Why Narcissists Can’t Be Truly Grateful

Narcissism and Gratitude

Most narcissists can’t be truly grateful. Why? Because by nature narcissism and the capacity for gratitude are at opposite ends of a spectrum. To put it simply, humble hearts take nothing for granted and appreciate whatever they have. Narcissists, on the other hand, tend to feel entitled, deserving, etc.. Accordingly, they tend to take almost everything and everyone for granted. As they see it, whatever they value in any way ought rightfully belong to them, anyway.

I’ve asserted many times that narcissism is a spectrum phenomenon. It’s a dimension of character, to be sure. But it varies as to both type and degree. And the more seriously narcissistic a person is, the more entitled and expectational they’re likely to be. That’s why most narcissists can’t be truly grateful. They might seem satisfied when they have what they feel they’re owed. But when they feel denied what they think they deserve, watch out!

Gratitude in a Narcissistic Age and Culture

Genunine gratitude and feelings of entitlement are incompatible attitudes. And while it’s always been a challenge to find room in the heart for gratitude, it’s harder still in an environment and culture steeped in attitudes of entitlement. We have much, and we’ve largely come to expect things. So, it’s easy, for example, to forget the abundance we enjoy when we think we’ve had to wait too long in the checkout line. And it’s easy to take for granted all the creature comforts we enjoy that generations before us could barely imagine were even possible.

Mounds of research has been done on the the benefits of being grateful. To put it succinctly, gratitude is good for you. And gratitude is not a matter of abundance. Rather, it’s about appreciating what you do have. So, there’s great truth in the adage that if you have your life and your health, you already have everything.

No matter what your particular circumstances, I hope you find some room in your heart for appreciating the blessings you enjoy. And if you’ve been having a rough time because of some toxicity in your relationships, I hope you find a source of both genuine help and comfort in my books and other work.

6 thoughts on “Why Narcissists Can’t Be Truly Grateful

  1. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving. This site and the posters who share their experiences and insights are on the list of many things I’m grateful for.

    I would not feel the peace in my life if not for your guidance, Dr. Simon.

    In facing reality and grieving what needed/needs to be grieved, it gets easier to be at peace with what is and let go of those who seek to destroy that peace.

    As an aside, is the change in style on the page intentional? I’m not able to see recent comments listed on the side or the recent articles. This is just in the past week or so.

    Thanks again and happy Thanksgiving Dr. Simon.

    1. Mindful you took the words out of my mouth. I’ve been on this site for awhile and it’s wonderful to be validated, after all we all sought out this site for a reason.

      The old format allowed me to use the last comment I read as a bookmark and some comments are referencing a blog from years past. We’d never be able to find it now. I hope we go back to the old way soon.

  2. I believe this why so many adulterers are narcissists. They’re never grateful to God for the gift of their spouse.

    1. Agree. I think many also have unrealistic expectations of women and marriage.

      They expect obedience, they come first, submission (with a smile), they are the only one with rights. They don’t respect women.

      You cannot be grateful for something you believe you are owed, demand, deserve, entitled to, etc…

      1. Mindful, what you said about not being grateful for something you believe you are entitled to is so true. We have a lot of that going on in the world.

  3. Dr. Simon, as some other commenter mentioned elsewhere on this site, please consider enabling back the “Recent Comments” window at the bottom of the page. Without it, it’s quite difficult to keep track of the discussions and your answers to comments, particularly from older posts.

    Thanks for your attention and work.

    Matheus from Brazil

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