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 moves them…
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.
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.
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.
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