The Narcissist is Never Wrong

“I’m sorry.” Those are two of the most difficult words for most people to be able to honestly say. When we are genuinely sorry, we have to admit that we hurt someone and it also means that we are taking responsibility for the pain we have caused.

A narcissist is never sorry because he (or she) perceives himself as perfect. He can’t be wrong. He views himself as superior to everyone and, thus, always right.

How did he get this way?

A narcissist grew up believing from his earliest years that he is special and was most likely treated that way even as a small child. A narcissist develops a pathological sense of self entitlement very early. Truth is a foreign concept to the narcissist. His personality is built on a “false self”, believing that he is a superior, perfect being without flaws. As a child, he was not held accountable for his mistakes, lies or cruelties. His parents did not provide a sense of limits or respect for other human beings. He learned as a child to exploit and manipulate other human beings- to win at any cost. The damage to another person’s life was just collateral and necessary to his own immediate goals. This “golden child” learned very early that he had free rein over others. If someone got in his way, he would simply push him aside or knock him down. The parents defended their child’s inconsiderate, cruel behavior; they believed that their extraordinary child did not have to follow common social rules that apply only to others- not to their child.

What does he do when he does make a mistake?

The narcissist is never, ever wrong, and he likes to present “proof” that he is correct. The narcissist cannot accept responsibility for making a mistake and he is expert at diverting the blame to others – (“It’s not my fault. I lost that promotion because my team let me down”, “You were acting so stupid-you made me hit you.”, “If you weren’t so cold, I wouldn’t have had that affair”). A narcissist will never admit even horrendous mistakes and when confronted, he will deflect, delay and tell more lies. He believes he is invincible and perfect.

When we look deeply into ourselves and know we have been wrong, we are able to say “I make mistakes”. We apologize to the hurt party and continue to have a healthy, solid sense of ourselves as positive human beings. A narcissist is unable to do this as that would require acknowledging that he is not perfect. .

What effect does this have on children?

Narcissistic mothers can be especially detrimental to a child. This is more than just ‘crazy-making’—it can be devastating to a young child’s ability to learn to think critically and make accurate assessments of the world around him or her. Having a mother who will tell a child he/she is always wrong in order to make herself right skews a child’s perceptions and sets up a “cognitive dissonance” in the child. Cognitive dissonance makes people uncomfortable, even children, and so the child has to find a way to resolve that uncomfortable conflict. His choices are limited; he can either stick with his own perception or adopt his parent’s perception. When this perception comes from the person upon whom you depend for your food, shelter and protection, a young child most often accepts the parent’s “reality” over his own.

The child begins to doubt his or her own perceptions and over time loses confidence in her ability to make decisions or accurately perceive what goes on around her. She becomes accustomed to adopting her narcissistic mother’s beliefs, perceptions, and opinions as reality. Whenever dissonance arises she automatically resolves it by discounting anything that runs contrary to her narcissistic mother’s reality.

Some children don’t succumb. They either outwardly dispute the difference in perceptions or they pretend to accept their narcissistic mother’s views while silently holding their own. Either way, they don’t learn that their mothers are rational, trustworthy people, nor do they have a model for rational observation and thinking.

No matter what she’s done, she won’t ever genuinely apologize for anything. Instead, any time she feels she is being made to apologize she will sulk and pout, issue an insulting apology or negate the apology she has just made with justifications, qualifications or self pity: “I’m sorry you felt that I humiliated you” “I’m sorry if I made you feel bad” “If I did that it was wrong” “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do about it” “I’m sorry but it was just a joke. You’re so over-sensitive” “I’m sorry I made you feel clumsy, stupid and disgusting”…

Some daughters of narcissistic mothers have called this a “fauxpology.” And that is exactly what it is: a false apology.

One daughter, writing in a blog, gave a wonderful summary of the thinking and behavior of a classic narcissist as it relates to never being wrong:

“My own Narcissistic Mother went to her death having convinced herself that her lies, from little ones to whoppers that changed the lives of other people, were true. By rationalizing and justifying her lies and her nefarious deeds, she could believe herself right and justified in everything she did, even reversing herself and remaining right both in her original deed and in the undoing of it—a neat trick, if you ask me. For example, she married my father and later divorced him…but she would never say that marrying my father was a mistake because she was always right—she didn’t make mistakes. Her rationalization was that marrying him was the only way she could get away from her oppressive Old World father, therefore it was the right thing to do. That she was 16 and her father was no more oppressive than the fathers of other 16-year-old girl of that era was not material: she wanted to run her own life and marrying my father was an immediate and certain way to do that. So, even though she divorced him later, she did not consider marrying my father a mistake: it was merely a means to an end, he served his purpose and then she got rid of him. Without remorse, without regret, without any thought for the feelings of the people who would be hurt by her actions.

