Narcissists love to throw themselves pity parties, but please don’t accept the invitation! Did you know that “an appeal to pity attempts to persuade using emotion—specifically, sympathy—rather than evidence?” An argument involving pity is fallacious (based on mistaken belief) because our emotional responses are not always a good guide to truth; emotions can cloud, rather than clarify, issues. We should base our beliefs upon reason, rather than on emotion, if we want our beliefs to be true” (http:/www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/appeals/appeal-to-pity/). In other words, feelings are not facts! Narcissists use pity (mistaken belief) for two reasons. The first is to manipulate someone (deceit) and the second is to mask what they are doing (deceit) by taking the attention off of their bad behavior and then transferring the listener’s attention into giving sympathy to the narcissist for a whole other matter. A good example of how this type of dialogue looks is below. This is also a way that the narcissist brings attention back to him or herself. Notice how the narcissists keeps trying to get pity and cause the target to forget about what she was complaining about in the first place. The target is being manipulated to console the narcissist as if the narc is in more pain than the target.
Target: “Why didn’t you tell me you were going to dinner with so-and-so last night”
Narcissist: ” Oh target! I felt so bad the entire time I was there” or “I felt so sick to my stomach I couldn’t even finish my meal ”
Target: Well, why didn’t you tell me.
Narcissist: “I knew you would be hurt because you were not invited”.
Target: “Well, if you knew that I would be hurt, then why did you still go?”
Narcissist: ” I just couldn’t turn down the invite. I felt obligated to go! Can’t you see I was under pressure”
Now, if you are an empath or highly-sensitive person, I can almost bet you started to feel sorry for the Narcissist, didn’t you? Do you see how they work? Narcissists have to solicit for pity because they don’t have logical explanations for what they do. Well, to clarify, anything that serves them, in their mind, is logical! In order to solve problems in a relationship there needs to be logical reasoning, which in turn solves a particular problem. Productive arguments contain two logical virtues and simply put, they are (1) True Reasons (having no objections) and (2) Reasons that are properly related to the conclusions.
In going back to the above dialogue, the target asked why the narc didn’t tell her that he was going to dinner. A true reason (1) would be that “it was a last minute invite”. If this were true, then the expectation of a phone call or text, in this day and age, would not be unreasonable in a normal, healthy relationship. But notice, there isn’t a “true reason” in his initial response. In fact, there isn’t any reason at all! What there is though, is a pity ploy (manipulation). So, the target asks again and the narc says that he knew the target would be hurt if she found out. The Narcissist’s second answer appears is if he didn’t tell the target out of concern, right? Wrong! If the narc was so concerned about the target being hurt, then why did he go in the first place? That has yet to be answered here and never will be. This conversation will go round and round, will always be about the narc. What will happen is that narc will feel trapped then will start with the put downs, name calling and raising his voice to intimidate. The target will end up crying and will start to learn to never question the Narc again so that these types of confrontations won’t happen in the future. This is what emotional abuse looks like!
Remember, in logic, the reasons have to relate to the conclusion. We all can assume that the reason why the narc didn’t tell the target is because he doesn’t truly and sincerely care about the target and only wanted to be seen with the who’s-who in a fancy restaurant, a self-serving ego (narcissistic supply) builder. But, the narc cannot admit to this and covertly disguises his error of omission (not telling target) as feigned sympathy. Does this all make sense?
As part of your healing and recovery from a relationship with a narcissist, protect yourself against weak arguments. Become familiar in ways in which people use faulty reasoning to wiggle their way out of accountability. Remember, faulty reasoning lacks both a true reason (without objection) and a conclusion that is properly related to the true reason. More logical fallacies can be found here, http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/appeals/appeal-to-pity/. Oh, and don’t forget that there will never be a sincere apology! They may say that “they are sorry you feel that way” but that is not an apology! The narc is blaming you for how you feel and is covertly escaping from any personal accountability. Furthermore, that fake apology does not include remorse or how they plan to not continue the behavior that hurt you in the first place. There is a myriad of information on what a sincere apology looks and feels like. I encourage you to research the topic if for no other reason than to
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