Can narcissistic people with any variation of Anti-Social Personality Disorder like Narcopaths, Sociopaths, or Psychopaths love other people? The short version of the answer is sort of — but not really.
If he or she has NPD or ASPD, the range of emotion is limited biologically to the point there is little to no capacity for empathy. As such, while he can learn to imitate love and can love bomb or hoover as a skill, emotionally they never experience what we think of as love — meaning caring about another people’s best interest or well being.
Egocentrism functionally limits their capacity to think or feel their way through things. They observe and mimic to manipulate and con, but their competitive nature causes them to miss the point entirely of human social activity.
Since grandiosity, a ruthless need to win at any cost, and just plain abject moral stupidity hinder all narcissistic people’s ability to make decisions, they are both functionally unable to change and likely will never see the need to do it. Doomed to pull the short straw in every social interaction, these jokers play the role of boorish assclown on most occasions.
Egocentrism makes them competitive rather than collaborative. As such, every social interaction they have has a winner (and by default a loser) rather than being two people in love acting in ways that are mutually supportive.
The short answer is NO — not for lack of their ability to try but because them succeeding is essentially a biological impossibility. You would do better to expect a grown adult to be a foot taller by next week.
A growth spurt in height at the age of 45 would be more likely than him or her than to have them suddenly wake up and start acting like a somewhat decent or moral person.
If a person has NPD or ASPD the right way to deal with them is to accept them for who they are while setting healthy boundaries to avoid them enacting their manipulative and psycho-socially menacing antics. If they can control their temper in front of a policeman or judge, they can control their temper in ANY domestic or personal situation.
But here’s the thing…
Love is not something that makes the same sense to them. To that end, people with Cluster B feel no loyalty but do show preference.
They have what is known as “preferred targets” and “Narcissistic Supply Sources”. Look both terms up — you made the list and know it (calling yourself his “fallback girl”). Men who have those typically keep somewhere between 5 and 30 plates in the air juggling at all times.
Don’t believe us yet? Still thinking your love affair with a Narcissist, Psychopath, or Sociopath is unique?
Still thinking skeptically remember back to all the times you laughed and laid in bed daydreaming about life and the future with your partner? Trust the experts. When it comes to love, Cluster B people treat romance more like spinning plates.
Seriously. Each additional Narcissistic Supply Source is like another plate in the air they keep stringing along. If the plate wobbles or slows its spin, the predator shows up to give a little gaslighting hoovering push again.
Once victims stop feeling pride in supporting the abuse of themselves, their child, and others, Narcissistic Abuse recovery can start to happen. By noting that you are actually willingly being used as an “Enabler” (and that actively participating in #Triangulation with him and the mistress is stupid and foolish to do) that you can actually start to make different and better life decisions about how to choose to act or react, learning to observe reflectively before you do.
By noting when and if a victim is willingly being used as an “Enabler”, they can own up to taking responsibility for their own choice to remain with an Abuser. For instance, a spouse who actively plays a competitive role between a spouse and a prospective lover or mistress ends up anchoring a third of a psychological phenomenon called Triangulation. you can start to make different and better decisions.
Once it becomes clear you are being played, it’s easier to depersonalize abuse from a cheating spouse. Learning how to set healthy boundaries with regard to whether or not to even consider actively engaging in conversation with people who would lie, disrespect, have a wandering eye, or cheat, evaluating life each day from a situational ethics standpoint becomes key. you can start to make different and better decisions.
Under the influence of an effective gaslighting pro, one might be tricked into believing abuse is “not that bad” or that a victim is “over-reacting.” Knowing about Cluster B patterns and the personality type of egocentric, pathological liars allows a victim to start to make different and better decisions.
Truly, education is the first step in making the change in mindset from Narcissistic Abuse victim struggling in survival mode to actual SURVIVOR. A few key phrases to look up and reflect upon (related to the issue of Narcissistic Abuse) are as follows:
- Cognitive Dissonance and Reverse Projection are the psychiatric dysfunctions nearly all domestic abuse share, side effects of gaslighting and Brain Washing.
- More reading on Stockholm Syndrome is absolutely necessary.
- Flying Monkeys are Enablers — and if you have been recruited to support a narcissistic person socially, financially, or emotionally, the chances of you being morally liable for enabling as well as abusing other people by proxy are a heartbreaking truth. [See: Abuse By Proxy]
- Honeymoon Phase includes plenty of Hoovering — the late stage form of Love Bombing, something done to emotionally sway or impress a target into believing the Abuser is somehow good.
Being a willing Enabler to an Abusive Person is the most embarrassing thing to look back on and realize once you intellectually and emotionally connect the dots to what you are doing. There is also a syndrome for co-narcissists… which, if you hook on the ego bump of being his go-to-girl or fallback-guy you are actually doing.
It’s a totally demoralizing position to be in in many ways despite making you somehow feel unique and special. What they actually use men and women for in your position is again — to enable them and help them avoid taking responsibility for their actions socially when and if they have burned all their OTHER people.
That’s when they look for the most manipulatable and willing target to pick up the pieces for them while putting out free sex and wasting all YOUR emotional energy trying to please them. Sadly, since pleasing them would be something they perceive as a win for you, they would view themselves as a loser if they gave you any praise or credit for doing a great job as a lover for them.
As such, their grandiosity and egocentrism coupled with the lack of empathy or capacity to truly love (rather than be partial to someone for nostalgic reasons of being able to count on them to be easily duped into enabling) makes them constantly undermine loving people. They can’t understand the merit of what they are missing, but on a core level they resent others who seem to both feel and enjoy feeling it.
Bottom line, all narcissistic people (anti-social or not) will minimize your most loving of intentional efforts. All will compulsively invalidate and put you in some sort of place.
Once victims know this information — that they are being systematically brainwashed, abused, and manipulated by people who do so as a deliberate choice in life pattern, it’s up to them to make the choice whether or not to continue to play by the Abusive person’s rules.
Fact check us.
It’s called the “Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse”.
The only way to win is not to play — truly, learning how to go Gray Rock (like a stone emotionally) is the first step in saving YOU from YOU when and if for some reason YOU ever thought it was in any way necessary or morally appropriate to willingly allow YOURSELF to be abused.
If the person abusing has Narcissistic or Anti-Social Personality Disorder, even the psychologists and leading psychiatrists can only study them (not treat them). As such, if you are holding out hope that if you are just loving enough you will be able to effect change in the emotional psychology of an abuser you are simply wasting time.
Once upon a time, there existed a moment in time before one person traumatized another.
It’s only in this “once upon a time” scenario that no need for Narcissistic Abuse reflection, recovery, and subsequent healing was possible.