When a Narcissist Sees You Cry : 16 Reactions to Expect and Protect Yourself from Manipulation.
“Narcissists are great con artists. They are very skilled at putting on a great show, but they are only interest in fulfilling their own needs” – Linda Martinez-Lewi
The reaction of a narcissist when they see you cry depends on several factors, such as the relationship with the victim, the degree of narcissism, situations, etc.
A narcissist finds it difficult to connect with you emotionally. Therefore, it is unlikely to receive a genuine reaction from them.
Before diving into a narcissist’s reactions, let’s first understand what narcissism is.
Who is a Narcissist? Are you one of them?
A narcissist is a person who has low self-esteem, seeks attention and validation from others, has a lack of empathy or cannot put oneself in another’s shoes, and thinks he is better and more important than everyone else.
This happens not because he loves himself; on the contrary, he hates his self-image and constantly fears being ignored and forgotten.
If you lack empathy, have low self-esteem, or sometimes love to praise yourself, it doesn’t make you a narcissist.
Generally, most of us have some amount of narcissistic traits. Perhaps, some degree of narcissism is healthy for living a good life.
A narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional.
Do Narcissists cry?
Yes, Narcissists do cry. They are humans, after all.
But it depends on several factors whether their cry is fake or genuine.
A narcissist is a self-centered, attention-seeking person. His happiness depends on external factors like acceptance of others.
This may make a narcissist cry in pain if he feels ignored or rejected, thinking the world is selfish and unjust.
A narcissist may also cry to seek attention from others. According to him, if he cries, everyone will acknowledge his existence and validate that he is essential and belong to the group.
They love to play the victim card.
Top 16 reactions when a narcissist sees you cry and how to protect yourself.
Note* In this article “He/him” refers to any person, not only males.
1. Fake narcissistic compassion
Narcissistic people may show compassion or empathy when they see you cry, but these are mostly fake.
They will come close, put their hand on your shoulder and say everything is ok as if they care. Instead, inside, they are silently enjoying themselves.
The motive for such action is always self-interest.
For example, A person may show compassion to another friend in time of need, thinking that this will benefit him in some way, like establishing his importance in his life, or how good he is as a person, or financial favor in the future.
2. Getting Angry
If a person cries because of the narcissist’s fault, he may get angry at the victim.
A few reasons for this behavior are given below-
- He can’t connect with the victim emotionally, which makes him mad.
- He doesn’t want to confront his deep emotions, so ‘anger’ acts as a coping mechanism.
- It doesn’t make sense to him why someone else is becoming the center of attention; it should be him.
- Narcissists like to control things around them. Crying makes him feel like he is losing control, which makes him angry.
3. Fake apology
First, to apologize to someone for your actions, you need to understand his emotion. What they are going through because of your fault.
A narcissist doesn’t understand this emotion and only sees crying as a waste of time.
To end the crying sooner, he apologizes.
Moreover, a narcissist may feel uncomfortable because of guilt and shame. To end this uneasiness, he apologizes.
4. Ignore you
Narcissism is a coping mechanism to hide his true self and represent a fake self in front of others.
This happens because of childhood trauma or rejections from essential people in his life.
Therefore, a narcissist never learns how to cope with emotions.
Once he sees someone cry, it makes him feel uneasy, edgy, fidgety, etc.
To avoid these feelings, he starts ignoring you.
5. Make fun of you
You will become the talk of the show among the group of narcissists.
“Hey, did you hear she was crying because they left?” “He was sobbing in front of everyone because he lost his job, haha.”
They do this because they don’t understand the impact of emotional suffering on the person.
Gaslighting is a manipulative behavior by the narcissist.
He uses this tactic to create doubts in the victim’s mind about their perceptions and memories.
For example, the narcissist may argue that there was no reason to argue; this didn’t happen, it was just her imagination, etc.
The term ‘Gaslighting’ comes from a movie called Gaslight (1944), where the husband tries to manipulate his wife into believing that she is insane by dimming the light of gaslights.
The husband denies that he dims the gaslight, and the wife gets crazy over time.
A narcissist derives satisfaction from others’ suffering. They cannot help this, but they enjoy seeing someone cry.
This is because a narcissist thinks emotions make a person’s life sad and measurable, which is far worse than his life.
His life is far better, more controlled, and happier than the others.
8. Make it about themselves.
They may see this as an opportunity to talk about themselves, their struggles, and their achievements.
Narcissists love to talk about their achievements and struggles because it works as a validation that they are good.
This happens due to poor self-image.
They don’t believe in themselves and their abilities. So, if people say they are good at what they do, this gives them great satisfaction.
They may say that you are crying for no reason. You are overreacting, and this happens to everyone.
Losing a balloon by a 5-year-old and losing a girlfriend to a 22-year-old may experience the same pain.
We may laugh at the 5-year-old, but the balloon is important to him, and so is the girlfriend to the 22-year-old.
10. Blaming the victim
A narcissist cannot confront his emotions. It will make him uneasy because he has avoided feelings all his life.
Therefore, if someone cries because of the narcissist’s fault, he will try to put the blame on the victim’s shoulder because this way, he doesn’t have to answer to anyone.
- “If you had listened to me last month, this may not have happened.”
- “I told you not to do that; see what happened now.”
- Because of you, I have to go through all this.
- Are you happy by creating all this mess?
Ofcourse, the narcissist will be annoyed if someone cries because of them.
Narcissists cannot take responsibility for their actions, which can cause distress in others’ lives.
He may say things that you don’t want to hear at the time of emotional distress, like-
- Stop crying about everything.
- I don’t have time for this.
- You are such a crybaby.
12. Try to Change the subject
As mentioned earlier, crying makes a narcissist feel uncomfortable. They don’t like to get the blame on themselves, and it is even hard to say sorry.
A narcissist never acknowledges his mistake; if he does, he tries to avoid it because he thinks it will make him look weak and vulnerable in front of others.
So, he tries to change the subject and talks about something completely unrelated to the current argument.
13. Feel Embarrassed
Sometimes, a narcissist may feel embarrassed if he sees someone cry.
This may happen if the event takes place in public.
The Narc may feel threatened that his reputation and dignity may ruin if someone cries because of him.
First, crying is a waste of time; second, people will start judging him.
This also happens to normal people; you don’t have to be a narcissist to feel embarrassed in public.
14. Show no empathy
A person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) cannot understand the other person’s pain.
He may try, but he will fail to connect to them on an emotional level. A narcissist is a person who is self-centered and always cares for his needs first.
He may see you crying and leave without saying anything.
He may laugh at you or judge that you are weak for crying over small things.
15. Remain silent
As he doesn’t want to confront the victim because discussing sadness and pain is a waste of time and doesn’t make him happy, he will remain silent and try to stay away for a while.
Once things cool down, he will be back.
Perhaps, he saw his parents fighting and crying in his childhood. So, he always created a way to deal with these situations, like remaining silent and staying away.
16. Sexual Fantasy
Some narcissists act like sadists.
They derive sexual pleasure by inflicting pain on another person.
This usually happens in a relationship where the narcissist loves to see the other person in pain, which signifies his control and strength over her.
In short, a narcissist avoids emotional situations because he cannot see others’ points of view.
So, if you are connected with a narcissist, it will be helpful if you don’t spend time explaining your emotions to them.
The problem with most narcissists is that they don’t acknowledge that they are one of them.
Though, you will need a licensed mental health professional to determine if you have a Narcissistic Personality disorder (NPD) or not.
Also Read : Worry and Stress | An Article on Happiness