After spending any period of time with a narcissist, it’s easy to be left wondering – is the narcissist happy? The majority of those with narcissistic personality disorder spend much of their lives, convincing others that they are eternally happy. Is this really the case, however?
People with narcissistic personality disorder are masters of illusion. If you are acquainted with a narcissist and ask them the following:
“How are you?”
The answer will nearly always be emphatic:
“Very, very well!”
The response will rarely stray from this sort of narrative. If you attempt to delve deeper into the narcissist’s reply, you will likely be refused. Narcissists feel an urgent need to display their happiness to the world. They do this by parading a new partner or boasting about their success or wealth to anyone who will listen. It seems that they never have a bad day, become upset about something or fall on hard times. Why?
Uncovering the Truth
Narcissists operate through a façade, often referred to as the false self. Their true self, or soul, stopped developing at some point typically under the age of 5. This is often referred to as the narcissistic wound and is caused by trauma or a series of traumas. The term trauma in this scenario could refer to conditional love from a parent or being born to a narcissist parent. The inborn character of the child may also determine whether or not they will become pathologically narcissistic. At this moment in time, the cause of narcissistic personality disorder is still not completely known.
The problem is that the false self, as the name implies, is a lie. Narcissists do not experience their emotions through the false self. The false self is, in all essences, a fictional character that the narcissist plays the part of every single day. Deep down, the narcissist knows that there is something hugely wrong with them, which is why they go to great lengths to hide it – it being the emotionally undeveloped, childlike true self.
When considering whether or not is the narcissist happy, the narcissist has no idea what happiness genuinely means. This part of their being was walled off and numbed at such a young age, that they have no idea how the emotion actually feels. They have never experienced contentment or the warmth of love. Instead, they carefully observe others who appear happy and mimic.
When you look at the narcissist and see what you may perceive to be happiness, it is the grandiosity and entitlement of the false self. This is a performance for not only others but ultimately for the narcissist. The narcissist is trying to fool no one more so than himself or herself. They are at war with themselves, and you just so happen to be caught up in action.
The narcissist often appears to be a highly confident individual, an attribute that many associates with happiness. However, in reality, the narcissist has no self-esteem. To possess self-esteem, you need to occupy your self – your true self. The narcissist has abandoned their true self, which remains frozen in time and dilapidated. When their actions are examined, it is clear to see that they do not come from a place of self-love.
So, Is the Narcissist Happy?
If you have ever lived with a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder, you’ll be all too aware of the discrepancy between the public persona and who they are behind closed doors. In private, the narcissist is frequently monosyllabic, full of rage, aloof and utterly miserable. The harder you try to initiate intimacy, in whichever form, the further you’re pushed away. People will always try to break through to the narcissist until it is ultimately realised that there is no one there. Sadly, the narcissist’s personality structure means that true happiness is unattainable. So, in answer to is the narcissist happy? The conclusion is a resounding no.