Narcissists Lack a Real Conscience

Are you concerned at times that you have hurt someone’s feelings due to your harsh words or actions? Do you have worries that you misspoke out of anger and your own projections? Do you apologize when you have caused someone  distress?  These are  a few of the questions that those who have a conscience exam within themselves. Individuals with conscience care about the emotional and psychological welfare of other people. They monitor themselves and make every effort to do and say what is right and fair.  (This post refers to female and male narcissists).

Conscience is developed, not innate. By the time a child is three a primitive conscience begins to emerge through the quality of parenting. By the age of seven or eight, the conscience becomes more mature. Conscience grows as a result of parental input that provides the growing child with a sense of caring about the feelings of others. The good parent sets limits on a child’s impulses and wishes in a healthy way. Conscience  develops and becomes more refined throughout life (or doesn’t).

Conscience, the capacity to distinguish what is right and wrong and to experience guilt when we have done harm to another is absent in the narcissist. These individuals do everything in their power not to get caught in their deceptive, unethical and illegals deeds.  For them, this is “conscience.”

The narcissist is ruthlessly goal oriented to the extent that he or she is always in the fast lane to achieve his goals regardless of the harm and distress that it causes others. If lying is the best way to win–that’s fine.  The narcissist rationalizes his lies or doesn’t even acknowledge them.

Lack of conscience makes the narcissist’s movement to the finish line first much easier. He doesn’t have to be concerned about the devastating effects of his misdeeds upon others, especially spouses, ex-spouses, siblings, children, co-workers, business partners and everyone who crosses his path.

How often have you seen reckless drivers on the freeway, threading in and out of heavy traffic at high speeds.  These individuals are endangering everyone else on the road but that doesn’t matter to them.  This is a visual metaphor for the narcissist who moves through the fast lane of his life goals without conscience, empathy, compassion or guilt. These individuals sleep at night without a quiver of guilt.

Our current society is exceedingly narcissistic. Being ruthless without conscience is highly accepted in many sectors of this current narcissistic climate.  Winning, “succeeding” at any cost–have become life goals. There is nothing the matter with success.  We work diligently with our gifts to do better and use our efforts to perform professionally and personally on a high level. But we do this with conscience.

Along with the narcissist’s lack of conscience comes deception, duplicitousness, manipulations and exploitation.  As the narcissist races through life, he is regressing and becoming more deeply entrenched in these pathological personality traits and actions.

Learn to recognize the narcissist quickly so that you will protect yourself from these individuals. Being informed is very powerful. You will know what to expect–nothing!

Remember,  you have a conscience—the narcissist doesn’t and will not develop one.  This is a fixed personality constellation that is not inclined to change.

You are evolving all of the time. This process is not a straight forward line. There are plateaus, trials, disappointments, losses, fears and regrets that we face. This is the life process. Give yourself tremendous credit for being a person of conscience and compassion.  You are that unique individual that always strives to do the right thing especially when no one is watching or will ever find out.  It is in the deep inner self that you feel the peace of your authenticity and integrity.

10 thoughts on “Narcissists Lack a Real Conscience”

  1. i grew up with a NM and could never understand why she criticized and constantly could not understand why she couldn’t give me the encouragement I needed when I would get another college degree. I have broken all contact with her and never want to see her again or if info it is by my conditions and how long I wish to be in her presence

  2. Gosh, you always blow me away Linda. You really understand these vile individuals. You put it out there and I cant thank you enough for that x. You get me through, while painful it is liberating at the same time x Thank you for all you are!

  3. Unbelievable!

    After spending thirty-five of my fifty-seven years in therapy and exigent poverty, here, at last, I find an extraordinarily gifted and intelligent therapist who puts a finger right on the pulse of the hideous misery and cruelty that fuels the narcissist.

    Mother, father, sister. All three. By the age of 8 I was crying myself to sleep every night. One night my mother came in the room and called me a “crazy sonofabitch.” I was no more than 3 years old when my father started beating me until I would pass out in favor of “the golden queen,” my sister.

    Yes, the charming narcissist and how true that they proliferate in our superficial culture, or lack thereof.

    I can’t thank you enough, Linda, for sharing your wisdom and shining your light on the confusing and painful hell that association with the poisonous narcissist creates in our lives.

    Many blessings,

  4. I love this site. My narcissist has made my life a living hell. But not anymore. I take no verbal abuse. I rebuke his statements and am ending my relationship with him. He goes crazy because i will not allow him to demean me.

