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.