Narcissists don’t change


I read a lot of blogs written by ACONs (Adult Children of Narcissists) and without exception, all these survivors yearned (or still yearn) for the parental love they were entitled to but never received.

Narcissists can’t feel love. Sure, they might pretend they love you when others are present (they’re great at wearing masks and keeping up appearances), but their true nature doesn’t even know the meaning of the word love.

For many years into adulthood, I wanted nothing more than for my narcissistic mother to approve of me. Like most narcissists, she was all about appearance and image. When I was young, she was obsessed with my weight and physical appearance, and always insisted on making me into her own image. She herself was vain, and seemed incapable of discussing deep topics or ideas. Narcissists have an uncanny ability to never show any vulnerable side of themselves, and this includes sharing any dreams with you. I’m not talking about the kind you have when you sleep, but the kind of dreams that give us hope for happiness in this life. I can’t remember one time when my mother ever shared a dream with me. She was already perfect–she didn’t need to have a dream. She also never, not once, ever shared a true emotion with me. She was incapable of being vulnerable or showing anyone (especially me) any vulnerability. And in keeping with that, she was incapable of empathy. She could never understand my feelings or hurts, and was usually more than happy to add to my hurts. I remember once, she made fun of me after she said a particularly hurtful thing, and then mocked the sad expression on my face–you know, pouting in an exaggerated way and drawing fake tears down her cheeks.

She was part of the positive thinking tyranny. (For more on how some people misuse the positive thinking movement, see this article.) Many narcissists use the positive thinking movement as a way to shame others for having feelings or to avoid taking responsibility. They’re big fans of positive thinking slogans, such as “your feelings are your own responsibility, not mine” or “you have chosen to be poor because of your negative attitude.” I remember once when I was being treated unfairly at my job (by a narcissistic boss, of course) instead of showing support and offering words of comfort, my N mother made my boss the victim, essentially telling me I probably caused him and my coworkers to dislike me because of my “negative attitude.” This is the sort of “love” you’ll get from a narcissist.

Narcissists also have an odd way of dismissing sentimentality. My mother never kept family photos around the house (because they were too “tacky”) and all the family photos were stashed into albums and boxes and packed away in the attic. A few years ago, I told my mother I would like to have some of the family photos, but she avoided the issue and changed the subject. About a year later, annoyed at being asked about them for the umpteenth time, she told me she had thrown them away. Who throws away family photos?! I was gobsmacked, but at the same time, I thought how typical that was of her. She could have sent them to me if she didn’t want them, but no, that would have made me happy, so throwing them away was better.

Back in those days, I hadn’t gone No Contact yet, and whenever in my mother’s presence, I felt small and belittled. Even when she didn’t actually say anything mean, there was always that condescending, withering look. I always felt nervous before having to see her or talk to her, without quite knowing why.

Now I know why (even though she always told me I was the crazy one who was being paranoid), and I’ve been No Contact now for almost three years. She sends me a birthday card every year, with phony mass produced Hallmark messages of love. When I get these cards, I just toss them in the trash. Coming from her, they mean nothing. She won’t ever change, because narcissists can’t. Trying to please a narcissist won’t work, so don’t waste your time. It will only wind up causing you frustration and hurt. They only want you on their side so they can use you. If they’re nice to you, it means they probably sense you pulling away from them. They can’t have that.

Of course I regret not having a loving parent or extended family. I regret not being able to see my mother (and her various flying monkeys, most of whom are also relatives) on big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. I regret not ever having had the experience of a real heart to heart talk with my own mother. I can’t help feeling sad when others ask me where I’m going for holidays and have to tell them, “nowhere.” Because you see, my mother turned just about everyone in her extended family against me. Most of them barely know me, but narcissists are usually persuasive people who could sell ice to an Eskimo, and my mother’s “sold” me as a horrible, ungrateful, unsuccessful loser who doesn’t deserve happiness.

In my family, only visible evidence of success and physical attractiveness is acceptable. If you’re fat, unattractive, poor or disabled, you’re a “nothing” or a “nobody,” even if you’re a great person. My mother has actually used those words to discuss a cousin of mine, who is morbidly obese. “Laura’s a nothing.” She overlooks the fact that Laura is an accomplished artist who has won awards in several art shows, and also volunteers at her local food pantry. As for me, I am not rich or successful (because I was never given the tools and the self esteem to become successful as an adult), and so I’m a “nothing” too. She looks down on my poverty, and blames me for it.

