Discussion Topic

Do Narcissists have difficulty forgiving others?

Posted on 03/25/11, 12:31 pm
Asking for forgiveness from someone that may be Narcissistic tends to inflate their Ego instead of embracing change and moving forward in a positive direction. It appears to me that the Narcissist will not only refuse to forgive the individual but will also make sure the individual is ignored, neglected and made to feel worthless. They continue to "gloat" about their righteous stance, and continue to demean rather than build.

Are those symptoms of a Narcissist?

And is it worth trying to resolve any conflict with a Narcissist? Or do you find yourself running around in circles? Or opening yourself up to be wounded over and over again? Do Narcissists constantly remind you of your faults as well?

Showing 1 - 10 of 11 Replies
  • Reply #1 03/25/11  3:41pm
    My own experience is that my NDad was good at coming up with little revenges for what he perceived to be my injustices to him. He would bide his time and then do something in retaliation later.

    I was off by one day when I called for his birthday once. He waited two years to get even, calling ME on the wrong day and then saying it was from his car phone so he could use up his minutes before they expired the next day.

    I wouldn't recommend asking forgiveness of a narcissist-- they only leverage anything they perceive as an appeal, or a mistake, as a wound they can pour salt in.
  • Reply #2 03/25/11  4:25pm
    I can see that happening. Narsissists love to remind you or do the same mistake you did so you can feel what it feels like. I remember hearing the words from ND..."you deserved it, remember when you made that mistake?" oooohhh...ouch! Always used that saying. Such a strong cloud of SHAME! I can see the pointing finger. You deserved it! You deserved it! You deserved it!

    Can you imagine living with those thoughts as a young child to adult. If something bad happened, the repetitive reminder in my mind's filing cabinet comes out with that particular folder. The You Deserved it Folder!

  • Reply #3 03/26/11  6:52am
    I think most of us on this board, who grew up with at least one N parent, can identify with that. I know I've become hyper-responsible as a result of knowing ANY human mistake would be thrown back at me as a huge personal flaw and something to be deeply ashamed of.

    It wasn't until I began seeing the N dynamics in my family that I began to realize the things which I would be punished for (and for a really good kid, it seems I was ALWAYS being punished for something) were actually VERY minor things. But living as the child of a Narcissist is isolating, so you get no perspective. And the smallest mistake could get blown up into a giant problem in seconds.

    As a result, I grew up very nervous, very concerned about grades, piano lessons, not making any sort of mistakes, worried about failing to be first choice for things completely out of my control because I'd know I'd have to justify myself...

    And knowing blame was always just waiting around the corner.

    Now as an adult, I have to work not to beat MYSELF up over minor things. I am getting better at that, but it's taken a lot of awareness, and time.
  • Reply #4 03/29/11  1:33pm
    OMG a friend has done this to me recently......I now know shes a narcissist!
  • Reply #5 04/03/11  4:29pm
    Great topic. I was the scapegoat in my N family, and one of my biggest regrets was asking them what I had done wrong and apologizing for things I now know I shouldn't have had to apologize for. You said it so well in the original post --

    "Asking for forgiveness from someone that may be Narcissistic tends to inflate their Ego instead of embracing change and moving forward in a positive direction. It appears to me that the Narcissist will not only refuse to forgive the individual but will also make sure the individual is ignored, neglected and made to feel worthless. They continue to "gloat" about their righteous stance, and continue to demean rather than build."

    They ripped me to shreds whenever I apologized. Healthy people hear an apology and think it's time to adjust and move on, like you said. But narcissists hear an apology and start salivating like wild dogs given fresh meat. They're pleased you've "admitted" to your "inferiority", and they're ready to milk it for all it's worth, grind you down to a stump.

    Alice, I can really relate to what you said about trying so hard to be a decent kid and not knowing what insignificant thing would crop up and blindside me anyhow. :-(
  • Reply #6 05/28/11  12:25pm
    From my experience I think narcissists definitely hold a grudge - I'm thinking who has the energy? But I guess they feel so wronged and they're self was so under attack that they can't forgive the person. I've noticed that as a daughter of an NMom I don't have problems forgiving people, but I have problems trusting people. Luckily I'm starting to break through those walls though.
  • Reply #7 05/28/11  12:29pm
    btw...I just read everyone's responses and I feel what you all are saying so much! Thanks for sharing! It's amazing how the constant cloud of blame can shape your view of the world. I always thought the "real world" would be more chaotic and less understanding than my childhood, but oddly enough it's just the opposite. It has taken me awhile not to beat myself up for the smallest things and even still it's a tempting habit to slip into!
  • Reply #8 05/29/11  11:54pm
    Oh, yeah - definitely, and they just love the "payback" game. If you don't do what they want, you become a permanent target for their nastiness. --> http://www.lightshouse.org/all-abou...
  • Reply #9 06/30/11  10:15am
    Yep my sis did this to me, waited three years to nastily refuse to attend my daughter's 21 st birthday celebration. Her reason? I didn't attend her son's. But the invitation to that was a late night phone message left on the night before the meal! They didn't keep ringing, just left a message giving the restaurant name and time. Less than 24 hours notice,first I'd heard of it. Last thing I'd heard, he was going out with his friends. Then it consisted of us paying for ourselves (I was broke) and having a long drive there and back midweek after work. (we both worked long hours) As she didn't keep trying to contact us I assumed she would realise the lack of notice and circumstances would make it tricky for us to attend. I didn't even realise she'd been offended until my daughter's came up years later. To say I was gobsmacked is an understatement. Hey it was a great bash though! Sod em! xx
  • Reply #10 06/30/11  10:24am
    She did apologise for this after a long while, I suspect mainly because she realised she'd missed a REALLY fab party. As a result, I agreed to attend a party of hers. I'm sorry I did that now, as we've had other occurrences of this self centered behavoiur, and I can see that nothing has really changed. She's sulking at the moment because she says she's 'jealous' of my life. She doesn't yet realise I've gone NC with her. The contact in the past has consisted of her ringing me when she wants to talk about herself (two hour convos for which I used to put everything on hold) or curt answers/texts if I contact her. Enough. I'm calling BS.

Welcome

Join This Group

A space to explore our thoughts, feelings and experiences that have occurred as result of our childhoods with narcissistic parents (one or both). It is hoped that we can use this space as a further tool by which to take control of our lives from those we have inadvertantly relinquished it to, heal the hurt and be happy.