How Do You Get a Narcissist to Care?
A narcissist will never care. Not in the true sense because their lack of empathy makes that impossible.
Yet we forget narcissism is a form of addiction. And instead of alcohol or drugs, the narcissist is self-addicted.
Hence, they do care about ONE thing.
And if we remember this we can lessen the emotional abuse. Because sadly, it’s necessary for the years we can’t escape them or because we share children with them or because they are family.
So this bears repeating — the narcissist is addicted to themselves. And everything that entails — their world, and their money, and their possessions, and their job.
We can lessen our anguish by speaking their language — ‘I and me.’
But instead, we use ‘you’ and implore them to care.
How could ‘you’ do this? Why won’t ‘you’ stop. Why don’t ‘you’ care?
Perhaps it’s best told by example.
My twenty-year-old son recently had a medical emergency. Thankfully, he’s fine and it turned out to be something which is easily treated. However, the first warning signs included internal bleeding. Incredibly frightening.
I keep my interactions with my ex-husband to a minimum.
However, this would be an example where both parents must intersect.
I am temporarily thrust back into the day to day desperation of dealing with the narcissist. Worse, he must provide the insurance information and accompany our son to the first post-hospital appointment.
Nutrition is especially important for our son’s treatment.
The old me would have begged my ex-husband to get my son lunch. I would have said something like, “How can you not care if he needs to eat?” “You realize he was just hospitalized don’t you?”
Consequently, my old reaction would have elicited responses, such as, “He’s old enough to get his own lunch,” etc.
All true, but these are extenuating circumstances and my three days, two nights round the clock in the hospital have left little at home.
I am smarter now and I am incredibly worried about my son.
So I speak the narcissist's language.
“Listen, our son’s symptoms were vague. It was dizziness and lightheadedness which originally took him to the emergency room. If he doesn’t eat lunch and is unable to differentiate his symptoms there will be another medical bill.”
I am attempting to speak his self-addicted language.
This would be the man who repeatedly uninsured his own children during the divorce process. It would also be the man who got an insurance policy in name only so as not to be penalized during the divorce finalization.
This policy pays for nothing.
The out of pocket is huge since it is such bad coverage.
The narcissist is already being forced to part with one of his most coveted belongings — money. He does not want to sacrifice any more of what he ‘cares’ about.
My words coat him like narcissistic repellent.
He is now agreeable to getting our son lunch.
In the past, my ex-husband would have blown me off simply to make it clear I was wrong and he was in control. My son would have been the inadvertent pawn.
If only I had been smarter throughout the abuse.
The years he was doing things far more harmful than skipping lunch.
But I refused to believe my narcissist didn’t care.
I wish I realized sooner that narcissism is a form of addiction.
And if you give an addict what they want — they’ll be happy.