When a Narcissist Sees You Cry

7 Reactions! When a Narcissist Sees You Cry

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When a narcissist sees you cry, don’t expect any kind of sympathy from them. Instead, you’ll be hit with rage, invalidation, blame, projection, punishment and gaslighting.

The narcissist doesn’t have the capacity for true empathy, kindness and compassion, therefore seeing you cry is a huge imposition for them. Especially if the source of your tears was another person or circumstance, which the narcissist doesn’t benefit from.

Not only are you taking precious supply away from them, but you want them to actually give to you for five minutes? That’s not going to happen. Your sole purpose is to serve the narcissist, so don’t even bother asking them for a hot minute in your time of need.

On the flip side, narcissists like to see you cry if they are the source of your tears. It’s all about power and control for them and making your cry further validates how incredibly powerful and significant they are.

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What’s Behind Narcissism?

Narcissism, Spiritual Disorder

Through childhood trauma, the narcissist amputated their True Self long ago.

You see, while they still had a connection with their True Self, they were being forced to feel all of the things that they despised within themselves. Rejection, abandonment and absolute unworthiness being at the forefront of those wounds.

Their psyche simply could not accept that they are a flawed human being, just like the rest of us. So, they unconsciously abandoned their authentic self in their refusal to acknowledge their pain and traumas.

All that remained was their ego, which created a False Self in order to protect themselves from the truth, which they utterly deny. In their false world, they are special and more superior than everybody else, which is a complete inversion of who they truly are, deep inside.

The biggest problem with their False Self is that it’s a delusional reality. It doesn’t actually exist. So, for that false reality to continuously appear evident to the narcissist, they need constant validation from the outside world that their reality really is ‘real.’

The way that the narcissist’s ego can keep the fake illusion inflated is via attention. Any attention (good or bad) is welcome to the narcissist, as it all serves to confirm to them that they actually exist.

It feeds their ego in a way that says, “I must be incredibly important and powerful to be extracting such reactions and attention from those around me.”

What’s really underneath the attention is life force energy.

When the narcissist cut off the connection with their True Self, they also cut off their own access to the divine life force energy, which the rest of us can tap into at any time.

In the place of their previous True Self now lies an empty, black void. The only way the narcissist is able to gain any relief from that pit of despair is to keep trying to fill it with life force energy.

But since they don’t have any life force energy of their own, they are now left having to mine it from other people.

Of course, no one in their right mind is going to hand over their precious life force energy to a dark soul who is never able to satiate their black hole. Therefore, the narcissist must manipulate the attention and energy they need from others to get their hands on their much-needed drug.

For empathetic souls, it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that they can pillage and take so much, without a shred of remorse.

It’s important to realise that without access to their True Self, they are now a conscienceless being. They have zero empathy or compassion and will never be able to experience love. So, without those things, they can do whatever they like without having to bear the weight of guilt or regret.

The narcissist only cares about themselves and getting what they want. In the narcissist’s false reality, they are the centre of the universe and everything must revolve around them.

With all of that information in mind, let’s delve into what to expect when a narcissist sees you cry.

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Two Categories of Tears

When a Narcissist Sees You Cry

There are two places where your tears can come from, which will both elicit completely different reactions from the narcissist.

Tears caused by other people or situations

Interestingly, narcissists hate tears that are caused by other, outside sources. If you’re crying because your pet just died or you’re having trouble with a co-worker – the narcissist does not care.

If you’re crying happy tears because your friend just had a baby or your favourite band is coming to town – that is unacceptable. If someone else is the cause of your joy or happiness, that doesn’t serve the narcissist in any shape or form, therefore you need to stop those tears.

In the instance that you’re crying due to pain or illness, the narcissist will absolutely loathe you for that. With that sickness or injury comes the expectation that they will care for you in some way.

The narcissist has no interest in helping you in your time of need because that causes a huge imposition for them, which they will refuse.

Not only is your ailment taking away precious supply from the narcissist, but you’re also asking for or expecting them to give to you. The narcissist has zero interest in giving you anything unless it serves their agenda in some way or they’ll inadvertently get something out of it for themselves.

READ: How a Narc Treats You When You’re Sick

Tears caused by the narcissist

If you’re crying as a reaction to something the narcissist has said or done, that’s a different story.

