Why is the narcissist unhappy?

By Veronica Welles

We know life through experiencing joy and pain, happiness and unhappiness. The contrasts are what being alive feels like.

Narcissists cannot feel genuine joy or happiness. They are locked from the inside in a world of pain or boredom.

So they cannot know life. Which means they are unable to live truly.

We feel most alive during the intense positive emotions of joy, love, and bliss. When you cannot experience positive emotions, you have only the negative emotions to persuade you that you are still alive. Although this actually feels half-dead, it’s still preferable to intolerable ennui.

This makes narcissists cling perversely to their pain so that they don’t fall into the abyss. Their lives is the perverse doctrine of pain. Being in atrocious pain reminds them they are alive. Causing others to suffer drives out the terrifying nothingness. Relinquishing the pain means falling into the abyss. They would rather burn everlastingly in pain.

But pain is, well painful, it is actually an unpleasant feeling. A desperate need arises to project or externalize the pain, so they take pleasure in tearing others apart. This delight they experience from hurting others isn’t joy, it’s more akin to intoxication or the relief being distracted from endless pain for a while. By spreading pain and creating chaos and nothingness around them, they obtain respite from the same things inside them.

So, to escape their dead emptiness inside, they’d rather hurt others than themselves. Better you than me. But if no victims can be found, they will be left to their own endless numbing pain or even worse, deathlike boredom.

Being cut off from the positive emotions in life is the price they pay for killing off their conscience, empathy, and compassion a long time ago. They let the core of their being die because they thought they didn’t need it. But we all need conscience, empathy, and compassion, whether we know it or not. So now they feel this gaping lack occupy its previous spot.

By refusing to acknowledge or share in the pain of others’ suffering, they inadvertedly cut off their ability to experience positive emotions. Everyone is an object to the narcissist. Objects don’t have feelings, nothing is alive, feelings are irrelevant. The narcissist, however, hypocritically believes that their own feelings would matter, but when no one exists to you, because the whole world is populated with only objects, you won’t feel any joy, because you cannot discern whether you are an object too. Empathy is what makes you and I not objects to each other. Be devoid of empathy and you will feel like your life is solitary confinement with only objects to keep you company. Which consequentially leads to feeling dead inside.

So, in order to avoid feeling dead in a world populated by only objects, they prefer to experience or inflict pain, because pain means being alive. If the narcissist can make you scream or cry tears, you appear alive to the narcissist. They poke you to determine whether you are dead or alive. They constantly require your groans and tears in response to remind them that you and them are both not dead afterall. So now they have an unrelenting relationship with pain.

But pain, or even more pain, or causing others to feel pain cannot lead to happiness. The narcissist does not know this.