Politics Magazine

Do Narcissists Worry About Their Lack of Empathy?

Posted on the 11 April 2015 by Calvinthedog

Jynxi writes:

RL: If you feel upset, worried, and guilty that you don’t care about others enough, then you don’t lack empathy. That right there shows you you have a conscience. Also guilt is a sign of empathy. If there’s guilt, there’s empathy. There can be no guilt without empathy. No empathy, no guilt because they are part of each other.”

Jynxi: I don’t think this is correct. Just because someone is upset and worried doesn’t mean they care about another person’s feelings. More often then not, the narcissist is more concerned about protecting their own image then they are about the welfare of others. This is not empathy, it’s a narcissistic masquerade.

The narcissists pseudo-empathy is nothing more than calculated image building. It’s fake, it’s a facade, it’s a Potemkin-emotion.

Also, I think your confusing guilt with shame, which is the narcissists Achilles heel. The narcissist isn’t experiencing guilt but anticipated shame. They are worried about their wretched behavior being exposed and sullying their image not the pain of those who are less fortunate.

Furthermore, if you have to ask yourself if you lack empathy, then you do.

I don’t agree with this at all.

I have known many narcissists in my life, including many NPD’s. Most of them have little if any empathy for most other people. I have never known one single hardcore narcissist who was 1% worried or concerned about their lack of empathy. They either denied and insisted they did have empathy (the most common reaction), or they simply did not care.

A narcissist would never feel either guilt or shame about their lack of empathy. It simply would not bother them at all.

Furthermore, if you have to ask yourself if you lack empathy, then you do.

I don’t agree with that. People who lack empathy never even bother to ask themselves the question in the first place. I work in mental health. I have dealt with a number of people who were worried that they were narcissistic or worried that they lacked empathy. In every case, it was nonsense, and they were all quite empathetic individuals.

I would also say that if you are trying very hard to be empathetic or feel empathy, then you are empathetic to some degree by default. People who lack empathy never try to feel it because they don’t want to feel that way in the first place.

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