Is a narcissist capable of love?

Do you think a narcissist can really love someone else? (Romantically speaking, let’s ignore love for his/her parents).

Personally, as someone who once dated a narcissist, I don’t think my ex ever loved me but I do believe he truly convinced himself that he loved me. As if him believing that made him feel more of a human being with emotions.

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A clinical narcissist is a half-sociopath; they can bond with people emotionally, but are incapable of empathy.

Any cluster B type personality can be narcissistic, i.e. self-aggrandizing, as can many people in general who fucking buzzfeed quizzes will tell you are #narcissists because they dumped you and proceeded to go on with their comparatively healthy well adjusted lives. YMMV.

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I was referring to clinical narcissists and that makes perfect sense (at least from my own experience) that they can bond with people emotionally but not feel empathy.

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No, they sure can’t love anyone but themselves, and this is a false self love. Deep down, they feel inept and are very insecure. Narcissists are made when someone dotes on them, spoils them, gives them all their time, love and attention, and this is given without them really having to earn it. They aren’t taught proper discipline, and are saved from the consequences of their wrongful actions. They learn that love, adoration, material things, and such are just given to them automatically in excess. When they begin to venture out into the real world on their own, they immediately will seek someone who will fill the place that their parent or grandparents had. A victim in other words. They take take take, but never truly give. They don’t understand what it means to be responsible, so they find someone they can use. They’ll say whatever they need to say, in order to get what they want, but ultimately, it’s always about them. Any inconvenience life throws them is handed over to their victim, if the victim should protest this, they blame, and become verbally abusive or physically abusive. They lie, often pathologically, hide behind various masks to impress people, manipulate, and bribe to get thru life on someone else’s time, and dime. They’re never authentic, never real.

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They learn as they’re being raised by a doting family member, that their value is based solely on someone else’s love and feelings for them, and don’t grow into an identity that truly is their own. So it’s mom’s " my precious little angel baby" bullshit, that they realize they can cash in on, and milk it for all its worth. Sad, but true.

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A narcissist loves themselves above anything and everything. So when they “love” you, they love what you can do for them, they love how you stroke their ego, they love how they can control and use you…notice how I used the word “love” here? Yeah, that’s a narcissist’s version of love.

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This is so well written and well thought out. Your post really helped me understand the dynamics inside and outside of the narcissist. When I say that your post is well written, I mean that everything from the pacing to the imagery was amazing. I felt like I was in the narcissist’s head when I was reading it.

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I have had occasion to observe a former colleague’s relationship with their child (it’s a very odd situation and it has recently come to a close much to my relief) and from what I can gather this person is not capable of love. It’s not that they don’t want to be, in fact more than anything in the world this broken person wants to be loved, but it’s like this individual does not have the basic framework to connect meaningfully with another person. So instead they create this sort of gameified version of a parent/child relationship that is built on anger, instability and deep fear leading to codependency. I truly feel bad for the child.

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My father is a narcissist. However he did have a very strong emotional attachment to my mother when she was alive.

I would not call this ‘love’ exactly because I do not believe he is capable of loving anyone. I believe narcissists often NEED to have control over others and so develop relationships with people simply so that they can sate their need about having to be in control.

I think that THEY (narcissists) think they can love. But their version of love is just being overly possessive, controlling every aspect of your life, gaslighting to the extreme or love bombing to an almost unbearable level. This is my feelings from remembering my parents’ relationship.

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Narcissists are DEFECTIVE.

They CANNOT love.

They can imitate love. They may even convince themselves they love someone.

Narcissists need SUPPLY. They form relationships to get that need met. When you cease to be of use to them, or when a more appealing person comes along, they’ll get their supply elsewhere.

Avoid at all costs. DO NOT give them attention of any kind if you can possibly avoid it. I cannot emphasize this enough.

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@4648Cru Your description of a narcissist is interesting and a frightening character, but they’re not all like that. I’ve done some internet research (and have some personal experience it seems). A lot of narcissists form because they were pressed down on at a young age, they felt so worthless that they transformed to create a delusion of themselves to hide the damaged sense of self. Sometimes they do this to become their oppressor, especially if it was a parent.

