5 Things a Narcissistic Partner May Never Say

Narcissism defines a behavior where people are self-centered and focused on self-inflation. It’s a personality disorder in which people think extremely highly of themselves and don’t empathize with other people’s feelings and needs.

Narcissists have an excessive sense of self-importance and lack empathy for others. They prioritize themselves and don’t care about their partner’s feelings or needs. In a successful relationship, both partners should give and take, but narcissists focus solely on what they can gain, disregarding their partner’s worth and emotions.

1. “I hurt your feelings, and that is not okay.”

Narcissists often get upset and defensive when their partner shares a feeling they don’t like, especially if it involves the narcissist doing something hurtful. Instead of showing empathy, they tend to avoid taking responsibility and might shame, dismiss, or withdraw affection as a passive-aggressive punishment. They rarely admit their mistakes right away because they are usually very defensive, and it can take them days or even weeks to realize they did something wrong, and even then, they may not fully understand how their actions hurt you.

2. “You have every right to be upset.”

In a relationship, a narcissist often struggles to understand and empathize with your feelings, as they find it hard to connect with your emotional distress. Empathy means they should try to feel what you’re feeling, which can make you feel less alone and closer to them. However, narcissists might avoid empathy because it’s emotionally challenging for them and can make them feel vulnerable. Instead, they tend to sympathize, which means they pity you and want to be the hero by giving advice or trying to solve your problems. This helps them boost their ego but doesn’t provide the emotional support you may need.

3. “I’m glad you told me that bothered you–I’ll try to be more considerate.”

Addressing issues with a narcissist can turn into a big fight. They often refuse to see things from your point of view, and it can be frustrating to make them understand. They struggle to admit even small mistakes and may label your attempts to discuss problems as aggressive. They might play the victim and accuse you of being the one at fault. They might also project their behaviors onto you, like calling you a liar when you confront them about lying. Narcissists are usually too defensive to reflect on their actions and use feedback to grow and change.

4. “What I did was insensitive – I apologize.”

Narcissists usually see themselves as always innocent and rarely admit to being insensitive or rude. Instead, they may accuse you of being too critical or impossible to please. They justify their selfish actions as reactions to your “unfair criticisms.” They find it hard to genuinely admit when they’re wrong, except when you’re about to break up. Even then, their apologies often minimize their wrongdoing, and their insincerity shows in their repeated hurtful behavior. They lack true empathy and remorse, so their apologies are often just words to avoid trouble, and they rarely apologize when it really matters.

5. “I would be mad too.”

A clear sign of narcissism is the lack of empathy. Narcissists often shame and dismiss your feelings if they don’t align with theirs. They expect you to feel the same way they do about the relationship. If you express a different feeling, they may react with anger or passive-aggressiveness, withdrawing their affection. This can make you censor your feelings out of fear of rejection, leading to shutting down parts of yourself. It can be dehumanizing and even traumatic when someone denies your right to feel. The struggle to be heard and understood can lead to feelings of loneliness and shame.

Share Your Thoughts:

Have you identified these behaviors in your own encounters? We’re eager to hear from you – feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and let’s explore the world of narcissistic behavior and its effects on relationships.

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