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Don't Make This Common Mistake With Your Narcissistic Mate

People with NPD have very little capacity to care about anyone but themselves.

Key points

  • Narcissistic mates do not actually care about how you feel once they have won your love.
  • Narcissists do not want to hear about your day, your worries, or anything else that does not directly enhance their life.
  • If you go to them for sympathy or soothing, they just become annoyed or go through the motions or find a way to blame you for being unhappy.
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It is very hard for relatively normal people to actually understand how narcissists think and feel, especially in romantic relationships. During the courtship, people with narcissistic personality disorder act enthralled with you. They tell you that you are perfect and everything about you is lovable and special. They may give you thoughtful gifts and hang on to your every word. In essence, they do everything possible to convince you that the two of you are soulmates and that they want to spend the rest of their life making you happy.

However, if you are not a narcissist yourself and have never dated a narcissist before, you will be shocked to discover the real truth. Once narcissists are confident that they have won you over and are used to having you around, they do not actually care very much about your happiness or well-being. Post-courtship life with someone with untreated narcissistic personality disorder rapidly goes downhill in ways that are hard for a normal person to imagine.

Note: I am using the terms narcissist, narcissistic, and NPD as shorthand ways of referring to people who qualify for a full diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder.

To put it bluntly and briefly, people with untreated narcissistic personality disorder lack emotional empathy, do not see other people realistically, are extremely self-centered, are hypersensitive to slights, and are prone to attack their mates over trivial matters that most people would ignore. Narcissists are not capable of creating a mutually satisfying, healthy, safe, and loving relationship.

What Is a Common Mistake Made by People in Love With a Narcissist?

A common mistake made by many people who are in love with a narcissist is to expect their mate to actually care about their feelings and whether they are hurt, happy, or sad.

They don’t.

They only care about how your feelings impact them and whatever their current agenda is. They may tell you otherwise, but that is, unfortunately, a lie. You will quickly find the truth out if you do any of the following things and expect your narcissistic mate to be genuinely interested or react in a positive way.

Situation 1: You Want Sympathy.

You are feeling depressed, and you go to your narcissistic partner for a hug and some reassurance and sympathy.

Usual Reaction: The narcissist in your life will do one or more of the following:

  1. Act annoyed.
  2. Pretend to care but can only keep up the pretense for a short while before they drift away or act bored or annoyed.
  3. Complain: “Why are you always so needy?” “Why are you so sensitive?” “You picked a really bad time. I am busy with something important.”
  4. Blame you: “If you hadn’t done x, y, or z, this wouldn’t have happened.”
  5. Make it about them and their feelings: “You are bringing me down. Stop stressing me out!”

Situation 2: You Tell Them You Feel Hurt by Them.

Your narcissistic partner was mean to you. You are naive and believe that if you explain how hurt you feel, your partner will apologize and treat you better.

Usual Reaction: The narcissist becomes defensive and annoyed and says one or more of the following things:

  1. “Go have your pity party elsewhere.”
  2. “It is all your fault.”
  3. “What about all the times you hurt me?”
  4. “Poor you! Get over it. Stop playing the victim!”
  5. “Why are you blaming me for how you feel?”

Situation 3: You Expect the Narcissist in Your Life to Care About How Your Day Went.

You want to talk about your day and expect your narcissistic mate to be interested. Or you want to share a story about something you find amusing. Unfortunately, narcissists are very self-centered and rarely care about anything that does not directly benefit them or make them feel important.

Here are some typical narcissistic reactions to this situation that demonstrate their indifference:

  1. They turn on the TV or look at their phone while you are talking.
  2. They get visibly annoyed.
  3. They interrupt you and start talking about something else.
  4. They tell you that they find the topic boring and stupid.
  5. They briefly listen while acting restless and bored. If you go on past 5 minutes, they find a way to shut the conversation down.
  6. They criticize the way you behaved in the incident you are describing.


Appealing to an untreated narcissist’s emotional empathy or expecting the person to show an authentic interest in you is a complete waste of time. At best, your narcissistic mate will pretend to care when he or she actually wishes you and your problems would just shut up and go away. Trying to get a narcissist interested in your day, or something you find fascinating and want to share, gets a similar reaction. The truth is that people with untreated narcissistic personality disorder have very little capacity to care about anyone but themselves. You thought the two of you would be a loving couple, but you cannot create a “we” with a person who only is capable of being a “me.”

This post was also published on Quora.

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