We’ve all thought about how much a narcissist must love himself in order to behave the way he does.
But what if I told you that the things he does are mostly out of self-hatred more than self-love? You’d probably call me crazy.
You’ve probably encountered one too many narcissists in your life. You’ve loved them, lived with them, tried to understand them. There might have even been a romantic partner in your life who was nothing more than a narcissistic waste of space.
He showed you just how dark the world can be and made sure to remind you just how absolutely wrecked your heart can be. He showed you that love isn’t something beautiful but something that’s filled with so much pain and disappointment that it only creates even more problems.
So I don’t blame you for not believing me when I say he doesn’t love himself as much as you think he does.
You saw the way he treated you for his own pleasure. You witnessed how he got a kick out of making you cry and seeing you crawl back to him each time.
It was like a curse, because the way he loved himself wasn’t natural. You saw the pain in his eyes, but you didn’t believe that he could be soft and tender. He misused his trauma to create a monster of himself.
It’s hard to believe this and feel any sort of empathy or compassion toward someone who seems to be so full of themselves. After all, you catch him staring at his own reflection way more than at you.
He’d even tell you that his interests, wants, and needs were more important than yours. You were just nagging him whenever you tried to tell him that he was wrong for thinking that.
He would belittle you, tell you that you were crazy, and completely invalidate your emotions. Your heart was breaking into millions of pieces because he couldn’t see how much he hurt you with his merciless criticism.
You saw the way he would thrive on breaking you. He smiled so viciously and truly enjoyed the show you were giving him.
But a person who loves and values themselves enough just doesn’t treat others with disrespect. They would never put someone else down.
People tell us that it’s bad to thrive on the pain and misery of another person. We’re taught to be kind people so that our conscience is clear and we know that we’ve never hurt someone.
So what does that say about a narcissist? Doesn’t it mean that he absolutely hates himself?
You know how you feel around someone who’s genuinely happy with their life. You feel inspired and cared for. That person reminds you to take care of yourself.
When you’re around a person who loves themselves, they lift you up. They remind you just how amazing you are.
A narcissist does the exact opposite to you. Your narcissistic boyfriend made sure to make you feel worthless every single day of the week.
This need of his, combined with the fact that he always posts pictures on social media, is an obvious sign that he needs a lot of validation in his daily life.
When you first met your narcissist, he seemed extremely charming and witty, right? He seemed like the man of your dreams.
That was all an act because he needed you to like him, even back then. He needed you to fall head over heels for him.
What you probably don’t know is that he’s mostly inspired to do things by his own shame and insecurities. He needs to post about his body because he needs to hear someone say he looks good.
He’s going to make you believe that you can’t live without him, just so you don’t leave him.
A narcissist doesn’t do these things because he loves himself. He does this so that you can love him.
“Narcissism has never been about self-love – it is almost entirely about self-loathing.” – Ramani Durvasula
We can totally see that in every encounter we have with a narcissist. That said, does this mean that you should forgive your narcissistic boyfriend simply because he can’t control himself?
No. He needs to be held accountable for the things he’s done to you. You can show him compassion and empathy, you can understand where he’s coming from. But your own mental health should be your biggest priority.
You can’t expect him to own up to the things he did to you, but you can tell him to visit a therapist. His insecurities won’t let him do this that easily, of course. But you could still try if you believe you’re able to get through to him.
A narcissist’s thought process is a very vicious cycle. He goes through moods of completely loathing everything about himself to adoring himself. You’re just caught up in this sequence and he’s projecting it onto you.
At one point, he’ll be stuck in one phase where he won’t be able to give you a break from his little games and manipulation.
He’ll break you down to boost his low self-esteem, but it’ll never be enough to make him feel good about himself.
So, instead of letting him continue doing this, just know that someone who doesn’t love himself can’t love you either. He can’t love anyone if he despises himself.
It might be hard to understand this and wrap your head around it, but it’s the truth. You shouldn’t wait for him to love you when he’s all wrapped up in hating himself.