10 things that happen when a narcissist sees you cry

Do narcissists have a conscience? 

More importantly, does it coincide with their own feelings? Most likely not. So what might happen when a narcissist sees you cry? 

This article will give you insight on what they are doing while they watch your sadness unfold.

Let’s check out 10 things that might happen when a narcissist is watching you cry. 

1) They will avoid eye contact

You may think that the narcissist is a cold, hard and heartless creature that has no feelings whatsoever. 

But – when it comes to their own empathy – they are more than capable of feeling sympathy for someone else. 

It may not be an “other” person, but if it’s about them, they will become concerned for your wellbeing.

I have seen narcissists cry for their own suffering, so why would they not feel compassion for you? 

They can’t help but feel emotional when they see your own tears. 

Narcissists are emotional vampires, and will become emotional when they are witnessing someone else in an emotional state.

A narcissist may look away when they see that you are crying. 

They want to look away because it’s something that is truly uncomfortable to witness. 

Your sadness makes them sad, and it’s hard for them to handle – so what do they do? They turn their eyes away from you.

2) They will have a waiting game

For one reason or another the narcissist is going to observe your tears. 

They might wait for you to finish crying or they might jump in at any given moment. 

Either way, their timing is crucial and they don’t want to give away their intentions too soon.

Narcissists won’t be there for you to comfort you if you are sad. Instead, they will just wait for your tears to dry up. 

They might have empathy, but they also have a lack of compassion. 

A narcissist will not do anything to help you in a time of need – because they lack the capacity to provide real understanding and compassion.

A narcissist may begin to feel guilty about your sadness, but that doesn’t mean that he or she will stop it. 

3) They will deny any responsibility for your sadness

A narcissist might insist that they are not the one who made you sad. 

They will even blame the situation on someone else and take it out on the other person. 

For example, they might say ‘you made me so angry’ or ‘the situation is your fault’. 

They will never take any responsibility for their actions, even when you are being emotionally and mentally abused by them – because this is something that scares them to deal with. 

The narcissist’s way of dealing with their problems is by blaming and attacking others for it instead of taking action themselves.

4) You get blamed for your reaction

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What do I mean? 

A narcissist will blame you for your tears when you are crying in front of them. 

They will say that it’s your fault that you are upset – even though they are part of the reason why you are sad. 

It’s like an attack from one person to another, and a narcissist will use their words to attack the other person and take control once again. They control reality by taking advantage of their power over everyone else by making them feel guilty or any other negative emotions that they can generate in others. 

5) They may try to use your sadness against you

A narcissist doesn’t want to feel weak or vulnerable. 

They don’t like expressing their emotions, so when they are sad – that makes them feel bad about themselves. 

For example, a narcissist will say things like ‘why are you making me feel this way?’ or ‘but I didn’t do anything wrong!’.. 

The narcissist will then try to use your sadness against you and make it seem as if they don’t care that you are upset. 

In other words, they won’t care about being made to feel sad by you – but they will try to use your sadness against you.

It’s like a double-edged sword and if you cry in front of them – the narcissist will use your tears against you because otherwise they would feel bad about themselves and have no idea how to take action. 

6) They will give you a shoulder (literally)

Narcissists have no problem being physical with people. 

They are used to giving someone a shoulder to cry on. So is this comforting? No. 

A narcissist will be the first one to comfort you while you are crying, but they don’t actually feel compassionate at all

They are observing your sadness and they want to know that it’s not about them but about another person or event. 

They want to know that it doesn’t have anything to do with them – otherwise, they would feel guilty for your suffering and it isn’t an emotion that they enjoy feeling.

And you know what? 

A narcissist will brush up against you and put their arm on your shoulder. You might think that the touch is comforting, but it’s not. 

The narcissist is making sure that you feel supported and understood about whatever it is that is making you sad.

7) They will try talking you out of your crying fit

A narcissist will try to distract you from your tears with an interesting topic. 