Let’s use happy tears as the first example. If the narcissist is the cause of you crying in an overwhelmed and joyful way, this will serve to feed them supply and inflate their False Self’s image.

Your heavy show of happy emotion as a result of the narcissist’s words or actions, shows them that you are under their control because they’re able to cause such reactions within you.

It also serves to inflate their ego and reinforce to themselves that they really are amazing, special and superior.

Narcissists like it when they are the cause of your tears. It makes them feel incredibly powerful, important and in control of you.

When the narcissist becomes the source of your tears in a negative way, the amount of life force energy they extract from you is double that of the tears of joy.

In the narcissist’s world, if they are able to cause such pain, anger, sadness and frustration in someone who loves them so much, that really ups the level of power they feel.

It’s easy enough for someone we deeply care about to make us happy, but we never expect that person to cause us so much pain. For the narcissist, the fact that they have the power to bring you to your knees grants them significant levels of supply due to the control they have over your emotions.

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Reactions to Expect When a Narcissist Sees You Cry

Baiting, Word Salad, Confusion

Anger & Resentment

You can fully expect that when a narcissist sees you cry, instead of coming towards you with compassion, they’ll come at you with rage.

Your heavy emotions are not only completely misunderstood by the narcissist, but they are an inconvenience. Remember, everything in the narcissist’s world must be about them and your tears are taking the spotlight away from them, which is unacceptable.

A narcissist has no capacity for true empathy, kindness, love or compassion, so the only reason they ever cry is to manipulate other people.

Since narcissists actually think that everyone behaves just like them, they’ll automatically assume that you’re crying in order to try and manipulate them.

If there’s one thing a narcissist cannot stand, it’s being controlled. After all, they are the God who wields the power, how dare someone else try to control them!

The anger and rage that comes out when a narcissist sees you cry is caused by their False Self lashing out at the type of vindictive behaviour that is so typical of themselves.

Even though you know that your tears are from genuine pain and sadness, the narcissist cannot compute that, because those authentic feelings don’t exist in their world.

READ: 72 Weird Things Narcs Say

Smugness and/ or Arousal

Although the narcissist doesn’t understand the emotional reasons behind why you’re crying, there is one outcome that they can get off on.

What I’m talking about here is power, which they thrive on – it makes them feel so incredibly significant and important.

If a narcissist can make you cry, they’ll be thinking, “Man, I am so astonishingly important to be able to incite such a huge emotion out of this person.”

So, if you happen to look at the narcissist and they’re smirking or looking pretty smug with themselves, it’s because your tears give them power.

However, it’s not even necessarily the power that’s causing them to smile. It’s more likely the amazing (orgasmic) feeling they’re getting inside from the high levels of narcissistic supply being fed into them, which causes the unconscious reaction of a smile.

Some narcissists can get such an intense surge of supply through causing your pain, that they’ll even get aroused from it. This may be the case if you have a huge argument with the narcissist where they are incredibly cruel and vindictive, but it somehow always leads to having the most amazing make-up sex with them.

For the codependent, having the narcissist show you any type of affection or desire after being abusive, causes a rush of happy chemicals (oxytocin etc.) within your body. It’s this rush of chemicals, which provides such immense relief from the pain you were just experiencing only minutes ago, which can cause you to also feel turned on.

This punishing and rewarding behaviour further strengthens the trauma bond in the toxic relationship, keeping you loyal to your abuser.


Narcissism, Criticism, Argument, Blame Shifting

The narc’s False Self has created such a grand illusion in order to protect the narcissist from the truth, which is that they are an imperfect human being, just like everybody else.

When a narcissist sees you cry and you tell them that it’s because of something they’ve said or done, it may trigger a deep narcissist injury (inner wound) within them. Any accusations directed at the narcissist will be instantly rejected and projected back onto you.

In their delusional reality, they are perfect and superior, therefore if you’re crying, it’s all your fault, not theirs.

Their ego will recognise the inner discomfort and work as quickly as possible to eradicate the cause of it. This is where their ego will superimpose the very things that they are doing, right back onto you.

Now, the ego sees you as the agent of destruction, instead of themselves. The ego sets out to erase the problem as quickly as possible, which means taking you out by blaming you for everything.

It doesn’t matter how much evidence you present to the narcissist to prove that they are the perpetrators (not you), you cannot reason with them – it’s a psychological impossibility. They will forever come up with reasons to rationalise their behaviour, no matter how absurd they are.

