It is a big sign that your partner is a narcissist when they appear to have no real empathy for you, or others. They appear indifferent and cold as ice. If the situation or topic is about something that they do not value, they shrug it off as inconsequential. Of course, narcissists sometimes simulate empathy, by using stale words with no real emotion behind them because they have learned the socially acceptable vocabulary for particular situations, however the real substance of emotion is missing. Actions speak louder than words here.
In my case, I told my narcissist husband about my dear friend’s mother dying when my friend was just a little girl. I told him that her mother had a long battle with a debilitating illness and a kidney transplant, but then passed away. I was overwhelmed with sadness for my friend and was telling my husband how I was in awe of her amazing life story and how she kept a positive outlook on life, despite her horrible loss at such a young age. His response was a bland “Oh that is too bad,” then he changed the subject. He had no expression on his face, in fact he started eating. I again asked him what he thought about my friend’s story and he had no other response or insight. I was appalled by his emptiness.
The real truth is that you and I are people with an overabundance of empathy. This type of person is called an “empath.” Narcissists choose highly compassionate, considerate and understanding individuals as their victims. They know that they have a much easier time manipulating a person who always looks for the good in others. You are a beautiful person with a beautiful soul, that is the upside. However, you have to look at the whole picture when looking at a person and not just the good pieces. All the pieces, good and bad, fit together to make up the puzzle of the person they are.
You know deep down that you overlooked the red flags that have been there since the beginning of your relationship. You either saw them and disregarded them because you felt that he had too many other good qualities to balance out the odd behaviors. Or you saw them and was afraid that acknowledging the problematic behavior meant that you had to confront him and you did not want to hurt his feelings, or risk losing him. As a result, you find yourself making excuses for his bad behavior by thinking that everybody handles emotions differently. You look for the good to balance out the bad, thus you are fooling yourself on a daily basis.
I will never forget the huge altercation my narcissist had with my parents Easter weekend, which happened to be my birthday this year. My parents were visiting for the weekend and after I spent all afternoon cooking a homemade dinner, my parents offered to get ice cream at the local store and my Dad wanted to take me along, for a one on one for a few minutes. However, my narcissist was offended that my dad wanted time with just me. So, he picked a huge fight with my wonderful, loving parents, he belittled them, and he put me down in front of them. He couldn’t be reasoned with and they had no choice but to leave early and drive three hours back to their house, and missing out on the holiday and my birthday, because he was so horrid to them and they did not want the children to witness anymore of their father’s antics. Basically, he cut my parents out of our lives that day, then he expected me to act like it did not matter to me.
Then the day after the confrontation, my narcissist expected me to act as if nothing happened. He wanted an automatic return of the status quo after the confrontation. I was not allowed to have lingering sorrow. He said that he thought we resolved the problem and he did not want to see me sulking. I responded that he could not expect a person, especially a woman, to go about her life as if nothing ever happened. I told him that I am entitled to my feelings of sadness, that I could not simply put a smile on my face and pretend that life was ok. This is an example of no empathy, and being out of touch with others feelings. My parents are the biggest parts of my life, they made me who I am. They supported every decision I ever made and had been nothing but supportive of us, then he treats them like garbage! Well, I made a choice that day, I was going to organize my plan to leave my narcissist husband.
If you have discovered that you are the victim of a narcissist, you must be a fabulous lady, because a narcissist only chooses the best for himself. You are probably asking yourself how you could have gotten into this situation with this hollow person? It is not your fault, so stop beating yourself up over it. You were deceived by a professional liar and manipulator. The valuable lesson is to learn the traits of a narcissist, so that you will never be fooled again.