They want to stop the waterworks because they don’t want to get involved with another person’s emotions – even if it’s themselves.

They will avoid making eye contact and they won’t want to give you the impression that you are dealing with a problem that has to do with them.

Narcissists want you to know that they are a kind person, so they will provide solutions for every problem or issue, so if you are crying about something which has nothing to do with them, they will offer their solutions on the matter. 

They need you to feel that it’s about someone or something else.

A narcissist will attempt to change the subject from your crying fit – and distract you from what is making you sad because they don’t want to get the blame.

8) They won’t ask you for details about the event or person making you sad

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A narcissist will try to avoid the subject by making you think that it’s about them or on them. 

A narcissist will also want to know everything about your sadness, but they are keeping a gap between themselves and the subject without actually having to ask you about it. 

They want information without feeling forced to give it. If you get sad for someone that they really don’t care about, well – then the chances of getting through to them are very slim.

They have a sense of control over the situation, so they don’t want to feel obligated by receiving any information that might make them feel sympathetic towards your sadness.

9) They won’t offer you a solution to your problem

An opposite reaction that a narcissist may show is that they won’t offer you any solution.

In this case if the narcissist sees that your problem has nothing to do with them, they will feel that there is no point in helping you solve the problem.

They are observers and they don’t like being involved with other people’s emotions.

 If a narcissist feels as if they want to step into your life, they want it to be of their own accord – not because they were told or felt obligated to do so.

They don’t like taking action when they don’t initiate the problem that is making you sad. 

What’s more? 

They might even tell you how to feel in the situation if you are like them – but that can make things so much worse than just giving you a shoulder to cry on.

10) They may get angry when you cry in front of them

This one is a little bit tricky. If you make the narcissist feel bad enough – they may get angry with you. 

Even more so if they are the one that hurts you in the first place. They might throw things at you, snap at you and even scream at you when you start to cry in their presence.

They might get even angrier when they see a tear fall out of your eye, and they will tend to show that anger more often than not. 

A narcissist is capable of feeling intense emotions, but will not always be able to deal with them effectively.

I have seen narcissists shout at me, push me and even hit me when I was crying in front of them. 

They are not willing to express their emotions – but when they do, it’s towards their benefit. In other words, they will not want the situation to become too emotional – so they get angry when you are doing so.

And they will make you feel guilty for crying. They’ll act like you’re trying to be pitiful when you’re the one in the wrong.

The aftermath: You feel even worse, but also more trapped

A narcissist will not be willing to help you get through your sadness. 

They won’t even try to understand it, so getting through your sadness is very unlikely as well. You might be left feeling more upset after crying in front of a narcissist, and then feel sorry for yourself and feel even more obligated to them.

You may get angry at them for not being there when you needed them and leave angry at yourself because you may feel that you have no one else to turn to – or just give up completely.

A narcissist won’t handle your tears well but they are not the only kind of person who will have difficulty dealing with bad emotions.

There is a simple solution to not have to face the consequences of crying in front of a narcissist. 

Don’t cry in front of them. 

If you feel like you are going to cry – leave the situation and make sure that you don’t let yourself be emotionally hurt by them. 

You need to understand that their behavior is not about you – but about them, their personality and their inability to express emotions. 


I hope that this article has helped you with your knowledge about narcissism – especially when it comes to those who are involved with narcissists. 

Hopefully, you will have a better understanding of the complicated emotions that come with trying to deal with narcissistic behavior.

I also hope that this post has helped you understand that if you face your sadness in front of a narcissist, they will not handle it well at all and it will be very unlikely that they will be able to help you get through your pain.

So don’t take it personally and try to be strong in front of them. Choose other people that can understand your feelings and share it with them. 

Picture of Nguyet Yen Tran

Nguyet Yen Tran

Yen is a freelance writer and a researcher specializing in mental health, self-awareness, and psychology. Her hobby is studying human behavior throughout their reaction upon situations. Be sure to check out her other posts on our blog.

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