Do Narcissists Cry

Do Narcissists Cry – 5 Secrets of A Narcissists

In the mysterious world of narcissistic behavior, we come across a puzzling question: Do narcissists actually cry? Narcissists are those who think very highly of themselves and often focus on their own needs. This article dives into the many aspects of narcissistic behavior to uncover the truth about why they might shed tears.

It might seem strange that people so full of themselves would cry, but if we look closer, we find that their tears reveal different things like trying to control others, protecting themselves, and having complex feelings. Figuring out when and why narcissists cry helps us understand their minds better and why they show emotions that might not always be real.


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Delving into the puzzling actions of narcissists and their tears uncovers a complicated truth. Even though they often act self-centered, they do cry for various reasons, like trying to get attention or control situations, and protecting their sensitive egos. Figuring out if their tears are real can be hard, but understanding why they cry helps us solve the confusing puzzle of narcissism. Therapy can bring positive change, helping them manage feelings and build real relationships.

Top Questions

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Yes, narcissists can cry real tears, but the authenticity varies. Their tears might be genuine at times, yet often they’re used for manipulation, control, or attention-seeking, blurring the line between true emotion and calculated behavior.
When you cry, a narcissist’s reaction can range from indifference to annoyance. They might see it as a threat to their control or attention. They could exploit your vulnerability or dismiss your feelings, focusing on their own needs.
Narcissists show emotions in complex ways. They might overreact to gain attention, mimic feelings to fit in, or use emotions strategically. Their expressions can lack depth, and they often prioritize their own needs over genuine connection.

When Do Narcissists Cry? Exploring Psychological Patterns

When Do Narcissists Cry

  1. Manipulative Tears: Narcissists may cry to manipulate others, evoking sympathy or deflecting blame in situations that challenge their ego.
  2. Threats to Self-Image: Tears may emerge when their self-perceived superiority is questioned, causing emotional turmoil and self-doubt.
  3. Loss of Control: Crying might occur when narcissists feel their control over a situation slipping, leading to frustration and an attempt to regain dominance.
  4. Attention-Seeking: Tears can serve as a means to gain attention and admiration, reinforcing their desire for admiration and recognition.
  5. Private Moments: In rare instances, narcissists may cry alone due to an internal clash between their grandiose self-image and underlying vulnerabilities.

1. Tears for Manipulation

Narcissists can use tears as a planned tactic to control others’ feelings. They cry to get sympathy, gain power, or shift blame, cleverly using situations that challenge their ego to influence outcomes by playing with emotions.

2. Threats to Self-Image

Threats to Self-Image

When faced with situations that question their view of being superior, narcissists might cry because it threatens how they see themselves. These tears show their inner confusion, as they struggle with self-doubt and trying to match their big self-image with real life.

3. Crying for Control

Crying for Control

Narcissists may cry when they feel their control over a situation is slipping. These tears express their frustration and the desperate wish to stay in charge. Crying becomes a way to regain power, letting them take back control and be the one influencing what’s happening.

4. Seeking Attention

Seeking Attention

Using tears, narcissists want everyone’s focus on them. This satisfies their constant need for people to admire and notice them. Their tears highlight their emotional stress, making others pay attention to their feelings, which feeds their desire for the attention and approval they always want.

5. Quiet Moments of Tears

Quiet Moments of Tears

Sometimes, narcissists might cry when they’re alone and thinking. These hidden tears show a battle within them, where their proud outer image clashes with their hidden insecurities. These moments give a peek into their complicated thoughts, revealing a struggle between how they see themselves and their inner emotional battles.

Is the Tears of a Narcissist Real?

Is a Narcissist's Crying Genuine?

It can be difficult to tell whether a narcissist’s crying is genuine. However, there are a few things to look out for. Crocodile tears are tears that come on suddenly and without warning, and they may be accompanied by other manipulative behaviors, such as blaming the other person for their own pain.

Attention-seeking crying is often loud and dramatic, and it may be accompanied by other attention-seeking behaviors, such as making a scene or demanding that the other person comfort them.

Conflict-avoidant crying is often used to get out of a difficult situation, such as an argument or a confrontation. And sympathy-seeking crying is used to make the other person feel sorry for the narcissist and to get them to do what the narcissist wants.

When Can Therapy Benefit a Narcissist?

When Can Therapy Benefit

Therapy can be beneficial for narcissists when they are willing to engage in self-reflection, as it fosters self-awareness and personal growth. It aids in improving interpersonal skills, empathy, and connections with others, while addressing vulnerabilities can lead to a balanced self-image. Learning emotional regulation and breaking negative patterns are additional gains, enhancing adaptive interactions.


In 2020, a study featured in the “Personality and Social Psychology Review” discovered that individuals with higher narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) traits exhibited a greater tendency to cry when facing negative emotions. This inclination might arise from their struggles with emotion regulation, with crying serving as a mechanism to manage such negativity.

Similarly, a study published in the “Clinical Psychological Science” journal in 2021 found that narcissists were more prone to shedding tears when feeling threatened or criticized. This behavior could stem from their delicate self-esteem, using crying as a defense mechanism to shield themselves from emotional pain and rejection.


In the complicated world of narcissism, crying adds even more complexity to an already puzzling character. Figuring out why narcissists cry shows us they have various reasons, like trying to trick others, evoking a false sense of superiority and entitlement, or trying to protect their own feelings. It’s not easy to tell if their tears are real, but the behaviors we’ve talked about in this article, such as their lack of empathy and their tendency to manipulate when they feel sad or guilty, give us some clues about their many-sided personality.

Knowing that their tears don’t always mean they’re really sad, but sometimes they’re trying to get power, attention, or keep themselves safe, or even deflect blame when a narcissist feels jealous, helps us understand the tricky puzzle of narcissism. As experts keep studying this complex personality trait, it’s becoming clear that therapy, where they learn to understand themselves better and control their feelings, can help them grow as people and make real connections with others.


What is the saddest thing about narcissists?

The saddest aspect is their inability to form deep, authentic relationships. Their self-centeredness prevents them from truly connecting with others on an emotional level, leaving them isolated in a world driven by their need for validation.

What upsets a narcissist the most?

Narcissists are most upset by criticism or anything that challenges their perceived superiority. Being ignored or not receiving admiration can also deeply upset them, as their self-esteem relies on constant validation.

Can a narcissist fall in love permanently?

Narcissists might struggle with genuine, lasting love. They can become infatuated initially, but their self-centered nature often makes it hard for them to maintain deep, selfless emotional connections, leading to unstable or superficial relationships.

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