So many people ask, “Does the narcissist know he is not normal?”, “does he care he isn’t normal?”, “How can he treat people he says he loves, the way he does?”
Ok. This is the simplest way to understand what the narcissist is thinking and what motivates him.
Most everyone, whether they have children of their own or not; has seen a toddler throw a temper tantrum. As a parent, it is horrible to deal with. Trying to reason with a mad toddler is embarrassing at best and enough to bring a parent to tears, at worst.
People always refer to the “terrible twos” but with my son, it was the 3’s that drove me crazy and made me feel like the worst parent ever. I felt everyone was judging me for my ill behaved child. But as quickly as he could go into a total melt down; he could switch back to my cute, blonde, blue eyes little cuddle buddy, “I love you momma”.
If you have raised wee ones, think back to that day in the grocery store, just as you were almost done; and your 3 year old wants something and you say “no”. (Maybe you had exceptional children that never threw a tantrum, I don’t want parenting tips, this is an analogy to help you understand the narcissist).
The 3 year old, “But I want it!!”
You, “I said not today, mommy doesn’t have enough money.”
The three year old gets louder and shouts, “Pleeeaaase!!”
You, “No, I said no, begging isn’t going to help.”
Toddler, “But I want it!!” And he starts to cry, loudly!
Then he throws himself down on the floor kicking and screaming.
You try to pick him up and pack him out but he’s kicking and hitting you, he says, “I hate you. You’re not my mommy!”
That hurts. But you know he’s little and doesn’t mean what he says, he’s just mad and frustrated because he can’t have what he wants.
I used to run a daycare and have heard 3 & 4 yr olds tell their friends they hate them, will never play with them again, bite, kick, pull hair, punch.
With a toddler the adult should explain why that is not acceptable by saying something along the lines of, “How would you feel if someone did that to you?”
You can force them to say “I’m sorry” but they don’t really mean it, it just means no one is mad at them any more.
A 3 yr old will leave a toy for a year, and never play with it; but the minute another child comes along and starts playing with it,all of a sudden, its his favorite toy! And he wants it back.
A 3 yr old will just take something he wants. He doesn’t think about it as stealing, he sees it, he wants it, he takes it. As parents we teach them that it’s not right to take someone’s stuff. “How would they feel if someone took their stuff?”
We think it is normal behavior for a toddler to do these things and we know he/she will eventually grow out of it. For the most part, they are small enough that we can physically over power them and pack them out of the store, put them in their room, sit on the naughty stool or whatever punishment you use. They aren’t that smart yet and we can usually see through their manipulation or sneaky attempts to get what they want.
They will try anything, from saying they hate you, to crying, saying they love you, bartering, and alot of parents do eventually break down and just let him have what he wants. Big big mistake because he will keep doing it to get his way. As he gets older he has more stamina to have louder, longer, tantrums.
Ok now, take that 3 yr old and put him in a 30 year old body, with the intelligence and experience of a 30 year old. The same behavior, BUT a totally different scenerio! You can not physically protect yourself or subdue him. He can badger, beg, manipulate, a long time! Longer than you can stay strong. Eventually you give in just to shut him up.
If you find yourself explaining empathy to a full grown man as if he is a 3 yr old; you are involved with a narcissist.
Most children develop empathy at around the age of 3, a narcissist never develops empathy, his brain is incapable of feeling empathy, so he ends up stuck with the emotional intelligence of a 3 yr old forever more.