Alternatively, a growing child who is entirely dominated can become an inverted narcissist. Which is like the opposite of a narcissist in terms of behaviour. They are aware that they feel less than every other person and don’t crave genuine love, but instead they find narcissistic abuse comforting and familiar. Like a desire deep in their programming. This is different to merely being a codependent.

To answer OPs question, ene of the symptoms of narcissism is that they lack empathy. No empathy means no love. However… if narcissism is a spectrum like so many other things, and there can be levels of intensity to this pathology… then that is frightening to consider for various reasons. EVERY narcissist’s codependent will end up swearing to the edges of the world and back that THEIR narcissist is low-spectrum type and so thus their CONNECTION is REAL LOVE :roll_eyes:

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I honestly think narcissists (or most of them) truly believe they are capable of love. I think it’s a way to force themselves to believe they aren’t mosters.

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I have some cluster-b tenancies in my personality. I think a lot of anti-narcissist propaganda exist because narcissists disrupt the status quo.

What better way to attack them than to say, they aren’t people because they can’t love. When you ask the psychological institutions how they know narcissists can’t love, they will claim that they can read people’s hearts and minds. When you ask the psychological institutions to define love, they say a bunch of gibberish. Then the news comes out that your therapist is a narcissist so you have to throw everything out except for some survey results.

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Yes whatever is more available and more easily accessed.

The post from @4648Cru explains perfectly a narcissist. Sadly I had to deal with one recently. They tried to make me feel its all my fault when in truth it was always them. I had plenty of time to analyze their behaviour and responses so its 1000% accurate. The entire post is perfect but I’d like to point some things:

I have to point out a thing though: They do understand they have an “issue”. But they don’t understand that they are narcissists. They think they’re just “selfish”. Also, yes, after some point I did understood they are narcissists but I doubted at the same time since I thought, based on their accusations, that it was my fault they acted this way.

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This.

The two most often used phrases that my narcissist father uses when he realises that he’s messed up and shown his true colours are:

“You made me do that / act that way”

“If you hadn’t done or said (insert perfectly normal action or words here) then I wouldn’t have had to do/say that. It’s your fault.”

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NO. Narcissists cannot love. I was in a relationship with one for a year. She took everything and left. Stay away from these vermin. They are symbolic of rats. They all must die.

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Exactly. They realize they screwed up and they do apologize often times. But its never truthful, they will repeat what they did again and again and again with no remorse, they will even be happy about it. They will see you in pain and they will enjoy it as long as you keep giving without asking back, as long as you’re accepting them coming back whenever they want, as long as you will keep going back whenever they wave their hand. They will throw you some stuff to keep you hanging around them, but they never mean it. In some moments of truth they will say “I see your worth yet I still behave this way”. I think that whomever isn’t a clinical narcissist they just can’t understand what’s going on with them. Yet that’s no excuse whatsoever for their actions.

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I used to be friends with a narcissist. She’s the first genuine narcissist I have been friends with. Her selfishness was so extreme that it can only be described as pathological. The incongruence between her self image and who she really is can only be described as delusional. Her metrics for measuring her worth were all superficial. Her abusive nature - towards friends and lovers - was unpredictable and vicious. Her ability to be the victim in every situation she herself created is unprecedented. I have never in my life met anyone who is more despicable, yet so oblivious to her own revolting nature.

And of course: nothing is ever a narcissist’s fault. It is ALWAYS someone else. Zero accountability.

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As someone raised by a narcissist, no. They only care about how you add to their life.

Example: When my grandma went on hospice, my mom convinced her to move in with her so she could “take care of her”. Within the first week, she convinced grandma to write her a check for $16,000 and constantly posted on social media about how she was such a good daughter for taking care of her mom. With 2 months, I recieved a frantic call asking if I could take care of her because my mom had eavesdropped on a phone call where my grandma was taking her out of the will and had stopped feeding her and frequently threatened to beat her. Once there was nothing more she could bilk, financial or reputation wise, she was just waiting for grandma to die and was frustrated it wasn’t happening fast enough. She lived another 2 years with me and my family.

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Yes, you’re right. They are aware something is wrong with them, but if they even seek professional help such as a psychiatrist, they will attempt to control that situation as well, and will say whatever they have to, to avoid the proper diagnosis. They would rather take the diagnosis of being bi polar or even schizophrenic, because they won’t admit the truth and can’t face it.

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