When a Narcissist Makes an Apology

An apology to a narcissist is not the same as it is for the non-personality-disordered person. An apology to the average person means:

  • I’m sorry.
  • Let’s make up.

An apology to a narcissist means:

  • Look how good I am.
  • Now you owe me forgiveness.
  • We won’t talk about this again.
  • Our relationship is still on my terms, but I appear to care about your feelings.

Do not be fooled by a narcissist’s apology. Realize that the relationship is no different than it was before the apology – you just now have more confusion on your plate (think, “cognitive dissonance”). You believe that maybe he means he’s sorry or that he won’t do whatever it was he did again. But, rest assured, the narcissist uses an apology as part of the “cycle of abuse.”

When you receive an apology from a narcissist you believe at least four things:

  1. He is truly sorry.
  2. He won’t do it again.
  3. He “sees” what he did as wrong.
  4. Things will be better in your relationship.

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