And not an apology in sight because you only apologize when you are wrong and, of course, she was never, ever that!”


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About Alexander Burgemeester

19 Responses to “The Narcissist is Never Wrong”

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  1. Dear Alexander:
    Do you think they ever change with a new person. (the one they leave you for). Is cheating a constant behavior/pattern of a narcissist? I’ve been involved with one for several years now and he keeps having flings and then coming back… he always blames me for them. i keep believing it and then i do reliaze it is not me.. i did nothing but suffer from each and everyone of them. please can you answer me back. i keep trying to understand all this and i keep reading and reading to try to heal myself. i do believe loving a narcissist is one of the most horrible experiences i have had in life.

    Thank you so much. Mimi

    • Jake says:

      “Dear Alexander:
      Do you think they ever change with a new person. (the one they leave you for). Is cheating a constant behavior/pattern of a narcissist?”

      No, they dont change

    • Jake says:

      ” he always blames me for them. ”

      For going off with other women was your fault. yes, classic NPD.

      ANother comment might be, “You deserved it”.

      No, they never will change even for their next victim. They hunt victims. They are not even conscious of this, it is who they think everyone in the world is.

    • kimi says:

      I totally understand your pain….It’s just a mind f**k…they ate evil and soooooo good at mimicking emotion. However nothing will ever change…I wish we could meet and be friends it’s the only way to get through these evil wanna be human assholes. Stay strong your worth so much more

    • Holly Golightly says:

      If loving a narcissist is one of the most horrible experiences you have had, WHY ARE YOU STILL WITH HIM? A narcissist is a hollow entity who is existence is “Being and Nothingness” and whose only purpose in life is to fill their empty core with “Supply”. Perhaps your relationship with this “android” provided a safe, secure “supply” that the flings could not, hence the cycle of leaving and returning. To continually “supply” a narcissist is tantamount to being an energizer bunny. Run away from this person as fast as you can; they are parasitic and will suck the life out of your soul.

  2. Relieved 2 b Free says:

    Leave him now… I did and never looked back

  3. kathlene says:

    So true what u say here. Being raised by a mother who is never wrong meant that I was always wrong. I also became a Nmagnet and married a just like my n.mother. I never realized during my tortured youth that I was just a scapegoat. Waking up has been a long time coming but thanks to info like this. I know I’m on the right path!

  4. Melissa says:

    I once tried to confront a narcissist and his whole narcissistic family. At the time I had no idea they were all in a narcissistic collective. They would NEVER admit wrong, never acknowledge I was right, and all of them quickly enlisted a collective approach toward dismissing me at every family gathering. I asked my husband if something magically happened when we went in their house because it was as though I became invisible as I walked through their door. They refused to acknowledge me. My FIL is an overt narcissistic father that that is married to a covert-narcissistic wife. They both have an emotionally incestuous relationship with their daughter and granddaughter. When their son got married they all rejected me. They eventually ended up rejecting him. I stood up for myself and refused to be their door mat. Additionally, my husband refused to allow them to treat me and his children as the scourge of the earth. Once the son’s loyalty shifted to his wife and children, the parent’s no longer received narcissistic supply. They disparaged, devalued and rejected their son and his family. Their bizarre behavior has been incredibly childish and devious. Their “shunning” tactics are cultish. They began shunning in private, then ensued it publicly. They all showed narcissistic injury and rage at various times. They are all enmeshed in a narcissistic web. We tried to confront them asked them to attend counseling with us. They refused, called our letter “psychobabble” said we’d imagined it all. Eventually, we enacted no contact. I suffered for 13 years because I chose to ride on their crazy-making passive-aggressive narcissistic roller coaster. If I’d only known then what I know now. Thank you for this site. So many out there are as naive as me and have no idea the hellacious torment narcissist can cause. I am so thankful God opened my eyes and showed me the way of escape…off the crazy train.

    • Jake says:

      Is good your husband also follwed God’s command to put his wife before his mother and father.
      I am happy to hear at least that side of your story, a husband who was faithful to you and defended you and him from them, his parents.

