Why do narcissists fake empathy?

Oh dear, you poor thing.

I’ll listen to you. 

Tell me all about it. 

I’m here for you.

Oh, isn’t that person lovely. All the things I thought about them must have been my imagination working overtime.

Yep, job complete for the narcissist!

Narcissists aren’t kind, nor are they compassionate. What they are, is…

…great at acting.

So, why would the narcissist go all the way to bothering to fake empathy? Why do they act like they care when they only really care about themselves?

Let’s find out shall we?

Enter the World of Empathy

If you’re reading this, you’re likely to have a strong idea about empathy.

On a whole, empathy is understanding and caring about a person and what they’re going through. Beyond that, empathy is to connect with their vulnerabilities, and listen to what they’re saying, and the person they are showing you.

A lot of people who describe themselves as empaths would consider themselves a target for narcissists because of what they have to offer them. Strangely, the most caring and the least caring people on the planet find each other, and that’s what makes narcissistic relationships so toxic.

One party is out to get everything, and the other is out to give everything they have. 

Nobody ends up being happy – although you might think the narcissist is. 

They aren’t. 

They act it because people dance to the beat of their drum, but no narcissist is truly happy when you take it all away. That’s why they’re such bitter people – they hate themselves. 

The Narcissist Portal – All Fake!

Narcissists try to be humble to act believable to people. They think that if they portray all the genuine attributes of an empath, that they will be seen as sympathetic to the troubles and struggles others are going through. 

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The worst part of that is that any empathy just doesn’t come naturally to them. I mean, can you imagine not genuinely feeling sorry for somebody after they show you their most vulnerable self?

For me, if somebody I knew needed my support, or an ear to listen, I’m going to do it. Not because I have to, but because I want to make sure that person is okay. It’s amazing what just listening does to help.

It’s all fake with a narcissist. Yes, they can place their arm around your shoulder, and yes, they can delve into the role of ‘listener,’ but they aren’t fully checking in with you.

They don’t know how to. 

Don’t Be Fooled

It’s easy to become food by the narcissist’s fakeness. I know of occasions where I’ve mistaken fake empathy for the real thing. It’s not been the most pleasant of lessons to learn.

For starters, you can feel almost stupid for disclosing your innermost feelings to somebody who really doesn’t care. 

Second, falling for the fake makes you feel like a total fool. 

Why didn’t I see it more clearly?

It’s not your fault – they’re just that good at faking. 

Why Do They Fake?

Narcissists want to be like you. They hate that they aren’t. It’s beyond frustrating to them that empathy doesn’t come naturally, because if it did, it would make them even more likable. 

Faking it is the only way they can look and appear like the good person they wish they were.

Let’s look at that in a little more detail. 

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Faking Empathy: Reasons Why

To Avoid Conflict

Fake empathy acts as a really handy tool for narcissists to walk away from conflict. If there are disputes taking place, the narcissist can gloss over them with a little bit of pseudo-understanding. This is especially true if there is something in it for them.

Pretending to care means people who are caught up in all the drama and trouble will look to them for help and support – bingo. The narcissist looks like the star of the show.

To Maintain Their Image

Imagine how much respect empaths get by simply being themselves? Of course, they aren’t looking for anything in particular – they’re just being themselves!

Well, the narcissist wants a slice of that too! They want respect and attention. So, hang on a minute, what do they need to do again?

Ah, yes. Pretend to care.

Got it.

The narcissist already has their image perfected. From the car they drive, to the house they own. 

So now, the cherry on the cake would be to reinforce what a noble person they are. This is different from the material goods they show off. This is a real notch on their personality belt. 

It adds value and enrichment to them as people in general. They are more than happy to fake empathy if it means they look better as a result!

To Gain Trust

Aw, look at you, turning to the narcissist in your time of need. You cry, you spill your secrets, and you become your most vulnerable self – all in their presence. 

How was it so easy to do that?

Well, the narcissist was such a good listener. They looked and said and did the right things, and they made it so easy for you to speak. 

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Hang on… What’s the catch?

Ah yes. They don’t actually give a hoot about you, but they love that their fake empathy allowed for you to trust them. Now they’ve got you where they want you. 

Now they can exploit you when the time is right, and prove the real person behind that fake mask.

To Blend In

Narcissists can walk into a room of sad people and immediately feel out of place. What are they supposed to do now? They know the usual charm, and jokes won’t cut it. The best thing to do is to pretend they are equally emotional and offer shoulders to cry on. 

I’ll be there for them because if I don’t, people are going to notice. 

If only narcissists wore T-shirts with that slogan on – then we’d all know where we stood!

To Manipulate

This is so true when it comes to relationships. It’s all about the narcissist looking like somebody who wants to love, protect, and care for the person they’re with. 

Think about it. If the narcissist shows they are listening and caring, then there should be no reason for their victim to suspect they are anything other than genuine. 

It’s how narcissists lure people in and why those they lure become attached. They won’t hesitate to secure loyalty from you if it means they can abuse it at a later date. 

In truth – you aren’t in a relationship with that perfect person. Instead, you’re in a relationship with somebody who lacks empathy, kindness, and compassion.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg!

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