Narcissists, those individuals who display an excessive sense of self-importance and a perpetual need for admiration, often have a peculiar tendency to return as if nothing happened. This behaviour can be puzzling, frustrating, and sometimes even infuriating. However, understanding the underlying reasons for their reappearance can shed some light on this perplexing pattern.
Have you ever experienced a situation where someone you know, perhaps a close friend or a family member, acted like nothing happened after hurting you? It can be incredibly confusing and emotionally challenging, so you’re not alone in feeling this way.
When a narcissist acts like nothing happened, it can leave the victim feeling bewildered and hurt. You might find yourself questioning your own perception of reality and wondering if you’re overreacting. It’s important to remember that your emotions are valid, and your feelings deserve to be acknowledged.
One common emotion that arises is frustration. It can be frustrating to see the narcissist brush off their hurtful behaviour as if it meant nothing. You may begin to doubt whether they truly understand the pain they’ve caused you or even care about your well-being.
Feelings of betrayal may also surface. It’s natural to expect empathy and remorse from those we trust, especially when they’ve caused harm. When a narcissist disregards your feelings and fails to take responsibility for their actions, it can feel like a betrayal of that trust.
Moreover, a victim might experience sadness. It’s disheartening to realise that the narcissist’s denial or avoidance prevents any possibility of resolution or healing. You may long for them to acknowledge the impact of their actions, apologise, or offer support, but instead, they maintain their self-centred facade.
As you navigate through these emotions, it’s crucial to take care of yourself. Surround yourself with supportive friends and loved ones who understand your feelings. Seek solace in activities that bring you joy and help you heal. Remember that self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary for your own well-being.
Lastly, always remember that the narcissist’s behaviour is a reflection of who they are, not a reflection of your worth. Cultivate self-compassion and remind yourself that you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Healing and recovering from the pain inflicted by a narcissist can take time, but with patience and self-care, you can emerge stronger than ever before.
So just why do narcissists return like nothing ever happened?
One major motive behind a narcissist’s return is their desire to extract something from you. Whether it be emotional support, financial aid, or some other form of assistance, they perceive you as a means to obtain whatever it is they need at that moment. Narcissists excel at manipulative tactics, and by returning to your life as if nothing happened, they hope to exploit your willingness to help others and take advantage of your compassion.
Another reason why narcissists may act as if past wrongdoings never occurred is their belief that you owe them something. They may genuinely think that you need to make it up to them for any perceived wrongdoings on your part, regardless of whether they were the actual instigators of the conflict. In their distorted worldview, they see themselves as victims and maintain a deep sense of entitlement, always expecting others to compensate them for anything they’ve ever done to others or for others.
Sometimes, a narcissist’s return is driven by a desire to hurt you further by witnessing your reaction. They may have engaged in covert actions behind your back, deliberately intending to inflict pain or garner a reaction, whether it be anger, jealousy, or sadness. Observing your emotional distress gives them a sense of power and control, satisfying their insatiable craving for dominance over others.
Additionally, a narcissist may reappear because they require something from you. This could range from seeking validation and adoration to using you as a means to reinforce their own self-esteem. Narcissists often rely on external sources to validate their self-worth, and your presence serves as a constant reminder that they are still capable of influencing and manipulating others for their personal gain.
One prevalent belief held by narcissists is that they are never at fault for any wrongdoing. They possess an uncanny ability to shift blame onto others, usually the ones closest to them, including you. By returning as if nothing happened, they perpetuate this narrative, asserting that it was all your fault. This manipulation tactic not only absolves them of any responsibility but also allows them to maintain their inflated ego and self-image as faultless individuals.
In some cases, narcissists choose to ignore the original topic or conflict altogether upon their return. They divert attention away from the issues at hand, conveniently sweeping them under the rug. This diversionary tactic serves to control the narrative and prevent any accountability or genuine resolution. By avoiding the unpleasant confrontation, they can continue to uphold their self-perceived perfection.
Another reason why a narcissist might come back is to make others feel jealous. They absolutely love getting emotional reactions out of people, so when their current source of admiration or attention fails to satisfy them, they will turn back to an ex to teach them a lesson. This behaviour is just another cunning tactic they use to maintain control and satisfy their constant hunger for attention. Punishing their new supply is yet another reason why narcissists may return as if nothing happened. They view their new romantic interest or source of narcissistic supply as an extension of themselves. By asserting their presence in your life, they inflict emotional turmoil on their current partner, demonstrating their superiority and desire to maintain control over the people around them.
In many cases, narcissists genuinely believe they did nothing wrong. Their lack of self-awareness and empathy leads them to dismiss their hurtful actions as inconsequential. They are unable to comprehend the pain they may have caused you and are thus bemused by your emotional response. Their detachment from reality and lack of accountability contributes to their tendency to return as if nothing happened.
Furthermore, narcissists often see no reason to apologise. In their minds, they are always right, and any apology would undermine their grandiose image. They have a distorted perception of themselves as faultless and untouchable, making genuine remorse or regret impossible for them to grasp.
Lastly, narcissists may return because they believe you want and need them. They thrive on the sense of control they have over you and the emotional influence they hold. By reinserting themselves into your life, they hope to regain a position of power and exploit any perceived emotional dependency you may have on them.
It is important to note that the above reasons are not an exhaustive list, and each individual narcissist may have their own particular motivations for returning as if nothing happened. However, it is crucial to recognise and understand these patterns in order to protect your own well-being and establish healthy boundaries when dealing with narcissistic individuals.
When faced with the reappearance of individuals who have previously exhibited narcissistic tendencies, it becomes imperative to navigate these encounters with thoughtfulness and caution. Although they may attempt to resume their presence in your life as though no harm had ever been inflicted, it is vital to prioritise your emotional well-being and ensure healthy boundaries are in place. Here are essential guidelines to consider when dealing with the return of narcissists who have seemingly forgotten the pain they caused you:
- Acknowledge the past: Recognise and honour the experiences that you endured at the hands of the narcissist. Understand that their ability to overlook their previous actions does not negate the emotional impact you encountered. Validate your own feelings and emotions before attempting any communication.
- Reflect on personal growth: Assess your own growth and development since the time you distanced yourself from the narcissist. Recall the lessons learned and the strength you have gained during your journey toward healing. Understanding your own worth and resilience will fortify your stance when confronted by their return.
- Set clear boundaries: When dealing with narcissists, setting firm boundaries is crucial to protect yourself from potential harm. Reframe the relationship as distant rather than engaging in close personal involvement. The best boundaries are physical, psychological and emotional distance when dealing with narcissists.
- Prioritise self-care: Make your own emotional well-being a priority. Surround yourself with supportive individuals and indulge in activities that promote positivity and personal growth. Engaging in self-care not only reinforces your well-being but also emphasises healthy boundaries and self-respect.
- Seek professional guidance if needed: If you find it challenging to cope with the reappearance of a narcissist or struggle to establish boundaries, consider consulting with a mental health professional specialising in narcissistic abuse. They can provide guidance, strategies, and support tailored to your specific circumstances. (Sponsored.). https://betterhelp.com/elizabethshaw
In conclusion, encountering the return of narcissists who seem to have forgotten the pain they previously inflicted requires careful consideration and protective measures. By acknowledging your experiences, setting clear boundaries, prioritising your well-being, and remaining cautious, you can navigate these encounters while safeguarding yourself from potential harm. Stay true to your personal growth and emotional resilience as you move forward in your journey towards healing and self-empowerment.
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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.