  5. Jake says:

    Just a note about your description of the cause of a narcissist. Firstly, NPD in women is far more common than in men. Men get punched and beaten up for acting like that and they learn they can not get away with it so much. Women are protected by the law to the most ridiculous level, women have also been shown to be 5 times more violent than men psychologically, just that they execute their violence in covert ways compared to men who will just upfront show violence as an expression of the limit of their tolerance, with women violence is something conceited and planned in advance.

    The cause of NPD you describe, “parents who let their golden child get away with anything” is the least avenue discovered for causes of NPD. It is found in almost all cases was an abandoned chilld, hand-balled around family members, often having been emotionally and seually abused and belittled and put down and treated like there was no-one who truly love them during their childhood.
    It is dangerous how you publish misinformation about NPDs that they had a Golden Child, “The Last Emperor” upbringing. The absolute opposite is the truth. They should be pitied but I advise you never ever ever try to save them. please REALISE THAT for your own health and sanity you must walk away, RUN from this person no matter how much it breaks your heart, it will literally break your heart if you stay.
    NPD is in the same B category of personality disorders along side with sociopathy and psychopathy. Get out. Do not waste years like others have trying to find a key to this persons soul and heart and think their abuse will change.

    • dw77 says:

      Jake, i could not agree more. In my experience, and in the psychiatric studies, it has been unempathetic, critical or abusive parenting that created narcissistic offspring. It is rarely, if ever, “Golden Child” syndrome.

    • Npdhater says:

      My personal experience is a bit contradictory to that. While I have known a few narcissistic women the narcissistic men in my life have been much more damaging. I would say I have experienced about twice as many narcissistic men than women. Granted that’s annectodal. But narcissism doesn’t necessarily equal violence. In fact one extremely narcissistic man I dated used my previous domestically abusive relationship as a way to emotionally abuse me. He constantly convinced me any issue I took with his negative behavior was because I was so messed up because I was stupid enough to stay in an abusive relationship. In retrospect I see that he was preying on me as a person who was in a very vulnerable emotional state. The fact I had left a physically abusive relationship set me up to be “ok” with any abuse that didn’t involve physical injury. He never raised a hand to me but he damaged me far more than my abusive ex-husband. He took away my ability to trust my own emotions and instincts for a very long time. If you put narcissim on a 1-10 scale I would say my ex-husband was a 7, this guy was a 10. The guy who was a 7 was physicsally violent while the 10 wasn’t. What he did was much more insidious. Gas lighting, compliments that were laced with insults (one I remember in particular, that’s a nice outfit, it hides how fat you are). He was so much worse. While the 7 blamed me for all of his mistakes, I feel like the things he did hurt me with his selfishness, the 10 seemed to intentionally hurt me emotionally for no better reason that to entertain himself and perhaps inflate his own ego.

  6. kym says:

    It might feel good to believe they were spoiled into being this way. Maybe some of them were. But the ones I have known best were actually ignored by indifferent parents. One actually told me, and this is word-for-word, “What saved me was I realized I was actually smarter than all the people around me.” In reality, he had average intelligence or (I believe) actually slightly below average. He thought he was a genius, however. He had to leave a graduate program because of his compulsion to demand attention in class and grand stand. He alienated the teachers. I remember another one I knew (who was a psychiatrist!) and I remember telling someone, “She is never wrong and nothing is EVER her fault.” That’s why I googled up this article. Her father had been so over-bearing that their mother ran away and left them and that was (I suppose) part of what made her into a flaming narcissist. Take care, everyone, and get these people out of your life if you can.

  7. Kim says:

    I am personally seeking treatment for BPD and stumbled across this information on NPD. It all sounds so very much like my husband. even the “golden child” up bringing. I try hard to offer up kindness and fairness to all of my children and give to them all that I can and my husband does the same but this is not the same as the “golden childhood” that people might think and not the one my NPD husband experience. the idea that a child is never wrong and is taught to win at all costs is only “golden” in the way that gold is heavy and hard to carry around. My husband has all but one of the traits, the only one he is missing is that he never exaggerates what he has done or could do. the reason for that is simple in our 13 years of marriage I have never seen him fail once at anything (except caring for me) but then I have never seen him try at anything he might fail and he is not able to quit or be seen by anyone until it is perfect. My heart is heavy for him and inability to be anything but perfect, admired and right. he just seems like a scared little boy unable to let himself down, unable to grow, unable be really seen or loved…………….

  8. Diane Salling says:

    This was helpful. But I am still very, very angry. There is no closure for the person who gets to be always right and never apologizes. It is so very hurtful. This person is a relative, and the direct relation this person is married to is dismissive, and talks over me. When I asked that he not have that behavior anymore, a malevolent storm was leashed upon me by both of them. But then I realized…my direct relation has no respect for women (in part due to our mother). He is angry and frustrated…he has to live with a spouse who is female and who is always right and never wrong. He is stuck in a hell that is never-ending.

