False apologies from the narcissist and how to spot them.
The narcissist has no sense of accountability, and they believe they have the right to do what they want, when they want, with whoever they want. So they don’t think they have the need to apologise.
There is no emotional empathy or guilt to give them the feeling of any need to apologise. The false understanding that a narcissist has means if they’ve done something and have something to gain by using a fake apology, they will give one.
”I’m sorry you.” or ”I’m sorry but.” This is a false apology; the apology given is not because the narcissist feels the need to do so as they have no sense of remorse, guilt, or conscience. Most do not have the cognitive reflection skills to look back and see what they have done, once their mind is made up, it’s made up, that black and white thinking with no grey area. The false apology is only made to regain control, receive attention, regaining superiority, get their needs met, the apology is used as a means to appear sorry, yet it is never meant in a way someone with empathy would apologise. Some narcissistic people will never issue any kind of an apology, those that do it’s only to further manipulate those around them. They see a need to use the words, and they do not have the empathy to understand why they use them. They often use false apologies to prevent someone from leaving them or win someone back. To avoid disciplinary action at work.
Here are some false apology phrases you may have heard. If you believe the person to be a narcissist, these are a false apology. Also what they actually think when they feel backed into a corner and need to say words, to meet their own needs.
1. “ I went away because of you.”
When saying this, they think you did something that criticised them, even if you didn’t, they took it as criticism and wanted to make you suffer. They will not tell you what they were doing, more than likely they were either with the ex or their new target. Who the narcissist wanted to see because you in their eyes were not serving them at that moment, and the other was. They may have thought the other person criticised them in some way. Therefore the other person was no longer serving them, So they come back to you, pretending to be sorry. To control of you again.
2. “ If you’d listen to me more, I’d listen to you.” they’re not sorry they never listen to your opinions anyway, your thoughts and feelings are invalid to them. A Narcissist rarely hears your words. Instead, they pay attention to your emotions and what they can use against you. They will pretend to apologise, saying they’ll listen in future, this is so that you give them some positive attention.
3. “I’m sorry I hit you because you made me angry.” “ I’m sorry I trashed the house you annoyed me.” or “ at least I broke the door and didn’t attack you, you made me angry.” they will usually twist this into how you made them do it because you didn’t do something, or you said something, it will always be turned back onto you. They’re only concerned other people, or you might work out what happened, and they don’t want to be held accountable for their behaviour. They blame-shift onto those around them to escape responsibility, and once done most then believe it was the other person’s fault and as the believe their story to be accurate, they are extremely convincing at passing the blame onto those around them, as we look for the good in them, with their projected words we are often the ones left believing that we are to blame, you are never to blame for someone else’s actions towards you, they are in control of what they do.
4. “ I’m sorry I’m not good enough for you.”
They actually believe they are a better person than you, but they know you are fixated in making them a better person, helping them, changing them, healing them, so they gain some positive attention from you and hint that they will change with your help. So we then forgive them and try our best to help them.
5. “If you’d have paid me more attention, I wouldn’t have gone elsewhere.” They believe it’s your fault they went elsewhere as you don’t shower them with constant attention, admire them as much as you used to. They cheated that was their choice and not your fault. Reasonable people can make this mistake. Yet, they will feel guilt and remorse for doing so, some might come to you and admit fault, others will be too scared of the consequences, yet they would learn they didn’t like how it made them or you feel, and they would never do it again, those who continue to cheat are only interested in themselves.
6. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.” Or “ I needed to go out, but you were ok” basically if your Ill, it’s a case of they don’t care so they can not be bothered to care for you. just go to bed and get out of their way so they can then go and find someone who will look after them. They don’t care at all; they just don’t want you to leave.
7. “I’m sorry I want to change.” Or “ I didn’t mean to I just couldn’t help it you know what I’m like. I’m worried about what I may do without your help.” Saying a narcissist never lies this one is as close to the truth you will ever get. They are sorry for themselves that they are just trying to get through life and all these jealous, envious people come along to try and hurt them. Make them look the bad person when it’s not them, to them it’s all your fault. It’s always anyone else’s fault, and it’s never anything they did.
The phrases a narcissist will use to blame shift while apologising.
“ I’m sorry for whatever you think I did wrong.”
“ I’m sorry you feel that way.”
“ I’m sorry for what you think I did.”
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”
“ I’m sorry if you think I said that.”
“ I’m sorry if you think I did that.”
“ I’m sorry you misunderstood me.”
I personally, do not believe they are capable of saying “I’m sorry I was wrong.” or,” I’m sorry please forgive me.” With their lack of empathy, If any do they’ve probably heard it from someone and are now using it to greater manipulate.
Some narcissistic people will not apologies, those that do it will either be last resort to help themselves or twisted to why as to why it was your fault they behaved how they did.
If your narcissist ever apologised, how did they phrase it to you?
You can, and you will heal and recover from this.
Click on the links below to join, Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.
Video on why a narcissist can not say “I’m sorry.” And actually, change their behaviour not to hurt you again.
Why a narcissist always thinks they are right.
Why narcissistic people find it difficult to compromise.