Because narcissists do not believe they make mistakes, do not learn from them: study. According to a new study, narcissists may be incapable of learning from their errors because they do not believe they make any. After all, who would want to learn if you don't feel bad about yourself?"
– Dr. Robin Rosenberg. The New York Times Magazine. 10/8/09.
Narcissists rarely admit fault, but studies show they do think about it before they act. Narcissists know that thinking doesn't hurt anything, so they worry about it as much as anyone else. But since they don't see themselves as separate people, they don't feel guilty for what they do.
Yes, narcissists can think better than others. They just don't feel responsible for their actions. This way, they don't have to change or feel bad about themselves.
Should counterfactual thinking refers to the mental process of reviewing one's prior actions and decisions to identify what they should have done differently. Simply put, narcissists are incapable of doing so, which is why they fail to learn from their errors. They live in the now, thinking only about themselves and their desires, and thus cannot see the need to change anything about their behavior.
Narcissists never learn because they're self-absorbed: they focus on themselves and their feelings rather than others. It's hard for them to understand why anyone would want to harm them or take advantage of them, because they don't feel vulnerable enough to care whether other people treat them well or not. In fact, narcissists often feel threatened by other people's attention or admiration because it implies that they're not omnipotent or perfect.
Narcissists also never learn because they have a poor memory: they forget what you've said or done if it doesn't serve them right now. If they hurt your feelings, for example, they may remember that you liked them last week but not today. The more narcissistic someone is, the less likely it is that they'll remember something they did or said unless it helps them out in some way.
Finally, narcissists never learn because they have an impulsive personality type: they act first and think later.
Narcissists react differently to success and failure than others, frequently attributing failure to external causes or sources (Stucke, 2003). This permits individuals to escape the feelings of rage and grief that come from being confronted with their flaws. In addition, because narcissists view themselves as superior, they believe failing at something demonstrates their inferiority. Thus, when faced with failure, they feel humiliated and this leads to more rejectionism.
When narcissists succeed, they feel proud and this leads to more arrogance. They tend to think that everyone is like them and acts in the same way under such circumstances. Therefore, if someone else succeeds, it must be because of innate talent or hard work instead of due to help from others.
In addition, narcissists are egotistical by nature and successful experiences increase this feeling even more. Finally, because narcissists are insecure about their appearance, other people's opinions matter to them. If others praise them for something, this makes them feel valuable and this leads to more self-absorption.
Narcissists can also fail academically. When this happens, they need to understand that they are not alone in facing difficulties, and there are resources available to help them.
Remember that you are not to blame. A narcissistic personality disordered individual is unlikely to confess a mistake or accept responsibility for harming you. Rather, they prefer to reflect their own undesirable actions onto you or another person. However, a healthy relationship can exist with a person who has NPD, as long as you understand their behavior.
While being a narcissist is not a choice, it is important mentioning that the majority of narcissists never seek therapy because they cannot accept that their terrible conduct is their responsibility. Narcissistic abuse is never, ever the fault of people who suffer from it. This is especially true when children are being victimized. The parent may give an innocent child a very bad experience in life, but it was not their fault. It is also true of adults who use their power over others to abuse them.
Narcissists prefer to blame other people for their problems. They tend to look for someone to blame for any incident that affects them personally. Sometimes they will even try to shift the blame to others after committing a serious crime.
Narcissists are also afraid of accountability. They do not feel responsible for their actions and therefore have no reason to want to change. Finally, they often don't see the need to change since they believe they are perfect anyway!
If you suspect that you or someone you know has narcissistic traits, help is available. There are many support groups across the country where you can find others like you who understand what you're going through. Narcissism-focused therapy can also provide much-needed guidance as you work on improving yourself and your relationship with others.
While many narcissists believe they are highly bright, critical thinkers, the researchers discovered that they are less likely to apply essential reflective thinking skills while addressing difficulties. As a result, their high levels of confidence in their intellectual talents are sometimes mistaken. Narcissists do not necessarily consider themselves smart, but rather talented and persuasive.
In other words, narcissists believe they are geniuses, but they don't use reason to come to conclusions. They just feel great about themselves and assume everyone agrees with them.
Narcissists are vulnerable to feelings of inferiority because they require excessive admiration to feel successful. They may also suffer from arrogance because they believe they are more worthy than others.
Although narcissists can be egotistical, this type of personality disorder does not involve an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Narcissists aren't aware they're being arrogant until someone tells them so. They simply cannot understand why people would not see them as brilliant or accept all their ideas.
Narcissists feel insecure when others don't admire them or respect their opinions. Because they need attention and praise to feel successful, they may sabotage their own success by refusing to try new things or engage with others.
Narcissists are acutely aware of their flaws, but only on a subconscious level, and their response is to project these flaws onto you. As a result, a narcissist may convince you that you are the narcissist or the abuser. Their sense of self-worth is so fragile that they need you to believe in them even though they know there are many things about themselves that they dislike.
They can't accept any form of negative feedback because it would reveal how much they need others to think well of them. If someone told them they had a bad attitude, they wouldn't be able to cope with this information; instead, it would cause them great pain and might make them feel like they have failed at getting love.
The way that they deal with their feelings of inadequacy is to deny them and then compensate for this denial by being overbearing and demanding. They want you to adore them, but if you do, they know that you will see through their mask. That's why they wear masks - to hide who they really are.
Narcissists have such low self-esteem that they need to find ways to justify their existence. They may tell themselves that everyone needs something to admire about them, which allows them to believe that some people do indeed like them. Or they may just go with the default setting and act like monsters because that's what monsters do.