Do Narcissists Know They Hurt You?

Are narcissists aware of their behaviour and the fact their behaviour often leads to pain in those who are close to them?

We can make sweeping generalisations based on research and the study’s done by psychologists, the theories based on scientific research, based on characteristics of the disorder and those who’ve lived through it.

However, whether it is intentionally, consciously done or instinctively, subconsciously done all depends on the narcissist you’re dealing with.

When it comes to a narcissist, if they feel criticism in some way, if they feel like they’re losing control over another’s mind, not getting their sense of entitlement met, feelings of envy towards what another has, fearing abandonment or exposure when they feel like they’ve been called out on something they definitely (to them.) did not do, when they’re not getting their own way when you’ve set a boundary, when you attempt to hold them accountable, for these reasons and more narcissists suffer from a narcissistic injury.

An injury is a physical trauma to the body with an external force. It can also be actions or words that trigger emotional trauma and psychological trauma. Emotional or psychological trauma can be just as painful as physical as it hits those same pain pathways within our brains.

We can all suffer from psychological trauma. However, there are those who internalise and help others not suffer how they have and those who take it personally to the point they seek to make another suffer to feel better about themselves.

When a Narcissist suffers a psychological injury, they seek to punish the person they believe in having hurt them, either sexually, psychologically, physically, financially, mentally, or spiritually. They draw people into the narcissist’s game of psychological Warfare that the victim doesn’t even know they’re playing.

A narcissist seeks to humiliate, criticise, judge, shame, and punish the person they believe isn’t doing as the narcissist wants.

While doing this, a narcissist seeks to gain a reaction from the very person the narcissist is targeting to hurt, so the narcissist can twist the story and blame the other person, so the narcissist can avoid taking any responsibility for their behaviour by passing the blame over to someone else. To distract the victim away from what the narcissist is genuinely feeling or doing.

So yes, when narcissists feel hurt, they can intentionally and consciously seek to hurt another back. However, they don’t want to admit to this. Therefore they’ll shame and blame the other person.

Or when a narcissist believes you’re questioning their sense of entitlement, so when they arrive home, and they’re busy looking at their phone when you ask if they’ve had a good day, they think you’ve interrupted them, so they begin to ignore you, the more you try to ask them what’s wrong the less they’ll talk to you, they do this to frustrate you, to hurt you. They listen to everything you say so that they can use it against you. They are seeking to hurt you. However, when it comes to a narcissist, you will always be stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you don’t ask them how their day has been, this also questions their sense of superiority, and they seek to punish you.

You are dammed if you do, and you’re dammed if you don’t.

If a narcissist believes you’re not meeting their needs, many will intentionally think of ways to punish you through conscious thought, and they know what they’re doing. Others instinctively seek to punish you, and their subconscious takes over doing what they know best, manipulative, hurtful games to get at you, so although it’s done through their subconscious. They might not know. They know enough to recognise if you or others found out what they were genuinely doing, it would paint them in a bad light. Therefore they lie, deny and do all they can to gaslight their behaviour away, as their image, whatever that image is to that narcissist, is the most important thing to them, themselves.

When a narcissist believes you’re not giving them the attention they believe they’re entitled to, either intentionally through conscious thought or instinctively through subconscious thought, narcissists seek to gain that attention elsewhere. It’s a win-win for a narcissist as they can love-bomb another, a parent, friend, boss, child, new supply etc., to get positive admiration from them while ignoring and hurting you because, in their minds, they believe you didn’t live up to their requirement, however, no matter what you do for a narcissist as they’re envious of others and seeking external validation it’s never enough for them. A narcissist enjoys making others feel jealous as it makes the narcissist feel important. Sometimes a narcissist isn’t intentionally trying to gaslight your reality. Sometimes they’re flirting with another in front of you to bring out feelings of jealousy within you intentionally, so they can feel smug within themselves that they have control over your feelings because they seldom have control over their own. Then when you go to communicate how you feel with them because they felt jealous that you weren’t giving them the attention they believed they were entitled to, they consciously provoked a feeling of jealousy within you. Instead of communicating with you, they’ll validate your valid feelings by invalidating you and saying, “You’re jealous.” To confuse, frustrate, hurt and provoke you.

Always trust you’re instincts. They know what they’re on about even when you don’t.


Narcissists often believe you deserve what you’re getting. They believe because you didn’t give them the attention they felt like they were entitled to, it’s your fault they went elsewhere. “If you’d had paid me more attention.” When we listen closely enough to not take things personally as to what they are accusing us of and listen to what they are saying, we understand how they treat us says nothing about who we are and everything about who they are.

Narcissists seek excessive attention. It’s a characteristic of their disorder programmed into their subconscious. If they don’t get the attention they believe they’re entitled to another characteristic, they’re going to seek it elsewhere, and to them, it’s your fault because you didn’t give them the attention they believe they deserve, and even when you do, due to their envy they always seek more. They lack the empathy to care for how their behaviour affects you.

To a narcissist, the world revolves solely around them, and if this is their subconscious thought process, when you don’t do what they want, you’ll hear them say . “The world doesn’t revolve around you.” Their projection, as they see the part they don’t like about themselves within you. However, as they’re the self-entitled hypocrite, it’s one rule for them and another for you.

Yes, with many narcissists, they intentionally seek to hurt you with a conscious thought process. With others, it’s instinctively done through the subconscious mind based on learned behaviour as to what’s worked for them in the past. With either, they lack empathy to care about you. They only care about getting their own way.

When they cover up their lies and deception, some intentionally cover their track through conscious thought, others instinctively from what’s worked in the past, subconscious thought.

They are aware enough to know that they can’t behave in specific ways around certain people, showing on some level they are all aware.

Often we want to know if they’re aware, so if they’re not, we can wake them and help them. Calling a narcissist out on their behaviour doesn’t make them change their behaviour. Often they suffer a narcissistic injury, and their behaviour gets worse.

When it comes to dealing with narcissistic people, there are those who, once you can manage your emotions and state of mind around them, recognise who they are, no longer allow their thoughts to impact yours, you can limit time and grey rock, others it needs to be no contact as those with a lack of empathy, lack the ability to care enough to stop them taking things to far, your safety comes first, you can not help them. However, they’ll try their best to blame you for their behaviour and guilt-tripping you into believing and helping them.

You cannot appeal to the conscience of those who lack one; however they will appeal to yours. E.S.

You can help yourself move safely away from them and focus on making your thoughts work for you so others can no longer use them against you.

Do narcissists know they hurt you?

Calling a narcissists out.

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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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