We often hear narcissists say that they want to be accepted for who they are. This is a normal desire in human beings, right? We all want that and the narcissist is no different in that regard. However, this desire in the narcissist is convoluted and selfish. Like all of their emotions and desires, it is twisted and unrealistic when compared with what other people mean when they say that.
The Ugly Truth
If a non-narcissistic person has done something terrible to you, they will usually understand that it was not acceptable and that the relationship will - and probably should - end now. They may not like that, but they will understand. The narcissist does not understand this. The narcissist believes that you are being cruel and unfair, because you will not accept them for who they are.
The idea that being a cruel, abusive monster with no feelings is literally not acceptable in any relationship does not occur to them, and it wouldn't matter if it did. They are the exception to that rule and every rule. If you really cared, you'd stop making a big deal over things and accept them as they are. They're not as bad as you're making them sound.
The truth is, narcissists don't want to be accepted. They want to be excepted. They want to be the exception to the rule. To all of the rules. They want everything they do to be OK, no matter how horrible it is, and anything less is unfair. This is so unrealistic as to be almost laughable but they truly believe that's how it should be. Nothing they do should be cause for punishment or ending the relationship. They are owed blanket acceptance for any and everything they do. They don't even really have a reason, usually, other than that they aren't really that bad. You're just making them look worse than they are because you hate them and you're evil/crazy/stupid/whatever. That's another reason that they will not change. They are unable to appreciate how terrible and damaging their behavior really is. It doesn't bother them, so it's not that big of a deal.
A narcissist is thrown out of the house by his wife. He rants and raves about how cruel she is because she is "taking his family away just because he said something she didn't like."
That wife sounds evil, doesn't she? Sounds like he made some offhand comment and she just threw him out because she's so mean and horrible, right? How awful! That poor guy! Except that the thing he said that she didn't like was, he told their young son Mom tried to run Dad over with the car, a total lie. And why did he do that? He was angry that she would not let him buy something they could not afford. The story looks a little different now. And that really happened to somebody. So instead of, "Mean wife tries to make husband homeless and steal his family," the story is actually, "Cruel father abuses family by trying to turn son against mother just because he's mad."
The narcissist wants you to overlook and dismiss this type of outrageous, totally unacceptable and completely intolerable behavior as just "blowing off steam," or "running off at the mouth." They don't have any idea of the damage they are causing to the people around them and they don't care. They just want you to make an exception for them so that they don't have to suffer any consequences they may not like, and they will emotionally blackmail you by saying you would do it if you really cared about them -- even though they could care less about you.
The audacity of this is really just unbelievable. They want you to continue to allow yourself and your family to be abused, tortured and mistreated because the consequences of the narcissist's actions - such as you ending the relationship - are unpleasant for the narcissist. They don't care about how it affects you at all. That's why they don't want things to change. They want to be excepted, not accepted.
In point of fact, narcissists truly do not care how you feel about them at all. They don't care if you accept them or like them or love them or hate them. Not really. They care that you do not leave. If your feelings change and you attempt to leave because of it, then they will care -- and they will often pull out all the stops to make you stay. If you stay in the situation and just hate their guts every day from dusk til dawn, it will not matter to them.
You are there to fulfill a purpose and that's it. It could be to give the narcissist a stable environment, to make the narcissist look good, to provide a cover for some illicit activity, to provide an income, to do house chores... whatever it is, you are just a tool. The narcissist does not understand you, worry about you or care about you at all. They probably don't even really know you. It's not uncommon for narcissists not to know even basic information about their loved ones, such as names of extended family members or a favorite color. They don't know because they don't care.
The last time you bought a pair of scissors or a hammer, did you wonder where it came from? How it was made? No? Narcissists don't wonder about their tools, either. They simply want to be able to continue to act however they want: disrespectful, rude, inconsiderate, abusive... without any consequences -- at all, ever -- and if you won't allow that, you're cruel and evil.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Roop on January 21, 2018:
Can a narcissist ask first to end a relationship?