Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Two More Ways to Avoid Thanking Someone Sincerely

Another situation where thanks are the usual way to respond is when a compliment is given. The narcissist will often have a problem receiving the compliment with the normal response of "thank you". Enter here the next manifestation of the inability to thank: protestation.

They commonly counterpoise a compliment with a protestation that they do not deserve it. Or they may dismiss a genuine accolade as insincere flattery, or even appear annoyed that the complimenter appears to think they would appreciate an admiring remark...

The narcissistically motivated person doesn't even need your compliments....except, the truth is, they do need them. They simply can't let you know that fact, and they are trying to not know that fact themselves.

Then there is the "Converse Manifestations" where you throw everything described previously out because the narcissist may choose to deflect thanks in an opposite sense: by over-thanking.

As in all things psychodynamic, the opposite behavior may indicate a problem in accepting dependency or vulnerability. Some people compulsively over thank, or over apologize, in a manner that suggests as much underlying discomfort with the inner state of indebtedness to others as we are postulating in those who resist thanking and apologizing. Denial of Remorse & Gratitude
I like that the author of this article tells the reader to pay attention to their inner state of discomfort in this situation as it is a signal to you that something is wrong. When someone over-thanks or over-apologizes to the point that you start feeling squirmy then trust that your instincts are onto a screwy dynamic. This person hates feeling indebted to you. Deal accordingly.


JW said...

Yep, I experienced this with my narcissistic coworker. He definately had the over-thank and over-apologize thing down pat. And yeah, I definately did feel uncomfortable by both dynamics. He also loved dishing out patronizing compliments but would always say that he didn't deserve any compliments because he was just doing his work, what he was supposed to do. And he was a self-sufficient bastard who didn't desire anyone else's help. Crazy. I'm sure I'm the only one that picked up on all of this nonsense from him, but it was just truly weird.

Anonymous said...

Also there is the fact that the victims are trained too.

Quite frankly I have a hard time not over thanking or apoligizing because I am not sure what I am suppose to do and when. It seems when I am outside of my mothers presence I am just as scared to offend anyone else and receive the same narcissistic rage or abandonment from them.

So you might be dealing with a victim. I am trying to kick the habit it is hard. I learned it was silly when someone was nice enough to point out that I said sorry too much. My response "Sorry, Oh uh Sorry" A very hard habit to kick lol.

The number one thing I want to learn is what is normal. I have no idea and my mom had me homeschool all my life except for two years.

Saying sorry too much can be a sign of lack of confidence also. My mother not only instilled a terror of me making her angry again but a terror of insulting and making others angry at me. I am afraid to say anything because it might be offensive and they might start fighting with me about it like my mother does.

TCON (Teenage Child of Narcissist)


(I wish there were more sites for teenagers that are living with narcissists.)