Why Narcissists Always Have to Be Right

Narcissists always have to be right. Anyone living or working with a narcissist can tell you this. Sure, you may catch them in what you know to be an error. But they always seem to have an answer. They’ll start twisting the facts until they finally fit their narrative. Then they’ll claim those twisted facts prove they were right all along. In a way, this all seems so silly. After all, we’re all human, and humans make mistakes. So why can’t some of us just admit it? All this can be really frustrating, too. Getting a narcissist to admit they’re wrong (i.e. only human) can seem an almost impossible task. This begs the question of why narcissists always have to be right.

Classical Notions

For a long time, we thought all narcissists had a fragile self-image. And we believed their sense of self-worth was so tenuous that it would devastate their tender egos to admit fault or error. Moreover, we believed they were unconscious about the defenses they raised that kept them from seeing and admitting the truth.

We also thought all narcissists were quite sensitive and anxious about being vulnerable. We saw them as necessarily insecure folks, desperately trying to feel safe. And admitting error can certainly make a person feel vulnerable. So, we thought it simply too frightening for a narcissist to admit a mistake. And we also thought they were completely oblivious about the ways they defended themselves against this vulnerability.

The Real Heart of the Problem

We’ve come to realize how wrong we’ve been wrong about the majority of narcissists. True, some narcissists are of the “vulnerable” type. (See also: Two Main Varieties of Narcissists.) But many others are of the more “grandiose” type. And real reason such narcissists always have to be right is rooting in their inflated sense of self. They don’t recognize any “higher powers” or authority. And they ardently resist subordinating themselves – to anyone or anything. They see themselves as “special” and superior. So they refuse to identify with we ordinary folks who get it wrong sometimes.

The Tragedy of the Lie

Grandiose narcissists can promote their image of greatness and infallibility with passion. And sadly, their unwavering conviction can mesmerize over time. This is part of the gaslighting effect. (See: pp. 133-134 in In Sheep’s Clothing.) (See also: How Manipulative Characters Gaslight.) Before long, others can become convinced of the grandiose narcissist’s professed greatness and rightness. And that’s when really bad things can happen.

Narcissists affect others in many negative ways. Sadly, they also affect the children they might raise. So, over the coming weeks, I’m going to be exploring a topic rarely discussed. We’re going to explore what it can mean to be an adult child of a narcissist. Adult children of narcissists often have some interesting things in common. And we’ll be taking a look at some of them in the coming weeks.

 

26 thoughts on “Why Narcissists Always Have to Be Right

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      1. Alley Kroon,

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  1. I don’t appreciate your comments on Donald Trump. You should at least disclose that you are a lifelong Socialist leaner and supported all far left politicians who did and do great damage to our country.

    1. Wow. Verifying your first statement would have taken quite some time going through past posts and comments. But, your second sentence gives you away. Begone you bigot, Patricia. 🙂

      1. How is Patricia showing she is bigoted because of her political leanings? Begone? Lets treat each other with respect. Kindness and respect. I wish all things weren’t so political nowadays.

        1. kat,
          Perhaps bigot is too strong a word. I could not think of anything between prejudice and bigot, with bias toward later.
          Begone is rude. Should have just told her to avoid making prejudices comments “disclose, supported far left, great damage to country etc”.
          Now, I will be begone. No more comment/responses to political stuff on this forum. 🙂

          1. Thanks Andy D, I think Patricia came on strong, I agree. Its the begone that bothered me. Seems politics is lighting everyones fuse these days. Seems better to stay away from that subject to me, I will do the same. Peace to you and all.

      2. Patricia is right you’re wrong. Period you lose.

        Nothing you think and believe is factual reality. You only have wrong inaccurate opinions. FACT.

      3. Only because someone who supports Trump (statistically the majority of the country as compared to anyone else running for POTUS) you claim they are a bigot? This makes YOU sound narcissistic!

    2. Thankyou for your insights and perception Dr Simon, the knowledge you share, the work that you do to help those of us predated on by vile egocentric monsters

  2. I had two narcacists in my life and both spoke of their faith and used that pathway to impression manage others. I don’t know what they are taking away from their daily practice of ” surrender and let it all go to God” means for them . Both put demonstrable time in Church and speak of the peace they receive from their relationship with God. I do think they are experiencing some kind of freedom from “surrendering ” to a higher power but they are both extremely narcissistic . What is all of that about??

    1. narcissism and ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ don’t mix do they? They so long to be ‘seen as good’ – so you will find lot’s of narcissists in churches unfortunately. Good job God reads the heart I say He is not fooled. Don’t spend any energy trying to figure these people out – be polite but stay away from them.

    1. I am sooooo grateful you are exploring this new topic of children of narcissists! I have a six year old who has a father who has been diagnosed with an axis 2 PD -narcissist, through a psych Eval my ex husband had VOLUNTEERED (that’s just how absolutely sure he was that he was right!) to pay for through the courts. He still got 50/50 visitation time due to several things- bad social workers who just wanted to be positive and a very unskilled lawyer when litigating and coordinating logistics of a case. As you can probably tell- I still need help overcoming this.
      Thank you so much Dr. Simon!

  3. Hey Everyone,

    There is a YouTube channel called SBSK (Special Books for Special Kids) and they interview and feature all sorts of disabilities. Great setup, right? A guy with the diagnosis of Anti-Social Personality Disorder was recently featured. Please, watch the interview and provide your thoughts. I think it’s incredibly foolhardy of them to have featured Dyshae, a self-labeled “sociopath” and given their platform over to him.

    It’s manipulative. There are multiple times where it’s clear Dyshae is attempting to hide his duping delight. He pretends to have been “confused” but now with his therapist, he is striving to be a better person and not prey on others so much.

    Then, predictably, if you look at the FB page or the twitter feed, you see all these people giving all this respect, support, and applause to Dyshae for giving such an interview and working on his disability.

    I think it’s sickening. Most people who watch this YT channel are presumably either a person with disabilities or a family member of someone who is disabled. They are especially vulnerable to a predatory person. And now this is considered a “disability” for Dyshae to work hard at in therapy and seek to overcome.

    Nothing is mentioned as to his criminal history. Nothing is mentioned as to his victims. No real empathy is given to his victims, as they are not featured, and instead it’s all about congratulating Dyshae’s braveness in coming forward about his disability and his struggles in learning to not prey on others.

    I thinks it’s sickening. I think it’s dangerous. And like clockwork, all these people are congratulating Dyshae and wishing him the best in life, saying “God bless!” and all sorts of encouragements.

    What about his victims? What about any predators’ victims?

    Did anyone else see this video? Does Dr. Simon wish to weigh in and offer his thoughts? Does anyone else think this is very dangerous? It makes sociopathy out to be a disability! A disability! It normalizes it.

    Please weigh in, other victims, as I think it’s horrible. The way he talks, with his smoothness, and his demeanor, it reminds me of a manipulator ‘running game’. As that is what predators do – they run game. All day, every day.

    1. I think Dyshae is a child, which changes things. A person doesn’t want to criticize a child too harshly. And apparently I’m one of the very few who was taken aback by the channel featuring a self-described sociopath.

      Has anyone seen “I, Psychopath”? I love that the guy producing the documentary captured the abuse by Sam Vaknin, towards the end of the documentary.

      Does anyone feel alarmed that his wife is so deeply in denial? I think she is still useful to him, so he scales back his abuse to keep her around.

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