Why Are Narcissists Emotionally Cold? (6 Reasons Narcissists Are Emotionally Cold)

Are you interested in why narcissists are emotionally cold? Then this guide is for you!

It’s often hard to understand how a narcissist can be so emotionally cold and seemingly uncaring, especially if you’ve been at the receiving end of your abuse.

One moment, this person acts as if he or she cares immensely, making you feel like you’re special or important, while in a matter of moments, this person can become cold and unresponsive to your needs.

Narcissistic personality disorder is being intensely studied by medical professionals and researchers in an effort to find out why this person behaves the way that he or she does in an effort to develop better treatments or even a cure.

The difficulty is that researchers can’t definitively point to one specific cause of a narcissist’s lack of emotion because there are many complex interactions at play.

There are several aspects of a narcissist that can stand alone or work with other traits to make this person emotionally cold.

1. Lack of Empathy

Perhaps the most recognized of the narcissist’s traits is his or her lack of empathy.

While this person may not be able to emotionally connect with how others are feeling, the narcissist has a cognitive empathy to where he or she can act in a certain way that mimics true empathy.

In fact, the narcissist often feels that others are irrational for feeling the way that they do. This person may see this as a sign of weakness that should be controlled.

A narcissist also believes that others only exist as an extension of him or her to meet his or her own needs. It would be the ultimate life is a stage scenario with the narcissist being the main character and the only one who matters.

This individual cannot empathize with how his or her actions affects others.

Because this individual cannot delve down beyond the superficial, cognitive level of empathy, he or she is incapable of feeling or showing remorse for his or her behavior, making the narcissist come across as cold and unfeeling.

Finally, because the narcissist is good at portraying empathy in a cognitive manner, this individual must use a lot of effort to put on a good show.

Emotional exhaustion then sets in, so the person then goes back to his or her normal, cold self.

2. Nature

Researchers have recently found that the narcissist has less gray matter in a certain region of the brain’s cerebral cortex that allows for empathy development.

However, the ability to develop empathy uses multiple regions of the brain, so this lack of brain material on one small area may or may not significantly contribute to the development of narcissism and emotional coldness.

Although there is less brain matter for the narcissist to work with from the beginning, other factors can be highly influential on the degree of narcissist traits that develop as well as if the individual becomes narcissistic at all.

3. Nurture

A baby requires certain emotional care as he or she goes to toddler to child to adult. When the primary caregiver is emotionally cold and distant, the child’s needs aren’t met.

This can have a few different consequences to the child’s emotional development.

First of all, this person may become afraid to feel. After all, this person’s feelings had been either ignored or trivialized. There’s no reason for the emotionally neglected child to show feelings if this response is going to lead to more pain.

Second, this lack of emotional encouragement inhibits growth, which leads to an underdeveloped self. The narcissist learns to deny his or her own feelings, prohibiting the necessary development.

Finally, the narcissist develops a fear of true intimacy as this person believes that all intimate relationships will end up painful just like the original relationship with his or her primary caregiver.

When both of the child’s parents are emotionally unresponsive to the narcissist’s needs in the early years of development, this just intensifies the coldness felt by this individual.

In fact, it’s quite possible that at least a part of the narcissist’s feelings of entitlement may spring from the lack he or she experiences while growing up.

After going through such a difficult time, this person might believe that he or she is owed a better life to make up for it.

4. Protection

Since the narcissist’s own emotional needs may have not been met during the appropriate developmental stages of his or her life, he or she becomes ashamed of having feelings at all.

To deal with this insecurity and vulnerability, the narcissist builds a wall of protection around his or her feelings, often from a very young age.

While the narcissist may exhibit the signs of empathy or of having feelings, this is simply due to learned behaviors about how a person acts in certain situations to fit in and not seem lacking in any way.

5. Control

Control is a huge part of the narcissist’s life. Because he or she may have had little control during childhood, he or she builds the wall of protection around his or her emotions so that no on can control him or her again.

Suppose the narcissist were to let out his or her emotions. In that case, this person risks allowing another person to take control of a portion of this individual’s world by manipulating the narcissist’s feelings.

The lack of control for a narcissist reveals his or her underlying insecurities and weakness, making him or her vulnerable. As this is not acceptable to a narcissist, he or she becomes cold to maintain control.

Additionally, the narcissist maintains an air of aloofness to control or manipulate others.

This person is highly adept at intellectually understanding the emotions of others and can use this knowledge as a way to bend others to his or her will.

Because others in the world are not seen as independent beings by the narcissistic individual, those people are simply there to do the bidding of narcissist.

There’s often no reason for the narcissist to put in effort to express fake emotions to people who don’t even matter in the grand scheme of things as any more than objects to control.

6. Similarity

It’s often difficult for those who don’t have narcissistic personality disorder to realize that others may have different experiences that cause them to look at the world in a unique way. This is especially hard for the narcissist.

A healthy individual may assume that others will think or feel the same way that he or she does about a situation or life in general. This is especially true for the narcissist.

Because this individual has problems seeing beyond himself or herself, the narcissist may assume that others think and feel the same way that he or she does, meaning that the emotional responses are fake.

Since the narcissist uses false emotional showings to get what he or she wants, this person thinks others are too.

But because the narcissist can’t see beyond himself or herself, the narcissist often finds these emotional displays as irritating or as a way of focusing on themselves rather than on the narcissist where it belongs.

Thus, the narcissist will appear uncaring and cold when others express emotions because other people are simply not as important as the narcissist is to himself or herself.

Final Thoughts

If you’re at the receiving end of narcissistic abuse, you need to understand that it’s not your fault though the narcissist will most likely manipulate you into believing it.

Someone with a narcissistic personality disorder is unable and often unwilling to feel empathy for others. This won’t change until the narcissist truly realizes that he or she is the problem and seeks help.

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