Are Narcissists Aware Of What They Do? Do They Act Intentionally?

Last updated by Katie M.

When it comes to people with narcissistic personality disorder, it is often difficult to distinguish the truth from the common misconceptions. In this precise case, I thought it was about time we took a closer look at their psyche and inner workings of their consciousness, by addressing whether they are privy to their condition. After all, people with such an intense sense of entitlement and serious lack of empathy must realize that they are narcissistic; right? Well, in fact, the answer to that is not exactly black and white, so let’s take a look at why.

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Their awareness depends on the extent of their disorder

There are different degrees of narcissism, and precisely where people place on the spectrum determines how aware, or in certain cases oblivious they are, of their actions. If, for example, someone displays worryingly selfish tendencies couples with a grandiose sense of entitlement and a thirst for success, power, and brilliance, it seems legitimate that they may be completely blind to their unacceptable behavior, because they are so used to it. However, if the disorder is less pronounced and seemingly less dangerous for people’s mental health, then red flags may go unnoticed, and these folks may remain covert. Indeed, it’s the severity of the disorder that influences the sufferer’s self-awareness and capacity for introspection.

Beware of giving narcissists the benefit of the doubt

Now, as I’ve said above, most experts agree that the seriousness of this disorder impacts its acknowledgment, but we must not forget that narcissists are excellent manipulators. Lying, inventing stories, and getting their own way are all second nature to these deeply devious personalities, meaning that they are capable of absolutely anything. Yes, that’s right, many of these folks would indeed be accomplished in the art of fooling their entourage into believing that they are blissfully unaware of their toxic actions. After all; how can we realistically blame or confront someone who we suspect to be a narcissist about their behavior when they deny recognizing it as toxic?

The bottom line is, these cunning personalities never want to be ousted and exposed for what they are deep down, and will go to the ends of the earth in order to maintain their power and deny their abusive tendencies. Plus, they are experts in pulling the wool over people’s eyes and making others feel sorry for them, which explains why they should never be accorded any special treatment or excessive sympathy because it will only blur the lines in your relationship and could put you in a vulnerable position.

>>> Discover the 10 signs that you are a narcissist

Denial is their favorite weapon

People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) pretend to be ignorant to their harmful actions in order to keep their victims where they want them. If anyone ever dares to call them out on things they have done or said, their master plotters will use their charm to worm their way out of the conflict and keep the peace. They’ll want to appear rational and therefore may even apologize for coming across in such a toxic way, however, they evidently won’t mean a word of what they say. When they apologize, they may even make outlandish claims about feeling awful for the way they’ve come across and promises about wanting to change in the future. Whatever they concoct as an excuse for their toxicity, you need to keep in mind that words are just words and in this case, their so-called apology is a cleverly constructed plan which they believe will get you on their side.

Even if many of them are aware of their behavior, they just don’t care enough to change

If you have ever dated or even been friends with someone with this personality type, you’ll have no doubt wondered; can a narcissist change? Well, to put it quite bluntly and perhaps brutally for some, the answer to that is; no. No, they can’t change because their inherent traits are simply too dark and furthermore, they don’t have the willpower or determination to do so. They love being in control, and the only solution they see to keeping their power is by manipulating their victims in order to keep them under the thumb. Plus, they need to feel important, and the power rush they get from taking charge helps to validate their superiority and status.

Editor’s opinion - Tread very carefully

When dealing with disorders such as this one, you need to be very careful not to get sucked into the drama and thrown into a state of confusion regarding what you first believed was true. If you suspect that someone is toxic, then the sad truth is, your first instincts were probably right, so don’t let anything they say convince you otherwise. The idea is for you to preserve your mental health, and the only way to do this is to create distance between yourself and a potential abuser.


🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

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