Why Narcissists Don’t Think Anything Is Wrong With Themselves


Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a need for admiration and attention, and a lack of empathy for others.

Narcissists often have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and may believe they are superior to others. Despite the negative impact their behaviour may have on those around them, narcissists often do not see anything wrong with themselves. In this article, I’ll explore the psychology behind narcissism to better understand why this is the case.

The Roots of Narcissism

To understand why narcissists don’t think anything is wrong with themselves, it’s important to first understand the roots of narcissism. Narcissism is typically characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and a deep need for admiration and attention. This often stems from a childhood where the person didn’t receive enough attention, love, or validation from their parents or caregivers.

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The Narcissistic Defense Mechanism

One of the key reasons why narcissists don’t think anything is wrong with themselves is that they employ a defence mechanism known as denial. This allows them to protect their fragile ego from the reality of their flaws and weaknesses. By denying any responsibility for their mistakes or shortcomings, they can maintain their self-image as flawless and perfect.

The Role of Cognitive Dissonance

Another factor that contributes to narcissists’ inability to see their faults is cognitive dissonance. This is the psychological discomfort that arises when a person’s beliefs or actions are inconsistent with each other. When a narcissist is confronted with evidence that contradicts their self-image as perfect and infallible, they experience cognitive dissonance. To reduce this discomfort, they may double down on their beliefs or actions, rather than admit they were wrong.

The Influence of Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias also plays a role in why narcissists don’t think anything is wrong with themselves. This is the tendency to seek out and interpret information in a way that confirms one’s existing beliefs or biases. Narcissists may only seek out information that supports their self-image as perfect while disregarding any evidence to the contrary.

Research on Narcissism

Research has been conducted on narcissism to better understand the psychology behind this personality disorder. Some studies have found that narcissism is associated with several negative outcomes, such as lower levels of empathy, higher levels of aggression, and poorer mental health outcomes.

One study found that individuals with narcissistic personality traits had less brain activity in areas associated with empathy when viewing pictures of others in distress. This suggests that narcissists may have a reduced capacity for empathy, which can contribute to their inability to see anything wrong with themselves.

Another study found that narcissism is associated with a higher likelihood of engaging in manipulative behaviours, such as lying or cheating, to get what they want. This can further contribute to their lack of self-awareness and belief that they are above reproach.

While these studies provide some insight into the psychology behind narcissism, it’s important to note that not all individuals with narcissistic traits will exhibit these negative behaviours or outcomes. Additionally, it’s important to approach research on narcissism with caution, as the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder is often based on subjective assessments rather than objective measures.

Dealing With Narcissists

Now that we understand why narcissists don’t think anything is wrong with themselves, let’s explore some strategies for dealing with them more effectively:

  • Don’t expect them to change: Narcissists are unlikely to change their behaviour, as they see themselves as perfect and faultless. Instead, focus on setting boundaries and protecting yourself from their toxic behaviour.
  • Don’t take their behaviour personally: Narcissists often behave in hurtful or manipulative ways, but it’s not a reflection on you. Remember that their behaviour is a result of their psychological issues, not anything you’ve done.
  • Don’t engage in arguments or debates: Narcissists love to argue and prove their superiority, so it’s best to avoid getting into debates with them. Instead, stick to your boundaries and values.
  • Seek support: Dealing with a narcissist can be emotionally draining, so it’s important to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist


In conclusion, narcissists don’t think anything is wrong with themselves due to the defence mechanisms they use, such as denial and cognitive dissonance. Their deep-seated need for admiration and attention also contributes to their inability to see their faults. While it’s possible to interact with narcissists, it’s important to set boundaries and protect oneself from their toxic behaviour. Seeking support from others and not taking their behaviour personally can also be helpful. Ultimately, understanding the psychology behind narcissism can help individuals better navigate their interactions with narcissists.

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