Narcissists will expect their targets to apologise for the slightest trifle or indeed things that the narcissist did. The words “I am sorry” are constantly on the tip of the targets tongue.
The definition of “mistake” to a narcissist comes in a very different form to that which most of us consider a mistake.
Mistakes can be:
- Getting sick
- Sneezing or sniffing
- Breaking or dropping something
- Having a familial obligation that does not include them
- Doing things without consulting them first
- Talking about yourself (unless it is useful information that they can use against you later)
- Buying them a present that they don’t like, they will not hide their distaste, won’t appreciate the effort or expense and will happily give back, give it to someone else or throw it to one side without saying thank you.
- Making a mess of any sort. If visiting a narcissist any personal possessions left in “communal spaces” will be promptly returned to your room as an assertion of their territory.
- Having fun
- Playing and laughing
- Singing and dancing for fun
- Receiving compliments
- Not obeying their orders
- Knowing people who they do not know or know about
There are several things that happen when a narcissist perceives that you have made a mistake
- They can punish you in some unrelated way
- They can flip into a rage
- If you are sick they will either try to force you out of bed to take care of them, or get into bed soon and say that they are sicker than you (even though they have no symptoms)
- If you are having fun they will try to destroy the mood
- If you are singing they will tell you that you have a horrible voice and are giving them a headache
- If you are being creative they will laugh at your efforts and either insult what you have made or give a very obvious false compliment
- If you forget something they will insult you
- If you have a family obligation they will accuse you of not caring about them/always being away
- If you receive a compliment they will try to dampen it by saying something like “don’t exaggerate” “it’s not that nice” or when the person who made the compliment is out of earshot they will say something like “they were only being polite” “they have really bad taste”
- If you don’t do what they tell you to do they will rage, tell you that never listen, use emotional blackmail “if you loved me you would” or lie “I would do if for you” even though you know that they wouldn’t
- If you do something that doesn’t have a perfect outcome they will say “I told you not to do that” even though they didn’t
The list is long, but as with all things with narcissists the rules that they provide for you can and will be broken by them all of the time and can change all of the time. A very common phrase from narcissists is “now look what you made me do” because narcissists don’t make mistakes and if they do it is your fault.