How are narcissists so cruel to those they love? How do they willfully cause pain and suffering to you without feeling any concern about it? Without being anxious or worried about what they are doing to you. Without seeing you as a matter of interest or importance. How can they say all these hurtful things? How can they do all these damaging things to someone they claim to love, without appearing to feel anything? How can they be so cruel?
How can they display a complete lack of feeling and consideration for you?
The reason why they are able to do this is because they have no empathy. A person who has no empathy is able to be cruel without having an effect on them or moving them emotionally. They lack the ability to understand and share your feelings. They lack the ability to share your experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in your situation. So they are able to cause pain and suffering to you without fear or any concern about it. But that is not the only reason why they are so cruel.
There is another reason why they act in this way. They have a lack of object constancy. Object constancy is a developmental skill which most children will develop between the ages of 2 or 3. This skill is developed through the time, experience and reliability of their parent. It results in the sense of the child knowing that even when their parent leaves the room, they still exist and will come back again. Narcissists lack object constancy, so when you are out of sight, in their minds you no longer exist.
Only people who have developed object constancy will have the sense that even though a person or object is no longer in sight, it doesn't mean that they cease to exist. Before a child has developed object constancy, they will have a dualistic mentality or black-and-white thinking, where something is either good or bad. It is a very infantile way of perceiving the world, because the child hasn't developed the capacity to realise that just because the parent isn't there, it doesn't mean that they have gone. But due to the negative behaviour and emotional damage that the narcissist has endured as a child, they never developed object constancy. They were prevented from growing or developing properly, so now they're like big babies.
They see people, objects and the world around them the same way as a child who hasn't developed object constancy. Where everything is either good or bad, right or wrong. This is exactly how they see you when they first meet you. You are perfect. You have all of the required or desirable elements, qualities or characteristics. But as soon as you do one thing wrong, whether real or imagined, you instantly become all bad, you become worthless and insignificant.
When we have object constancy, we can still have a positive emotional connection with someone, even if we are angry or upset with them. We can still feel emotionally connected to them, even when they are not physically around us. Object constancy helps to prevent us from crossing boundaries, even if we are angry or upset. We might say things that we don't mean or do things that we shouldn't have done. But there is always a line that we don't cross, there is always a boundary, even when we're angry or upset. Deep down we still love and care about them, deep down we don't want to hurt them. We have empathy, so their pain is our pain. But the narcissist cannot see it that way, because they don't have object
constancy. When they are angry or upset, anything good about you no longer exists, in the same way as it does in a child who has not yet developed object constancy. The narcissist can be so cruel, not only because they lack empathy, but also because they lack object constancy. They are stuck in the mentality of a child.
What can you do when you are around someone who cannot understand or share your feelings? Someone who cannot share your experiences or imagine what it would be like to be in your situation?
You have to stop expecting them to display empathy. In a normal healthy relationship, you might expect someone to have empathy. You might expect them to react and feel sad for causing your discomfort. But you cannot expect that from a narcissist. You will be expecting them to give you something they don't even have. You could be lying dead on the ground and they still wouldn't give a [ __ ] about you.
Don't believe in the horrible things that they are saying about you. Don't waste your time defending yourself to them. They're not even capable of listening to you. They will always reject the truth and reality of the situation. Don't waste your time trying to convince the narcissist. Convince yourself of who you are. Trust your own intuition.
They want you to believe that you should view the world in the way that they do, at the mental capacity of a toddler. But you do not need to view the world in that way. Hold on to your truth, hold on to your reality. Convince yourself of what you know to be right and true. Don't seek validation from the narcissist. Validate yourself and see your own worth. Don't wait for them to see it. They will never give you the validation that you need. But you can give it to yourself and build your own self-worth. Let go of the hope and expectation that they are going to change.
Sometimes we wonder why the narcissist doesn't change, because we project the power of ourselves onto them. We know that we would change if it would help the situation, but we are not the same. You can expect that from someone of like kind, but not from the narcissist. We do not share the same qualities. We should not project our qualities onto them, just as they should not project their qualities onto us. We have to accept them as they are, they are not going to change.
If you have been in a long-term relationship with a narcissist, you probably don't remember what it was like to be you. You probably haven't been yourself for a very long time. Your existence undergoes a process of transformation into doing everything that the narcissist needs, so that they don't get angry or upset. But it doesn't matter how much you change, it doesn't matter how much you erase yourself, it doesn't matter if you remove all traces of the person you used to be. They will still get angry, they will still get upset. Because the truth is it has nothing to do with you. You don't exist to be an emotional regulator for someone who cannot emotionally regulate themselves. Remember the person who used to be. Remember the things you loved to do. Start being you again.
The narcissist might get mad, but they're going to be mad anyway. They're never going to
like anything you do, so start being you again. Start practicing self love and self care. If you have been in a relationship with a narcissist, you have been trained to not have any love for yourself. You have been trained to seek love from a person who can never be satisfied. A person who can never appreciate or be grateful for you and everything that you have to offer. Instead of chasing love, appreciation and respect from someone who is refusing to give it to you, recognize that you have the power to love, appreciate and respect yourself.