I suppose the term “narcissistic abusers” might be a bit redundant since many abusers are narcissists or psychopaths — or at least exhibit extremely unempathetic, superior, controlling, self-entitled behavior. Others may suffer from BPD, alcohol or other addictions, or they may be what Pia Mellody calls “Love Avoidants” (another form of addiction) in her book “Facing Love Addiction“. The sentiment below from a recovering abuse victim refers specifically to abusers who are extremely narcissistic. My own Ex was certainly very narcissistic though maybe not an outright psychopath. He seemed to be unable to empathize with feelings or experiences of others. He was also very critical and controlling – both classic signs of narcissism.
The truth is narcissists are very clever humans. They can very convincingly pretend to have feelings and emotions.
And as a person who has real feelings and often empathizes with others, its hard to grasp someone who only makes pretense of it, like narcissists and psychopaths do. It’s all theater to them, and they can be very good actors.
So their targets will see their behavior as valid and honest — when in fact it’s a sham. To a person with real emotions, it feels almost wrong to distrust them or to question their integrity.
But for those of us who find ourselves drawn to narcissists (abusers), we need to take on just exactly this type of cynical stance in order to spare ourselves. That is, we need to keep our eyes wide open for any clues that maybe what we’re seeing isn’t necessarily what we’re getting when we get involved with someone. How do you know if your partner’s feelings and emotions are genuine and if he is able empathize with you and your feelings, especially when issues arise?
A narcissist/abuser’s controlling behavior and lack of empathy are always a dead give-away. Denial, blame, minimizing and projection any time an issue arises in their relationships is part of that. With a narcissist, it’s always someone else’s fault, no matter what twist of logic he has to devise to make it so. HE is always right. Omnipotent. Perfect. Faultless. The Better Person. Innocent. Does No Wrong. HIS abusive behavior and lack of empathy is your fault, no matter what he did or said or what the circumstances were. And he’ll tell you so every time.
If you expect any issues to ever be resolved in a relationship with a person like this, know that they will not, and that those unresolved issues will accumulate until that relationship becomes as toxic as poison and just as destructive, emotionally.
If you notice that type of behavior from someone towards you, that might be your number one indicator that any feelings that person pretends to have for you are likely not genuine, and that you really need to look at that relationship more closely and start considering other options if you want a healthy, non-toxic relationship.