Do Narcissists Cry? - Are They Genuine Or Crocodile Tears?

Last updated by Katie M.

We hear so much about narcissists, yet so many questions remain unanswered, especially regarding their emotions and the authenticity of them. Shedding tears requires a deep sense of empathy and the ability to feel and understand pain, however, on paper people with this particular personality disorder don’t match up to the criteria necessary to well up. The truth is, narcissists CAN cry, however behind the stream of tears lies ulterior and less genuine motives than in most people. Trust me, I should know, because I used to date one and can assure you that everything they do is self-serving…

Do Narcissists Cry? - Are They Genuine Or Crocodile Tears?

I dated my ex for just over a year and really got a close insight into the workings of his mind and what made him tick. It’s fair to say that a narcissist' mind works differently to most people, and therefore they do not experience feelings in the same way we do. Their overinflated egos often mean they view expressing their emotions as a weakness, and in consequence, they choose to bottle them up in most circumstances.

Narcissists can cry, but not for the same reasons as us

My ex was always completely stoic, even in the face of intense grief and loss. I remember when he lost a close member of his family, it was as if he was empty to the point where he was dead inside. Although the death of his uncle was somewhat expected after a long period of illness, my ex-partner seemed totally unaffected by it and almost robotic, whereas I was totally distraught despite only ever meeting him twice. The need to be in constant control had taken over at that point, and he was completely incapable of even acting like he was impacted by the news. His lack of empathy and willingness to be perceived as anything other than strong meant his relationship with his emotions was very unhealthy in every aspect of his life.

>>> Find out what a narcissist hates

My ex only cried in front of me and that was because he’d lost his job

Narcissists have a superior self-image and need to feel admired and important in their daily lives because they simply can’t bear the brutality of reality. They need people to look up to them and to believe that they have got it all together, especially when it comes to their professional life. Although the most traumatic events will never succeed in provoking sympathy from them, when on the other hand their ‘superior image’ is threatened, then they can get emotional. Despite my ex always hating his job, he was absolutely beside himself when he found out he was being let go. The cocktail of shame, rage, and loss of self-worth was too overwhelming for him and provoked a river of tears. Although he wasn’t crying because his financial situation would become difficult, but, rather because he was afraid that people would think less of him and look down at him.

>>> Read up on why crying feels so good

There's only one thing that truly makes them emotional…

Narcissists are obsessed with their appearances and feel a deep need for people to hold them in high esteem. They need to convince people that they live perfect lives where everything always goes to plan. That's right, it’s totally out of the question for them to let the mask slip and for cracks to appear in the facade that they’ve spent so much time creating. Upset woman

Grief, trauma, and loss might not impact them, but the idea of looking bad or weak terrifies them and is virtually the only thing that makes them emotional because it exposes their true reality. 

What happens when a narcissist sees you cry?

If you get emotional around someone with a narcissistic personality, they will simply be incapable of comforting you because they lack empathy. Essentially, their brains work differently to most people’s, which means they are unable to understand why we shed tears. These folks are completely out of touch with their emotions and block them out to the point where they are virtually incapable of recognizing and acknowledging them. When they see someone cry, they’ll likely ignore them and simply continue going about their day without even asking them what’s wrong, or whether they can do something to make them feel better.

Editor’s opinion: Not being in control is a narcissist’s biggest fear

Our fears torment us and are often at the source of our emotional breakdowns. Yet, when someone close to you who suffers from this personality disorder breaks down and cries, you’d be forgiven if you were to question how genuine they were. We mustn’t forget that narcissists want to be in constant control and will go to any lengths to get people on side, including manipulating situations.

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

#BornToBeMe

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Comments

Hi! I enjoyed your article BUT I'm sorry I disagree with you and the narcs crying. They cry for attention AND so you'll feel sorry for them and do EVERYTHING underneath the sun for them...It's ALWAYS about them any freak'n way tears and all.....

I agree with Wendy. Lots of narcissists use crying to fake empathy, manipulate people and for attention. I knew a narcissist that cried every single day. She tears up and sniffles. It was always for a mostly for a short period and never wailing crying or shaking. It would be a few tear drops and that’s it. She uses it to get out of trouble, to get people to do what she wants, to be coddled and babied, to seem sensitive and empathetic. You can tell it’s narcissistic tears because of the frequency (daily tears, multiple times a day). Also, the can start and stop crying very quickly. If you cried, they wouldn’t care. You realize they aren’t that kind or sensitive when they pick fights, are super critical, manipulative and cold towards. They love to play with your head and emotions.

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