Narcissistic Parents Promise to Help Then Abandon You When Times Get Tough

Walter Rhein

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Narcissists like to use empty promises to support the illusion that they are good people. It is easy to make a promise. Promises cost nothing and they create the appearance of generosity without requiring effort.

The best thing about a promise is that it might relate to a situation that never happens. A narcissist might promise to help you if you fall on hard times. You might take comfort in the promise. If you never fall on hard times, you maintain your goodwill for the narcissist. It’s only when you do fall on hard times and you need the narcissist that you see that they were lying.

Narcissists like to claim that they are winners and that they surround themselves with winners. When a narcissist needs help, he calls it a temporary setback and expects you to support him. However, when you need help, the narcissist will take it as evidence that you are a loser and cut ties with you.

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve helped a narcissist through a tough situation. They will never give you credit. Narcissists have a delusional hyper-focus on their superiority. This focus makes them incapable of perceiving evidence in conflict with their inflated self-image.

If you are repeatedly called upon to help a narcissist, your actions will likely build resentment. Narcissists hate looking weak or needing help. They don’t see your help as generosity. They see it as an attack on their self-concept.

The first time you need help, a narcissist is likely to abandon you even if you've helped them in the past. They won’t lift a finger to save you and they’ll call you a loser for even asking. They’ll ignore you if you try to bring up the times you helped them.

Image is everything to a narcissist. They like to present themselves as capable and powerful. Part of this image is the illusion that they will always be there to help you if you need it.

Everyone needs a supportive community of friends and family members to help out when times get tough. No matter how well you are doing in life, unexpected medical issues or mechanical issues with your vehicle can put you in a tight spot.

If the issue is small enough, a narcissist might calculate that it is worth his effort to help out. If he sees he can maintain his generous image with a minor action, he knows it establishes goodwill he can exploit at a later date.

A narcissist never does anything because it’s the right thing to do. Narcissists only act in their self-interest.

Some people tolerate relationships with narcissists. Narcissists appear to be powerful people.

Narcissists see your other friends as a threat to their control. They isolate you with grand promises and insist that you shouldn’t depend on anyone else.

But when the time comes for the narcissist to make good on their promise, the relationship loses its appeal. A narcissist wants praise. They resent the idea that they must perform generous actions to get this praise. When you fall on hard times, the narcissist often accuses you of exploiting them.

Decent people do the right thing without any concern for a reward. They don’t look to be praised in the local paper or on social media. In many cases, decent people perform generous acts anonymously.

It’s important to develop an awareness of the warning signs of narcissism. The first people to turn against you in tough times are those that demand praise and insist they are winners.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI
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