    What really irks me though, is that a simple issue should result in them not speaking to me, texting my son to say that I am unintelligible, and saying, “how could you do this to us when we have done so much for you? Funny, they never remember all the things that I have done…

    Its sad…and I guess there is no answer.

  9. jake says:

    Narcissistic woman will never love you because they would rather belittle you make you out to be the abuser it is not logical to claim to be perfect its just not possible to be perfect we are all human. Narcisstic woman only need you for service they are horrified of giving affection freely because they dont think its cool. If a narcisstic woman says she loves you run fast because these woman are only in love with what you can do for them and they are punishers deep down but like you to think your the abuser so they can keep sucking the life right out of your soul its called narcisstic supply. They need it like a drug addict needs drugs.I fell in love with a fake and I confronted her about having narcissim and now she has discarded me. They say they trusted you but I swear to god they dont trust anyone ever. They lie straight to your face and if you ever notice they do not cry because there only in love with themselves is been a painful experience trting to love a narcissist. God bless love the true meaning of love is forgiveness but these types are very hard to forgive because they never resolve anything so you end up divorced and feeling completely betrayed and the betrayed is never loved because its your fault you wanted them to be happy I dont think theyll ever be happy unless they have conflict or someone to put down and abuse.

  10. Sheri says:

    My ex will never apologize for anything. To him, I was always wrong. He has done so many things to hurt me but will later act as if nothing has ever happened and when I would try to talk about it, he always said that it’s the past and would fly off of the handle and then says that it was all of my fault and would go another two weeks without talking to me. A few years ago, I lost my father and simply asked him if he could turn the TV down a little because I had a headache from crying so much and his response was: It’s not my fault that your dad died don’t take it out on me (while being evil and screaming). He’s done so many ugly things to me. He’s 47 with no children, never been married, dates women off of chats lines, ride a motorcycle and loves showing it off and play video games all day after getting off of work. He drives 18-wheelers for a living and is a Jehovah’s Witness by religion and criticizes others but never see his own mistakes. I tried to just love him for him but he was just so insensitive. He also kept in contact with all of his Ex’s. While arguing he’d say things like: As a child I never defended myself but I’m grown and no one’s going to make me feel like I’m wrong. He’d then say: I’m always right and you can ask my friends because they know that I’m never wrong. He argues with all of his co-workers and only has a few friends but they all would tell me to just ignore him because he wasn’t a bad person. It’s sad for anyone to be so mean.

    • Jacquie says:

      Sounds like my ex! And it’s very hard to understand how they can be so cruel! Hurt my feelings almost ever week! But wouldn’t ever admit he shouldn’t of contacted an Ex or missed my 50th party to go golf! It’s like he lived his fantasy world on line, date sites, face book, etc ….. Never one apology! Never wrong, even with proof! He would just ignore me. Glad he’s gone! I had a lucky escape. Hope your well.

  11. RM says:

    I apologize for coming from left field here but some of the comments are disturbing, things against people who are “always right” because they “get to be” and it’s especially disturbing to read this:

    “For example, she married my father and later divorced him…but she would never say that marrying my father was a mistake because she was always right—she didn’t make mistakes. Her rationalization was that marrying him was the only way she could get away from her oppressive Old World father, therefore it was the right thing to do. That she was 16 and her father was no more oppressive than the fathers of other 16-year-old girl of that era was not material: she wanted to run her own life and marrying my father was an immediate and certain way to do that”

    Yeah, and? Who the shite are you to try and get your mother to admit that marrying your father was a mistake? I’m sorry but that is not your place as her daughter, let alone as someone external from their relationship. If there were any other reasons for her leaving him, things she might have told you, then so it, but to believe that your mother must somehow admit that marrying your dad was a mistake is a horrid thing to say. Sorry, but it is. You are in no place to determine whether another person being with someone was ever a “mistake.” So who is the narcissist there?

    Anyway, those at large should be careful about trying to scapegoat those with a tendency for correctness, and who assert that correctness for the sake correctness and truth–it’s about how, and even why it’s presented that determines the difference.

    You are also not in any place to gauge the intelligence of another human being. He just might be smarter than the people around him, and maybe it’s you that can’t comprehend his mind enough to level with him, so you say he has average to below average intelligence?

    This article was written by a narcissist, plain and simple.

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