We don’t associate narcissists with their empathy or their grasp of human emotions, so how do they react when they upset you? What goes through their mind when a narcissist sees you cry? Here are 13 things you can expect.

13 Things to Expect When a Narcissist Sees You Cry

“Narcissistic love is riding on the roller coaster of disaster filled with a heart full of tears.”Sheree Griffin

1. Narcissists won’t comfort you when you cry

Don’t expect a hug or a cuddle from a narcissist when you cry. If they’re not getting off on your pain, they’ll feel discomfort and embarrassment. It’s a bit of an ‘icky’ thing for them to deal with.

2. They won’t acknowledge your tears

When you cry, you’re drawing attention away from the narcissist. You can scream, shout or bawl as much as you like, but they won’t react. They’ll continue the conversation completely unbothered, returning to whatever they were doing before.

3. They accuse you of being too sensitive

Narcissists excuse their destructive behavior by blaming you. You are being too sensitive. You can’t take a joke or constructive criticism. You should lighten up and don’t take offense.

4. They stare at you

Narcissists don’t experience emotions the way we do, so seeing you crying intrigues them. They stare at you as if you’re a laboratory animal being experimented on. There’s nothing behind their eyes. No emotion or feeling.

Some victims of narcissists have described the narcissist’s eyes turning black or looking bored. Others smirk at your distress. Narcissists can make their partner cry because of something they did, feeling no remorse while they watch them. It’s disconcerting.

5. They will ignore your tears

When a narcissist sees you cry, they’ll go out of their way to ignore your tears. They carry on as if nothing’s happening. You can be distraught in a fetal position, and they’ll turn the TV up louder.

6. They’ll laugh at you

It’s not unusual for narcissists to laugh at your distress. These are empty, emotionally void shells of human beings. Seeing you upset shows them their tactics are working. Your tears feed their ego. It’s a pleasurable experience for them. When you cry, they are winning.

7. They’ll say you’re only crying to manipulate the situation

“Often the narcissist believes that other people are “faking it”, leveraging emotional displays to achieve a goal. He is convinced that their ostensible “feelings” are grounded in ulterior, non-emotional motives.” ― Sam Vaknin

Narcissists use crying as a manipulation tool, so it’s not surprising that they think everyone else does too. They don’t understand that tears mean sadness or grief. It’s projection. They are projecting their actions onto you. Yes, he would accuse me of manipulating him or trying to make him feel bad.

8. They dismiss your tears through fear of being held accountable

Crying shows how upset or hurt we are. Narcissists worry they are going to be unmasked as the nasty people they are. They minimize your feelings so they can get away with unacceptable behavior. If you are crying for no good reason, they’re not to blame.

9. They’ll belittle you

To a narcissist, crying is a sign of weakness. However, they also see it as a good thing. They are breaking you down. You are succumbing to their control tactics. They are affecting you negatively.

This gives them a huge power boost. They know you are now under their spell, so they can go even further.

10. They don’t understand why you’re crying

when a narcissist see you cry

Narcissists do not understand why people cry. They cannot relate what they’ve done to your reaction. After all, it’s not about you. It’s all about them.

This is a sick, soulless person with no conscience and is incapable of feeling remorse. Narcissists may feel irritated or annoyed with you because you’re crying, but they don’t get the emotion behind the tears.

11. They get angry

“She could feel him, glaring at her with a psychotic look in his eyes, taking pleasure in her suffering, using it to fuel his next move.” ― Arti Manani

If ignoring you won’t stop your crying, then getting angry sometimes does the trick. A narcissist will accuse you of crying to get attention or to avoid dealing with a problem. These are all things narcissists do, of course, so they relate them back to you.

Narcissists know they use emotions as a manipulation tool, but they get angry when they think you are, too. It is impossible for them to understand you are sad or upset.

12. They get turned on

Has your narcissist partner ever tried to initiate sex while you are crying? Some narcissists get turned on by your tears. Malignant narcissists are sadists that take pleasure in seeing you distraught.

However, there is also a condition called Dacryphilia which describes a person who gets sexually aroused by the sight or sounds of crying. Crying or seeing other people crying arouses some people.

13. They’ll remind you all the time

When a narcissist sees you crying, they remember it for future reference. They can then use it to humiliate you even further. They’ll constantly remind you of that time you were vulnerable and re-traumatize you all over again.

There are some narcissists who deliberately bring up past trauma to console and comfort you. They can’t do it at the time because their focus is on enjoying the moment. But once they’ve had time to think about the situation, they realize they can use it to their advantage.

Final Thoughts

When we see someone crying, our first instinct is to comfort and help that person. When a narcissist sees you crying, they don’t act like normal, well-adjusted people. If any of the above signs look familiar, you could be dealing with a narcissist.


  1. healthyplace.com
  2. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Julie

    Thank you Janey. Very helpful information.

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