Do Narcissists Have Emotions?
It is often said that narcissists and psychopaths don't experience the full depth and range of human emotions. I have known some narcissists very well for a very long time, and I am sure there is something different about their emotions.
Sam Vaknin discusses the matter here, starting off clearly by saying that narcissists repress their emotions. Which makes sense. After that he gets into fuzzy abstractions that don't seem to add a lot.
But I wonder if there isn't more to it.
Maybe a large part of the difference is simply due to their idenitification with their image instead of themselves. I've read that they view their bodies as a machine or tool, not really an integral part of themselves. And I believe it, because the narcissists I have known were amazingly out of touch with their bodily sensations. One had a heart so enlarged it was thumping against her sternum 24/7 for about a year, and when the doctor asked her how long she had been feeling it do that, it was news to her! The other never seemed to know when he was sick. His wife had to tell him. When he got old, life was such an out-of-the-body experience for him that he couldn't even tell where, or if, anything hurt! Welcome to The Twilight Zone.
If you're that out-of-touch with even your physical sensations, you certainly aren't in touch with your emotional ones either.
And it stands to reason, because they identify with something external and immaterial, their image. They relate to it as themselves. So, they aren't connected properly to their real selves.
What's more, their emotions are pretended. They don't get mad because something really made them mad. They pretend to get mad when they throw a fit to bully you. But that isn't genuine anger. It's an act. Otherwise they couldn't turn it on and off like a light switch.
Sure, they work themselves up into a lather as they summon anger to put on a temper tantrum, but that isn't the natural emotion of anger.
Narcissists have about two emotional acts: their happy act and their mad act. These are just acting jobs in their game of Pretend. The emotions are shallow because the narcissist conjures them up and then pumps them up. So, they're artificial, not the real thing.
As for feelings, they regard feeling as weakness, vulnerability. So they repress them.