings of others to a high degree. How can I manipulate those feelings if I do not understand them? Some of our kind instinctively behave in a manner which causes manipulation. They do not have much thought behind the process but they act in this fashion because it is all they know. It is all they have been conditioned and programmed to do. They do not need to consider what they are doing because it just happens and then the manipulation unfolds. Those of us at the greater end of the scale of narcissists do consider what to do in terms of our manipulation. We are always plotting and scheming as we reflect on the best way of manipulating you to do what we want and provide us with our precious fuel. I sit and consider the most effective ways of wielding my devilish toolkit in order to provoke and engender the most rewarding emotional reactions from you.  I work through the schemes and machinations as I dream up new ways of provoking you. I analyse your life, what you do and what you say and then work out how I can then use that material to make you react.If I did not understand how certain things would make you feel, how can I know how best to manipulate you? I understand all about your feelings because I watch you and I observe and I remember. I have done this many times to your type and therefore I have built up an acquired knowledge of the ways that people such as you will react. I sit and consider what I can do to make you hurt, make you cry and make you frustrated. I know you so well I know exactly which buttons to press. I know which emotions to coax from you and because I understand this I know precisely what to do to achieve this. For some of you a cold front of silent treatment will make you pour forth that fuel as you frantically call and cry, worried as to why we have stopped speaking to you. With others a prolonged period of triangulation brings out the emotional response required because you always compete with someone or something that you perceive as a threat.

The fact you show your feelings so readily is joyously received by us. You provide us with a manual from which we can learn. We can mimic your emotions so our fakery continues to draw you in, make you feel sorry for us and have you focussed on us. Your exhibitionism in this regard allows us to understand which emotions run deepest in you and also the ways in which these emotions can be brought to the surface. We have to know how you feel so we can then influence how you will feel. I understand your emotions. That is demonstrating empathy is it not? Would you now say that we lack empathy?

You cannot say that we do not care about your feelings either. We care about them because we need those feelings because they provide us with fuel. We need to know that you will feel and show those feelings to us. We care very much about your feelings as without them we would be denied our fuel and that is fatal to us. We care about your manifestation of those feelings and that they are directed towards us. What we do not care about is their effect on you. That is of no interest to us because it serves no purpose to us. If you are left anxious, unable to eat or sleep then all we care about is that your anxiety is shown to us. The impact on your health and well being is of no concern to us because that does not provide us with fuel. It is not our role because of the way we are to make you feel better (unless of course that is required in order to obtain further fuel) but it is our role to make you feel so you give us fuel. We have no interest in the day-to-day or long-term effects of how you are feeling just so long as you can keep showing your emotions to us and giving us fuel. We have nothing to gain in alleviating your sadness. We have no interest in offering solutions to make your pain and misery go away. That is the brutal truth.

Don’t say however we do not understand how you feel. We most certainly do because we have to know this in order to exploit your feelings further. Indeed we often make you feel that way on purpose so we know exactly how you feel. We need to know the best way to pull on your strings and this means understanding how you will feel and react. So that is empathy for you indeed. Who would have thought it? Empathy from the devil. How ironic.

4 thoughts on “Knowing the Narcissist : Empathy and Irony

  1. EveBea says:

    Does anyone read the things that they sent to the narcissist in the past again and think “ what was I doing”? It is almost like reading the expressions of a stranger, so odd to read something that you can now not relate to or understand. I think that is the only way I can now make sense of it.

    I was literally another version of me when I was interacting with him. He linked into a specific level of my ego, and it was that part of me that engaged with him. The part he feed. I am hopeful that the version of me that was found by him, and feed by him, is now malnourished and weak.

    The pattern / wiring is still there, but the weakness of the addiction gives me hope that quietly walking away from him and never returning, really does mean a freedom for me, that he will never experience in his cage of narcissism.

  2. Contagious says:

    Also HG I am reading a book Luckiest Giel Alive tonight about a Colobine situation. Mother and killers friend are talking years later and saying yes he was a psychopath but there were moments. “ He was like a big protective brother.” “ He could be such a kind caring son.” And it dawned on me … is it possible that empathy can be real at times that this notion that there is no empathy is not bullet proof that it’s a case of a broken unconscious that like all human neurons, biological and psychological parts are not absolute but on a spectrum with possible incompleteness like a phantom limb where som real empathy resides and emerges Al bough a whisper. Have you felt that? Why do you think it’s absolute like a pregnancy? Could it just be very bad omen but dominant? That would make more sense like a spectrum, the variables vary. It could make it more troubling as dominance would dominate. Perhaps my education is lacking… it could mean why my ex husband I spent 7 years with definitely doesn’t resonate as a narcissist but he was diagnosed as ASPD. That resonates but not in your blogs about psychopaths that seem put him in another class or classification. And although he has his shortcomings as a father like Tony soprano he showed up for his kids. They matter for what reason I don’t know. I wonder whether all of of it is a spectrum of many colors and myriads like a scyliedascope ( can’t find spelling but you know what I mean) Am I wrong HG? Is it more complicated than we ever imagined? co- mmorbidies upon classes upon respites or breaks? Does this make sense or is it that defined as you teach?

  3. Contagious says:

    Hey HG you say you are without empathy but “ know it”. It’s not the same is it? You can’t truly know something you don’t have. You can see symptoms like a doctor but you cannot cure the source. It’s incurable. Take love. You understand that some love their children so much, they would give their life for them. You would not. So your actions would not completely simulate the emotion nor could you go to the depth of that emotion which is a shame as love is everything. With that being said your work is good work, it saves lives. You could have gone the other way and helped narcs succeed. There are less of them and more of us in the general population but among the greaters, they would readily have paid for this help. BUT you didn’t. And I personally don’t think it’s because of therapy or even the “ grand design” as you are very capable of archiving that goal without this legacy… unless you consider His design and it afterall powerful and mysterious.

  4. EveBea says:

    I don’t think I will ever truly understand or really know the ‘narcissist’, not in any real whole body / mind sense of understanding. I believe that my empathy will always block me from understanding fully, as the information does not emotionally compute. Half of a picture leaves me with more questions then answers. Cognitive understanding is only half a picture. I am exhausted, and tired of my own curiosity, and drive to understand what happened and why. I don’t think I can explore anymore sites, engage with any more therapy, maybe the answers just aren’t there.

    The main thing I have Summarised in my mind is that none of it was real, nothing he said to me was about me, none of it was true, because even if in that moment if felt like a truth to him, it was still just what he needed to be the truth and the story of us in that moment. I could have been anyone, it wasn’t personal, about me, for me, relating to me at all. I was just a puppet on a stage that provided a perception of what he needed in that moment. When I de-personalised it, it helped a little in one way, but my heart or ego? Ached nonetheless.

    Apologies for the random blurt of words, I re-visited the site here as I felt that people here were more honest about the reality of their experiences and cycles of interactions with narcissists. I felt the need to have a blurt of honesty too . I am so tired of the cycle, I saw him a month ago in a shop, I walked past him without acknowledging him, in that moment I felt a sense of achievement as I didn’t have another emotional response, fear or affection or anything, I thought that was a true marker of freedom.
    Clearly got too cocky, because here I am a month later, sleep deprived and reading about narcissism again.
    I guess the only person who can make a real change in my life and lived experience is me, and I will only manage that by addressing the underlying addiction to the narcissistic cycle. Hopefully I will get there fully some day. I have no idea if any of this makes sense, but it has helped me in this moment to write it out. Thank you

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