I don’t need narcissistic people in my life, and one by one I have been weeding them out. And as I do so, I am growing, finding out what Lucky Otter is really all about. I’m finding out that I’m a pretty great person who is just blooming late in life.

Too bad my N mother won’t ever know the real me. Not that she’d care.

If you have a narcissistic parent, the most loving thing you can do for yourself is to make it impossible for them to hurt you anymore. They aren’t going to change. In fact, they get worse with age. As their looks and health begin to go, they feel extremely threatened by the reality of becoming vulnerable or needy, and rage takes over. They will no longer even pretend to be “nice.” You have to go No Contact, no matter how much it hurts. Rest assured though, you are not hurting them by doing this. They are incapable of feeling hurt. You’ll only hurt yourself if you remain in their thrall.


17 thoughts on “Narcissists don’t change

  1. Wow, thanks for writing this. You know, I could never specifically figure out if my mother is a Narcissist or not but reading this has made me realise…that she is(?) the part about feeling belittled in her presence like her stare has leeched out every drop of self esteem and confidence from me is something I feel on a regular basis – everyday. Also, that she never talked about her hopes and dreams – only about how my brother and I should look attractive to the ‘society’ and gain everyone’s approval of us being a happy family – that’s all that matters to her. Last month I had a massive fight with her and I literally asked her if she could never accept me the way I am and her answer was a big fat NO without another thought it was ‘No, never’.
    It’s so good to see that you’ve managed to survive through all of what happened. No one should have to go through this. It’s depressing to know how some people can hurt others in ways irreparable.
    Once again, thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, your mom does sound like an N. It’s hard to admit when we realize what they really are. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt and look for some evidence, no matter how small, that they are really nice people. I think it’s especally hard to face the fact your OWN MOTHER is a narcissist and has never loved you. A mother’s love is something everyone has a RIGHT to and to admit we never had it is very painful. Thanks for commenting and keep reading my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • I thought so too…yes the own mother feeling is tough to overcome and as the title of this post goes – she can never change, that’s the worst part of it all.

        Thank you and I most certainly will keep reading your blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on galesmind and commented:
    Your feelings mean nothing to a Narcissist. You are a trophy or a means to an end. When you no longer tow the line or extend their inflated ego it’s out you go. Many learn it too late. You did the best by leaving her behind. You cannot win with a narcissist just continue to be used.


  3. Thank you for sharing. I hope that writing about your life is helping you come to terms with it.
    Your blog has opened up a whole new world to me. It pains me to know that N people really do exist. But I’m here to tell you that E people really do exist as well (Emotional, Empathic). I hope, in time you find us. You deserve the love you are seeking. I, for one, would be honored to include you in my family. Not because I feel sorry for you, as I’m sure your N mother would say. But because you are a good person, worthy of a mother’s love. We E people have plenty of that to go around โ˜บ๏ธ.
    Wishing you peace,

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so sweet, thank you! I feel pretty confident there are lots of others like me and in time I will get to know them too. This blog is a start! I’m also realizing God never hated me and will lead me to more good hearted people in time. I just had to free myself from the chains of narc abuse first. These people are truly evil.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I used to think I was unusual, but it turns out so many people had narcissistic parents and are coming out of the closet on their blogs. It’s about time the narcs were called out! I’ll definitely read this, thanks.


  4. Thank God for the internet!!!!

    That is how I finally got some clarity in my life. I was just starting a very hostile divorce from my X, he had walked out and left my son and I destitute. My mother was in on all of the gory details of the nightmare that I was embarking on. Yet when my mother had gotten an email from him, blaming me for the demise of our marriage, she actually believed what he wrote!!!! For whatever reason she was siding with him.

    I was horrified at that and a few of her other heartless comments. I googled “mean moms” and somehow came across Narcissism. And that opened the floodgates for first learnings about my mom and then my Someday to be X husband!

    Reading about other’s personal experiences has been comforting to me to now know that I am not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, narc moms will triangulate with whoever they can against the scapegoat–even their exe’s! Sometimes they will try to win any grandchildren over to their side too and make flying monkeys out of them–she tried with my son and failed. She probably would try with my daughter too except she doesn’t have the funds to visit my mom in Chicago and my mother’s not going to go that much out of her way to get my daughter over to her side. She has plenty of people on her side–basically her entire extended family and even her ex (my father) and HIS wife! They all think I’m a loser, the family embarrassment, black sheep,etc.

