I think the narcissist syndrome rarely feels guilty. His dominant emotions are pride and vanity. The guilty response of mind is punishment and adjudication. The” self of the self” fixes the sins of the self and punishes it. The quantum of punishment depends on sins. Here there are not two different identities of self but only one self. Guilt is “self punishment” or punishment of self.. It is punishment for committing sins and crimes. In guilt mode of punishment the persecuting agency is not outside of the individual self but within the self. The self is the judge. Itfirst determines or adjudges the nature of sin and then punishes the self according to the quantum of sin. Guilty is composite emotion comprising two emotions of “self pity” and “self hate”. The self pity mode of guilty declares life as hell or punishment. The delusion of the self is that life is hell. It perceives life as hell. It is hell like situation. Life is persecution. Life is abandonment. Life is loneliness. It is expressed by sobbing type of lonely weeping. It is uncontrollable weeping not crying. It is situation of not being admired, of being used, of being injured, of being consumed, of being neglected, of not being appreciated. The weeping response to this situation comes out of helplessness not worthlessness. It is the situation of the worth being not appreciated, of being totally ignored, of being marginalized. It may be seen in any gender but it most predominates in females or feminine gender. The wife of a narcissist displays this most abundantly and on many occasions. The narcissist’s wife having a very respectful nature repeatedly displays this emotion repeatedly in his daily encounters with the narcissus’s blatant refusal to accede her minor will. She pitifully condemns his self while weeping and accusing the cruel behavior of his narcissist husband. I exactly remember the pitiful words of a narcissist’s wife. She sorrowfully sobbingly remarked in the presence of his narcissist husband
“You have reduced me to Skelton by sucking my blood”. When no blood is left within me, you have abandoned me.”
She was referring to his life long sexual encounters that reduced him to Skelton. She got nauseating disgust with the very word “sex” totally frigid not attending to any sexual gesture of husband now. His body was paining and cramping. She was model of “living torture”
It is very Interesting and intriguing that the common denominator or motif or pattern of action of both guilt and pride is punishment/ humiliation. The main defense of the self or the ego aspect or pride aspect is so obliterated or weakened that the guilt aspect starts riding the ego aspect or ego is so subdued that guilt overwhelms it transitory. This type of personality pattern or archetype may be termed as “Oedipus personality”. It is marked by self denigration, low self esteem, self pity, self hatred etc. its dominant reflection is seen in feminine characters i.e. the wives of narcissists. It is exactly opposite of the narcissus personality. These two personality types are diagonally opposite. The first mythological character to represent this personality was a male of Greek mythology Oedipus. Oedipus simply means punishment of the self the mode of punishment may be any and may vary to person to person. The two dominant mode of this archetypal personality are
Self pity mode implies punishment. Life is punishment/ hell.
Self hate mode implies life is hell so I deserve punishment
The common motif of narcissus is also punishment/ humiliation. The only difference from Oedipus personality is that the target of punishment here is not the self but the other self. The one predominant emotion of narcissist personality is pride.
Like the guilty mode of Oedipusist personality the narcissist personality is marked by pride. The pride has further two sub types. Or the pride is extended into tow sub types. In Oedipus egois subdued here ego is inflated. In Oedipus there is submission of ego here is assertion ego.
The vanity mode implies you are inferior to me in every respect of life. By implication it means I am superior to you. I am the judge. You had committed the sin and you deserve to be punished.
The arrogant mode implies I despise you because you are inferior so I will punish you. This punishment is not ordinary punishment it is ruthless, cruelty. There is no place for love in narcissus model. It is all drama. Love is here enacted. There is no love of the self even. There is hatred of the self Love is not feeling here, love is mask. The narcissist seems to be excessessively loving his own self but he only loves his “image” not his self. He has fallen in deep love slumber like love with the female counterpart of his psyche i.e. “anima.” He does not love, he is showing, he is enacting, he is displaying that he loves.
It is just a type of seduction. Seduction is not love. Seduction is a skilful technique an attitude for compelling the victim to surrender to your whims without you using any force. It is just like casting the spell. It is just like “killing without killing”. Some people inherently are expert in seductive art and behavior. They are not enacting the role of the seducer/ seductress etc but actually are seducer or seductress inherently. Enacting a seducer or seductress or being a seducer or seductress are two different things.
The outside sweetness and sobriety is all drama and mask. The inner core is hatred, contempt, revenge, rage and craze. Vanity is preparatory mode to ambush the prey arrogant mode is action of preying the ambush, the sudden ambush. It is the obliteration of the personality of the prey to eat.
Naturally the question arises. Can a narcissist feel guilty?
Guilty is not a predominant emotion of the narcissist psyche rather it is pride and vanity. Vanity and guilt are antagonistic emotions. The emotions are very transitory. If at all it penetrates the narcissist mind it is very short lived. The narcissist is always in mood of commenting/ blaming and hitting at others with piercing behavior and remarks. If you do not fulfill some of his need he will become resentful and convert this resentful in to revengefulness. Narcissists usually blame others for their behavior, and rarely admit that anything is wrong with them or their psyche. They also exaggerate their self worth, over estimate their qualities and inflate their ego often putting down and marginalizing others ruthlessly to make themselves seem more important which they generally are in some field of life. They are not men of ordinary intellect and skill but men of high caliber. They also don’t really seem to evaluate the success of others, and are usually jealous of others success. If ever a narcissist hurts someone near to him. Instead of feeling guilty he may enact the drama of feeling guilty. He is dramatizing the feeling of guilty as he dramatizes other feelings. May God avoid narcissists.