Has the narcissist in your life performed a complete 180? Have they switched from calling you every name under the sun, accusing you of evil intentions… to crying when they realize you are serious about leaving the relationship?
There’s a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with their caring for you.
Another way that the narcissist gets special attention is through the role of being an extreme victim. As kind and compassion-driven human beings, we are easily fooled by this form of extreme behavior (crying, faked regret). What we often do not see is that we are many times shamed by feelings we are not doing enough for them. All along it is easy to be manipulated as we respond from our hearts. The deception is that the narcissist can hide behind misfortune and victimization in order to shame you into feeling and believing that they suffer more than you do. They will say that you don’t care enough for them. They will make you feel that you have not done enough to help them. They want attention, control, gain, and power over others by positioning themselves as a “poor and helpless” victim. They do this; all the while soaking up the attention and control over others. In the eyes of an extreme narcissist, their situation is always right and totally justified. Instead of taking responsibility for self and consequences, the extreme narcissist tries to make others feel responsible for their plight. Because extreme narcissists are incredibly adept at the game of manipulation, they will always find a way to turn the tables on you. They will try to make you responsible and feel guilty for not helping them or taking their side.
Extreme narcissists often shift gears from acting that they are better than others, to the ultimate victim because they would have you believe they suffer more than you. Extreme narcissists hog the limelight, by milking an injury or a seeming misfortune that has occurred to them. Victimized extreme narcissists are on the constant prowl looking for any gullible soul that will believe their version of misfortune whether it is real, exaggerated, or fictitious. What they claim that makes their tragedy different is that it is worse for them than for you. Beware of this kind of extreme narcissism. It is just as selfish and manipulating as that of the self-important persona they’ve switched from. The moment they see that you don’t “fully” cooperate and act with extreme concern for them, serving and pampering them, they will eliminate you from their list of “loving” folks. They may even badmouth you and gossip or slander you as being selfish and uncaring. Imagine that! My recommendation is to avoid believing that this person’s misfortune is the ultimate suffering of all humans. Be polite. Recognize their pain and no more. Don’t be pulled into their web of emotional manipulation. Stay away from extreme narcissists.
Adapted in part from Narcissists Who Cry: The Other Side of the Ego. PsychCentral.com