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Can a narcissist feign empathy?

Sam Vaknin is the author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" and 8 other books about personality disorders and abuse in relationships with narcissists and psychopaths. He is the owner and moderator of support forums and the first person to have written about the Narcissistic Personality disorder (NPD) online (in 1997). He invented many of the terms currently used to describe the disorder and its effects on family, the workplace, and in various professions.

Where to go to ask Dr. Sam questions. This is intended as Questions to Dr. Vaknin and his responses

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Can a narcissist feign empathy?

Postby MelS » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:48 pm


I found out about my husband's double life about a year and a half ago. This is what I know so far:

-his sexual acting out started at an adolescent when he molested a six year old boy
-become addicted to porn and webcams. His sought out women who would humiliate him.
-had a long emotional affair, though it wasn't a normal one. He fed on her disgust of him and wanted her to hate him, but stick around as well.
-drank secretly
-spent money secretly
-was flirting with the idea of hiring prostitutes

As a parent and spouse:
-he took advantage of my natural tendency for inner introspection. He subtly supported any thought of self blame on my part. By then end, I thought I was the most broken and horrible person in the world for not being able to give enough to him.
-I am University educated. But I ended up giving everything for our family. I feel completely stuck.
-he's extremely jealous of the kids. He pushes them away emotionally. Makes them feel like they are nothing but a nuisance. His time is too precious to give away to them. He's mean to them. My youngest is better at standing up to him than I am.

his "recovery"
-he's in a 12 step group for *** addiction
-has completely changed his narcissistic supply and has become a born again christian.
-is even more arrogant than before, because now he knows the answers to everything. God micromanages all of his decisions. He wants to take the kids to church (we have always said we'd raise them secular) and I put my foot down and said no.

And yet! He seems to have some empathy when he sees strangers suffering. Is this really possible? He knows now that I roll my eyes when he starts talking about mistreatment of women, so he's starting to stop ranting on that. But I still feel in denial that there are people with no empathy.

Also, my family doesn't believe I can make it on my own. They seem reluctant to help me out. I'm having trouble understanding why they would want me to stay. Does this happen a lot? Is this one of the reasons it's so difficult to break free? I feel like I'm the crazy one.

Thank you.
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Re: Can a narcissist feign empathy?

Postby samvaknin » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:27 pm

Narcissists have COLD empathy. More here:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/perso ... ers68.html

Abusers appear to be suffering from dissociation (multiple personality). At home, they are intimidating and suffocating monsters – outdoors, they are wonderful, caring, giving, and much-admired pillars of the community.


How Victims are Pathologized and re-abused by the System

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5068
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy:


Buy 16 books or 3 video DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships - click on this link:

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