What Does a Narcissistic Apology Sound Like?

Narcissistic apologies are rarely verbal and never admissions of guilt or an invitation talk things over. Instead, they usually take the form of reparative gestures. Here are some examples:

Example—Bill and June

Bill has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder and a nasty temper. When he gets offended, he can become very loud  and intimidating.

Bill was walking home from dinner with his wife June when he became enraged at something she said. Despite the fact that there were other people around them, Bill started screaming at her. June tried to calm him, which enraged him further. June tried to walk away and he grabbed her arm. She was so mortified that she started to cry. He left her standing there and quickly walked home without waiting to see if she was coming.

June walked home behind him. They both kept away from each other all evening and did not have any further contact. The tension was thick enough to cut with a knife.

The next morning Bill woke up early feeling good. He realized he had gone too far the other evening and had overstepped the line. He did not want to lose June. He left the house and came back with a beautiful bouquet of June’s favorite flowers. When she woke up, he said: “Why don’t we go to your favorite place for brunch today?”

June understood that Bill was trying to make amends for his bad behavior the night before. She understood Bill well enough that she also knew that trying to get him to say, “I am sorry. I was wrong to do that you,” was not going to be successful. If she pushed, another fight would start and another perfectly good day would be wasted. So, she accepted Bill’s reparative gesture and their life together continued.

Example—Jenna and Todd

Jenna is a very attractive and extremely narcissistic woman. Her main way of getting narcissistic supplies involves getting men’s attention.  At a party, you could always find Jenna with a group of admiring men around her.

Needless to say, her fiancé Todd was not happy about Jenna’s flirtatious behavior. They had a big fight after his office party because Jenna drank a bit more than usual and started flirting with his boss. He was still mad at her the next day.

Jenna knew she had been wrong and decided to do something nice for Todd as a treat. She had some really sexy lingerie that he loved that normally was just too much trouble to wear. That night she went all out and when he was in bed reading, she surprised him by showing up in black lace and a garter belt and nylons. They had fantastic sex every way that Todd liked it.

Todd understood that this was Jenna’s way of saying: “I care about you and want you to know it.” He accepted her very sexy unspoken apology,

Punchline: Most Narcissistic apologies are not verbal. This is because most people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder do not have enough internal self-esteem to say: “I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me.” The ones who can do that are either evolving out of being Narcissistic or simply able to say it as a manipulative behavior without sincerely feeling that is the truth.

Instead, the typical Narcissistic apology involves a reparative gesture that they think the other person will like. Depending on the people involved, this can involve anything from buying expensive jewelry to inviting their mother-in-law to dinner.

This article is adapted from a Quora.com post “What does a narcissist apology sound like? (March 25, 2018).

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