  5. I have noticed most refer to NM. Mine is my father. I was blamed by him, for my parents divorce, my mom died from cancer when I was 17, they were divorced when I was 12. I’m now 48.
    I just now discovered, my father has kept a half-brother from me, for 31yrs! I said I was hurt, and he said he has no idea why. it is none of my business. he ONLY told me because he was doing his will, and didn’t want me “surprised” at the strange “guy”. I tried to explain, How left out I feel, (my cousin knew, my other half brother knew, they also kept his secret and lied to me) and disconnected from the family ad betrayed, I feel. he says he doesn’t get it at all.
    All my life, he has called me stupid, ugly, etc. was always close to my female cousin, the one he shared the new’s of this “other” brother with, so that brings up many childhood issues.
    over the years I have tried to forgive and forge some kind of relationship with him, but all I ca do at this point it seems is set VERY STRONG boundaries.
    He is a verbally abusive, critical, and a liar.

  6. I wish I could find somebody in real life that understands these not crazy but am mercilessly perused, I made the mistake recently to confront them, bad move. now I’m living on a knifes edge. I wrote him a letter apologizing for my behaviour can you believe that. but in my situation after being in the firing line its safer to be back under the foot.

  7. This site is incredible. I have just found out about you Linda and im going to be ordering your book this week.
    I have been in a 3.5 year relationship with a crazy man. And now I know why. Because he def has this personality disorder to a T. I’ve heard it all… False promises… The constant ” I’m sorry” song over and over again only for him to do and say the same hurtful things. Me getting fed up. Ready to leave and him begging to change and he’s wrong and he loves me and needs me…the name calling, putting me down, attacking my person for no reason, the constant throwing me away when he thinks he’s got a better audience only to beg forgiveness when he realizes he’s not getting what he ” needs” from others. He’s got more enemies then friends… He doesn’t care about following rules or about the law and has been arrested multiple times… He claims to love his children only to let them down if he’s getting more attention elseware…his inability to feel, love, have true intimacy, be emotional, share… The secrets, lies, fake promises and telling me to be ” patient” with him our life will be great very soon…. The advantage he’s taken of me and my good heart and need to help others…The list goes on and on and on…. The more I try to work on this relationship the more he resists. No more. I see im not dealing with someone who can be fixed or healed or taught what true love is. I’m greatful to have found this site. I can’t wait to get this book and hopefully make real sence of the abuse I clearly have been enduring for years and break free to begin to heal.

  8. Mine was an ex colleague. He tried everything to get me under his control. Humiliation,abuse by proxy, seduction and the inevitable smear campaign. I had to leave my job as his female harem slut shamed me and destroyed my credibility and reputation. He talks badly of his wife, calls her frigid and is highly verbally abusive. I rejected his advances ( very unsophisticated ) and he was probably in disbelief as the other women fawn over him. It took its toll as we are nurses in a mental health unit and there were times when i distinctly felt set up for violence from pt’s due to his unprofessional behaviour. Everyone loves him !! Except the poor pt’s of course. He was awful to them. Slapped on the wrist by management. He would provoke pt’s to the point where they would lose control and then THEY would be either medicated or placed in seclusion. Dangerous for everyone. I cant imagine what his wife and children have to live with.

  9. “Narcissists Lack a Real Conscience”. Oh yes, they really do.

    I am almost through with our divorce of 35 years and his attorney just submitted their offer to my attorney.My husband really didn’t love me nor his two sons .One of our sons, 24 years old is mentally disabled and lives with me and the document my attorney has had the entire time clearly states that my son has been officially disabled since 2007 when he was 16 years old. His father has not contacted him at all after he left me, walked out 2 years ago. The stunning thing is… my husband never told his attorney about this fact. so his attorney’s offer to me stated I needed to go find a job and work. I have been fully forthcoming-yet my narcissist husband has not. This will be the second time during this 6 month divorce process my husband has not told the truth or hid the truth like his getting a new job that pays salary here in CA.
    But my attorney has known about my son and he has been diagnosed as bi-polar, depressed and schizophrenic and hospitalized for this 3 times in the 2 years since his father left.

    Yes, I cannot understand the lack of compassion, lack of empathy or any feelings my husband has for his flesh and blood son but hopefully now his attorney will adjust the offer due to the disclosure he now has about our son.

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