Why Do Narcissists Act Like Nothing Happened?

Narcissists are famous for acting as though nothing happened after a major blow-up. Yes – even when you are left completely stunned by their instant mood shift – they pretend everything’s ‘normal’ again.

Soon enough, all conflict or betrayal will be erased from their minds, and you’re the one left questioning what happened.

Did that even happen?

Was I to blame?

Am I being unreasonable?

Well, I’ll let you into a little secret. Narcissists have a reason for acting like nothing happened. In fact, I’ll go one step further and say they have several reasons.

Learn how this blatant denial and gaslighting tactic keeps you off balance and under their control. Unmask the narcissist’s playbook and gain insights into their mind games. Don’t miss this revealing exposé on why narcissists act like nothing ever happened!

Your Reality Denied – The Narcissist Conveniently Forgetting

Isn’t it the most convenient thing? The narcissist – forgetting absolutely anything they did that was out of line – what a familiar story.

Narcissists love a clean slate. I mean, they really love it. It isn’t for your benefit that a slate is wiped though, instead it’s because they don’t want to be associated with any poor behavior from the past. 

The Selective Amnesia of the Narcissist

Don’t get me wrong, we all forget from time to time. In fact, it’s fair to say we can all walk into a new day forgetting something we should have done, or need to do. 

Narcissists don’t work this way – not really. Their memory is much more conveniently attuned to remember only what they want – or specifically versions of what happened.

I’ll give you an example. 

You’re out to dinner with friends, and you see a friend of the opposite sex you’ve not seen in months. You suspend a good ten minutes catching up, asking how they are, and vice versa. On the journey home, your narcissistic partner tells you that you embarrassed them tonight by being overly-friendly with that friend.

You, of course, deny any wrongdoing. You were simply catching up and talking. The more you protest your innocence, the angrier the narcissist gets. They tell you it wasn’t appropriate and how you acted like you were ‘all over them.’ You apologize and apologize, and go to bed feeling terrible.

The next morning, you wake up reeling from the guilt of upsetting the narcissist. They wake up like nothing happened, and carry on with their day.

The narcissist did what they did, and said what they said. They know it’s left you feeling the way you feel, so their job is done. This will not be mentioned again, and will be forgotten about until they feel like bringing it up.

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That will be when they deem you to have stepped out of line, or triggered their insecurities in the same way. 

Narcissists remember what they want to remember – when they want to remember it.


So, let’s look a little deeper at why narcissists act like nothing happened:

#1 To Protect Themselves

Narcissists will protect themselves at all costs. If you think you are going to produce evidence of something they did, they’re going to deny, deny, deny. 

Narcissists are quick to sidestep because they have an image to uphold. This is an image you’re at risk of shattering if you come at them or others with the truth. 

#2 They Can’t Handle The Truth

Narcissists will spin any story to themselves, and convince themselves it’s the truth. They will do this because they don’t want you to know their weaknesses. They hate you knowing things about them that make them appear weak or incorrect.

They feel deep shame at even the thought of being found out.

If they are, they will act as though nothing happened.

#3 They Hate Confrontation

Have you ever met a narcissist who truly likes confrontation? Many, many years ago, I knew somebody who used to famously stay: 

Just stay out of it and keep your head down.

At the time, I commended them for not wanting any drama, but it wasn’t that. Instead, they would bow out of anything that may lead back to them. 

Narcissists tell lie after lie after lie, and if they confront, they risk having those lies exposed. 

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It’s just not going to happen.

A narcissist will not stand up for what’s really right, nor will they ever defend you

#4 They Can’t Take Accountability

Narcissists don’t want to be accountable for something they did wrong.

Think about a time you’ve had a run in with a narcissist. Have they ever left themselves in a position where they’ve been told off for doing something? 

They hate it. The rage that follows is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. If they go public with that kind of rage, their cover is totally blown. 

Accountability is also admitting they did something wrong in the first place. Have you ever known a narcissist to hold their hands up and admit when they made a mistake?

It doesn’t happen, because to them, mistakes are a sign of weakness. They cannot appear weak to others. 

They’ve spent years building up an image that weakness will not uphold. 

#5 Blanked Out – Back Again!

I hate to end things on such a downer, but there’s another side to all of this that I haven’t even begun to dig for. 

Many narcissists spend a lot of time online. They seek out relationships with people (sometimes worldwide), and have a habit of doing something extremely painful…


That’s right.

Narcissists are infamous for striking up intense connections before disappearing off the face of the earth. 

All the future faking and charm is there, before they collect their supply and go.

Sometimes they can return, with all the excuses under the sun. Your hurt and pain will be ‘patched over’ with mediocre reasons why they had to go. They won’t want to talk about them, and you’ll usually hear or read the following:

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I don’t want to get involved with all the ins and outs. 

Apologies if it ended up being that way, but I’m here now.

I didn’t even realize I’d been gone that long.

I don’t want to go over it all – what’s done is done. 

What matters is now.

We can’t change the past, we only have right now.

All these things are meant to cover up the dreadful way you were treated, and the more you allow it to happen, the stronger they will act as though nothing happened. They will downplay what they did, and want you to take them back and start again simply.

If you tolerate their excuses, you can get stuck in a cycle for years. 

If you don’t, you get a lucky escape. 

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