Compassion for narcissists?

Yes or no?
Narcissists and leadership



On some occasions, I stand up for people who suffer from narcissistic personalities. Thus, I am frequently asked if I have no sympathy for narcissists. Here is my answer.

Compassion for narcissists?


In articles, lectures, coaching, therapy, and even consulting for companies, I advocate for people who suffer from narcissists. So I’m asked frequently – sometimes even hostilely – if I don’t feel sorry for narcissists.






Caution: This article is not about diagnosing pathological narcissists, but about avoiding nasty people and not letting them take advantage of you. For simplicity, I call people with clear narcissistic tendencies – whether women or men – narcissists in these articles.




Not so easy


The very listing of typical characteristics of narcissistic personalities does not make it easy to feel sorry for narcissists. Narcissists too often leave a mess behind. Narcissists are opportunistic and resentful, they are arrogant and convey inferiority to those around them. Their motto is: “I only defend myself, even when I attack!”. They do not listen or only if they hope to gain an advantage. They know everything better, deceive, cheat, manipulate, stage themselves as victims when necessary and the actual victims as perpetrators. Narcissists are ungrateful, those who do not acknowledge their divinity thus only prove their own stupidity. They expect luxury, even if the pockets are empty, the others should limit themselves. They are dazzlers and behind the facade it becomes disappointing. They expect loyalty without granting any themselves. Morality is only important in terms of not getting caught. Narcissists are even proud when they manage to get away with questionable behavior. Me, me, me. Vanity is common. Criticism is lavishly given, but not accepted themselves. They consider people who follow rules to be stupid. Given the power, they turn out to be bullies.

I could go on for a while about the damage narcissistic personalities can cause. And they very often do. I deal with sufferers on a daily basis and it is painful to listen. Life partners, business partners, investors, employees, … many can sing a song about how much suffering narcissists can create.




Compassion for narcissists


Take a breath: as a therapist and empathetic person, I feel sorry for narcissists. Narcissists do not have happy lives; their craving for recognition is a prison from which they cannot escape. It is a punishment for life, narcissism is not curable. But as a therapist I don’t feel called to work with narcissists, I don’t have the impression that this is desired and somehow worthwhile. So other therapists may take care of that.






The people I deal with have often been put in uncomfortable situations by narcissists. And these people I support because they can use and appreciate it.

Help in dealing with narcissists (no legal advice!)


If you wish professional support for your decision-making, communication, or because you suffer emotionally from narcissists, then we can arrange an appointment.

Either you come to me in Berlin or we organize a telephone meeting or use the Internet with a video conferencing system. All these possibilities work very well and have already helped many people.

It's urgent? Thanks to an immediate bank transfer, it is also possible to organize sessions at short notice, often even on the same day.

In any case, you can orient yourself by reading the list with fees. Often a telephone call of 60 minutes is enough.

Every day, I get many inquiries. Some have only one question, others send long question lists, some even call me at night. As much as I would like to help voluntarily, my calendar doesn't allow that anymore. I know, that not everyone has the financial means for professional help. You can then at least use the comment function to discuss issues with other people. Sometimes I also answer questions in the comments. However, the day is full at some point and I ask for your understanding. I am aware of the psychological strain that often results from contact with narcissists.

Preparation of important conversations and negotiations


Communication can be very easy. But often it is not. Sometimes we say things and then later notice from the reaction of our conversation partners that they seem to have spoken to someone completely different. I didn't say that with the best will in the world. - Or did I say that after all?

More or less consciously, conversations are about convincing other people of something - be it a special offer, your personality, a perspective, or a necessity. If this doesn't happen fast enough and above all not exactly to the point and descriptively, the person we are talking to quickly loses interest, and we lose the hoped-for opportunity. — Conversation failed.

You can let me support you in the preparation of your conversations and negotiations (to be on the safe side: no legal advice!). Find out how you and your message are perceived (arguments, body language, language, voice, and much more). I will familiarize you with effective tools and communication strategies. Develop your psychological skills, learn to stay calm, act confidently, remain authentic, and finally convince.

Just ask me personally


Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail ( You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.



Do you have compassion for narcissists?


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This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: January 2, 2012
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: September 28, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:

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