It’s tough to begin to understand why some people can hurt us so badly, cause so much pain. Most of us just want an Apology, two little words “I’m sorry.” And it seems narcissists are simply incapable of giving one if you’re unlucky enough to get one. It’s usually fake to meet a need of their own or twisted onto something you didn’t even do. “If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t.” You just can not get a straight genuine apology from some people.
Not all people that will not say sorry are narcissistic. Most people who’ve been around a narcissist are programmed to say sorry even for things they don’t need to. Most people do not enjoy admitting fault and saying sorry, significantly if they’ve unintentionally hurt someone or made one genuine mistake. It’s hard to swallow pride and admit fault sometimes. It’s even harder to admit wrongdoing when you know full well how you’d feel if someone had done that to you, fear of reactions, fear of hurting them and losing them. Narcissistic people only fear what might happen to them, what they will lose. They are not concerned for how the other person feels or the pain it will cause, so they will not feel the need to admit fault and definitely no need to apologise as in their mind they’ve done no wrong.
This also further manipulates our emotions. We are left feeling hurt, angry, and wondering why people can not care enough about us to say those two little words correctly.
So what makes it impossible for those narcissistic people just to say, “I’m sorry.”
The act of saying sorry to someone for something you did wrong means actually admitting fault for your own actions or mistakes that you have made.
For narcissistic people who believe they are above all others. want control, dominance and power, the act of admitting wrongdoing on a permanent basis is not possible. They might do in a moment to meet a need of their own. However, most don’t, and those who do will either blame it for something we did or a few days later forget they ever even said sorry.
To be able to admit that we’ve done something wrong means having a certain level of self-esteem, which is good information for us, as most of us are left with self-blame due to the manipulative words fed to us by narcissists, most of us can admit our faults and even those that are not ours. Meaning when we leave believing we have no self-esteem, we do actually have some to start building ourselves back up. Narcissists, although they’ll never admit it, are deeply insecure people with shattered self-esteem and find it a great challenge to say sorry, as admitting fault within themselves would destroy their entire self-worth and the false reality they’ve created as to who they are, acknowledging that they make mistakes and hurt others, would open the floodgates to a whole reservoir of emotions they are trying their best to keep so profoundly hidden, the shame and inadequacy, the vulnerabilities they keep buried deep within would be opened up, not only for them to see but others also.
They lack the empathy to care that they hurt us or that they hurt anyone. Some have very little understanding so that they might care in a moment, yet that moment is soon lost. They don’t class our hurt as their fault, and they see that our hurt is ours, and that’s for us to deal with, not them.
To be able to say sorry, people need to be vulnerable and admit to the fault of their own actions that hurt others, and this is far too scary for narcissistic people. They’ve buried their feeling deep, and it’s far too painful to bring them up, as this would leave them open to feelings of hurt, it would damage their pride and ego, the false reality they’ve created for themselves. They genuinely fear not being perfect. Making mistakes is part of human nature. It’s how we learn. Failure is our first attempt at learning, and failing to recognise it at any point means we as humans then don’t learn. With empathy and thoughts towards others feeling, it’s easy not to do something to hurt another in the first place, as most narcissistic people are lacking empathy they never see it from how it would make another person feel, only how others might perceive them when they get caught out, why they will start the smear campaign to avoid any feelings of shame, blaming all others and getting their enablers and flying monkeys to give them attention and support while destroying the true victim, we might have once been that enabler, believing the narcissists lie so well, as their lies are their reality, they tell them so convincingly, it’s only once out we realise we too were duped, conned and exploited, why there is no point holding any judgement or resentment to the new person, one day they will painfully see, unfortunately, just like we had to. More understanding and more awareness will help, rather than more judgment and negativity towards others. There are enough negative narcissists in the world without us being negative also. Normal to feel these emotions, we just have to find our way to break free of the negativity.