They just want to get back to the status quo, whereby you do all of the giving and they do all of the taking.

READ: 9 Blame-shifting Tactics

Silent Treatment (punishment)

To punish you for being so selfish as to pull the focus away from the narcissist and onto yourself for five seconds, you can fully expect to receive their famous silent treatment.

When a narcissist sees you cry unless they are the cause of it, you are displaying behaviour that they do not like, nor does it serve their agenda in any way. Therefore, they will punish you for it, just to reinforce the fact that you are not important. The only important person in the relationship is the narcissist.

Silent treatment is an unspoken form of abuse within the narcissistic relationship, which is used to strengthen the trauma bond. This is basically where they withhold from you as a punishment for behaviour they don’t like and then they’ll randomly let you back in as a ‘reward.’

What your chemical body learns (unbeknownst to your logical brain), is that during times of high anxiety (punishment), the narcissist is the one who provides the relief (reward) from your pain and confusion. Unfortunately, your chemical body fails to recognise that the narcissist is the very person who causes the anxiety in the first place.

READ: 7 Trauma Bond Stages

False Empathy

Narcissist Relationship

Depending on what stage of the abuse cycle you’re in, the narcissist may offer false empathy if they see you crying.

They will particularly pull out the fake compassion during the love bombing phase because they want you to think that they truly are kind and empathetic. However, it’s merely a manipulation.

If the narcissist was the cause of your crying and they know it, they may want to gaslight you into thinking that they’re your saviour. This will mess with you on a psychological level, which further deepens the trauma bond.

For example, they may have totally flipped out at you for no reason at all, causing you to break down into tears. Your nervous system is completely fried as a result of their unpredictable and unstable behaviour.

Then they’ll come to you offering false compassion and empathy, pretending to be the one saving you from your pain. During this process they’ll be working to eliminate the memory from your mind that they just abused you, causing the very pain in the first place.

This whole scenario feeds the narcissist with such significant amounts of narcissistic supply from your flowing life force energy and the power that they have over controlling your emotions.


When a narcissist sees you cry, they will instantly aim to devalue your experience and play it down. They need to belittle your feelings and concerns, which programs you over time to believe that you do not matter.

Invalidation Examples:

  • “What’s your problem?”
  • “God, it was just a joke. Get over it.”
  • “You’re such a child.”
  • “Poor you. Do you want me to pass the tissues?”

Consistent invalidation erodes your self-worth, while the narcissist makes you feel as though you should be lucky to have them. Through such low self-esteem, you end up feeling as though this is as good as it’s going to get and you’ll never have anything better.

This is all intentionally set up for you to stay bound to the narcissist and not abandon them, even though they’re emotionally and verbally abusing you.

When someone is being covertly invalidated over a long period, they start to subconsciously believe those false truths, which causes deep trauma and repeated patterning.

READ: 4 Stages of Narcissistic Abuse


Manipulation, Gaslighting

One of the trademark moves of a narcissist is to gaslight the other person as a way of slowly and subtly messing with their reality.

When a narcissist sees you cry, they will want you to doubt yourself so that they can control the storyline.

They won’t want you to go around telling other people that they’ve said or done things that go against their public image. So, they need to get into your head and twist your perspective so that you’re left doubting your memory and going along with their version of events.

How a Narcissist Gaslights:

  • Counter your memory of what happened
  • Deny conversations/ events ever happened
  • Withhold affection, conversation and time from you
  • Devalue your feelings, needs and emotions
  • Shift the focus off themselves and back onto you or someone else
READ: 100+ Gaslighting Examples
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▶️ VIDEO: 7 Reactions When a Narcissist Sees You Cry

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Do Narcissists Ever Cry?

The short answer is yes, narcissists do cry, but not for the same reasons that you and I do.

Narcissists are missing the empathy and compassionate components, which are the crucial pieces required for experiencing authentic emotions and vulnerability.

Reasons narcissists will cry:

  • To guilt you into doing what they want
  • To use your empathy against you so that you won’t abandon them
  • To gain attention and supply
  • To play the victim when they’ve been called out on shitty behaviour

Narcissists cry as a form of manipulation, pure and simple.

READ: 10 Facts About Narcissists Crying
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