Narcissistic Love?

An oxymoron?  Two mutually exclusive concepts in one term?  I suppose, but we should look at the idea more closely.  In some ways, a narcissist can teach us all some lessons about loving.

First, people need to be loved.  We might see the narcissist taking advantage of this fact, but it is important for us to remember also.  In fact, people will do almost anything to feel loved.  Some people will accept a lie, a false love, rather than feel unloved.  The narcissist can spot someone like this quickly and may either move in to exploit the need or simply wait and store the information until a later time.  Narcissists, in general, are users.

Second, love can be faked.  Do the right things, say the right things—and it will look so much like the love people want that they will believe, without regard for truth.  We live in a culture of such need that fake love is accepted readily.  Narcissists are experts at faking love to get what they want.

Third, our culture doesn’t really know what love is.  Popular media presents such a self-serving view of love that we tend to look for the personal gain in every loving act.  The commitment of love, the willingness to sacrifice, is almost rare.  If your marriage no longer serves you, end it.  If your unborn baby doesn’t fit into your plans, get rid of it.  If your parents are becoming a burden, ignore them.  We are not a loving culture.  The narcissist has no qualms about lying about love because he has no understanding of what love really is.

I don’t mean to be cynical about love.  I guess what I am trying to say is that we can help to protect our children against the abuse of narcissists BY LOVING THEM.  Teach them what real love is by showing them real love.  If you can’t, maybe it’s time to pray.

Okay, off the soapbox…

2 Comments

Filed under heart, Narcissism, Relationship

2 responses to “Narcissistic Love?

  1. Twelve months ago, I ended a 3+ year relationship with a narcissist who I once considered to be the love of my life. Last month, my stepfather died unexpectedly. Because I thought he would be interested in knowing, I sent the narcissist an e-mail about his death. I received no reply. My mother received no card. Because I am the kind of person who feels deeply, his non-action perplexed me. So, I called him. BIG mistake! He basically asked why I would share the news with him, after all, I am the one who left. Plus, he mentioned that my parents didn’t even like him and that as a family, we generally had problems, but he didn’t want to get into that because, in his words, he’s above that. Then, to try to make me feel even more worthless, he said that I don’t even enter his mind anymore. (This coming from a man who cried like a baby when I walked out of his life and BEGGED me to come back promising to change.) I don’t throw people away. But I think I really need to bury this man deep into the abyss of my memory. I have been robbed of faith in people by this relationship.

    • Fortunately, not all people are narcissists. We all see through our own eyes and we all try to protect ourselves, but narcissists are pathological in their lack of empathy and willingness to use others. This man is probably incapable of love, at least in any sense the rest of us understand it. He “throws people away” because he doesn’t see them as people. They are, as I have said, either tools, toys or obstacles.

      But one of the most damaging things narcissists do to their victims is rob them of their confidence. It probably isn’t so much that you have lost faith in people, but that you have lost faith in your own ability to see the truth about people. When someone you trust turns out to be untrustworthy, you find that it is difficult to trust yourself. How could you have been so wrong, so blind? This is a very common frustration for people who have been used by a narcissist.

      The truth is that you were tricked by an expert. Very few of us regular people can see through the deceit of a narcissist, at least at first. Because of their own brokenness, narcissists have developed their powers of manipulation to levels far past what we are used to.

      So you didn’t fail, you were tricked. You haven’t lost your ability to discern people’s character, you just met someone far better at lying than you were at seeing truth. You met a superior enemy in battle and lost. No shame in that. It means nothing for your next relationship. (Except that you are a lot smarter!)

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