This is why we can heal and move forward in our lives, and we can see errors we make, we can be vulnerable, we can admit to our mistakes, to ourselves and to those we trust. We have the ability to learn and grow from our mistakes. This is why narcissistic people stay stuck in a repeat pattern, hurting themselves and those around them. They are unable and unwilling to ever look at themselves for the mistakes they make, meaning they can simply never learn from them, as they never are grown in a positive way. They’re stuck in that negative mindset.
Narcissistic people enjoy the Havoc they wreak on others’ lives. That high dopamine rush they get from the drama leaves them addicted to the drama, which is why it’s hard for us to break free. Living with the high low cycles of narcissistic abuse releases dopamine from the highs, and cortisol from the stress, causing our bodies to become chemically addicted. Like breaking any addiction, you need to know the reason why you want to break it. You need to know the outcome you want for yourself. If you start missing the narcissist, focus on the reasons why you need to get out or stay out. The positive outcomes you want from your life now, your mind will find a way when it knows those two things, no contact helps massively if that’s not possible then it’s limited contact—then finding new hobbies, creating new routines to fill up your time in positive, happy ways, talking to yourself kindly.
Narcissists have a fear of loss (we can all fear loss.); however, with a narcissist, it’s not a fear of actually losing you, more a fear of losing what you provide for them, where we wouldn’t put ourselves in a situation that might mean we’d hurt someone we love. ( or if you have remembered, we all make mistakes.) Most learn from that never to do it again, and most will feel guilt and admit fault and say sorry, then change their behaviour so as not to hurt others again. Narcissistic people believe they’re entitled to do as they please, they don’t lie to protect your feelings, they lie in case they don’t like the choice you make after you find out, then no longer serve their needs, why if they do get caught they will try many manipulations to make you suffer, from provoking you by not answering questions, causing arguments so they can blame it on our reactions and play victim, to the silent treatments, which makes us feel more pain, and reach out for that apology, explanation to end our pain and suffering, if the narcissist has no other source available, they might promise change, or offer to go to counselling they know we are forgiving people. Once we forgive, they are straight back to doing it all over again. They are just incapable of learning, respect, morals, trust, empathy or care towards others. A narcissist would have to admit to so many mistakes and open up to so many vulnerabilities to change who they are truly, and as they see themselves as perfect and it would crush their already damaged self-esteem, meaning most are incapable of doing so.
Narcissists change reality, they change stories, they change partners, they change homes, they never change themselves.
To narcissistic people acknowledging or admitting any wrongdoings makes them feel weak. They don’t realise this very effort not to feel weak actually makes them weak, destructive, unhappy individuals—often pushing all those around them away one by one, growing old most end up alone.
Admitting to mistakes having the ability to care and respond to others in the right way, most people can unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings. When they do, they recognise it, see how they’ve made them feel, apologise and make sure they don’t do it again. Admitting any errors in Judgment, any mistakes, is being respectful and compassionate towards others and ourselves. That’s true confidence within ourselves and our abilities, genuine empathy towards our feelings and others. It’s not a weakness to recognise your own faults. It’s a strength. This doesn’t mean taking responsibility for others’ wrongdoings that needs to stop now, and accountability needs passing back the rightful owner.
To summarise, a narcissist lacks the empathy to care. They do not have the thought process to understand how their actions would hurt another before they act, they feel no remorse after they act, they can not admit fault as this would damage their ego and pride and the false self they’ve created, they can not open up to their own vulnerabilities or insecurities. Therefore they do not have the ability to acknowledge how their actions make others feel. They do not feel the need to say sorry as in their distorted reality, they’ve done no wrong, and any problems in their life are always someone else’s fault.
Don’t wait for a sorry. If you get one, it’s just further manipulation to meet their own needs. Instead, learn who they are and why they do what they do, understand what you’re dealing with, give yourself an apology and forgiveness for putting up with the behaviour you should have walked away from yet didn’t know what you were dealing with and tried to help them. Focus on new dreams and a new happier life for you. Know your outcome, know you’re why, then keep going until you find the way. Steps back and mistakes along the way are allowed. It’s how we learn and what makes us human. No one is perfect.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
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