      My son even told me how sad he thiks it is that my family is like this. He wishes everyone loved each other more. Thank God he’s not like the rest of them!


  5. This is a great post too. I want to read all your blog and will be spending time reading this afternoon.

    I agree the Narcs can’t love. They only care about appearance and image. Mine was obsessed with it too and wanted me to dress just like her. I remember when I was around 30 and wearing only dresses because of the body shape I got from the then unknown about lipedema, and her shouting at me, “You look stupid wearing all those dresses all the time!, you need to wear pants!”

    None of them ever can talk about deep topics. Really they are empty shells that will bore the stuffing out of you.

    I mentioned the dream thing here too, I never heard about any night dreams or dreams in life either. Mine considered herself perfect too. Mine showed no vulnerability or empathy either. It is almost like they are like lizards isn’t it? Yes mine mocked and sneered when I cried too and finally I realized enjoyed my pain, when I saw the Christmas 2012 sneer.

    Obviously the think positive movement got big with narcissistic baby boomers {yes I know there are some good individuals who do not match their generation}, it is a way from having to be responsible and excuses for not having compassion. Anyone in pain is someone who is at fault for being in pain. While they abuse you, they will then turn around and say you deserve that abuse for having a “negative attitude”. I obviously got these messages from my family.

    My mother never felt the emotion of NOSTALGIA once in her life. There was never going back over memories. It was like the pass never existed and obviously on my blog, I have talked about insanity with pictures. Sorry you lost your photos from her throwing them away. I still get the disgusting birthday cards, with no personal message, she probably makes a show of sending them in front of her husband, “Look I really am a loving mother!”. There is some narc rage there, as now she seems genius at finding double meaning entendre ones that are sarcastic. I relate to you too about the “withering looks” and “eyes of disgust”. Years worth of sneers and never a look of love in her eyes, well I really never had a mother. I always felt nervous to my core even the very last days I saw her and I was in my 40s!

    Mine has turned my entire family against me too. All I got left is a few extended cousins. Sadly even they have contact with her too though it is very minimal. Mine only cared about visible signs of success and treated large people the same way. I realize as my mother neglected my health she got fellow narcissist friends to berate me for being overweight. This of course worsened after my huge weight gain. What she said about your cousin Laura is horrible but I also relate there too. I am considered a “nothing” and she has told the entire family, I am a “loser” and not worthy of time or any love or care. She has even used in my case childlessness against me.

    I am glad too to be away, there is immense freedom in it. I am finding out who I am away from their evil labels and finding myself as a person as worth and I am glad you are on that journey too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG I just have to say you are one of my heroes and one of my inspirations for starting this blog. I would have replied to you on your blog but because Blogger is connected to Google, it keeps defaulting to my actual name so I can’t really comment there and that’s why I started my blog at WordPress (I don’t want anyone in my family to discover this blog–I stopped using Facebook months ago because they all found me there. Funny how my mother and her flying monkeys and my narc ex too still CARE so much about what I’m up to LOL)

      I wish I could reply to each of your points but the program won’t let me, so I will just say I agree 100% with everything you said. Narccissts are like lizards–or snakes–very reptilian. There is nothing in their eyes. My mother has also gotten pretty much the entire family on her side and since they don’t know me well (because she always kept me from them when I was younger), they believe the horrible things she tells them about me. I just have to let that go and find new families elsewhere–blogging is a great start and while reading the stories of other survivors makes me sad, it also makes me happy that I am not alone. I always felt like no one else could relate because no one else I knew had parents like mine who seemed to hate them (even while faking words of love–I know exactly what you mean about the fake cards. I just throw them away).

      I read your whole blog, FHPP, and have to tell you it’s very well written . I found myself nodding in agreement so many times and also nodding because I’ve been through it too. Narcissists really suck, don’t they?


      • Thanks Lucky Otter, I appreciate it. To post on my blog, make sure you are signed out and do an anonymous post. I was glad they had that option because I know people are posting about very personal things. I wonder about my blog being found too. Mine would FLIP OUT. I think in my case, I have been mostly discarded now, but who knows if any internet searches could go on. With the risk of them finding it, I’m done walking on eggshells for the lot of them with no more self-censorship!

        I hope you can find some new “found” families and friends too.

        Thanks regarding my blog. Yeah they really do suck. Finding other ACONs has helped me so much. I am glad we found each other as well.

        Liked by 1 person

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